You may have heard that some people have started adding protein powder to their coffee. It’s become quite the trend lately. But what’s actually going on…
What might sound like a strange thing to do may actually have some logic behind it. Some people claim it boosts weight loss and improves workouts.
We’ve taken a deeper look at the pros and cons of this supplement drink combination, plus we’ll show you how to keep it healthy.
The Benefits Of Adding Protein Powder To Your Coffee
Although the evidence isn’t concrete, there are many possible benefits to adding protein powder to your coffee.
May Help Weight Loss
Coffee with some added protein powder is going to fill you up more than just coffee. This reduction in hunger, and with protein giving you the sense of being full, you may stay full for longer.
This would mean you’ll be eating less calories during the day, and seeing as though weight loss is simply calories in vs calories out, this should help with weight loss.
As well as protein making you feel more full, it also requires more energy from your body to break it down than carbs or fats do. Caffeine has been shown to boost your metabolism too, and it decreases the levels of hunger hormones your body produces.
Can Enhance Your Workout Performance
Coffee, being rich in caffeine which is a natural stimulant, can improve your resistance to fatigue and your exercise performance in a wide range of movements and tasks.
According to a study in 2018, the ergogenic effects of caffeine on muscle endurance, muscle strength, anaerobic power and aerobic endurance were improved after ingestion of caffeine 60 minutes before the workout.
The pairing of caffeine and the additional protein to your diet, taken before a workout, seems to help with performance and recovery.
Helps Meet Your Daily Protein Requirements
Although it is possible to get all the protein you need to grow muscle through your diet, breakfast often gets forgotten about when it comes to keeping healthy. We often go for the quick and convenient instant porridge option, or toast. Not the most nutritious of meals.
If you’re in a rush or simply don’t have time to cook yourself a protein stacked breakfast, adding protein powder to your coffee can be a quick and easy way to increase your protein intake.
Seeing as though protein is best eaten throughout the day in small quantities, ticking off breakfast as a protein packed meal makes it much easier to get the rest of your protein through the day.
Although you can definitely achieve this through a nutritious and balanced breakfast, also meaning you’d get other necessary nutrients and minerals, adding protein powder to your coffee is still an option.
Plus, coffee itself has a surprising amount of health benefits. It can reduce risks of certain types of cancers due to its antioxidant properties, it can help improve brain function and helps to protect against type 2 diabetes.
Flavoured Protein Coffee?
If you’re serious about losing weight or cutting for the summer, you’ve probably given up flavoured coffee. Things like syrups and sugar. Which is a good thing, but there are some delicious protein powders out there.
The different flavours and sweetness of protein powders could mix really well with your coffee to give you that sweet morning drink you’ve been missing.
Flavours like strawberry, vanilla or chocolate could go really well with coffee. You could experiment! Who needs flavoured coffee when you can be getting your morning protein needs, and enjoying a sweet cup of joe.
Early Morning Workouts
If you’re the type of person that likes to get to the gym in the early hours of the morning to beat the traffic, having a cup of coffee packed full of protein is a great way to start the day.
This works especially well for people that refuse to eat a proper, whole meal for breakfast first thing. If you can’t stomach a full breakfast early in the morning, sipping a protein coffee can fuel your workout, before eating a substantial meal later on.
Are There Any Negatives From Coffee With Protein?
There is no doubt that protein powders (both vegan protein powder and whey protein powder) are an inferior way to get all the protein you need to build muscle. If you have the option to eat protein-rich foods, and the time to prepare and cook them, go for the whole foods.
This isn’t because protein powders are bad, it’s that you get much more nutrition with real foods. Plus protein powder can contain sugars, artificial sweeteners and other additives that you don’t want to be putting in your body. Some even run the risk of having heavy metals and pesticides that aren’t listed in the ingredients.
All the minerals, vitamins, nutrients and other beneficial compounds that are good for our health come from foods, not protein powder. Therefore, it’s always best to go for whole foods.
Can I Still Put Protein Powder In My Coffee If I Have A Sensitive Stomach?
Coffee is a notorious drink for those of us that suffer from a sensitive stomach. It can cause acid reflux and other stomach upsets. But can protein powder help this?
If you do happen to have a sensitive stomach, then it may well be that no matter how your coffee/caffeine is consumed, it could cause an upset. From personal experience, I always seem to have a better stomach altogether when I’ve either had something to eat before my coffee, or have a lactose free protein powder to avoid sensitivities or intolerances.
There are some experts that claim the protein powder could help with acid reflux. As it’s the caffeine molecules that makes it worse, and not actually the coffee, eating alkaline-friendly and plant based foods can help to balance out.
Some Tips And Tricks For Protein Coffee
There are a couple of mistakes that can be easy to make the first time you’re adding protein powder to coffee.
Firstly, try letting your coffee cool down. If you don’t, the protein powder will curdle and lump together, which isn’t a very nice texture. You could add a drop of milk or milk substitutes to your coffee, or some cold water instead of waiting around.
Secondly, make sure you're adding your protein powder at no more than half a scoop at a time. This will avoid big clumps and help to dissolve quicker.
Plus, you don’t want to add too much protein powder. You’re not making a big protein shake remember, you’re just adding a little bit into your coffee. You can always add more if needed, but you cannot take any out. You don’t want to be wasting coffee too… that’s almost a crime.
Finally, you might have to spend a bit of time stirring. Maybe over a minute or so, but you definitely want a nice texture to your coffee. If you do end up with clumps, take your tea spoon and press them up the side of the mug. They should break apart and dissolve.
Try It Cold
Iced coffee is amazing on a hot summers day coffee I've tried. So why not give cold protein powder coffee a try.
Simply make a cup of cold brew coffee and allow it to cool down. You can put it in the fridge to speed up the process. Then you put your coffee, vanilla or chocolate protein powder and ice into a blender and blend.
Perfect for mid morning on a hot summer's day, this iced drink can help fuel your workout and recovery periods.
More and more people interested in reaching their fitness goals are adding protein powders to their coffee. It’s beneficial, convenient and efficient in quite a few ways. No wonder with people having such a busy schedule these days, a double whammy drink like this is taking off.
Being able to get your morning intake of protein, and enjoying all the benefits of coffee itself is a good way to start the morning. But don’t overlook the importance of eating real whole foods, packed full of goodness.
Protein powder is to be used as a supplement, not as a replacement. If you truly don’t have time to eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast, which is always recommended, then yes adding protein powder to your coffee can work to help you out in the gym.