TikTok: an app where, in just a few swipes, you can go from the latest dance trend to someone dry-scooping pre-workout or from cringe-worthy celebrity interviews to viral sleep hacks. The frighteningly popular video app markets itself as a place for everyone to be themselves, learn something new and try new things, with thousands of videos going viral due to their confusing nature.
The latest culprit? A TikTok user posting about ‘Proffee’ — protein mixed with coffee, made by adding a scoop of protein powder to espresso and poured over ice. It’s thought (and agreed upon by other TikTok users) that the blend of muscle-building sports supps and energy-spiking caffeine boosts energy levels and, more dubiously, burns more calories.
Doctors and health experts, however, are warning that this new ‘blend’ could cause irregular heart rhythms and excess sugar intake.
“If you’re taking a few shots of espresso, that could be a lot of caffeine. It’s like having three cups of coffee,” Andrea Chernus of Chernus Nutrition explained to the Daily Mail.
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“Depending on how your body metabolizes coffee, it may stay in your system longer. That can affect your heart rate, cause arrhythmias and it may not be so great for the heart to be pounding down shots of expresso.”
And that’s just the coffee. “Protein with added sugars or some sort of artificial flavorings or sweeteners, unfortunately, can push up sugar levels and carbohydrate levels,” said Dr Frederick Davis, the Associate Chair of Emergency Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Centre. “These different nutrition fads might not be a one-size-fits-all for everyone and it might prevent someone from doing these different fads who might be harmed.”
Our advice? Stick to the pre-workout espresso and keep the whey protein for after your post-workout shower. And, as Chernus puts it, “Just because it’s a trend on TikTok doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”
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