The new health trend that is preparing on TikTok

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The ‘Proffee’ drink (protein powder mixed with coffee) is gaining popularity on social media platforms like TikTok, with people claiming it can provide a healthy energy boost and help with weight loss. Lauren Lee/Stocksy United
  • Proffee, a blend of coffee and protein, is a recent TikTok trend that is causing a stir among experts.
  • Some dietitians and nutritionists say there are better ways to add caffeine and protein to your diet.
  • Experts also believe there are ways to make proffee healthier, but it’s generally fine in moderation.

A new trend is brewing on TikTok. It’s called “proffee” and the hashtag #profee has already received close to 10 million views on social media platform.

“In the TikTok world, where proffee has taken off, it usually means a protein shake poured over a cold brew or an iced coffee, but in reality it could be any type of coffee with added protein” , says Carolyn Cohen, an integrative nutritionist. , functional medicine health coach and podcast host Well-being while walking.

The slow-motion drama videos, which end with a creamy drink in a glass jar, make it look fun and delicious. And some TikTok users swear by its benefits, including weight loss. But are the health claims really rocking?

Experts have explained what you need to know before trying this social media drink.

Some of the most popular purported benefits of swirling proffee include:

  • improved energy, focus and performance
  • added protein
  • weight loss aid

But experts offer mixed opinions on these claims.

Energy, focus and performance

Noé Quezada, RDNsays proffee can be energizing and improve focus and performance due to the caffeine content.

A small study from 2017 of seven men who underwent a cycling-based exercise test suggested that caffeine increased time to exhaustion by 12%. Another study from 2016, 12 men reported that moderate caffeine consumption before and during a round of golf improved subjective energy levels and performance while reducing fatigue.

That said, it is important to note that these studies were not done on the proffee itself.

Dan Gallagher, Registered Dietitian with Eagle Nutritionsays there are better ways to get a jolt.

“Healthier sources of caffeine would be black or green tea or just a cup of coffee,” says Gallagher.

The benefits of added protein

A 2019 study suggested that protein intake may improve metabolic health and longevity.

Patricia Kolesa, MS, RDN of Hackensack Meridian Health notes that the recommended dietary intake is 0.8 g/kg body weight per day. In other words, a 150 pound person would need about 120 grams of protein per day. For context, a piece of chicken weighing 174 grams (6.13 oz) contains approximately 55 grams of protein.

Kolesa says the protein in shakes can contribute to that protein intake, but notes that most people can get enough protein from food. And Gallagher says food is a better source of protein.

“Protein is healthier when it comes from whole ingredients like seafood, lean beef, beans, eggs, or milk, says Gallagher. “Maintaining a balanced diet will yield all of the advertised benefits and more.”

Part of the problem is that protein shakes may contain added sugars or low-quality processed proteins that don’t live up to the natural proteins found in foods.

“Any health benefits of adding protein to coffee can be quickly negated by facade — the devil is in the details when it comes to proffee,” Cohen says.

Can proffee help with weight loss?

Weight loss is one of the most discussed benefits of proffee. Quezada encourages people to proceed with caution.

“Proffee is not a miracle weight loss drink,” says Quezada.

That said, Quezada notes that some evidence suggests that caffeine and protein may help some people manage their weight.

For example, a Meta-analysis 2019 of 12 studies reported that coffee consumption reduced body fat, particularly in male participants. A 2020 study suggested that it may reduce body fat in women.

Another study from 2020 indicated that adhering to a high-protein diet could be an effective way to lose weight and prevent obesity.

But Kolesa points out that there are no studies on the proffee itself.

“It’s not a guarantee that protein coffee itself will help someone lose weight,” she says.

And she adds that pouring in high-fat milk, creams and sugary syrups can negate all the protein and caffeine benefits of the drink.

Ultimately, Quezada points out that meeting weekly exercise requirements and following a nutritious diet of lean animal and plant proteins, produce, and complex carbohydrates are more proven ways for individuals to achieve the benefits of proffee.

Kolesa says going this route can help people avoid some downsides of drinking, including:

  • jitters
  • increased risk for certain populations
  • sleep disorder
  • allergic reactions
  • gastrointestinal problems

The exact number of cups of coffee a person can handle is not an exact science – it varies depending on the individual. If you notice that you are nervous or have trouble sleeping, consider reducing the amount.

But Kolesa says the FDA reports that most healthy adults can consume 400 mg. of caffeine a day or four to five cups of coffee. However, she says pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume less.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests individuals limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg., or a 12 oz. cup of coffee, daily during pregnancy.

The CDC notes that a small amount of caffeine passes into breast milk, but adverse effects, such as lack of sleep and irritability, are usually not seen if the breastfeeding person consumes 300 mg. of caffeine or two to three cups of coffee a day.

The syrups, high-fat milk, and creams that some TikTokers put in their drinks may not be the best for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart conditions.

“You can try using low-sugar syrups or protein shakes/powders,” Kolesa suggests. “You can also try low-fat creams and milk.”

An older study from 2013 suggested that consuming caffeine six hours before bedtime could disrupt sleep.

Kolesa also suggests reading protein shake labels to make sure you’re not allergic to any ingredients. Other ingredients may not trigger allergic reactions, but may cause gastrointestinal issues, such as upset stomach. If you notice that you are having these problems, stop using the shake.

Gallagher says proffee isn’t out of place, but it shouldn’t be considered a meal replacement or your main source of protein or caffeine.

“If you’re looking for something tasty, it’s probably worth drinking, but I would basically consider it a mixed drink from Starbucks,” says Gallagher. “It’s probably not something to have every day.”

And he stresses that relying on advice from healthcare providers and peer-reviewed studies, not TikTokers, is key for dietary advice.

“I would approach nutrition and wellness trends on TikTok with a healthy dose of skepticism,” says Gallagher. “Do your research, but be wary of sites that offer advertising perks. It’s a good idea to question any biases sites may have and, if in doubt, seek out specific scientific studies or medical organizations. »

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