I’m Embarrassed to Admit It But Coffee for Meatheads Is Part of My Life Now
Protein is essential for building muscle, and caffeine is a noted exercise-enhancing substance. Utilizing both isn’t a new phenomenon—having a cup of coffee before workouts and a protein shake after is fairly typical—but putting them together into a single product is a different story. Javy, makers of various coffee alternatives and concentrates, recently dropped an instant coffee protein powder that, if even remotely palatable, may be a gamechanger for the early morning gym squad. Here’s what you should know.
What’s Good About Javy Instant Protein Coffee?
Early morning gym goers: this is for you
My late risers may not believe it, but there are people who—intentionally—wake themselves up before the sun trundles over the horizon to get a workout in. While it’s not clear if morning workouts are better or worse than afternoon or evening workouts, they do this because the wee hours of the day may be the only time for a sweat session, and because they hate themselves (at least one of these is true).
One of the only genuine problems with early morning workouts is fuel. If you’re headed to the gym at 5 a.m., you probably have just a few minutes between the moment you roll out of bed and hop in the car. It’s common to pre-make a pot of coffee, or keep the ingredients for a quick protein shake out on the counter. Javy’s Instant Protein Coffee is a lightning fast way to cover your bases without any prep work or thought—toss a scoop or two in a shaker bottle and you’ve got a decent protein load (10g protein per serving) and roughly as much caffeine as a cup of coffee in the time it takes you to fill your bottle with water.
No clumping, no chalky aftertaste
I have a very particular palate, which, in gym dude speak, means I’ve tried a lot of different protein powders in an effort to find ones that dissolve well, don’t clump, aren’t chalky, and avoid the trap of oppressive sweetness. Javy’s morning friendly instant protein coffee is probably the best I’ve ever tried in this respect. Post-shake, the texture is nearly indistinguishable from the iced coffee you’d order from Dunkin’ or Starbucks. Its taste is subtle and there isn’t a weird “I just housed half my day’s protein in one gulp” aftertaste, either.
Surprisingly solid value buy
Most non-standard supplements don’t offer great value for money. Often, the cost per serving is just too much to really justify the purchase. Javy’s coffee-protein powder is, somewhat surprisingly, a fairly good value buy.
At $30 ($25 if you subscribe for regular shipments) and 24 servings per bag, the cost per protein coffee drink is roughly $1.25, plus a few cents for shipping. For a time- and workout-saving product, that’s pretty easy to stomach.
What’s Not Good About the Javy Instant Protein Coffee?
Needs MOAR protein
I outed myself as something of a gym bro already, so I may as well lean in: there needs to be more protein per scoop. Currently, each scoop provides 10g of protein and 115mg of caffeine—or roughly the caffeine content of a small dark roast coffee from Starbucks. Most protein powders begin at 20g of protein per serving. At 10g of protein a scoop, it seems to be targeted more at people with smaller bodies or those who are sedentary rather than folks who workout hard or carry a bit more weight.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a massive issue, because you could simply double up servings (though you start to lose the value-per-dollar-spent doing that). But caffeine complicates that a bit.
Two scoops is 20g of protein and 230mg of caffeine, which is around the amount of caffeine in a medium or large cup of coffee from Dunkin’ or Starbucks. That’s not too much caffeine for most people, but for the bare minimum protein content per scoop most will want, it’s a little frustrating.
I tried a triple scoop in a shake one morning and the caffeine level gave me jitters and I felt nauseous for a short period. My advice: if you’re looking for a lighter protein supplement and work out early in the morning, this stuff is great. If you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll probably need a higher dose of protein powder.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a lightning quick fuel source for early morning workouts, this is as good a blend of energy and sustenance you can get in ready-to-blend powdered form. That said, it should absolutely have more protein per serving, which is Javy Instant Protein Coffee’s only real letdown.