What To Know About The Proffee Trend - And If It's Actually Good For You

You might drink coffee on a regular basis — including to get your daily energy boost — but have you heard of proffee? It's among the trends that have taken TikTok by storm, with many users being in favor of the combination of protein and coffee, hence the name (per Cleveland Clinic). Though some trends on TikTok or other social media platforms might sound exciting, it's important to know how combining protein and coffee could affect you and whether you're better off steering clear from it.


If you feel confused about what proffee is and whether or not you should drink it, don't worry. We're here to give you the rundown on all things proffee, including the benefits and risks that could be associated with consuming it for yourself. Before you pour yourself a cup of proffee at home or order one from your café of choice, make sure to read up on this viral beverage.

Proffee can describe a lot of different combinations

Before we go any further, it's important to clarify what proffee is. Simply put, the name refers to some combination of protein and coffee, which Cleveland Clinic notes is generally achieved through adding protein powder to coffee or mixing coffee with a protein shake. "In the TikTok world, where proffee has taken off, this usually means a protein shake poured over a cold brew or iced coffee, but in actuality, it can be any type of coffee with protein added," nutritionist Carolyn Cohen told Healthline.


The downside is that there are lots of possible combinations of protein and coffee to be had, and there's no uniform definition of what proffee is. Women's Health, for instance, describes various recipes for proffee that have been promoted by TikTok users, and many of these include ingredients beyond just coffee and protein powder, including caramel syrup. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you're combining ingredients to which your body could be sensitive, such as caffeine and sugar.

Adding protein to coffee can help your protein intake

Adding some extra protein to your coffee might not be a bad idea, with multiple health experts telling Women's Health that it could be beneficial. This is especially the case if you don't get enough protein in your diet, as nutritionist Sarah-Jane Hall explained, "making sure we're getting enough protein from our diet is essential for the growth and repair of all of the cells in our body — if proffee helps you to achieve your daily protein intake, then this could definitely be considered a health benefit."


Per Better Health Channel, there are many ways to get protein from the food you eat, even if you are vegetarian or vegan. While protein is important for your health, consuming too much protein in your diet is also dangerous. Based on this advice, we would suggest consulting your doctor first to determine if adding protein to your coffee would be helpful to address a protein deficiency or if you could be putting your health at risk.

Be careful of your caffeine intake

As with your protein intake, you should use caution when it comes to your caffeine intake. In an article discussing proffee and other TikTok trends, MSNBC suggests limiting the caffeine in your proffee to a maximum of 300 milligrams, or even less if you're someone who is sensitive to the energy booster. For reference, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) writes that healthy adults can consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day without dangerous side effects, meaning that your morning proffee could put your consumption around that safety maximum.


Additionally, the FDA notes that a range of symptoms can occur with caffeine overconsumption, and many of these — including anxiety and an increased heart rate — could mimic symptoms of other medical conditions. If you're concerned about your caffeine intake with proffee, one option could be to monitor what you're concocting at home rather than allowing someone else to make it for you.

Proffee might help with weight loss

One of the stated benefits of proffee — like many other trends that are promoted online — is weight loss. This benefit could be true to some extent, but Noah Quezada, RDN, told Healthline not to count on it despite the role that protein consumption, in general, could play in weight loss: "Proffee is not a miracle weight-loss drink."


Per Nebraska Medicine, proffee could be an option to use as a meal replacement if you are looking to lose weight. That said, they follow this up by saying that shakes that are specially formulated to serve as meal replacements are going to be the safer choice overall.

If you are reading this piece because you're looking to use proffee as a tool for weight loss, this is another time when we would advise you to consult your doctor for advice on what is best for your health and your goals.

Proffee also can lead to weight gain

While some might be promoting the drink as a way to lose weight, proffee can lead to weight gain too. Nebraska Medicine noted that this could occur because you're taking in more protein than you should, for example. Likewise, Women's Health pointed out that some of the more popular proffee recipes on TikTok may be high in calories, another potential cause of weight gain.


Speaking to Women's Health, nutritionist Melissa Snover commented about the nutrition found in protein powders, or the lack thereof. "Whole sources of protein from foods are more beneficial as they contain additional, essential vitamins, minerals, and compounds that aren't found in all protein powders. Similarly, a lot of protein powders are often filled with added sugars, additives, and sweeteners," Snover said. 

This is another reason why you might want to check the ingredients of the elements of your desired proffee before trying it for yourself. If you're looking to put on weight or build muscle with proffee, seeking medical advice might be your best option.

Adding protein to coffee doesn't increase the caffeine

Though you might think that you're getting huge benefits from the combination of protein and coffee in your cup of proffee, you'll be disappointed to know that the protein won't make your caffeine more effective. Dietitian Barbara Ruhs explained to HuffPost that this is because caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream instead of being processed by the digestive system.


Nutritionist Joe Johnson told BuzzFeed that the primary benefit of the combination is in its consumption before working out, sharing, "The protein in the drink will help to rebuild and repair muscle damage during and after the workout, while the coffee will provide an energy boost to help you perform at your best and keep you mentally sharp and motivated throughout your workout."

If you aren't looking for a workout boost and are looking solely to boost your caffeine intake, then it might be better to stick to coffee without the added protein.

There are alternatives to proffee

Though experts' opinions seem to hold that proffee certainly isn't the most dangerous combination with which you could fuel your body, it might not be the greatest thing for you, either. Fortunately, there are other options that might provide you with many of the same health benefits plus fewer risks. For example, Melissa Snover explained to Women's Health that many other beverages can give you energy. "For a natural energy boost, opt for matcha, green smoothies, coconut water, or kombucha — with nutrients such as ginger or ginseng — that contain additional health benefits and nutrients," she said. 


If you still want your proffee, you can choose to consume it alongside something healthier for you. This is what dietitian Kimberly Rose Francis suggested to HuffPost, saying, "If you desire to have proffee as a snack, pair it with something small like half a bagel with low-fat cream cheese and sliced salmon, or a scone topped with nut butter."