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Protein coffee is the latest trend caffeinating TikTok users with promoted health benefits and more energy. However, doctors advise paying attention to protein powder ingredients and caffeine levels before messing up your morning routines.
“Proffee,” as it is called, mixes protein with coffee. As some users on TikTok have seen posting videos of their own methods, some recipes include a Starbucks espresso in a large cup of ice and pouring a flavored protein shake. Others have added their own protein powder to home-brewed coffee.
The viral trend has users touting benefits such as weight loss and as a potentially healthier alternative to drinking flavored coffee. But while adding protein to coffee may sound like a good combination, doctors say it can do more harm than good.
“The reality is that it just isn’t necessary and can even be harmful,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told FOX.
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Glatter notes that the majority of people already consume adequate amounts of protein with their diet. For example, a 50-year-old person who weighs 140 pounds and doesn’t exercise should be consuming about 53 grams of protein per day, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
In addition, the majority of protein powders are loaded with added sugar. So if someone does decide to add protein to coffee, it’s important to make sure the protein powder they are using is unsweetened and has few ingredients, suggests Glatter.
Additionally, sweeteners can add up to five additional teaspoons of sugar per scoop. The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend limiting calories from added sugar to no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake, or 12 teaspoons for a 2,000-calorie diet. And some protein powders can contain up to 23 grams of sugar per scoop.
Drinking too much caffeine with the protein drink can also be problematic.
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“Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to arrhythmias, increased blood pressure, and even an increased risk of dehydration,” said Glatter.
Regardless, another TikTok trend of swallowing protein powder, called “shoveling dry,” has reportedly created serious health problems for at least two people. A cardiologist told Fox News Tuesday that consuming extremely high amounts of caffeine could be dangerous.
Fox News reporter Alexandria Hein contributed to this report