Tip: The Coffee for Lifters Only

It tastes amazing, it fuels muscle growth, and it makes your overworked joints feel better. Here's how to whip up a steaming cup.

Lifter's Coffee

Experienced lifters need three things in the morning: quality protein to support muscle growth, collagen to soothe and heal those abused tendons/joints/ligaments, and coffee... because coffee is delicious.

  1. Protein: You already know why you need protein, and you probably know that a blend of whey isolate and micellar casein is the best all-around choice when it comes to muscle-building protein powders.
  2. Collagen: Often made from cow hides, collagen is protein too, but it's an incomplete protein. However, it's been shown in studies to beat the pants off glucosamine and chondritin when it comes improving joint health. (See: Fix Tendons and Joints with This Protein.) So while collagen isn't a muscle-building protein source, it's still great for people who lift heavy things for fun.
  3. Coffee: Besides that whole delicious thing, multiple studies on coffee consumption show that java actually increases the lifespan via several mechanisms, including having protective effects on DNA and reducing inflammation.

While all types of coffee can help extend your lifespan, even soulless decaf, light roast coffee may be better than medium and dark roasts. The roasting process reduces the amount of the antioxidant, chlorogenic acid. The lighter the roast, the shorter the roasting time, the less exposure to air, and the more of that good-for-ya chlorogenic acid survives.

So let's put all those things together – muscle-building protein, joint-healing protein, and light roast coffee – to make what I call "lifter's coffee."



  1. Make 16 ounces of coffee as you normally do.
  2. Add coffee to blender or a big mug.
  3. Add protein powder and collagen powder.
  4. Stir with a spoon for 30 seconds or blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to tilt the lid of the blender's pitcher up a little (or leave the little cap off the lid) to allow steam to escape.

Feel free to play around with the amount of coffee you use to get the flavor and texture you prefer.

  • Option: Use chocolate Metabolic Drive® Protein for a mocha drink.
  • Bonus: Depending on the type of coffee you buy, this drink should run you around $2.35, about the same price as a plain coffee at Starbucks.

Calories and Macros

  • Calories: 147
  • Protein: 30 grams (21 grams from whey isolate and micellar casein)
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram

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Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram