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  • Writer's pictureScott Murray

how to make protein pancakes without protein powder

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

As always, if you are new to the channel/page and haven't already checked out the high volume, macro friendly recipe book then be sure to have a look.

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However, for now, if you are reading this then you have likely come from my recent “How to make protein pancakes WITHOUT protein powder” video, in which case, be sure to try out the recipe and tag me in your stories… I want to see some pancake gains circulating the web.

Anyway, as I said in the video, not only is today’s blog post going to give you a full rundown on the recipe in the video with some potential bulking and cutting alternatives, I’m also going to cover everything related to PROTEIN the macronutrient itself from how much you need per day, whether you need a protein supplement, what supplements are the best etc. therefore, firstly, let me just give you a recap of the pancake recipe in the video in case you want to print this off.


· 200g egg whites

· 65g oats

· 5g cocoa

· 120g Greek yogurt

· ½ TEA spoon of baking soda

· 100 strawberries (topping)

· As much cinnamon as desired (optional)

· Flavour drops (optional)


1. Blend everything except the strawberries in a blender until a batter is formed

2. Pour batter into a pan with non-stick cooking spray

3. Cook one side until cooked and flip when ready

4. Cook either one large or many multiple pancakes

5. Once cooked through on one side, flip and cook the other side.

6. Serve with strawberries and sugar free syrup (if desired)


· 449 calories

· 44g protein

· 57g carbs

· 5g fat


· Use different types of berries or flavours of yogurt

· Use a banana (or any other fruit) instead of oats

· Use whole eggs instead of egg whites (or both)

· Add raisins or honey for more carbohydrates

· Add coffee to create pre workout editions

· Use light hot chocolate instead of cocoa

· Add a nut butter to enhance texture

· Cook in olive oil


· 200g egg whites

· 100g blueberries

· 120g Greek yogurt

· ½ TEA spoon of baking soda

· 100 strawberries (topping)

· As much cinnamon as desired (optional)

· Flavour drops (optional)

Macros: 237kcal, 36p / 21c / 1f


· 2 whole eggs

· 100g egg whites

· 100g oats

· 120g full fat Greek yogurt

· 1 tbsp. of peanut butter

· A handful of raising

· 15g cocoa

· ½ TEA spoon of baking soda

· 1 banana (topping)

· Cinnamon Flavour drops (optional)

Macros: 1073kcal 60p / 125c / 37f


It is well known that for building and/or maintain muscle mass, a positive muscle protein balance is required and, while for an average sedentary individual, the RDA for protein is 0.8g/kg, as athletes, studies have repeatedly still shown that total protein needs increase to anywhere from 50-175%. Correct, if you are lifting weights hard in the gym and/or just physically active and care about preserving/building muscle mass and/or recovering effectively from your chosen sporting endeavour, current recommendations still advise a protein intake of 1.2-2.2g/kg.

Now, while I know that this is quite a broad range, in practical terms, the harder, more frequent your training is, the more protein you will likely require, with sports heavily involving resistance training activities (as with bodybuilding, rugby, NFL etc.) also requiring more. Furthermore, protein intakes can vary depending on other factors such as whether you are eating in a surplus (a bulk) or deficit (a cut).

For example, even though minimal intakes of 1.6g/kg are advised for athletes partaking in resistant raining, lower intakes of the above recommendation (i.e. 1.2g/kg) can be suffice to still allow for adaptations from training when hypercaloric. The problem with this however, is that, due to being hypercaloric, you will likely have more of your total protein intake coming from trace amounts (the protein found in carb and fat foods) and thus, from an anabolic perspective, potentially missing out on maximising anabolism throughout the day.

This is because a dose of ~3g leucine/meal is usually required to fully saturate the mTOR signalling pathway and trigger muscle protein synthesis (MPS) meaning that, if your meals are too low in leucine (as they may be if trying to limit quality protein sources to stay in line with your daily target), you miss out on the opportunity to fully stimulate MPS for that meal. This then explains why, even when hypercaloric, intakes of >1.6g/kg are still advised as, these will still allow you to include sufficient leucine rich foods per meal/day and thus, maximise anabolism by fully stimulating MPS.

Conversely, when hypocaloric, as when cutting, higher intakes are often ALWAYS advised and can vary further depending on energy availability (the magnitude of your deficit) and leanness (those being leaner requiring more than those overweight) with MINIMUM intakes of 2-3g/kg often being advised to fully preserve muscle mass.

Finally, as the most satiating of the 3 macronutrients, higher intakes are of additional benefit when cutting for those with large appetites as they will make sustaining the required calorie deficit to lose fat that little bit easier. This can even go for those bulking who still find it difficult to control their appetites.


It is natural that, as a result of such higher protein requirements, athletes often feel the need to resort to supplementing their diet with protein shakes in order to achieve their daily totals however, this is not the case. Correct, as much as you may wish to think that protein shakes are magic pixie dust that will turn you from bones to buff, research shows otherwise in that protein is protein and that, as long as you achieve your DAILY total, added supplementation is of zero extra benefit.

This has also been robustly confirmed by a recent study by Morton et al (2017) who conducted a HUGE meta-analysis of 49 separate studies involving dietary protein, protein supplementation and their ability to augment changes in muscle mass/strength in resistance training individuals whereby, although protein supplementation most definitely DID augmented resistance training induced increases in strength/muscle, it was only due to it being the determining factor in pushing participant’s requirements up to the required targets of 1.6g-2.2g/kg and that, for studies who had participants ALREADY achieving these targets target though FOOD ALONE, supplementation beyond a total daily protein intake of the above showed no further benefit on gains in muscle mass/strength.


Even with the above research, there will always still be individuals who struggle to achieve a certain protein target for the day and thus, in their case, added supplementation can be highly beneficial however, what protein supplement is best to do so?

For those unaware, although they come in even more different forms i.e. isolates, concentrates and hydrolysates, the main two TYPES of protein often offered on the market are whey and casein. Therefore, although I have multiple posts on the main differences between the two already, let’s quickly recap.

WHEY PROTEIN - Whey protein is most commonly known for being a “fast” acting protein that can be beneficial when taken post-workout to rapidly shift you from a net catabolic state to an anabolic one. However, as a result of such rapid hyper-aminoacidemia, levels often die off quite soon thus contributing to a reduction in overall nitrogen retention.

CASEIN PROTEIN - Unlike whey, casein is mostly known for being a “slow” digesting PRO as it is water insoluble thus coagulating/clotting when it hits the stomach. This clotting then results in a longer more sustained release of amino acids into the blood stream sometimes lasting for hours.

In layman’s terms, both are highly effective at stimulating MPS however, one does so rapidly and “dies off” thereafter (whey) with the other being a “slow mover” and stimulating it later on post prandial (casein). Therefore, while both forms are still GREAT in allowing you to increase your total daily protein intake to help achieveo >1.6g/kg, if you want to be super picky and opt for a protein that has the best of both worlds, protein BLENDS have become increasingly popular.

Correct, protein blends usually comprise of a blend of whey, casein and milk proteins and have shown to be superior for elevating MPS and muscle accretion after training suggesting that, blends are more effective for spiking and prolonging MPS compared to either PRO alone. Again however, this is still nit-picking and, as long as your total DAILY PRO is high enough, you’re going to be fine as that is what has shown to be the strongest predictor of muscle hypertrophy, not the type and/or distribution of said protein (although they do of course play a role).

Anyway, that is my usual 2.5 hours of writing and researching done for you for today however, the take-home message is that, overall it seems as though for active individuals, a protein intake of 1.6-3g/kg is required with the higher range being needed when cutting, lean and extremely active with the lower range needed when in a surplus and slightly “fluffier”.

Whether you then chose to use a protein powder to help you get to your set intake is up to you however, will pose no additional benefits to achieving the same intake through food alone. If struggling to achieve your required intake and considering in investing in a protein supplement, all are great however, blends seem to have that slight advantage.

Don’t forget to like and share this on your socials and remember to take a pic and tag me if you ever try out the pancake recipe.

Finally, as always, if you read this far then I really do appreciate you so much, your support means the world.


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