Profee: What is protein coffee and is it good for you?

Once again, TikTok introduced us to a viral coffee trend: Proffee (protein + coffee). The drink, which combines a protein shake and cold-brewed coffee, may not be as Instagrammable as Dalgona, but it has been hailed for helping Americans in their eternal quest to consume more protein.

Protein is essential for fueling the body, especially in the morning or after a workout to help with muscle repair. But the reality is that most Americans already consume double their recommended daily allowance. With that in mind, is more protein really good nutritional advice, especially if a well-balanced meal follows this proffee?

What exactly is the proffee?

First of all, we had proats (protein oats). Then the protein pastes and the protein bread. Protein is also added to cereals, rice, and cookies, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that they are now added to coffee. With this latest iteration, proffee drinkers seem to be following a recipe without a recipe rather than sticking to strict rules.

The basics include a version of a pre-made protein shake (Premier Protein is a fan favorite) added to black coffee (usually Starbucks cold brew). Some add a sweetener, some add syrups (Torani coffee syrup is popular). Some people use protein powders instead of pre-made shakes. Almost anything goes, really.

Is coffee healthy?

Breaking down the basic components of the drink, there are two beneficial ingredients: coffee, which is full of antioxidants, and a protein powder or shake, which provides energy and supports muscle repair.

Protein powders and shakes can run the gamut: some are simple blends of plant-based protein or dairy, while others are a carnival of flavors, supplements like powdered greens and nootropics. , and dyes, which means consumers should get a label savvy.

The basics of proffee include a version of a protein shake added to black coffee.

Professional dietitian Amanda frankeny says it’s best if you “keep your ingredient list short.” Beware of long lists of unpronounceable ingredients. Some will suit you better than others, depending on your nutritional needs, preferences, allergies and goals.

Sweeteners, both artificial and natural, are a common main ingredient in protein supplements, with 4 to 5 teaspoons of added sugar per scoop. the Diet guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugars to “no more than 10% of daily calorie intake”.

“Look at the serving size and% Daily Value of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label – this can tell you how much sugar is added in a particular protein powder.” Kimberly Rose Francois, a registered dietitian, told HuffPost. As a general rule, find an unsweetened protein powder.

Frankeny said ideally people should go for a protein powder that has been third-party tested for purity and quality.

“Protein powders are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but not often enough to provide proper quality assurance,” Frankeny said. “Look for one of these three certification bodies on the product label – NSF [National Sanitation Foundation], Informed Choice or Clean Label Project.

A coffee syrup pump is another factor to consider, especially if your protein powder is already sweet. Men should not eat more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day and women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons, according to the American Heart Association.

“For this reason, one pump of any syrup in your coffee may very well represent more than a teaspoon of added sugar,” said Rose Francis. “Even that small amount can put you on the brink when you consider the amount of hidden sugar found in a plethora of other foods and drinks typically consumed on a daily basis.”

Sweeteners, both artificial and natural, are a common main ingredient in protein supplements.

Sweeteners, both artificial and natural, are a common main ingredient in protein supplements.

Who could benefiting from proffee?

Most Americans are already consuming more than their required daily protein intake. For a 140-pound sedentary person, that’s about 51 grams of protein, or as part of a day’s meal, about 3 ounces of meat, two eggs, 1 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup of almonds, says Frankeny.

Dietitians have stated that if you are already following a balanced diet, consuming a combination of healthy fats, protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, you probably don’t need to add a powder or supplement. protein. People with difficulty meeting these needs may include vegetarians or vegans, people with certain allergies or sensitivities, and people with strenuous exercise routines.

While the proffee is not unhealthy, it should not be confused with a full meal or even a nutritionally healthy snack. This is because it lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber, the dietitians said. To increase the nutritional value, Rose Francis suggested adding “a healthy sandwich consisting of two pieces of whole grain bread, sliced ​​tomatoes, lettuce and avocado, low fat cheese, and sliced ​​turkey.” .

“If you’d like to have coffee as a snack, pair it with something small like a half-bagel with low-fat cream cheese and sliced ​​salmon, or a scone topped with nut butter,” Francis said. .

It could be the perfect pre-workout fuel.

Before you poke fun at the proffee and its seemingly superfluous addition to the fuel world, it has some advantages. For serious gym rats, this just might be the perfect pre-workout drink.

“Because caffeine stimulates, it constitutes an excellent physiological stimulant. It can also improve physical performance, ”said Rose Francis.

When caffeine is combined with protein, physical and muscle performance can improve. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that active people who consumed caffeine and amino acids (that’s what protein is) have seen an increase in performance of high intensity exercise. Specifically, participants who had about 5 to 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight – or about 375 milligrams (which is equivalent to a tall coffee with just one espresso) for a 150-pound woman – noticed an increase in performance.

Does protein enhance the effects of caffeine?

Unfortunately, the protein consumed with coffee doesn’t do much to increase the duration of our java buzz, according to dietitian Barbara Ruhsbecause most caffeine is absorbed within 45 minutes of consuming it. Caffeine is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, while protein is digested in the stomach. However, adding any food can slow this process down slightly, so choose something you like in addition to your brew.

Finally, more isn’t necessarily better when it comes to protein or coffee. Over-consumption of protein can cause some side effects, ranging from mild to severe.

“Eating too much protein at one time causes your body to excrete the excess, as well as causing indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, headaches and irritability,” Frankeny said. “Chronic overuse puts people at risk for kidney and liver problems, cardiovascular disease, vascular disorders, seizures and death. “

So, enjoy a coffee if it satisfies you or gives you a little more oomph at the gym, but a well-balanced meal or snack works just as well, if not better.

Protein supplements recommended by experts

An option with collagen

Vital proteins

A ready-to-use shake


Help for your muscles


“Myprotein Whey Isolate is popular because it is a broken down protein in its simplest form, which makes it easy to digest. It’s also affordable, ”Frankeny said. “This product has been quality tested by Consumer Labs and is NSF certified, so you know what you’re getting. “

Get Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate for $ 24.99.

A vegan option


“Natural Unflavored is great for diabetics or those on plant-based diets,” Frankeny said. “It’s the cheapest of all those proteins on this list. But with a fine texture and a slightly bitter taste, it’s best in smoothies.

Get NOW Sport Pea Protein, Pure Flavorless Powder for $ 46.14 (for seven pounds).

A well-balanced option


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Keith Johnson

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