When it comes to your morning cup of Joe, you’re probably used to adding in a little sugar and milk and going about your day. But the internet’s been buzzing about a tweak that can give your health an extra boost along with that caffeine hit. It’s affectionately called “proffee” — protein coffee that combines the energy-boosting effects of caffeine with the muscle-building power of protein. Read on to find out how protein coffee can help women over 50 lose weight and more, plus get recipes that make it easy to benefit:
What is protein coffee?
Protein coffee, or proffee, is exactly what it sounds like — a cup of your favorite brew spiked with a little extra protein. While the most standard version of proffee is made with a plain cup of coffee and a scoop of protein powder, you can add spices, sugar-free syrups and other healthy flavorings — the possibilities are endless.
Proffee’s combination of energizing coffee with waist-whittling protein is making it especially popular among people looking to lose weight. Research shows that individually, the two ingredients can help make you feel fuller, boost calorie burn and enhance gut health. And when mixed together to make proffee, “this drink stimulates fast and lasting fat loss,” says 10-Day Belly Slimdown author Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND.
How protein coffee helps weight loss
When it comes to slimming down, “proffee makes it easier for your body to burn fat,” explains University of Maryland nutrition expert Pamela Peeke, MD. One reason: Both coffee and protein have a thermic effect, “which means they create heat as they digest, burning extra calories,” says Dr. Peeke. Plus, it takes more energy for your body to burn and digest protein than it does carbohydrates and fat, which can increase calorie burning.
Then there’s the caffeine in coffee, which not only gives us a boost of energy but can also help energize metabolism too. Studies show that caffeine triggers lipolysis, the breakdown of stored fat in tissue so the body is better able to burn it as fuel.
And when hunger strikes, proffee can help. That’s because protein helps to increase levels of the hormone ghrelin, which researchers reporting in the Journal of Nutrition say helped women feel less hungry than those who ate a high-fat snack. What’s more, protein is known to increase levels of hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), the same hormones activated by popular weight loss drug Ozempic. (Click through to see how you can eat overnight oats or add olive oil to your coffee to help fight hunger pangs!)
Indeed, when Stephen Perrine, as the special projects editor overseeing health and wellness for AARP publications, decided to poll the 38 million members of AARP about the challenges of losing weight over 50, he discovered something very interesting: “The average American eats about the right amount of protein every day, she just eats it at the wrong time — all during the second half of the day,” he says.
After poring over studies and talking to researchers, Perrine found the biggest predictor of weight loss over 50 was how much protein the person ate before lunch. Increase it to 25+ grams for breakfast and 7+ grams for a morning snack and the pounds just fall off. Click through for a complete plan using morning protein to help lose over 50 belly fat.
What protein coffee can do for women over 50
One of the main causes of age-related weight gain for women over 50 is muscle loss. “Muscle is your fat-burning engine,” says Dr. Peeke. “The less you have, the less of a gas guzzler your body will be.” But sneaking a little extra protein during the day can help bulk up your muscles so you burn more.
And doing so with your morning coffee may be key since a study published in Cell Reports found that older women who ate more protein in the morning had increased muscle mass compared to women who ate protein later in the day. Adds Dr. Petrucci, “Proffee gives you the potential to turn your body into a fat-burning machine!” (Click through to see how upping your AM protein intake and sipping more coffee are easy food swaps that prevent diabetes.)
How to make protein coffee
You only need two ingredients to make a cup of proffee at home. Simply combine ¼ cup low-sugar protein powder to 1 cup of hot coffee. For more flavor, add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, cocoa powder or other healthy add-ins. You can also spoon on some cold foam, a creamy topping that’s made in 90 seconds with milk and mason jar. (Click through to discover the best protein powders for women over 50 and the best protein powders for women over 60.)
If you’re more of an iced coffee drinker, folks allover the internet suggest mixing protein shakes with your cold brew coffee or espresso. (Click through for more on iced coffee vs cold brew and another tasty, healthy treat — cacao coffee.) And if you’re looking for something fun and flavorful, try this recipe from TikToker Elizabeth Rinder for Banana Caramel Proffee:
Not interested in a cup of coffee? You can get the benefits from one of these recipes instead:
Proffee Flapjacks: Blend 2 diced bananas, 2 eggs, 2 scoops protein powder, and 1–2 pinches instant espresso until smooth. Prepare pancake-style with cooking spray.
Boosted Oatmeal: Microwave 1 Tbs. nut butter, 2 Tbs. protein powder, 1 cup water, and 1 ⁄2 cup old-fashioned oats for three minutes. Stir. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, if desired.
Bonus benefits of getting more protein
How proffee prevents fractures
Researchers reporting in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that upping your protein intake and drinking coffee can ward off bone fractures. Their study of over 26,000 women found that increasing protein intake can help reduce fracture risk by up to 45%, while any type of coffee or tea reduced risk a further 4%. The researchers say that protein builds bone-protecting muscle and tissue, while plant compounds in coffee and tea reduce bone-deteriorating oxidative stress.
How protein prevents sarcopenia
Protein is essential for warding off sarcopenia, a condition characterized by loss of muscle with age. After age 30, our muscle mass drops by 3-8% each decade, according to the National Institutes of Health, leaving us susceptible to the condition. But research shows that having an adequate protein intake — eating 1 gram of protein per 2 pounds of body weight — can dramatically lower risk of sarcopenia.
How protein lowers blood pressure
While a daily scoop of protein powder or a shake can help increase how much protein you consume, researchers in the journal Hypertension suggest varying the sources to ward off high blood pressure. They found that people who ate protein from at least four sources, like fish, chicken, steak and protein powder, were 66% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who got protein from fewer than two sources. Switching up your protein sources ensures that your body is provided with a variety of nutrients that nourish the heart and lower blood pressure.
For more on proffee, click through to our sister publication’s story Proffee: The Delicious Breakfast Helping Women Over 60 Lose Weight Effortlessly
For more on how skinny syrups are helping women lose weight, click through to Adding the New Flavored ‘Skinny Syrups’ to Water Is Helping Women Lose 200+ lbs — Discover How It Can Work For You
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.