Why TikTok's 'Proffee' Trend Might Not Be Ideal For Your Health Goals

Millions of people wake up and have a cup of coffee every day. This ritual makes for a perfect opportunity to do some habit stacking. Some people will add their daily ashwagandha supplement to give their joe a healthy boost or add coconut oil for a dose of MCT. However, it's hard to keep up with the latest trending supplements and know whether or not we should actually incorporate them into our day-to-day.

From stuffing garlic up your nose to making a bowl of "natural cereal," TikTok is brimming with health fads. One intriguing trend on our radar is protein coffee, otherwise tagged as "proffee." The drink mixes coffee — either espresso or black — with a protein shake or powder. Thousands of videos show users preparing the drink to start their morning. Many of these are posted by health influencers or by users who claim the drink helped them achieve weight loss. 

But can this caffeine concoction actually help you achieve your health goals?

Energy crashes and additives

While TikTokers swear by this extra load of protein, this also means an extra load of sugar and ingredient additives depending on the protein powder used. While not horrible for you, they can lead you to not feel your best. Refined sugar in the morning can lead to blood sugar spikes followed by a mid-morning energy crash (via Well+Good). Meanwhile, common additives like sugar alcohol or inulin can negatively impact your gut health. "Because they aren't completely digested, they hang out in our intestines where they become fermented by colonic bacteria," Cassie Bjork, RD, LD told Eat This, Not That.

However, combining a clean, low-sugar protein supplement with coffee could benefit some people. If you are someone who has difficulty meeting your daily protein or calorie intake goals, proffee can be a helpful supplement to add to your routine. Or if you love having a sugary morning coffee, replacing your gingerbread iced latte with a proffee could be a low-sugar alternative.

Protein overload

Overall, dieticians agree that proffee does nothing special that a balanced diet can't do for you. Protein is a great way to start your morning. According to Harvard Health, protein takes longer for your body to digest, keeping you fuller longer. If your goal is weight loss, this could reduce your overall calorie intake. In addition, protein is an essential macronutrient for a variety of metabolic processes. However, as recommended by The Institute of Medicine, we only need 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. "A typical American diet contains approximately seventy to ninety grams of protein per day, meaning that most individuals far surpass their daily protein requirements," food chemical expert Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D., wrote in an article for McGill University.

You likely don't need an additional 20-40 grams of protein every morning. A bowl of Greek yogurt or an egg sandwich can easily provide a sufficient amount of protein to start your day. If you are starting to make proffee to go along with your breakfast, your might be consuming too much protein. Schwarcz explained that your body will likely dispose of this excess protein in the bathroom and the excess calories in protein supplements may lead to weight gain. 

Regardless, every body is different. We recommend you check with a health professional who can assess your personal needs and whether or not proffee is safe to incorporate into your diet.