How 'Proffee' Stacks Up as a Post-Workout Protein Source

Proffee is the latest nutrition trend to come out of TikTok, combining protein shakes and coffee. It’s not a bad protein source, but if you think it’s going to be a good alternative to a Frappucino, you’ll probably be...

How 'Proffee' Stacks Up as a Post-Workout Protein Source

a cold coffee drink on a table

Photo: gowithstock (Shutterstock)

Proffee is the latest nutrition trend to come out of TikTok, combining protein shakes and coffee. It’s not a bad protein source, but if you think it’s going to be a good alternative to a Frappucino, you’ll probably be disappointed.

A proffee is typically made by mixing a bottled protein shake with cold brew coffee over ice, although you can use any protein and any type of coffee that you like. Some people add flavored syrups and even whipped cream.

Does it make a good protein drink?

Protein shakes are a convenient way to get protein in your diet, as we’ve discussed before. You don’t need a protein shake after a workout (or at any other time); it’s fine to just eat protein-rich foods throughout the day. But if you find protein drinks convenient, then they are absolutely a hack.

Since most proffee recipes use a bottled protein shake, they have as much protein as the shake you use. Check the label, because they vary! A Premier vanilla shake has 30 grams of protein and 160 calories in 11 ounces, while the Atkins version has the same calories but only half as much protein.

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The rest of the shake will have the nutrition you put in. Coffee has very few calories (something like 5 calories in a large cup, unsweetened). If you just mix the shake and some coffee, you get basically the same nutrients as the shake, plus some coffee flavor and a bunch of water. If you add syrups and whipped cream, you’re adding a lot more sugar and calories.

Does it make a good coffee?

From all accounts...not really. The team at Insider sampled a few protein coffees, judging them to be okay but not necessarily an improvement over just drinking the protein shake itself.

If you’re drinking a proffee instead of ordering one of the sweetened Starbucks drinks that is basically a milkshake, then yes it will probably have better macros. But it also won’t really taste like a Frappucino. If you want a Frappucino that bad, you should probably just order one and adjust the rest of your calories that day, if needed, to fit it in.

After all, if you want more protein in your diet, you’d have to drink proffee on the regular to make a difference. Foods with added protein are usually not worthwhile unless you plan them into your diet carefully. If you love proffee, knock yourself out, but don’t think you’re making a huge difference to your diet by drinking a glass of it every now and then.