I mean, what says fall more than protein pumpkin spice coffee?
Several years ago, I posted my own recipe for a homemade Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte right here on the blog.
But as boosted coffees have grown in popularity over the past few years, I’ver noticed a slightly disturbing trend:
Folks were only drinking fat-bomb coffees in the morning and nothing else. Some people say they can’t eat anything in the morning because of time, a sensitive stomach, or because they train at the crack of dawn.
As I started asking around it became clear…the reasons varied but everyone was making the same crucial mistake: fat-dense coffee without any protein.
Now, let’s get something straight: Healthy fats aren’t bad in the least. But protein in these recipes was sorely lacking.
First thing in the morning, protein is really important. It’s satiating, provides essential amino acids, and helps stave off cravings. What’s more, if you don’t get a good whack of protein in the morning, it’s super tough to make up for your needs over the rest of the day.
I developed this Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee recipe especially for people who go to the gym or train in the early morning.
(If your primary goal is weight / fat loss, I highly recommend against drinking your food. Sit down and eat a meal. You’ll have better control over hunger and cravings.)
But if you’re a hard-charging AM fitness warrior doing weight training or HIIT / CrossFit / intervals, going into it completely fasted is likely to leave you feeling a bit washed out.
Getting up even earlier to eat and digest a full breakfast isn’t ideal either. So if you can settle for a small boost of protein (and / or fat and carbs) via drinking something quick, it’s a decent compromise.
Drink this Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee on your way to the gym, track, or studio and you’ll have a little bit of protein on board.
(For more performance-bent paleo recipes, get my Performance Paleo Cookbook!)
So let’s look at the options you’ve got:
Change up the type of protein. I make this Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee with whey protein. Why? It works for my body and the brand I love (click here to learn more about Puori) has five ingredients or less. Whey makes this coffee recipe super frothy and awesome.
If whey doesn’t work for you, then use a type that does…collagen, beef- or plant-based powders would work well here. Egg white protein will curdle in hot coffee. Be warned.
One note on collagen: It’s extremely low in BCAAs, so be sure to eat meat, eggs, or fish after you work out.
You can boost this Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee with healthy fat. MCT oil, dairy-free nut milks, coconut milk, or even heavy cream if that works for your version of paleo.
And if you’re drinking this before your morning workout, you may want to add a touch of carbohydrate to help get your thyroid going.
Options include mixing in a bit of coconut water, real maple syrup, or local honey.
Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee Recipe
For the Coffee
- 12 oz warm brewed coffee
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder*
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix (makes 1/4 cup)
Combine the coffee, protein powder, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender. Blend on high for 15 seconds until it's frothy.
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