Pump Up Your Morning with this Coffee and Protein Combo!

Managing our families, social lives, and our work priorities amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic calls for quick caffeine and healthy eats in amounts to satisfy a small army. Ask almost anyone, and they’ll confirm that their morning coffee routine has changed since the start of the pandemic. Long gone are the daily Starbucks trips en route to drop off the kiddos at school or to go to work. With many of us curating our own cups of joe from home, it’s important to have our on-hand arsenal of coffee confections ready to go.

Today, I am sharing my absolute favorite ways to enjoy the latest protein coffee trend. I’ll discuss ways you can preserve your money and time while looking after your health. Let’s do this thing!

What is Protein Coffee?

Protein coffee is the brainchild of your favorite Ready-to-Drink (RTD) protein shake, like Lean Body, and mixed together with a coffee beverage of your choice. You can choose ground coffee, instant coffee, cold brew, espresso, etc., you get the picture.

There are a few things to consider when designing your protein coffee. Read below for the deets. 

Consider the COST per Cup of Coffee

I highly recommend pricing your coffee per serving, so that you feel confident in your selection. You will see pricing from the wholesale store, Costco, below for your reference. These are just a few of the options on the market. Trust me, becoming aware of the price of your caffeine habit will change the way you budget for your morning cup. A cup from home could cost as little as $0.02, while a cup away from home tends to run $2.00-$5.00.

Ground Folger’s Coffee
$9.99 for 51 oz (400 cups)1
Per Cup: $0.02

Instant Nescafe Coffee
$16.99 for 21 oz (300 cups)1
Per Cup: $0.06

Kirkland Signature Ethiopia Whole Bean
$39.99 for 64 oz (192 cups)1
Per Cup: $0.21

Keurig Donut Coffee
$45.99 for (100 cups)1
Per Cup: $0.46

Starbucks Nespresso Expresso
$39.99 for 60 capsules (60 cups)1
Per Cup: $0.67

Cold Brew
$24.87 for 128 oz (32 cups)2
Per Cup: $0.78

Consider Your PREP Time

Coffee preparation often depends upon the amount of time one has available. For example: If I have the time to utilize my reusable Keurig cup, I will grab Folgers coffee grounds first to make a steaming cup of hot coffee. If I am short on time, I generally opt for cold brew concentrate iced coffee. In the “short on time” scenario, which happens several times a week, I don’t have time to cook a hot breakfast before racing to my first teleconference of the day. This is when adding a Ready-to-Drink protein shake to my coffee is extremely efficient.

Consider the HEALTH Benefits

Each and every one of us requires protein within our diets to survive. Whether it’s plant or animal-based, we need protein. It helps us build strong muscles, helps manage appetite, helps us recover from stringent workouts, and aids with blood pressure regulation.3

If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake, opting for an RTD option that is low in carbs is preferable. The Lean Body RTD is ideal for me because it contains 9 g of carbs per 40 g of protein in each shake. This allows me to drink just my protein coffee when I am carb cycling, or to choose a quick carb like an apple or banana to eat with when I am not carb cycling.

Lean Body RTD Flavors Include: 

• Mint Chocolate
• Salted Caramel
• Cookies & Cream
• Vanilla
• Strawberry
• Banana
• Chocolate Peanut Butter 
• Vanilla Caramel Plant-Based
• Chocolate Plant-Based

Depending upon your protein consumption goals for the day, a 12-Pack of Ready-to-Drink (RTD) shakes can provide you with 12-24 servings of protein. I use ½ of an RTD most of the time, while my husband (who is much larger than me) consumes a full RTD with his coffee.

By adding a protein-rich option like the Lean Body RTD protein shake to your coffee (hot or iced), latte, cappuccino, espresso, or cold brew – your beverage can provide you with up to 40 grams of protein, 22 vitamins and minerals, zero grams of sugar, and antioxidants that help regulate your delicate immune system.

You can also simply enjoy these RTDs straight from the container as part of your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or as a post-workout meal.

Save These Protein Coffee Recipes 

Chocolate Banana Frozen Coffee
· 1 serving of instant coffee
· 1 Lean Body RTD Chocolate Shake (or ½ dependent upon protein goals)
· 1 teaspoon cocoa nibs
· Ice to your desired consistency
· ½ frozen banana

1. In a blender, add the above ingredients.
2. Add water and ice to your desired shake consistency.

Vanilla Cinnamon Bun Latte 
· 1 Lean Body RTD Vanilla Shake (or ½ dependent upon protein goals)
· Coffee of your choice hot, hot, hot!
· 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Pour Lean Body RTD into your hot coffee.
2. Add cinnamon to taste.
3. Froth and enjoy.
4. Optional: Dash of oat or unsweetened almond milk (add after RTD).

Works Cited
1. Welcome to Costco Wholesale. www.costco.com/.
2. “Instacart Demo.” Instacart, www.instacart.com/store/costco/search_v3/chameleon%20cold%20brew?tracking.autocomplete_prefix=chamel&tracking.autocomplete_term_impression_id=4768accd-a9d3-4e65-9033-ab030b782a46&tracking.image_thing_id=3115605&tracking.image_thing_type=product&tracking.num_autosuggestions=7&tracking.search_bar_impression_event_id=b52f0fed-a905-4525-9fc6-a0c292e561da.
3. “10 Science-Backed Reasons to Eat More Protein.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein. 

About the Author: Courtney Alcala-Herrera MS

Courtney lives in Texas with her husband and their two dogs. Courtney is a clinical research and health education expert whose life mission is to spread health and lifestyle modifications to the public. When she’s not traveling across the country monitoring research studies, you can catch Courtney counseling her fitness clients, prepping for her next bikini competition, or racing off to explore with her husband.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.