If you’re into fitness, you might have considered adding protein powder into your breakfast routine to keep in shape. After all, it’s a simple, easy way to get some more of the amino acids you need into your diet without having to cook.
But is protein powder in coffee a good option as a two-in-one?
It turns out that it’s very possible to mix protein powder with coffee, and there can even be some benefits to using that strategy.
Protein Powder In Coffee: Is It Really A Thing?
For fitness fiends who love their coffee, putting the two together is a no-brainer.
However, it’s easier said than done, depending on how you like your coffee and what kind of protein you’re using.
Many energy drink companies have crafted options that blend coffee and protein–and by the same token, a lot of supplement companies make a protein coffee drink.
But for the average person at home, protein in hot coffee presents some logistical challenges.
The major challenge is getting the protein powder to dissolve into the coffee without clumping–something that can be easier or harder depending on the type of protein you’re using. Whey protein, in particular tends to clump up if it’s not blended into the liquid properly.
On the other hand, collagen protein tends to be a little easier to dissolve into liquids, whether cold or hot or in-between.
Choosing your protein coffee recipe wisely is a major step towards success in getting your protein coffee ideal results and making for a more rounded breakfast.
Mixing the powder into your coffee just takes a little bit of thought about technique.
How To Add Protein Powder To Coffee
Whey protein is one of the more affordable types available on the market, and it’s also heavily recommended for most people trying to get more protein into their diets generally.
While it’s an affordable way to meet protein goals, it is also notoriously tricky to get the powder to dissolve fully in hot coffee without some kind of tool to help.
One of the more common ways to dissolve whey protein powder into coffee (or any other liquid) is through the use of a blender, and the easiest options are bullet-type blenders, designed specifically for making blended drinks like smoothies.
Simply add the proper amount of whey protein into the blender cup along with your black coffee, and blend into a bespoke protein shake.
This method does work better for cold coffee than it does for hot coffee, but you can still get the protein coffee result you want with hot coffee if you’re careful with the recipe.
Another option, if you don’t want to take up counter space with a blender, is to employ a blender bottle.
These are just a plastic jar with a drinking lid, with a stainless steel whisk-ball inside to help dissolve powders into whatever liquid you’re using, for example, black coffee.
For cold coffee, this is an especially easy solution that gives a consistent result and is pretty affordable.
Other solutions proposed by fitness fans who love coffee too include using a milk frother or mixing cold coffee with whey powder first before heating it up gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
A key benefit of this method is that you can use it with the milk of your choice: dairy, almond milk, oat milk, soy, or coconut.
With a little ingenuity and patience, it’s not that difficult to mix whey powder with coffee.
Consider Collagen Protein Powder
If you don’t want to go to the extra trouble of dissolving whey into your coffee, an easier option is collagen protein powder.
Although, it’s important to highlight that research suggests collegen protein is subject to degradation when exposed to heat. Nonetheless, the linked study above suggests this occurs at 302F+ (150C), which is much higher than brewed a cup of coffee.
Collagen is a more versatile option for getting your protein boost with your morning coffee because it dissolves much more readily in cold and hot coffee. In addition, it has no flavor or particular taste, so you can add it with any ingredients you want.
Collagen powder does tend to be more expensive than whey, but due to how it’s made, it’s almost like Jell-O.
According to researchers, the amino acids in collagen are just as good for your body. Still, they’re in a format that dissolves in water a lot more readily–so all it takes is some stirring, instead of a lot of shaking or the use of any extra tools.
It’s a more straightforward way to add protein to your morning cup.
Adding Protein To Coffee: Pros
So adding protein powder to coffee is a relatively popular option–enough that more than one recipe exists out there to make it easy to up your protein intake through your morning cup.
But are there real benefits to putting coffee and protein powder together? The studies are still being done in some cases, but initial looks show a lot of promise.
Caffeine Before Workouts
Many people supplement their protein shortly before working out in the hopes of getting more out of whatever activities they’re doing.
And there’s a good reason for it. A study review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that overall, caffeine improves exercise performance. Adding protein to the equation doubles up your boost.
Protein Helps Build Your Gains
Another study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed 49 existing studies on the impact protein–especially whey–had on muscle growth and development.
The study found that supplementing protein up to 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight did indeed contribute to significant gains over controls.
Protein And Coffee Together May Help Regulate Weight
Multiple studies have shown that supplementing protein may help those looking to keep their weight under control to feel fuller and avoid heedless snacking later in the day, leading to weight loss.
Meanwhile, other studies also show that caffeine helps to regulate metabolism–so combining the two could potentially give you an outsized impact.
But with all of the health benefits that can come from combining protein powder with coffee, there are some drawbacks.
Adding Protein To Coffee: Cons
Because protein powders of different types are supplements, they aren’t regulated by the FDA the way that foods and medical products are. This leads to the primary issue with adding protein powder to coffee.
The lack of regulation around protein powder means that quality control can be a very big issue.
Given that even the least expensive protein products on the market still cost a pretty penny, you want to make sure that you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Some independent investigations into the supplement industry have highlighted mislabeling and other issues.
Studies show that some products include misleading claims and occasionally including very little of the stated ingredient.
Other issues that can come up include toxic dosages and a failure to account for potentially dangerous or lethal drug interactions.
Of course, it’s less likely that you’ll encounter dangerous interactions with protein powder. Still, there is a possibility of getting filler instead of protein or getting a different kind of amino acid from what you’re trying to buy.
The best way around this is to do your research and look into the reputation of the company or companies you buy from.
Look for reviews of the protein you’re looking to buy that include testing of the substances included to make sure that you’re really getting the amino acid building blocks you want.
And remember: it’s not worth the cost savings if you seek out the cheapest brand, only to discover you’re not getting what you think you’re buying.
Is It Worth it?
There are a lot of suggested benefits to adding protein to your diet, and those benefits can be a potential added boost when you add the protein powder of your choice to your morning coffee.
Whether you’re trying to adhere to a diet or just looking to boost your workout results, it’s a worthwhile strategy to consider.
If you’re interested in making a high-protein coffee your breakfast of choice, it’s definitely worth looking up a recipe that will help you to make the process more pleasant, since, especially with hot coffee, it can be tricky to get the texture and flavor you want.
All in all, coffee with protein powder is a great shortcut to better protein absorption and can offer some solid benefits to health and shape.
Look out for bad deals in the supplement market, and make sure you’re buying your protein powder from a reputable source, and you can enjoy every benefit that coffee with protein powder has to offer.