Which coffee protein shake is best?

Nearly every American can appreciate a morning or afternoon pick-me-up from a great cup of coffee. And any gym-goer knows the value of a good protein shake for meeting their fitness goals. What if you could combine those two things into one delicious beverage? 

Well, now you can with these flavorful coffee protein shakes. Packed with all the goodness of a quality protein shake and the caffeine from coffee, these shakes give a little extra get up and go and long-lasting energy. These shakes also assist with packing on additional lean muscle mass when paired with an effective workout routine. 

While there are many good options to choose from, the OWYN Cold Brew Coffee Vegan Plant-Based Protein Shake stands head and shoulders above most others. In addition to being free of any animal products, it is also free of most common allergens, including soy, gluten, nuts and dairy, so pretty much anyone can drink it. 

What to know before you buy a coffee protein shake

Dietary restrictions

If you are dealing with dietary restrictions, you know just how difficult it can be to find foods that fit your needs. Thankfully, you likely won’t have this issue with coffee protein shakes. Whether you follow a vegan or keto lifestyle or are sensitive to dairy, soy, gluten or just about any other ingredient, you can find a coffee protein shake that conforms to your dietary needs. There are also non-GMO and certified organic options. 

Protein source

You can find protein in most foods naturally, creating ample sources for protein shakes. Whey and casein are two of the most popular because they are affordable and easily consumed by the body. If your dietary restrictions prevent you from having whey or casein, since these both come from dairy, you can opt for a shake made from eggs or beef. If you are vegan, you can find protein shakes made from various plant protein sources, such as brown rice, peas, soy, hemp and more. Every protein source has its own pros and cons.

Protein shakes vs. protein powders

Protein shakes and protein powders serve the same need, adding more protein to your diet. However, each offers its own benefits. Premade protein shakes are the most convenient since you don’t have to worry about mixing powder manually into the liquid yourself. This can not only be messy but could result in leftover clumps of unmixed powder floating around in your beverage that are unpleasant to drink. Premade protein shakes are also easy to store in a fridge, so they are nice and cold when you are ready to drink them.

The main benefit of protein powders is affordability. Some protein powders cost as little as 50 cents per serving. That is significant savings compared to premade shakes that often cost $1.50-$3.50 per serving.  

What to look for in a quality coffee protein shake


When choosing a coffee protein shake, it is vital to pick one that offers the right protein amount to help you meet your goals. Some shakes have as little as 12 grams of protein per serving, while others have up to 32 grams. For the average person looking to pack on some extra lean muscle mass at the gym, a shake with 20 to 25 grams of protein is ideal. If you are a bodybuilder or someone who spends a lot of extra time at the gym trying to bulk up, you’ll want a shake with 30 or more grams of protein. If you don’t work out often and are worried that you don’t get enough protein in your diet, then a shake with 12 to 15 grams of protein is probably perfect.

Other nutritional values

Along with the amount of protein, pay close attention to the rest of the nutritional values in a shake to ensure it meets your dietary needs. They can vary significantly from one to another. For example, you can find shakes with 100 calories, 2 grams of fat and 0 grams of carbohydrates, or 250 calories, 10 grams of fat and 7 grams of carbohydrates. The latter will provide you with more energy but could make it hard to meet your fitness goals if you want to slim down. These are just a couple of examples and by no means representative of the highest or lowest nutritional value profiles.

Added nutrients

Many protein shakes feature nutrients to help give you more energy, stay more alert, aid digestion or keep you healthier. These may include vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids and superfood blends. 

How much you can expect to spend on a coffee protein shake

Most coffee protein shakes cost between $1.25-$3.50 per serving.

Coffee protein shake FAQ

Can I use a coffee protein shake as a meal replacement?

A. You can use any coffee protein shake as a meal replacement in a pinch, but if you plan on doing this regularly, it is best to purchase a meal replacement shake. These contain more calories, fats and carbohydrates than standard protein shakes. They also tend to have more added vitamins and minerals, as well as a more varied nutrient profile.

Should I drink my protein shake before or after the gym?

A. Despite there being a lot of debate among gym-goers over whether it is best to drink your protein shake before or after the gym, studies show there is no meaningful difference in results whether you drink it before or after your workout.

What are the best coffee protein shakes to buy?

Top coffee protein shake

OWYN Cold Brew Coffee Vegan Plant-Based Protein Shake

OWYN Cold Brew Coffee Vegan Plant-Based Protein Shake

What you need to know: This vegan-friendly protein shake provides all nine essential amino acids and contains the equivalent protein of one cup of coffee to give you that extra boost of energy.

What you’ll love: It’s free of common allergens, including gluten, nuts, dairy and soy, and it contains a blend of greens for added nutrients.

What you should consider: It has 5 grams of added sugar.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top coffee protein shake for the money

Atkins Gluten Free Protein-Rich Mocha Latte Shake

Atkins Gluten Free Protein-Rich Mocha Latte Shake

What you need to know: Not only is this Atkins Mocha Latte protein shake affordably priced, but it is also keto-friendly and high in fiber.

What you’ll love: Most people love the rich, creamy texture, and it makes the perfect morning coffee replacement. 

What you should consider: Some may find the chocolate flavor too dominant.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Premier Protein Café Latte Shake

Premier Protein Cafe Latte Shake 

What you need to know: If you are looking for a lot of protein and a great coffee flavor without tons of calories, there are few better options than Premier Protein’s Cafe Latte shake. 

What you’ll love: It is low in carbohydrates and total sugars, and it has added nutrients for immune health.

What you should consider: It is made with artificial flavors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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