Why Does Protein Powder Smell Bad?

Protein powder and creatine are the most used supplements in bodybuilding. Yet- creatine doesn’t have such an awful smell to it like protein powder does.

So, why does protein powder smell bad?

Well, protein powder smells so bad because it’s raw protein, a food that generally has a potent smell alone. Also, most protein powders don’t have any sweeteners or sugars in them. Lastly, most protein powders come from dairy, so you’re in a way eating incredibly processed ‘packaged milk’. And we all know what happens when we leave milk out…

So, that’s the simple reason protein powder smells bad. It’s just like leaving a gallon of milk out for a month, it’s going to get all chunky and gross. Now, protein powder is just like that, but almost in ‘powdered form’.

This is a bit more complicated than that, so let’s get into it.

Why Does Protein Powder Smell Bad?
Why Does Protein Powder Smell Bad?

Protein Powder Is Just ‘Protein’ – And That Doesn’t Smell Too Good

There are three types of macronutrients: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Protein Powder is, as the name suggests, protein.

Most protein powders don’t have any carbs in them.

Carbs are, generally speaking: sugars. Sugars smell good and taste sweet. This is why bread, donuts, cakes, cookies all are so appetizing- meanwhile, protein isn’t usually like that.

If you’ve ever smelled raw meat, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It isn’t exactly an appetizing smell. Even when you cook meat, it can give off a weird smell too. Most of the smell we ‘like’ from meat are from the sauces and seasonings put on the meat, not the meat smell itself.

So the thing is, protein powder doesn’t really have those seasonings or sweeteners either…

Protein Powder Typically Doesn’t Have The Seasonings or Sweeteners Other Protein Products Do

Got milk? You’ve also got sugar.

Got ice cream? You’ve also got a LOT of sugar.

Got meat? You’ve got seasonings and rubs.

Got protein powder? Well, it’s not really like that. As I covered in my article, ‘Why Does Protein Powder Smell So Bad?’ protein powder typically doesn’t have any seasonings or sugars in them, and there’s a reason for that.

Protein Powder is meant to be able to be MIXED into food or drinks without affecting it. They want you to be able to buy a protein powder, add it to your fruit shake or whatever and not really taste it.

Most people buying protein powder want that. They want to drink their normal drinks, with added protein.

Even if you make protein shakes, you don’t want that taste to interfere with the milk or whatever else you may end up adding in.

Otherwise, if your protein shake had tons of sweeteners or a specific taste- you wouldn’t be able to use it in everything.

Plus, Sweeteers and Sugars Add Calories

Protein powders are notorious for being low-calorie, and for most people- this is a good thing.

The general audience that is taking protein powders are trying to lose weight or lean bulk.

If you’re dirty bulking, you’re probably just drinking a chocolate shake instead. Point is, most people don’t want that many calories in their protein shake, and if you’re bulking- it’s not as big of a deal compared to someone who is cutting.

Protein Powder Usually Comes From Milk

Does your protein powder say ‘Whey’ on it? Have you ever heard the term ‘whey’ used in gym terminology before? Probably.

Whey is a term referring to the liquid remaining from milk after it has been strained. Basically, they filter milk out to get that remaining whey- which is protein and a bunch of amino acids that are more suited for muscle growth.

Have You Ever Spoiled Milk?

If you’ve ever let milk spoil- you’ll know the exact rancid smell I’m talking about.

Well, remember above how I mentioned that protein powder is ‘Whey’? Whey is derived from milk, and while the process of spoiling isn’t exactly the same, you get that same bad smell from the Whey inside the protein powder.

This can quickly go from bad to worse if you expose your protein powder to moisture or don’t seal it back up all the way.

If bacteria and moisture get access to that whey protein- YUCK. You’re going to smell something horrible and you’re going to want to immediately throw that bag out.

Point is – whey is a dairy derivative. And that’s why the smell isn’t exactly lavender and flowers.

Conclusion of Why Does Protein Powder Smell So Bad?

This was a lot of information- so let’s recap:

  • Protein powder doesn’t really have any sweeteners or sugars becasue because it adds un needed calories.
  • Protein comes from ‘Whey’, a derivitive of milk. When ‘whey’ gets spoiled, it gives off a smell similar to that of spoiled milk.
  • Uusally, protein powders dont have much sugar or sweeteners in them/
  • The main macronutrient ‘protein’ doesn’t smell as good as the main macronutrient in cake and cookies called ‘Carbohydrates’.

Thank you for reading!

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