What Is Protein Coffee?
If you've scrolled through TikTok or Instagram lately, you've most likely seen the newest at-home coffee trend, "Proffee." But what exactly is protein coffee, how do you make it, and what are its benefits?
What Is Protein Coffee?
In its simplest form, protein coffee is exactly what it sounds like: a beverage that contains both protein and coffee.
While there are many different ways to make protein coffee drinks, most recipes call for adding one-to-two scoops of protein powder to iced coffee, cold brew or a smoothie. There are also mocha-flavored protein powders, though many do not contain any actual coffee.
Can Protein Coffee Be Served Hot?
Typically, most protein coffee drinks must be enjoyed over-ice, cold or at room temperature. Why? Whey, a protein source frequently used in powders and ready-to-drink protein beverages, becomes denatured when hot.
When exposed to high temperatures, the protein bonds in whey begin to unfold and can thus loose their structural integrity. This results in a change to the texture of the protein, and reduces the amount of protein our bodies are ultimately able to absorb.
However, some newer protein coffee drinks, such as BuzzFit's Coffee + Protein, have created unique, heat-stable whey protein hydrolysates that do not denature when added to hot water. This stability allows the Coffee + Protein powder to mix easily without clumping, while also retaining the full 10 grams of protein as promised.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Whey hydrolysate is quickly becoming a go-to protein choice for athletes and anyone looking to maintain a healthy & active lifestyle. Hydrolyzed whey is a high-quality protein source derived from dairy byproducts that's been pre-digested. This makes it easier and faster for our bodies to absorb, and also means less digestive side effects like gas or bloating.
Whey hydrolysate provides muscle-friendly proteins to the body more quickly than other types of protein, and has been found to maximize muscle growth and reduce fat intake. Additionally, a 2008 study found that whey protein hydrolysate can “speed tissue repair following damage and may therefore be useful for accelerating recovery from exercise induced muscle damage.”
A Winning Combination
Coffee has many positive health benefits as well. In addition to containing powerful antioxidants, caffeine has also been found to increase blood pressure, metabolism, pulse rate and stomach acid production, all of which help boost stamina and athletic performance.
"Many athletes associate these effects with a burst of energy and often report feeling less fatigued," says Barbie Broschart, RD and a nutritional counselor.
In endurance sports for example, caffeine helps to mobilize fat stores and encourages working muscles to use fat as fuel, thus sparing glycogen. The glycogen saved at the beginning of a workout is then available during the later stages of exercise and fatigue and exhaustion are prolonged.
Is Protein Coffee Right For Me?
In summary, the combination of coffee and whey hydrolysate results in a nutritious and protein-rich drink that sustains appetite, enhances athletic performance, supports muscle growth, improves recovery and helps you reach your recommended daily protein intake.
There are lots of ways to incorporate protein coffee into your daily routine. One cup can be a great way to kick-start your morning, get through an afternoon slump or prepare for a workout.
If you're still unsure if protein coffee is right for you, we recommend trying BuzzFit's Coffee + Protein Variety Sample Pack. One serving of BuzzFit contains 10g of whey protein hydrolysate, 100mg of caffeine, and 0 added sugars. It's also low-calorie, low-sugar, keto-friendly and comes in 3 delicious flavors.