What is protein coffee? Yes, we’re talking about another coffee trend that everyone simply must try. Or maybe not. Let’s take a look.
Simply put, protein coffee, or proffee, is adding some form of protein to your coffee. It can be animal, whey or plant based protein. Actually, this has been a thing for like ever because people have been adding milk to coffee for like…ever! And, milk has a good amount of protein. But now it is becoming more fashionable to add animal or veggie protein powders, or high protein veggie based milks, among many other protein sources.
Are There Benefits To Drinking Protein Coffee?
The folks at EatThis.com asked Registered Dietician Monica Auslander Moreno if this is a good thing.
“Enhancing your coffee with protein powder can be an effective method to optimize protein intake, especially for people who refuse to eat a proper breakfast in the morning and who prefer to just have coffee,” Moreno says. It’s also a great way to get ready to hit the gym in the early morning hours if you just can’t stomach a full breakfast, she says: “This can render your coffee drink to be more of a ‘complete’ meal and fuel a workout.”
Okay. That sounds reasonable. I usually eat before I work out. But, for someone who doesn’t, this can be beneficial.
The EatThis folks also asked Sameera Khan, RD, PA-C about the pros and cons of using protein coffee.
But a protein boost isn’t the only benefit of some added protein powder. Khan explains that adding whey protein powder to coffee offers a host of health benefits, from improved cognitive function and insulin sensitivity to better heart health, improved digestion, weight control, and boosted metabolism. Most protein powders also provide “half the daily value of vitamins A, B, and C,” says Khan, and they can even increase serotonin levels and decrease cortisol levels.
Whoa, there are some real benefits here! So, let’s see which protein sources are best:
Which Protein You Use Matters?
Like any food source, you should know what is in your protein to make sure your optimizing the benefits. Be sure to read the ingredients. Are there added sugars, artificial flavors or sweeteners? Is it plant or animal based?
A 2020 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at data from more than 400,000 US men and women over a 16-year period and made a key conclusion. Researchers found that a higher intake of plant protein, as compared to animal protein, was linked to a lower risk of death from all causes, particularly heart disease, which remains the number one killer of both men and women in the US.
So, add protein to your coffee if you want to. Make sure it is a high quality source that doesn’t have too many additives. Also, you don’t have to have your quality protein source IN your coffee. You can always eat a high protein breakfast with your coffee and get the same benefits. Coffee is a good thing. Adding protein to your diet, especially in the morning, can make coffee even better.