Adding Protein Powder in Coffee: 5 Benefits (Good or Bad?)

August 25, 2020


If you are looking for ways to increase your protein intake with coffee and make yourself look and feel better, then this article is for you! In this article, we will explain everything about adding protein powder to coffee: its use, benefits, directions and other things for you to consider.

Protein plays a vital role in building and maintaining muscles. Over time, we have all realized that it is not only crucial for fitness freaks and bodybuilders but for all of us. Our body needs proteins to produce hormones and enzymes and support a healthy brain, skin, and hair growth. With the rise of protein shakes, protein powders, and protein bars, more and more people have started a higher protein intake in their daily diet.

Consuming coffee gives a strong boost to your energy. Its main stimulant, caffeine, infuses energy into your body. The caffeine enters your blood stream and travels to the brain. It works as a stimulant there and helps in improving various functions of the brain including your reaction time, memory and energy.

The latest trend that has got everyone talking is the idea of protein supplementation by adding protein powder in coffee. This move comes after consumers started to seek out new ways to balance their protein intake and boost their energy, fitness, and wellbeing.

Is Protein Powder in Coffee Good for Health and Energy?

In simple terms, protein coffee refers to a protein-rich powder that is added to coffee to make an energizing drink. If you are wondering why someone would want to mix coffee and protein powder, we have a dedicated section to explain the benefits of this approach. Consuming protein-infused coffee gives you the best of both worlds. You will get the dual benefits of coffee’s antioxidant and appetite suppressing properties, as well as the nutritional value of protein. 

Protein coffee boosts the growth of your heart, brain, and muscles. It helps in increasing your energy levels and also aids in weight loss. Continue reading this comprehensive guide on protein powder in coffee to know about the protein content in coffee, how to mix the protein powder in coffee for a consistent fluid, and the umpteen benefits of adding protein powder to coffee. 

Is Protein in Coffee enough?

Coffee, in itself, is not an adequate source of protein. Though the protein content depends on the type of coffee, a small cup of black coffee contains 0.21 grams of protein, which is not sufficient for the human body.

 Though adding sugar, milk, or cream to coffee enhances its taste and also protein content, but a regular cup of brewed coffee contains 0.39 grams of protein. That is why it is essential to spike up your coffee with some protein powder and manage your protein intake. 

 The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 gram of protein per kg of body weight per day. This is the minimum nutritional requirement for a healthy body and immune system. It is no secret that protein powders can increase your protein intake and grow your muscles. Protein also helps in curbing your appetite by reducing the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. It keeps you full for a longer time and aids in reducing weight. On the other hand, coffee plays a significant role in improving your metabolism, energy level, and muscle strength. Henceadding protein powder to coffee can bring the best of these two elements.  

What can I mix my protein powder with?

When looking for variety, you can mix protein powders with multiple items, both food and liquids, to manage your protein intake. You can add protein powder with the following-

  • Water: Combining protein powder with water works best after an intense workout session because your body needs some immediate intake of protein. Water facilitates the rapid absorption of proteins and can help you rejuvenate after a workout. 
  • Banana and almond milk: Adding protein powder to a banana and a glass of almond or soy milk makes a delicious smoothie. Protein powder smoothies provide a supplement of vitamins B6, vitamin C and Vitamin E and give a boost to your energy level. They are easy to prepare and act as a great meal to begin your day. 
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal in itself is a healthy breakfast, full of carbohydrates and fiber that keeps you full for a long time. It also serves around 5 grams of proteins per bowl and is touted as a healthy breakfast. By adding protein powder to a bowl of oats, you can add to its richness, flavor and increase your nutritional intake.   
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and vitamins B-12 and B-2. By adding a spoonful of protein powder in it, yogurt can become a wholesome meal. Try it in the form of a yogurt smoothie or a fruit bowl, and increase your protein intake for the day. 
  • Tea: Mixing protein powder with tea combines the benefits of both and can be a perfect midday caffeine boost to recharge your body and brain. It is a delicious beverage that can enhance your metabolism, improve muscle growth and increase your body’s protein intake. 
  • Coffee: While you can add protein powder to a lot of food items, coffee remains the best choice because it boosts energy and mental alertness. For those who skip their breakfast, consuming coffee with protein powder can be a great source of protein in the morning to tackle the entire day ahead. 

What if you have a sensitive stomach?

Coffee causes acid reflux and can be a notorious drink for those who have a sensitive stomach. But adding protein powder to coffee can reduce the acid compounds in your stomach and prevent an upset stomach. It is the caffeine molecules that create stomach intolerance and not actually the coffee. Hence, consuming coffee with protein powder can help you balance out the insensitivity in the stomach. 

5 Benefits of Adding Protein Powder in Coffee

Both coffee and protein powder hold immense health benefits. Combining them together can cancel out the negative effects of each, making the blend a truly neutral supplement. These are the five popular benefits of adding protein powder to coffee

1) Aids in weight loss

Mixing coffee with protein powder can help you shed off excess weight by increasing your metabolism rate. Further, it also curbs your raging appetite and naturally decreases your calorie intake.

2) Enhance your workout performance

Athletes and bodybuilders use caffeine to improve their workout performance, but caffeine has its own limits like limited energy flow and stamina rush, stomach ulcers, etc. Hence, pairing caffeine with additional protein intake can help in increasing your stamina, and boost your performance and exercise. Drinking protein powder with coffee an hour before a workout can increase your stamina and give you an energy boost. An enhanced workout performance can also help you improve your reaction time and perform better in life. 

3) Prevents age-related muscle loss

People tend to lose muscles as they age. This leads to more fat gain and turns into chronic diseases like obesity and high blood pressure. By adding protein powder to coffee, you can prevent and slow down age-related muscle loss. A recent study shows that coffee has ergogenic effects that help in muscle endurance and muscle strength. On the other hand, protein helps build and maintain your muscle strength and endurance, thereby keeping you fit and active. This, eventually, helps you in overcoming laziness and improving your overall well being. 

4) Increases mental alertness and cognitive performance

Drinking coffee with protein powder increases brain function, memory retention and improves mental alertness. Consumption of adequate protein can decrease cortisol production and its stress-related symptoms, thereby creating a positive impact on your mood. Caffeine also acts as a mood enhancer when you feel dizzy or dull and makes you feel spirited and happy. Moreover, the stimulating effects of caffeine can also lift the states of depression. Thus, by improving your mood and keeping anxiety symptoms at bay, protein powder in coffee helps you stay fit in life, enhance your cognitive performance and prevent chances of brain fog

5) Improves heart health

In a research done by Japanese Dr. Masato Tsutsui, it was found that drinking coffee increases the blood flow to the nervous system, giving us a strong reason to believe that coffee can improve cardiovascular health. Also, consuming an adequate amount of protein every day can reduce high cholesterol, which is the leading risk factor for heart attack or other cardiovascular conditions. When combined together, protein coffee can improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure, thus keeping your heart healthy. A healthy heart leads to a healthy mind, which eventually improves your productivity in life. 

How to mix Coffee with Protein Powder?

By now, you have understood the health impacts of adding protein to your coffee. However, there is a concern on the methods of mixing them without losing the benefits. The process is simple, but you need to keep a few pointers and methods in mind.

 First, protein powders can form small clumps when added together. In order to prevent this, sprinkle small portions of protein powder while stirring the coffee continuously. 

 Second, place the coffee in a large blender and add the protein powder after starting the blender. This results in a foamy and frothy cappuccino and adds a unique taste to the coffee.

 Third, add the protein powder to the milk or creamer and mix well. Then add the milk to the coffee. Let it cool down for a while and stir gently. This method is best for you if you like milk coffee. 

 While these three mixing options work perfectly well, there’s some concern surrounding whey protein. Mixing whey protein powder with coffee might reduce the powder's nutritional value through the process of denaturing. However, recent research suggests that adding whey protein powder in coffee does not alter the nutritional benefits and acts as a great source of development and wellbeing. It is advisable to let the coffee cool down and settle to room temperature to get the maximum benefits. You can then use the above-mentioned methods of stirring or blending and improving your coffee's richness and taste, filled with umpteen health benefits.  

Can I put protein powder in hot coffee?

Adding protein powder to hot coffee might not be a good option because it can lead to a lot of clumps. Hot beverages tend to take more time to dissolve the clumps and require continuous stirring. Moreover, adding protein powder in hot coffee can also alter some of the nutritional benefits of the powder and the beverage and not offer the necessary intake requirement. Therefore, it is advisable to combine protein powder with cold coffee or bring it down to the room temperature before mixing them together.

What are the downsides of mixing protein with coffee?

When consumed in appropriate quantities, protein powder in coffee does not offer any downsides. However, there is no doubt that protein powders are an additional source of protein to recharge and rejuvenate yourself. It is preferred to eat whole foods that are rich in protein rather than powder-based sources. 

 This is not because protein powders are bad, but because they may contain artificial sweeteners, sugars, and additives. Hence, you should stick to eating wholesome protein-rich foods and satiate your daily dose of protein whenever possible. But, if you have a hectic lifestyle with high chances of skipping your breakfast or other meals, consuming protein-infused coffee can be an excellent resort.

Protein powder and Gluten

The addition of protein in your diet can balance your hormones, detoxify and digest your food, boost your immune system and assist in weight loss, to name a few. But, not all proteins are equal, and it is important to consider the food items which will not work with protein powder. One of them is gluten. Protein powder and gluten do not work well, and you should try to avoid this combination. It is said to elevate skin inflammation in many and cause a range of health problems. 

 You should also keep in mind your protein powder dosage and time. Protein supplements might result adversely if taken in excess quantity and if not taken at the appropriate time. 


Combining coffee with protein powder can be especially helpful if you are not a ‘breakfast person’. Those who prefer an easy grab-and-go snack with a cup of coffee for a quick energy boost can benefit from drinking protein coffee. Many health enthusiasts promote adding protein powder to coffee as an effective method to optimize your protein intake. This combination can amp up your workout sessions, help you shed off the extra weight quickly, and keep your stomach full for a longer time. Moreover, protein powder in coffee can act as a complete meal and help in improving your health and wellness.