Coffee Protein Shake Recipes: Kicking “Proffee” Up A Notch

You may have passed huge displays of protein powders and shakes when walking through GNC, Walmart, or your local sporting goods store. You’ve probably seen them on Amazon, too.

And you may have assumed that the only people who purchase protein supplements are bodybuilders who use the products to help them bulk up.

You were partially right. One of the reasons people use protein supplements is indeed to build muscle. 

But that’s not their only justification. The U.S. protein supplement market was estimated to be $8.4 billion in 2021, and it’s expected to grow at 8.5% per year for the rest of the decade.

That market isn’t just bodybuilders. It’s athletes, dieters, vegans, and even people looking for an energy boost.

Many in the latter group add regularly protein supplements to their coffee – and a great way to do that is by making a coffee protein shake at home.

Let’s learn more.

The Benefits of Coffee and Protein

Adding protein powder or shakes into coffee has recently become a nutritional fad on TikTok. Thousands of people have posted videos of themselves drinking their morning “proffee.”

That’s because each of the two ingredients can provide medical, health or wellness benefits.

The Benefits of Coffee

We probably don’t have to go into great detail to explain why coffee can be good for you.

Coffee provides a quick energy boost and keeps you awake and alert, of course, thanks to the caffeine it contains. It’s also rich in antioxidants; they prevent the oxidative stress that causes cell damage and is the primary culprit in the development of numerous diseases.

Perhaps for that reason, people who drink a lot of coffee have been found to live longer. They also have lower risks for depression, diabetes, heart disease, and degenerative neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

It tastes good, too.

The Benefits of Protein Supplements

Research into the potential benefits of added protein isn’t as conclusive as the studies that have looked into coffee’s benefits. Even so, there are some reasons why using protein supplements can make sense.

  • They can help with weight loss because the body must burn more calories to digest protein than fat or carbohydrates.
  • They appear to boost athletic performance during endurance and resistance training.
  • They may help athletes with post-workout recovery.
  • They may help bodybuilders build muscle mass. (Whey protein, which is anabolic, is the best choice.)
  • They can supply needed protein for vegans, vegetarians, and others who don’t get enough of the macronutrient in their daily diet.
  • They can prevent the sugar crashes people usually experience soon after eating carbs.
  • They can help people who don’t eat protein-heavy breakfasts feel fuller during the day, while also helping with blood sugar control.

There’s one thing that protein supplements don’t do, however. They don’t give you the rapid energy boost they’re often credited with providing. Instead, they give the body fuel for longer-term energy; their ability to prevent sugar crashes makes you believe that your energy level has risen quickly.

Coffee drinkers can enjoy a number of benefits. Protein can be beneficial to many people as well.

Should you consume them together?

Why Mix Coffee with Protein?

In a nutshell, because it’s easy to do. 

There’s no real benefit to combining coffee and protein supplements, at least for most coffee lovers. The only exceptions? Those who experience acid reflux after enjoying a cup of coffee may find that the supplements (which are usually alkaline) counter the acidity of coffee.

However, protein powder must be mixed with something, and putting it into a morning cup of coffee is a simple way to get the job done. Or so it would seem.

Here’s the problem. Powders like collagen powder aren’t water-soluble. Even those that are may not mix easily with coffee or other liquids, so you may end up with more of a clumpy mess than a delicious cup of joe. Putting the coffee and protein powder into a blender and turning it into a foamy, delicious beverage is the best way to get the job done.

Unless you like milkshakes.

Protein shakes have become an important segment of the supplement market, and TikTokers who have popularized “proffee” often make it by blending their coffee with one of those shakes. That’s understandable.

Admittedly, not all protein shakes taste great. Many of them do, though, and blending them with coffee can be a win-win, combining caffeine, protein, and extra flavor (especially if that flavor is chocolate!) in a beverage with a creamier texture.

A coffee protein shake provides a fast pick-me-up and the longer-term energy benefits of a protein supplement. The benefits are even greater if you’re about to work out.

It’s easy to make “proffee” with a packaged protein shake by simply blending the shake with your favorite type of coffee.

But making your own shake from scratch lets you choose your favorite ingredients and flavors – along with other nutrients you might want to add.

Here are some of our favorite recipes.

Coffee Protein Shake Recipes

These shakes can be much more than their name implies.

A straightforward milkshake with coffee and protein powder blended in sounds great. But why stop there? You can turn them into drinks that Starbucks would be happy to serve, delicious fruit-and-coffee protein smoothies, or supercharged glasses of protein-laden ingredients.

This is just a sample of the many coffee protein shake recipes (and smoothie recipes) you can create with just a few minutes of prep time. The total time for completing each recipe is less than five minutes. Most make two eight-ounce serving sizes.

The majority of coffee protein shakes will be gluten-free, but look for certification on the protein powder package to be sure. For a dairy-free shake, use a plant-based protein powder. And you can look for powders with added vitamin A, vitamin C, or essential minerals if you want to get extra nutrients from a healthy coffee protein shake.

To add texture (and extra protein), simply mix in chia seeds or ground cashews. 

Simple Mocha Protein Shake (courtesy of omnivorescookbook.com)

Using milk instead of almond milk adds extra calcium.

Blend together until smooth:

  • One cup low-fat milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • One cup brewed coffee (or instant coffee if desired)
  • One scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Honey or other sweetener to taste

Serve over ice cubes.

Supercharged Coffee Protein Cold-Brew Shake (courtesy of fitfoodiefinds.com)

This high-protein shake combines protein powder with two ingredients (banana and peanut butter) that provide their own protein power; the banana also contributes extra potassium. The shake contains a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving.

Blend together until smooth:

  • ¼ cup cold brew coffee concentrate
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup chocolate protein powder (you can use vanilla if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • One large frozen banana

Almond Butter Coffee Protein Shake (courtesy of asweetpeachef.com)

You have a peanut allergy, or simply don’t like peanut butter? Try this one with almond butter.

Blend:

  • One cup unsweetened almond milk (dairy milk can be used instead)
  • One scoop chocolate protein powder
  • One tablespoon brewed coffee (or 3-4 coffee beans)
  • One tablespoon almond butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5-8 ice cubes

Espresso Banana Smoothie (courtesy of jennifermeyering.com)

This is for those who want a deeper coffee flavor. It makes a great breakfast smoothie, too.

Blend together:

  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 5 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
  • One banana
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • One cup ice

Keto Coffee Protein Shake (courtesy of keyketomama.com)

There are only two net carbs in this recipe, and the healthy fat helps keto dieters.

Blend:

  • 6 ounces brewed coffee
  • One scoop low-carb protein powder
  • One tablespoon coconut oil (or butter)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • One tablespoon cocoa powder

Iced Coffee Protein Shake (courtesy of simplyhappyfoodie.com)

Great after a workout or on a hot afternoon.

Blend together:

  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • One cup iced coffee with ½ cups ice cubes
  • One scoop chocolate protein powder
  • One frozen banana
  • One tablespoon honey (as sweetener)

Another Coffee/Protein Alternative

If you don’t have time to fuss with a blender, and don’t like the taste or consistency of protein powder mixed into coffee, there’s another possibility: protein coffee creamers.

Choices like Super Creamer contain either whey or pea protein (depending on which of the eight flavors you choose), they’re zero-carb, sugar-free and low-calorie, and they contain the MCT oil favored by keto dieters. They’re the simplest way to add protein to your morning (or mid-day) cup of coffee.

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Written by Greg Lorenzo

8 Min read

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