Should you be replacing coffee with proffee?


 For fans of TikTok, you likely have watched trending videos of people raving about a new caffeine-fueled trend called “proffee.”  You may ask, what is proffee? Proffee is a drink made with iced coffee or espresso with additions of either protein powder or a protein shake, hence turning ‘coffee’ into ‘proffee.’ And for coffee connoisseurs who love their regular cup of coffee ‘sweetened up,’ extras like whipped cream, sugar, or milk can also be additions to their cup of proffee.

Why should I drink proffee…or not?

If you’re considering (or already have) jumped on the train of drinking proffee, there are actually surprising benefits it offers for your health. This is not to say you should replace coffee with proffee but rather to at least know what it can offer.

For starters, proffee provides an extra boost of protein from either protein powder or a protein shakes mixed with your coffee. Coffee, on its own, has practically zero grams of this macronutrient. But, when adding protein powder or a protein shake to your cup of coffee, that solves that problem.

Protein is a macronutrient your body uses to build and preserve muscle mass. On average, adult men need a minimum of 56 grams of protein per day while adult women need at least 46 grams of protein each day. A more accurate calculation of protein needs is based on 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, a person weighing 180 pounds, must first convert their weight in pounds into kilograms – take 180 divided by 2.2 which equals 81.8 or 82 kilograms.  Then take 82 x 0.8, which equals 65.6 or 66 grams of protein this person requires each day.

Most Americans likely are meeting their protein needs but may not be obtaining adequate amounts of protein at regular intervals throughout the day. This is where proffee may be one way of meeting those protein needs. Since adding either a ready-made protein shake or a scoop of protein powder to coffee will provide between 10 grams of protein to more than 30 grams, drinking proffee first thing in the morning gives you a jumpstart on protein needs.

Not only is proffee a convenient way to boost protein intake, that boost of protein at the beginning of the day when most people drink coffee, will keep you feeling satiated for hours after breakfast helping prevent mid-morning hunger from striking. This can lead to better weight management and weight loss efforts.

Plus, if you skip breakfast and only drink coffee instead, you’re missing out on essential nutrients. By drinking proffee, it at least makes a more nutrient-dense choice getting in added protein in the morning.

For those early morning exercisers, after your workout, replacing regular coffee with proffee is a very smart choice. That’s because a boost of protein after a workout is ideal for your muscles. Exercise challenges muscles causing some breakdown.  To make up for that, protein helps repair, heal, and grow muscles after a workout. Adding protein powder or a protein shake to coffee is a quick and easy way to get a healthy dose of protein.

And of course, let’s not forget one of the top reasons why we drink coffee to begin with – it’s for the caffeine. A steaming cup of coffee’s caffeine content is a stimulant giving you a shot of energy helping wake you for the day increasing alertness. So, the best of both worlds – coffee combined with a protein source equals preserves muscle mass while helping you feel energized ready to take on the day.

Choosing a protein powder or protein shake

If you’re contemplating trying proffee but are unsure about choosing a protein powder or protein shake, here are tips to consider:

  • Choose a protein shake with at least 10 grams but no more than 30 grams of protein per serving.
  • Some protein shakes may have sugar added. Read the Nutrition Facts Label and choose a protein shake with less than 8 grams of total sugar.
  • Choose a protein powder made primarily of either whey protein (the most commonly used) or soy or pea protein.
  • Choose a protein powder with no added sugars or dextrins/maltodextrins (sweeteners made from starch).
  • Look for a shake of protein powder that’s low in carbohydrates of about 5-15 grams per serving.
  • Anyone with kidney disease should stick with protein powders with a lower protein content of no more than 10-15 grams per serving.
  • If you have irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, choose a protein powder without lactose sugars, artificial sweeteners or dextrins/maltodextrins.
  • If you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, avoid protein drinks or protein powders with gluten.
  • Protein powders and drinks can be expensive. To save money, buy a tub of protein powder instead of a ready-to-drink protein shake which are often more expensive because they are convenient.

Bottom line

Like the title of this article asked, should you be replacing coffee with proffee…it depends. If you currently enjoy sipping your warm cup of morning coffee, continue to do so. Coffee, on its own, offers plenty of health benefits. This beloved beverage is one of our best sources of antioxidants and vitamins like riboflavin and pantothenic acid, boosts metabolism, and may lower the risk of serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Proffee is just the latest trend in nutrition that may or may not be right for you.  If the idea of adding protein powder or a protein shake to your coffee sounds disgusting, don’t try it. But, if this combination sounds intriguing and you know your protein intake isn’t adequate, this may be one way to give it a boost.

For now, as long you keep your consumption of proffee to just one cup in the morning in place of your regular cup of coffee, it should be fine. During the rest of your day, eat protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts providing not only protein but also other valuable nutrients for overall health.

Should you be replacing coffee with proffee?
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Dr. David Samadi

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Dr. David Samadi