Protein Powder in Coffee – All You Need to Know

Adding protein powder to coffee is the latest fitness and wellness trend. Many people on Instagram and Tiktok claim that protein coffee improves their workouts and boosts weight loss. But how true are these health benefits?

This article details everything you need about it and whether it’s safe to hop onto the bandwagon. Let’s get started!

What Is Protein Coffee?

Protein coffee, also called “Proffee,” is either a coffee with added protein powder or a protein powder that contains caffeine. Most people consume it as a chilled or iced beverage because most powders dissolve well in cool liquids. It also gets lumpy when mixed with hot coffee or other hot beverages. 

You will end up with a drink that looks like a basic cup of coffee if you dump one or two scoops of it into the coffee. Meanwhile, if you combine a protein shake with caffeine, you will have a mixture of light and dark swirls.

Protein is a macronutrient that powers muscles and assists in exercise recovery. This explains why bodybuilders, athletes bodybuilders, and athletes prefer protein powders. Experts also recommend it for active adults who want to gain and maintain muscle mass.

Should You Mix Protein Powder Into Coffee? [Pros and Cons]

Benefits of Adding Protein Powder To Coffee

Mixing whey protein powder into your morning coffee offers various benefits, from better heart health to weight control, improved digestion, boosted metabolism, and improved cognitive function. 

Let’s highlight below these benefits:

Protein requirements

The most popular reason people add protein to their cold coffee is that it meets their daily protein needs, which is beneficial for people who often skip their breakfast but still want to gain muscle.

Still, skipping a meal is not advised as it slows down your body’s ability to preserve fuel and burn calories. The harmful habit may also likely result in clogged arteries.

Vegetarians and vegans may also benefit from drinking protein coffee as they get enough amino acids for healthy bodily function.

Workout performance

Adding protein powder to coffee improves your workout performance as it loads you on protein and caffeine.

A cup of coffee already contains about 95 mg of caffeine, a natural stimulant that enhances your muscle’s resistance to fatigue and contractions when consumed within an hour before working out.

Moreover, the caffeine kick from the coffee offers you a jolt of energy, which improves your athletic performance and endurance while enhancing your mood and memory.

Similarly, they provide your muscles the nutrients they need to recover from exercise, become stronger, and grow.

Studies have shown that people who consistently perform resistance exercise benefit the most from consuming 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. However, some studies say people can still meet their daily protein needs without taking supplements.

Muscle building

It’s “common knowledge” among workout warriors and athletes that protein increases stamina and post-workout recovery. 

People can perform more repetitive contractions, which may eventually lead to increased muscle growth.

Sugar replacement

A protein powder improves the coffee’s taste and doesn’t usually contain harmful additives. This precaution is because they contain artificial sweeteners, fillers, and other additives.

Related: Best Protein Powder Without Artificial Sweeteners

Weight loss

Mixing protein powder into your coffee may aid in weight loss.

Protein promotes a feeling of fullness and reduces hunger. So, mixing it into your coffee may keep you feeling fuller longer and reduce the number of calories you consume later in the day.

Protein may likewise help you maintain muscle mass as you lose body fat. Finally, protein may boost metabolism by encouraging your body to burn more calories than fats or carbs.

Meanwhile, caffeine has weight loss benefits as well. Research shows that it improves weight maintenance through fat oxidation and thermogenesis. 

In weight loss, thermogenesis is the metabolic process of burning calories to generate heat. The body produces heat by “burning” calories.

Drawbacks of Adding Protein Powder To Coffee

Protein powders come in different types and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the way medical products and foods are. Here are some drawbacks to adding it to the coffee.

Harmful additives in some protein powders

Some of them are full of food additives. While these additives are not harmful in small quantities, they add up quickly, especially if you take protein shakes or powder daily. 

Furthermore, their additives may cause gastrointestinal side effects, like gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation.

Missing nutrients

Protein powders cannot replace the nutritional value of a balanced breakfast and natural foods. Therefore, it’s better to consider protein coffee as an exercise supplement than a meal or breakfast replacement.

Proprietary blend

Some protein powder contains a proprietary blend. It may sound harmless, but it’s risky not to know how much each ingredient in a protein powder has. Also, the proprietary blend hides that some products may contain additives or fillers you don’t want.

Studies reveal that some protein supplements include misleading claims, and some detail very little of the ingredients they used. Failure to account for others exposes consumers to the risk of consuming unsafe ingredients.

So, the best way to avoid this problem is to research before buying a high-quality protein powder. Look into the reputation of the brand or company you buy.

Too much protein

Too much protein may cause a metabolic burden on the liver, bones, and kidneys. Too much protein also means too many calories. Therefore, it’s best to plan out the number of calories you need in a day and pour only enough protein powder into your coffee.

A meta-study published that soy protein powder may lower the testosterone levels of healthy men.

How to Mix Protein Powder Into Your Coffee

Option 1: The correct way to add protein powder to coffee is to take an empty cup first. First, add protein powder to it, then take about ⅓ tablespoon of cold water. Mix it until it’s smooth. Once the clumps and lumps are out, slowly add the mixture to your coffee.

We suggest using cold water because the protein powder may clump when mixed in a hot beverage, except if it’s a collagen powder. 

Option 2: Another option is to dissolve it into your coffee directly and use a blender, mix it in a blender, or use only a coffee stirrer or spoon.

The Bottom line

When done right, adding protein powder to coffee isn’t bad. It’s a tasty and convenient way to boost your protein intake. 

Selecting a quality protein powder is the key to enjoying the benefits. So, look for protein powders without artificial sweeteners and other additives. The smaller the ingredient list, the better.

But please consume profee in moderate amounts. So, go ahead and give your coffee a protein boost today! 

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Nathan Lloyd, MSc

I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.

If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.