Is Protein Shake Coffee Keto or Not?
If you are looking for a keto-friendly way to get your coffee down your neck in the morning, and fitness is on the agenda, then “proffee” a protein shake coffee might be the way to go. A lot of people are doing their best to stay in ketogenesis while enjoying their daily dose of caffeine, and they figure, while they’re at it, they might as well get in some extra protein.
The question is, can this be done while staying keto-friendly? The fact is that your coffee is not going to be the problem. Where you want to be careful is in the protein shake you choose for your keto Protein Coffee. A lot of protein shakes out there sneak in a lot of hidden sugars, and one big thing you need to look out for in addition to sugar is the ingredient maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a compound that acts like sugar and is in a heck of a lot of processed, packaged foods.
According to Medical News Today, maltodextrin can cause spikes in blood glucose levels. It is added to improve texture and is common in powdered goods.
Another issue is that maltodextrin may also alter your gut biome (those hopefully healthy gut bacteria) and cause inflammation of the intestines, which we are obviously trying to decrease with a low-carb, ketogenic diet.
So, if your overall diet is low-carb, just one protein shake coffee should not be a problem. But if you’re getting more carbs than you bargain for, then you could pop out of ketogenesis. So read the labels of your protein powders and watch out for the maltodextrin.
Protein Shake Coffee Nutritional Facts
The real numbers on your “proffee,” home made or otherwise, are going to depend on the creamer if any, and the protein shake. A decent mix should look something like this:
- 8 grams of protein
- 11 grams of fiber
- 5 grams of carbs
- 3 grams of sugar
- 15 grams of fat
This is based on the Keto Coffee by Kamilla Falkowski made from products from the fitness brand Transformation. The ingredients are as follows:
- 16 Oz Hot Brewed Coffee
- 2 Tbsp Transformation Protein
- 1 Tbsp MCT oil
- 1 Tbsp Stevia
- 1 Tbsp powdered Cordyceps
We’ll need to look at each of these ingredients separately.
The 16 ounces of coffee are no problem, as long as you’re not adding some kind of especially indulgent creamer. Most creamers have a lot of sugar in them. Transformation brand protein is dairy free, soy free, whey free, and casein free. The MCT oil is a popular additive for keto friendly products and comes with a few health benefits of its own, including:
- Improved cognition
- Weight loss
- Heart health
- Regulate blood sugar
- Improve workout performance
Stevia is an excellent sugar replacement and should not be a problem if it’s a high quality brand. If you’re adding stevia, you’ll need to look out for the maltodextrin since a lot of stevias include it.
Cordyceps is a fungus that has been used for thousands of years in the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau for its health benefits. These benefits include more energy, better immunity, and more. It contains a number of key vitamins and minerals and will not contribute whatsoever to the carb count of your shake.
Admittedly, most “proffee” is going to leave out the powerful medicinal foods like medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and cordyceps and contain just coffee and supplemental protein. So the key here is to look for a high quality protein supplement.
Health Benefits of Protein Shake Coffee
If your stevia is good quality, and your protein shake is good and clean, the health benefits of proffee are pretty straightforward. For a start, there’s the coffee. Caffeine is somewhat controversial when it comes to its health effects. But it can clearly be a help in weight loss and in getting up the motivation for the gym.
If you have a sensitive stomach or intestinal trouble, coffee can make it worse. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee can hinder your ability to absorb nutrients which can lead to serious health consequences.
The protein shake component of your protein shake coffee is where the real danger comes in. There are a lot of low-quality protein shakes out there that are marketed to those who are looking for fast fitness solutions. As long as you go with a high-quality product, like the Transformation protein discussed above, you should not have a problem.
If you manage to put together a good quality proffee, free of creamers and using a good quality protein shake or powder, you can expect all the benefits promised by the packaging. You’ll get the caffeine boost for enthusiasm and a fair dose of protein to support your workouts.
Best Keto Brands of Protein Shake Coffee
Of course, we like Transformation. They are one of the highest quality brands out there and come with premium prices. But they are far from your only alternative.
- Authentic Whey: Low carb, no fillers, and comes in chocolate flavor
- Kaged Whey Protein: Fast-digesting, naturally flavored, and pure
- Transparent Labs Grass fed Whey: Responsibly made, and hormone free
- Onnit Grass Fed Whey: Also, Responsibly made, and hormone free
- Ample Recover: This meal replacement shake contains 33 grams of carbs since it is a meal replacement, so you will be cutting it close to the daily limit. The Ample brand offers a wide range of meal replacement protein shakes
- Kaged Plantien Protein Shake: A quality plant-based protein shake alternative
If Protein Shake Coffee is not keto-friendly, are there alternatives that are?
At the end of the day, any risks to your routine are going to come from the unnecessary combination of your coffee and your protein. Unless you are especially strapped for time, there is no need to get your protein from anything other than protein rich food.
Likewise, there is no need to adulterate your coffee unless you’re time-pressed to cram coffee and food consumption into a single arm movement. For best results, these two should be separated. Most nutrients are easiest to absorb singly. When the digestive system has to produce different types of enzymes, digestion becomes less efficient.
However, if you are a hard charger with a tin belly and no time to smell the flowers, a nice proffee might be just the thing.