Should You Add Protein to Your Coffee?

Should You Add Protein to Your Coffee?

What do you get when you take a protein drink or powder and mix it with cold-brewed coffee or iced espresso shots? Proffee, according to the viral trend on TikTok. The hashtag has amassed more than four million views, with even medical practitioners in scrubs touting the concoction as a protein-packed pick-me-up that aids in weight loss.

While the specific ingredients of proffee can vary from person to person, sometimes involving almond milk, sugar-free syrups, stevia, or even zero-sugar chocolate syrup, Tara Collingwood, RDN, a registered dietitian based in Orlando, Florida, explains that it usually involves some type of coffee and a protein source, specifically protein powder or a high-protein drink. She herself has been drinking a tea version of proffee for years, adding one-third container of Premier Protein shake to her tea every morning. “It is creamy and a little sweet and perfect in my big travel mug of tea that I sip on all morning,” she says.

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Is Protein in the Morning Important?

It is widely known that protein is beneficial for a variety of reasons, from maintaining or increasing muscle mass to protecting the body from viruses and bacteria. Recent research, however, indicates that the time of the day when you consume protein matters, too. Many people eat their most protein-heavy meal in the evening, which research has found to be less than optimal. The American Society of Nutrition explains that too much protein consumed later in the day (30 grams or more) cannot be stored for later use and is either used for energy or stored as fat. For reference, one four-ounce steak has 25 grams of protein, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).