You have many options when it comes to protein shake ingredients. Find out the benefits of including oats into your favorite recipes.
Something you do want to keep in mind with these positive effects is that oats are relatively filling. It currently looks like a calorie surplus is helpful for building muscle (1).
If building muscle is your goal and you already struggle with eating enough, oats may not be the best ingredient choice. In that case, you may want to look into other foods if you want similar benefits.
1. Extra micronutrients
Micronutrients are basically nutrients that are smaller than the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food. These include vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like polyphenols.
Oats stand out in that they contain nice amounts of these micronutrients. More specifically, 100 grams of raw oats contains some of the following vitamins and minerals (2):
- Manganese: 246% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Phosphorus: 52%
- Thiamin: 51%
- Magnesium: 44%
- Copper: 31%
- Iron: 26%
- Zinc: 26%
While it is also possible to overdo it with these nutrients, consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for a variety of health goals including muscle growth.
Many people could also use more vitamins and minerals which likely makes the amounts in oats a beneficial addition to your protein shake.
The general daily recommendations of vitamins and minerals are inevitably not perfect but you can use them to set goals for yourself and estimate how many oats you want to add to your protein shake.
2. Helps you feel fuller
One of the benefits of fiber people tend to value the most is that it helps reduce hunger and makes you feel fuller.
For individuals who want to control their calories and/or lose weight but still eat enough protein with a shake, oats could be a good ingredient choice.
Additionally, consuming enough fiber also seems to offer a variety of health benefits for most people (3).
One thing to keep in mind is that these fiber contents of oats are not a benefit for everyone. To build muscle, a calorie surplus is typically recommended (1).
Bodybuilders or other individuals who already have a lot of muscle mass may need really high amounts of calories to achieve this. So high that eating too much fiber will make them too full to eat enough.
if this is an issue for you but you still want to add oats, some of the more refined types like quick and instant oats. Keep in mind that these also often contain fewer micronutrients
So while oats are likely not the ideal weight gain shake ingredient for someone struggling to eat enough calories, the fullness effect of the fiber will be a benefit for many people anyway.
3. You may like the taste and texture
This next benefit is not the most complicated or surprising but that does not make it less important.
You may simply like the taste and texture oats add to your protein shakes.
Enjoying your protein shakes is not just something nice to have. It can also help you stay consistent with your diet plans. In turn, this leads to a variety of other positive effects (if you have a good diet plan).
4. Switches up amino acid ratio
While there is not yet a consensus about what amounts are optimal for what goals, it is clear that protein is an essential nutrient.
Your muscles and more specifically cells are made of protein.
Repairing old cells and making new ones requires extra proteins that have to come from somewhere, typically from food (although your body can create some and recycling old cells can offer small amounts too).
Now, not all protein is the same. This nutrient has subcategories that are called amino acids. In simple words, one gram of protein can come from different types of amino acids.
Different amino acids can play different roles in your body and thus have different effects. Unfortunately, there are not any airtight statements to make about what amino acids you need in what quantities and ratios.
A solution to this confusing situation is consuming different protein sources with different amino acids. That way you get at least some amount of many types which could turn out to be important.
Dry oats contain around 16.9 gram of protein per 100 grams (2).
It is unlikely that oats contain the exact amino acid ratios of your protein shake. That means they could add some amino acids that are not yet in your shake or at least switch up the quantities.
5. Easy and fast to prepare
Another straightforward benefit of choosing oats as a protein shake ingredient is that preparing them can be easy and fast. Especially some of the types that require less preparation like rolled, steel cut, quick, and instant oats.
One thing to note is that whole oats may need soaked and/or cooked to make your protein shake easy enough to consume.
Additionally, the alternative types like quick and instant oats tend to have less fiber and fewer nutrients.
So rolled and steel cut oats tend to be a good choice for people who want an easy-to-make protein shake in a short amount of time. That being said, there is also some personal preference involved.
There are a variety of super foods that look good when it comes to nutrients but turn out to be relatively pricey when you’re ready to buy them at the store.
Luckily oats are not one of these foods. They are relatively budget-friendly. Especially if you compare their prices with the nutrients you get.
Is oats in protein shake good?
Oats can be good additions to a protein shake for people who want to add a variety of nutrients and feel fuller. People who struggle with eating enough calories may prefer other ingredients.
How many oats should I put in a protein shake?
How many oats you should put in a protein shake varies a lot from person to person and situation to situation and can range from 0 grams to more than 100 grams. The exact amount depends on your goals, nutrient requirements, and the other foods you eat.
What kind of oats do you put in a protein shake?
You can put whole oats, rolled oats, steel cut, quick oats, and instant oats in a protein shake. Whole oats tend to require a bit more preparation time and effort. Quick and instant oats tend to contain fewer nutrients.