Buying the right protein shaker can make all the difference. Choosing the wrong bottle to mix your protein shake in means it might leak or break easily, could be difficult to use or a hassle to clean. In fact, out of all the protein shakers we tested, those were the three most common complaints.
There are the super-simple cup-and-mesh protein shakers, the cheap shakers, the expensive high-tech blending solutions, the stylish portable protein mixers… okay, maybe there aren’t any stylish ones. But there is still a wide variety you can choose from, for anyone who wants that mix-and-go convenience of a portable protein shaker.
First is the most popular type of protein shake mixer bottle, the one with the wire mesh ball inside: the most popular version is the Sundesa Blender Bottle, which we highly recommend. This style comes in many different colors from lots of different brands (many of which are all made in the same factory in China), and it offers a simple, elegant solution without too much cost or hassle. The plastic cups themselves are usually not dishwasher safe (though some are top-rack safe; check first), but there is nothing special about the cups to make them difficult to clean by hand.
The ingenious piece of this puzzle is the ball agitator, made of metal wire to break apart the pieces of protein powder as you shake the bottle, ensuring a homogeneous protein mix every time. The ball itself is more difficult to clean by hand, but can be put into the dishwasher instead. And the ball works. Five or ten shakes of the shaker bottle with the ball in it will give you a great, consistent whey protein shake.
Sometimes this style of protein shaker bottle uses two smaller balls, which can work even better, or a tornado-shaped swirl of metal or plastic, which works about as well as the large wire ball does. We recommend any from this family of shakers, but our specific favorite for using at home or taking to the gym is the Sundesa Blender Bottle.
Another low-tech choice for mixing whey protein powder with water or milk is the mesh-top style protein shaker. These have a grid of plastic at the top which often attaches to the lid like the straining top of a martini shaker. The grid has the same function as the wire ball in the other protein shakers does, but the grid is harder to clean (almost never dishwasher safe) and doesn’t work as well.
Our testers found that the grid-style protein shakers almost always ended up with chunks of protein powder stuck to the bottom, with no built-in apparatus to agitate the precious supplement away from the unreachable depths of the bottom of the cup.
The final main type of protein shaker bottle is the electronic blender bottle, which, while still portable, is somewhat heavy because it is fully motorized. It’s a cool design but a little over-the top, with its spinning blades at the bottom doing their protein-mixing job well but noisily — a plus for anyone who likes to draw attention at the gym.
The electronic protein shaker blender bottle is perfect for all you techie bodybuilders who can deadlift 600 pounds but can’t be bothered to lift more than a finger to mix your protein shakes. If your favorite protein shaker is an electronic protein blender bottle, you’re one step away from making your butler do your bent row presses for you. Buy a normal Blender Bottle and save yourself the embarrassment.