The proffee principle: Is it really a good idea to add protein to your morning coffee?

Naam: Proffee.

Ouderdom: New.

Isn’t it something Donald Trump (remember him?) wrote by accident in an angry tweet? Geen, that was covfefe. This is proffee.

Short for professor? Geen, it’s a fusion of coffee and protein.

Fusion? Sounds complicated. Geen, it’s simple. Take one espresso. Double, if you like.

I like. You can pour it over ice, if that’s your cup of tea, so to speak.

Done. Now just add a scoop of your favourite protein powder …

And if I don’t have a favourite protein powder, or indeed any? A protein shake?

OK, here’s a vanilla shake, low on calories, high on protein. Perfect, add that. Nou, shake it all up. What have you got?

Beige sludge? Proffee! There are loads of other things you can do to your proffee: froth up some oat drink to make a prappuccino; add decorations or sprinkles; or sweeten it with a flavoured syrup, but make sure it’s a low-calorie one, otherwise that negates the whole point …

Which is? What exactly is the point? Wel, a lot of people think that the protein-caffeine combination is a good idea. Caffeine is a stimulant and helps fight fatigue. Protein can help your muscles recover after exercise. As well as staving off hunger, it makes you feel full for longer.

So we’re talking gym bunnies and dieters here? Exactly. They think a morning proffee improves a workout and helps with weight loss.

Hang on, are you suggesting this beige sludge could be an alternative to breakfast? A lot of people are – on social media.

Who, how many, where? The hashtag #proffee has been used more than 300,000 times on TikTok. Add 80,000 on Instagram and you’re definitely talking about what is known in the trade as “a thing”.

Can you buy them already made? At least one chain of high-street coffee shops has a range of drinks with added protein and vitamins.

Got it: it’s a thing. A big thing. And it’s probably part of an even bigger thing.

Which is what? The 21st-century obsession with getting enough protein and finding new ways to consume it.

Sorry, I’ve missed this. Just look at the supermarket shelves: extra-protein Weetabix, chocolate bars, yoghurts. We can’t get enough of the stuff.

Is this a good development? Protein is very important. But protein obsession is almost certainly unhealthy. Most of us already consume too much of it, so looking for more is a bit, wel, trying to fix something that ain’t broke.

Sê tog: “Just an espresso, to go. And some ice in a cup.”

Moenie sê nie: “A full English please, with beans en black pudding.”

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