Adding some protein into your morning cup of joe has become a very popular health trend lately.
Influencers like Kylie Jenner have been sharing their love of protein-spiked lattes on Instagram, and Starbucks has even introduced a plant-based protein cold brew to their menu.
But is putting protein powder into coffee actually a good idea that brings health benefits?
According to our Nutrition Experts, it may be healthy for some, while others might want to avoid this trend. It all depends on your unique health needs.
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Is adding protein powder in coffee good for you?
There’s several reasons why adding protein powder into your daily cup of coffee could benefit your health.
For starters, if you’re looking for a way to get more protein into your diet, it’s a very simple solution for an added daily protein boost — especially if you tend to skip breakfast.
If you’re currently trying to increase strength and build muscle, combining protein and caffeine may be a good drink of choice before a workout.
Caffeine can boost your metabolism and help improve your performance during exercise. If you have some caffeine within an hour before working out, the natural stimulant has been shown to improve resistance to muscle fatigue.
Protein is required for your body to recover from exercise and provides the building blocks necessary for muscles to grow.
Protein also reduces hunger and keeps you feeling full longer throughout the day. This could possibly cause you to eat less throughout the day, thus reducing consumed calories and leading to weight loss.
Conveniently, caffeine provides similar weight-loss effects itself. Research suggests caffeine can lower your hunger levels and raise levels of fullness as well.
In short, combining coffee and protein powder may be a convenient way for those trying to increase their protein levels, build muscle, and/or burn more fat.
Related reading: How CLA helped me lose 22 pounds
Who should avoid adding protein protein powder to their coffee?
Even though this is becoming a popular trend, this health hack is not something everyone needs to add to their daily regiment.
If you already eat breakfast that includes whole-food proteins — such as eggs, yogurt, peanut butter, milk, cottage cheese, etc. — there’s no need to add extra protein into your coffee, as you’re already meeting your nutritional needs.
It’s also important to remember that not all protein powders are created equal.
There’s a lot of protein powders on the market today that are filled with artificial sweeteners, fillers, sugar, dyes — and they also risk being contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful compounds.
If you want to try the protein coffee trend, seek out a high-quality protein powder, or you may do your body more harm than good.
What’s the best protein to add to coffee?
If you’re looking for a plant-based protein source, pea protein powder is a great nutrient-dense option.
Pea protein powder contains all nine essential amino acids and is a great source of Iron. Protein content tends to be higher in pea protein isolate (as opposed to concentrate) forms of pea protein powder.
Both flavors are enriched with Probiotics for optimal digestion and increased nutrient absorption, as well as chia seeds for a boost of healthy Omega-3s. One serving of our protein powder contains 18% of your daily protein needs.
Related reading: 7 reasons to try pea protein powder, whether you’re vegan or not
Another form of protein that is great to add to coffee is Collagen.
Collagen is a crucial building block of our joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, skin, hair, and nails. It is also one of the essential structural components of our connective tissues and blood vessels — which is why it’s often referred to as the body’s scaffolding. Roughly 30% of our total body protein is made up of Collagen.
If you’re looking to improve skin, nail, and hair health in particular — and if you’re not vegetarian — adding Collagen to your daily routine is a great option.
Our highly bioactive Collagen, made from non-GMO pasture-raised cows, is flavorless and dissolves quickly in both hot and cold drinks.
Related reading: What is VERISOL Collagen?
Best coffee and protein powder recipes
Some proteins and added nutrients may break down when they come in contact with heat. This is why our Nutrition Experts recommend to err on the side of caution and add your protein powder to cold/iced coffee instead of a piping hot cup. That said, if you prefer hot coffee, just let it cool down a bit before you add in the protein powder and you should be alright.
To take your coffee and protein powder to new heights of deliciousness, however, we recommend trying some of these coffee and protein powder recipes:
Iced coffee protein breakfast shake
From Simply Happy Foodie
- 1 ½ cups Ice Cubes
- ¾ cup Almond Milk
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (or any flavor you like)
- 1 cup Coffee, cooled
- 1-2 Tbsp Raw Honey (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined and smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Vanilla coconut iced coffee
From Burn Boot Camp
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- ½ cup cold coffee
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cinnamon to taste
- Pour coconut milk into a glass and add in vanilla extract and vanilla protein powder. Stir until well combined.
- Add in desired amount of ice and continue to stir until ice is coated. Pour cold brew over ice and milk. Add a dash of cinnamon, if desired!
Bulletproof coffee protein latte
- 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
- ½ cup milk of choice (dairy milk, nut milk, other non-dairy milks, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil
- 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
- 1 scoop collagen peptides
- Add the brewed coffee, your milk of choice, and organic coconut oil to a high-speed blender. If you’re using a protein powder and/or collagen powder, add them in at this time as well.
- Blend the coffee for about 30 seconds, until all coconut oil is melted and coffee is frothy. Enjoy immediately. Creamy heaven!
The bottom line
If you already eat a healthy breakfast, you can probably skip this health trend since your protein needs are already being met.
But if you’re looking to gain muscle and lose fat, and you usually skip breakfast, then adding protein powder to your morning cup of joe can be a tasty and convenient way to get that added protein boost into your day.
Trying to become healthier? Take our 5-minute quiz to see which vitamins and supplements our Nutrition Experts recommend just for you.