TikTok trend of ‘proffee’ – protein mixed with coffee – could be HARMFUL, experts warn

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More than a year after the coronavirus pandemic, people have come up with a variety of creative drinks instead of going to coffee shops and bars.

And the latest drink to go viral on TikTok is proffee — a nickname for protein coffee — which is made by adding a scoop of flavored protein powder to espresso and pouring it over ice.

Social media users claim that the caffeinated drink helps promote weight loss, boost energy levels and burn more calories.

But doctors and nutritionists warn that too much coffee can lead to irregular heart rhythms and, depending on which protein powder is used, can contain too much added sugar or even lead to excessive protein intake.

Proffee - a nickname for protein coffee - is a trend-setting TikTok and is made by adding a scoop of flavored protein powder to espresso

Proffee – a nickname for protein coffee – is a trend-setting TikTok and is made by adding a scoop of flavored protein powder to espresso

Social media users say proffee has many health benefits, including weight loss, increasing energy levels and burning more calories

Doctors and nutritionists warn that the drink is good in moderation, but adding too much espresso or protein powder can lead to health problems

Social media users say that proffee (left and right) has many health benefits, including weight loss, increasing energy levels and burning more calories. Doctors and nutritionists warn that the drink is good in moderation, but adding too much espresso or protein powder can lead to health problems

Caffeine, one of the ingredients, is a natural stimulant that can improve your muscle contractions and resistance to fatigue.

Studies have shown that it can boost your mood, boost your metabolism and even protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

However, too much caffeine in one sitting can be dangerous.

“If you take a few espressos, that can be a lot of caffeine. It’s like drinking three cups of coffee,” Andrea Chernus of Chernus Nutrition in New York City told DailyMail.com.

“Depending on how your body metabolizes coffee, it can stay in your system longer.

“That can affect your heart rate, cause arrhythmias, and it might not be great for the heart to pound espressos.”

dr. Frederick Davis, the Associate Chair of Emergency Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, agrees.

He said coffee is good in moderation, but too much of anything is bad for the body.

“You have to watch how much caffeine you ingest, otherwise it can lead to palpitations, especially if people have underlying conditions,” he told DailyMail.com.

“It can also be dehydrating, because coffee is a diuretic, making you urinate more, which can make you lose a lot of fluid.”

The other ingredient, protein, helps people feel full for longer because the body burns more calories as it is digested.

dr. Davis says what can make the proffee craze harmful is what ingredients are in the protein power or shake.

“Proteins with added sugars or some kind of artificial flavors or sweeteners can unfortunately increase sugar and carbohydrate levels,” he explains.

In addition, there is such a thing as too much protein, which can lead to intestinal complaints and indigestion.

Drinking too many espressos can affect the heart rate, cause arrhythmias and lead to dehydration.  Pictured: ingredients for a proffee recipe

Drinking too many espressos can affect the heart rate, cause arrhythmias and lead to dehydration. Pictured: ingredients for a proffee recipe

Too much protein can cause intestinal distress and indigestion and lead to under-consumption of other nutrients.  Pictured: A finished proffee drink

Too much protein can cause intestinal distress and indigestion and lead to under-consumption of other nutrients. Pictured: A finished proffee drink

“Some studies have shown that too much protein is a bit of a waste,” Chernus says.

“People will also say, ‘Oh, I’m having this protein thing for breakfast, so I don’t have any other protein for the rest of the day.’ Just protein from a protein shake doesn’t mean it’s good if you miss out on a lot of other nutrients.’

dr. Davis says excess protein can be especially harmful for patients with impaired kidney function.

“They work harder to filter waste out, so too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys as they work to get rid of the large molecules in protein,” he said.

The experts say that if you want to make yourself a pro, just drink a cup of coffee and add a scoop of protein powder—with not much added sugar.

And if you’re not sure if you should try it, check with your doctor first.

“These different dietary fads may not be right for everyone and it can stop someone from doing these different fads that could potentially cause harm,” said Dr. Davis.

Chernus adds, “Just because it’s a trend on TikTok doesn’t make it a good idea.”

HOW TO MAKE A PROFFE

Recipe is based on British protein brand ‘bulk’

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Pure Whey Protein (in Salted Caramel) in bulk – or swap for Vegan Protein Powder as a vegan alternative (try it in Caramel Latte) •
  • 200 ml large oatmeal drink
  • bulk’s Zero Calorie Syrup (Salted Caramel)
  • 1 double espresso shot (about 60 ml)
  • 30 ml large oatmeal drink (optional)

Equipment:

  • Shaker
  • Glass
  • Milk frother – optional

Method:

1. Pour your milk into your shaker and add 1 scoop of Pure Whey Protein Powder and mix together so there are no chunks

•.2 Squeeze the Zero Calorie Syrup around the sides of your glass

3. Put some ice in your glass

4. Pour your coffee into the glass

5. Add your protein shake to the glass

6. Froth your milk with an electric or hand frother (step is optional)

7. Top With Some More Zero Calorie Syrup

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