Real Meals Modified

Level 0: Thin Protein Tea

Level 0: Thin Protein Tea is an easy way to add more protein to your daily life without thick protein shakes or adding extra sugar or dairy.

protein tea

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Is this even a recipe?

Okay folks it’s time to get real, I don’t know if Protein Tea really counts as a recipe.

I have somehow turned a two-step process (make tea, add protein) into five steps.

This is something my mom has done for quite a while to try to get more protein into her daily routine without adding even more bacon.

Many of my patients have supplement drinks added to their meals to increase protein intake for wound-healing and weight gain. I’ve found that a lot of patients don’t like the fake-milkshake texture or the chalky flavor of these protein drinks.

The benefit of using a loose protein powder is that you can customize your drink yourself. This is great for individuals who have dietary restrictions, as it can be very hard to find a dairy or soy free alternative to those supplement drinks.

I add my protein powder after I let the tea cool for 5 minutes, as we know that protein can denature in heat. I use a tub of collagen that my mother left here when I moved in for grad school, which apparently begins to show thermal changes at 302 degrees Fahrenheit (150 C) and undergoes the first stage of denaturation at 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 C). I skimmed this article to find this out, thanks for publishing this, Bozec, L. and Odlyha, M. (2011)!

My tea is probably not that hot, but I never miss a chance to use the word “denature.”

Basically, you get to drink a delightful tea and get some extra protein! This might be a good option for your level-zero loved one who can’t have a traditional protein shake due to the thickness.

Level 0: Thin

Level 0: Thin is appropriate for individuals who can consume liquids with the texture of plain water. Foods at this level flow quickly, and can be drunk from a cup, spoon, or straw easily. Foods are tested using the Flow Test at this level.

The IDDSI Flow Test is a standardized test for determining the level of a liquid sample. You must have a 10ml syringe for this test, and not all syringes are created equal. Hold a ruler up to your syringe and the distance from the very bottom line to the 10ml mark must measure 61.5 mm. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Flow Test as well as this comparison between Levels 1-3 before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.

Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.

How to make Level 0: Thin Protein Tea

This recipe truly could not be any easier!

Brew a cup of your favorite tea, and let steep and cool for about 5 minutes.

Add a scoop of your preferred protein powder, and enjoy!

We want to hear from you!

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, please comment below!

If you loved this recipe, check out our other Level 0: Thin recipes, or learn more about us!

cup of tea with a teabag in a clear mug on a wooden background.
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Level 0: Thin Protein Tea

Level 0: Thin Protein Tea is an easy way to add more protein to your daily life without thick protein shakes or adding extra sugar or dairy.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: thin


  • 1 teabag your preferred tea
  • 1 teaspoon protein powder or 1 scoop
  • Hot water


  • Heat up the water in your preferred way
  • Steep your teabag for the recommended time
  • Stir in one teaspoon or one serving size of your preferred protein powder
  • Doctor up your tea however you like it
  • Enjoy!

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