The short answer – Does coffee affect protein absorption?

In short, caffeine or coffee does not affect protein absorption. Many people around the world have been wondering why health experts have been recommending drinking coffee with protein. After all, why else is this trend so popular at the moment?! On this educational journey, you will read about why people are asking, ‘Does coffee affect protein absorption’ and what the latest studies on coffee show us.

Does coffee affect protein absorption – What is protein coffee?

Coffee is a brewed drink, usually hot, which is made with coffee beans. Coffee beans are the seeds of Coffea Berry’s. This fruit gets processed from the raw material into a product which can then be brewed into hot water. On average, UK citizens drink 2 cups of coffee per day depending on their age. As long as you’re drinking in moderation, coffee has health benefits due to its high level of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.


Protein is found in many different foods including lean meats, poultry, nuts and dairy. Protein powder is a popular supplement used by many who participate in a lot of exercises in order to get a sufficient protein intake. This protein substitute is commonly used to mix with either milk or water to create a protein shake.


Some benefits of taking protein powder include helping repair tissue and build muscle, additionally, it can make enzymes and hormones. Although protein powder helps to aid muscle growth, many unofficial websites will claim that it makes you lose weight. Some claim that they lose weight when they take protein powder… the cause and effect are in fact not because the protein powder causes weight loss. It is because people are likely doing more exercise at the time of taking protein powder, or they are using it as a substitute for calorific meals.


You guessed it! Protein coffee is only protein powder mixed with coffee. Although hot coffee is most used in the UK (probably because of its long cold months!) protein powder is usually mixed with iced coffee, due to the powder mixing better in a cold environment. When you intake this divine concoction, you get the coffee benefits and the protein benefits…what’s not to like?!

Does coffee affect protein absorption – The benefits of protein coffee

  1. May improve your session’s performance – Coffee contains a natural stimulant called caffeine which can reduce fatigue and improve muscle contractions. In addition to this, protein also helps repair and build muscles, making the two ‘work out’ perfectly. You should take your protein coffee 1 hour before doing exercise to get the full effects on your body.
  2. It May help you achieve the right amount of protein – This can be especially helpful if the tasks of daily life get in the way of you eating breakfast.
  3. Soothes muscle pains – Protein coffee has been proven to help relieve muscle aches, pains and spasms. If you take protein coffee, the blend of coffee and protein will mean that you can exercise for longer without feeling uncomfortable in the morning.
  4. Caffeine can help increase your mental alertness. It is common knowledge that coffee increases your alertness… how would we all get out of bed without a cup of coffee in the morning? If you’re feeling more energized, you’re more likely to push for that extra set at the gym.
  5. Increased production of ‘happy hormones’ – caffeine from the coffee and leucine from the protein can trigger the production of hormones like melatonin and serotonin which help you maintain a happy lifestyle.
  6. Heart health – This is a positive, and a negative. Caffeine can help to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular conditions if you drink in moderation. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analysed 350,000 individuals and found that drinking 6 or more coffees per day increases an individual’s risk of heart disease up to 22%. However, people who drank 2 coffees per day had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who avoided coffee altogether.
  7. People who drink coffee may live longer – A study published in the annals of internal medicine analyzed 180,000 participants across multiple ethnic groups and found an 18% reduction in the rate of mortality among people who drank 3 cups of coffee per day.

Taking everything into consideration – Does coffee affect protein absorption?

When you’re sitting wondering ‘Does coffee affect protein absorption’ you realise there are very limited studies on protein and caffeine absorption. From what people have experienced, the educational guess would be that caffeine doesn’t affect protein absorption.

The reason that the public is asking this question is that they have heard about a study, finding that coffee reduces the amount of iron absorbed by your body by 39%. There have been other studies demonstrating that coffee also impacts how you absorb vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin D. A mild diuretic found in caffeine leads to an increase in urination. This means that water-soluble vitamins will be drained out of the body due to fluid loss.

Although certain vitamins and minerals are absorbed while consuming caffeine, there is no scientific evidence showing that coffee affects protein absorption. Does coffee affect protein absorption? Looking through all the different studies and information on caffeine- no. A protein coffee should only benefit your day or workout. Coffee lovers- drink your heart out!

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