Whenever I finish my workouts, my post workout protein shake is a must. Recently, I discovered the benefits of coffee protein shakes and they've really helped me take my workouts to the next level. Protein is vitally important for muscle growth, regeneration and maintenance while coffee, as we all know, is necessary for all life in general 🙂
The following article will take a look at why coffee protein shakes are so beneficial and why they are literally a match made in heaven.
Note: Coffee protein shakes are almost always going to come in the form of iced coffees. This is because protein powder don't mix well with hot drinks.
Let's start with the coffee. Coffee is a natural stimulant that's been proven to help with muscle pains and aches. One study in specific found that drinking two cups of coffee after your workout can reduce soreness by nearly 50%. I was shocked when I first read about this and even more shocked when I could verify it through my own personal experiences.
Coffees natural health benefits are well-documented. They include:
- Improving mental alertness
- Enhancing weight loss
- Reducing inflammation via antioxidants
- Promoting heart health
- Improving metabolism which in turn improves fat burning
- Encourages production of dopamine
Now let's talk coffee with protein.
Drinking coffee-rich protein shakes allows you to enjoy the above benefits while also reaping all the nutritional value of protein. Coffee is not a high source of protein to begin with. In an average 6 fl oz cup of coffee, there's a mere .21 grams of protein. Not much at all. So when you consider this, the marriage between coffee and protein shakes actually seems like a natural one. Mixing protein powder with coffee makes is thus an ideal choice for athletes and bodybuilders of all levels.
Why Coffee and Protein?
The benefits of combining coffee and protein go well beyond just convenience. Its mutual physiological affects are very complementary and in many ways, protein helps neutralize some coffee's less-desired side effects.
- Absorption and Enhancement
For example, drinking too much coffee (caffeine) can affect your body's ability to effectively absorb iron. Iron is an essential element for blood production so to say it's important would be a major understatement. Whey protein with lactoferrin has been found to boost iron absorption as one 2017 study found. In this way, coffee with Whey protein makes for a harmoniously powerful match.Drinking coffee has been proven to increase cortisol, which is connected to stress levels. Once again, the nutritional properties of protein have been found to help offset these effects.
- Flavor Improvement
As someone who's been on the Keto diet for over a year, I admit to missing sweet flavors. While drinking black coffee is keto-friendly, adding sugar or honey to my brew is definitely NOT. As such, my coffee can lack the flavor I've grown accustomed to in my many years of drinking coffee. Adding sugar-free protein powder to my coffee has been a great way to really enhance the flavor. As a side note, if you're on keto and are looking for a great way to improve your coffee's flavor, check out our list of best keto coffee creamers. I personally found the K Nutri Keto Creamer to be very rich and incredibly satisfying.
- Post Workout Recovery
Another reason that coffee and protein complement each other is that caffeine is catabolic which basically means it breaks complex energy into simpler forms of energy. On the contrary, protein powders deliver anabolic effects which deals with repair and building up. This is why coffee protein is so often recommended for post work out recoveries.
- Support Weight Loss
Coffee itself is already been associated with aiding in weight loss. Caffeine increases your metabolic rate which in turn helps you to burn fat more easily. Now consider that protein gives you a feeling of satiety and fullness that naturally curbs your appetite. Fewer calories means easier weight loss. Combing the effects of protein and coffee will only help supercharge your ability to lose weight.
Buy Premade Protein Coffee or Make it at Home?
This decision will obviously be based on personal preferences, budget, and time. But consider some of the suggestions below to help you determine what's the best option for you.
Making protein coffee shakes at home is easy and what's even better is that you can tailor the ingredients to fit your preferences.
One of the benefits of making this at home is that you can combine your favorite coffee with your favorite protein shake. See the basic Coffee Protein Shake recipe below:
- Make coffee and allow it to cool. You can add ice cubes to speed up the process. If you're concerned about dilution, you can freeze coffee ice cubes and use those instead.
- Add a scoop of your favorite protein shake
- Optional (add cacao cacao or honey)
- Drop the ingredients into a blender and mix it well
Having said this, I've also come across some incredibly good tasting and effective premade protein coffee shakes. The one I'd recommend is a quality protein coffee shake from Maine Roast which comes in three different flavors (iced coffee, caramel frappe, and mocha latte). I actually had a chance to do a review of this product last year and was very impressed by its authentic coffee flavor and protein content. It has 15g of protein and 3g of net carbs which is perfect for those on the keto diet such as myself.
Highlights of Maine Roast Coffee by Complete Nutrition
- Uses Whey Protein
- 15g of protein
- Quality Columbian Coffee
- Just 1g of sugar
Another excellent option for premade protein coffee comes from none other than BulletProof Coffee. They offer a convenient and full-flavored iced coffee that has added collagen protein.
In conclusion, it's no surprise why coffee and protein shakes have been so popular. Popularity isn't always the best way to determine whether the combination of two separate things is a good idea or not. But in this case, protein and coffee work incredibly well together and are the greatest thing since peanut butter was matched with jelly.