Protein Coffee is a great way to start the day. It’s satisfying and helps increase your overall protein intake. You can’t even taste the protein powder in this recipe that can be made with milk or dairy-free.

A clear glass mug of protein coffee topped with foam.

Whether you’re a mom of littles, a busy worker bee, or you just love leading an active lifestyle, you could probably do with a little extra boost of energy and nutrition in the morning. Sometimes a plain cup of morning coffee just doesn’t cut it. 

Good news! Coffee and protein are an energetic match made in heaven. Protein is the number one most filling macronutrient, so it helps you feel fuller for longer. 

Protein also increases lean muscle mass and strength. It’s good for your bones, reduces cravings, and boosts your metabolism. No wonder it’s essential to get enough of it in your daily diet! 

Coffee also has a surprisingly large range of health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants and can help your body process glucose better, keep your liver enzymes more stable, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

With this recipe, you can get all the goodness of extra protein without the hassle of cooking anything. This protein coffee recipe is adaptable, so you can make it as sweet and creamy as you want. And it packs a healthy punch – it’s an easy way to get what you need to kickstart your day!

Why You Need This Recipe

  • Protein coffee gives you a natural energy boost, but it’s also a filling snack in a mug. The collagen protein powder will keep you feeling full and fueled for hours! Plus, it’s a delicious drink.
  • You can adapt this recipe to your taste, whether you like it sweet and creamy or bitter and black. And you can choose to have it hot or cold.
  • It’s an excellent pre-workout drink. Coffee is known for improving athletic performance, and protein prevents muscle damage and promotes recovery. One serving of this Protein Coffee recipe provides about 11 grams of protein.

What You’ll Need to Make This Recipe

You should be able to make this recipe with what you have in your kitchen. And even if you don’t have something listed, here are some substitutes and suggestions.

1. A Coffee Machine

This recipe calls for freshly brewed coffee. If you have a coffee machine or percolator, that’s great. If not, you can use a Moka pot, French press, or any other coffee-making method. Brew the coffee as strong as you like. 

2. A Spoon

It’s easy to stir collagen protein powder into liquid, so you won’t need to blend or whisk it. All you need is a spoon.

3. Mug or Travel Mug

This drink is excellent for people who are on the go. You can whip it up and take it on the road to work, gym, or when you drop the kids off at school. If you don’t have a travel mug, that’s okay; you can still enjoy this protein coffee in any other mug, just not on the road!

Milk being poured in a stream into a clear mug of protein coffee.

Ingredients and Substitutes

Do you like your coffee black and bitter? Or with a dash of oat milk and a drop of maple syrup? Maybe you prefer a touch of vanilla extract and some almond milk.

No matter how you enjoy your coffee, you can adapt your protein coffee to have a similar taste. Here are some ideas to upgrade your average cup of coffee into an easy protein coffee.

Hot Coffee

Whether you enjoy a rich, single-origin dark roast, or a freshly ground blend with nutty undertones, you can use any brewed coffee in this recipe. Everyone has their favorite coffee and preferred coffee-brewing method. It’s all good! 

I wouldn’t use cold brew coffee for this recipe, though, as the coffee should be hot to help the collagen dissolve. Cold coffee is not the best way to blend in the protein source.

Just remember that darker roasts don’t contain more caffeine; that’s a myth. Lighter roasts contain a higher concentration of caffeine. Dark roasts are also lower in acids and better for reducing heartburn with coffee (see my list of the best low acid coffee).

You may also wish to use organic coffee to help prevent your exposure to pesticides.

Collagen Powder

Pure collagen powder is tasteless and odorless, but some brands add binders, preservatives, synthetic sweeteners, refined sugar, or artificial colors and flavors. 

Try to avoid those and get pure collagen powder instead. It should have one ingredient: collagen peptides and would ideally come from grass-fed cattle. You can also use marine collagen

Skip the whey protein powder and other types of protein powders for this recipe as they will not dissolve nearly as well as collagen protein. If you don’t have collagen protein or you want to use a specific protein powder, then you may need to use a shaker cup or a blender to blend the coffee and the powder.

Plant Milk or Dairy Creamer

Any type of milk or creamer will work. This is an optional ingredient. For those who enjoy coffee without milk or cream, stick to what you like.

But if you want your brew lighter, feel free to add a dash (or more!) of your favorite plant milk. Oat milk gives it a sweet and delicately creamy taste, and nut milk like unsweetened almond milk will boost the protein content of this drink even more.

I find that roasted almond or light coconut milk work particularly well with most coffee-based drinks. The roasted almond adds depth of flavor, so if you love deep, complex coffee undertones, this will bring it out. Coconut milk or oat milk creamer are both perfect for those who love their coffee extra creamy. 

And, of course, you can use regular milk, creamer, or half-and-half if you can tolerate dairy. My husband insists on using half-and-half even though he is mildly lactose intolerant.

Maple Syrup

Sweetener is 100% optional with this recipe; if you decide to add some, it’s up to you which one you use. Maple syrup has a light sweetness and is smoky and flavorful.

If you like honey, agave syrup, stevia, or anything else, feel free to use it. Ski the artificial sweeteners, though.

A spoon of collagen next to a white mug full of coffee.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Use decaffeinated coffee if you are sensitive to caffeine, or if you want to drink this later in the day.
  • You can use whatever type of sweetener you like in this recipe. Or, if you like your coffee black, just leave it out. See my list of the best sugar-free creamers and the best vegan creamers.
  • Want another nutrient-dense coffee drink option? Try this Maca Coffee recipe.

Recipe FAQs

What is collagen protein?

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies. It’s what makes connective tissue and is the building block of muscles, bones, skin, cartilage, and tendons. 

Can I have protein coffee instead of breakfast?

No, protein coffee is not a breakfast substitute unless you are fasting for a medical reason. However, it can help you feel full and provide energy, making it an excellent snack. Have something small and healthy with it, for example, a yummy chocolate smoothie bowl, some energy bites, or overnight oats

Is protein coffee only for drinking in the mornings?

Not at all! If you ordinarily have coffee later in the day, you can have protein coffee instead. It’s a great way to combat the three ‘o clock slump if you struggle with that. However, avoid having coffee later in the day if you’re sensitive to caffeine (or be sure to use organic decaffeinated coffee).

Can protein coffee help me lose weight?

It may help as part of a healthy lifestyle, including clean eating and regular exercise. Caffeine can rev up your metabolism, and protein makes you feel fuller for longer, so both of these ingredients can help with weight loss. 

Can you taste the collagen in the coffee?

Collagen is tasteless. It is unlikely that you will be able to taste it in the coffee, even if you drink it black. The collagen can add a little bit of texture or fullness to the coffee, but it is not very noticeable. 

How much protein is in Protein Coffee?

My recipe includes about 11 grams in one serving.

More Health Boosts You Might Like

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A clear glass mug of protein coffee topped with foam.

Protein Coffee (Dairy-Free Option)

Protein Coffee is a great way to start the day. It’s satisfying and helps increase your overall protein intake. You can’t even taste the protein powder in this recipe that can be made with milk or dairy-free.

  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 ounces hot brewed coffee
  • 1 scoop of collagen protein
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (use milk or creamer if you aren’t on a dairy-free diet)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Instructions

  1. Pour the coffee in a mug.
  2. Add a scoop of collagen protein to your brewed coffee.
  3. Stir until it’s blended in. 
  4. Add your choice of plant milk, sweetener, and vanilla extract (optional).
  5. Stir thoroughly and enjoy hot.

Notes

  1. Use decaffeinated coffee if you are sensitive to caffeine, or if you want to drink this later in the day.
  2. You can use whatever type of sweetener you like in this recipe. Or, if you like your coffee black, just leave it out.

Keywords: protein coffee, collagen coffee, marine collagen coffee

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