We like to track trends on TikTok. Some of our customers are avid TikTok users and have encountered them. We want to be able to serve those customers. Also, the trends often jump from TikTok to the general population quickly. If we know what’s going on on TikTok, we can understand what might happen in the broader world in a month.
Protein lemonade is all the rage on TikTok. The drink is meant to replace frozen lemon desserts. The question is, is it any healthier?
At its most basic, the drink is made with lemonade, ice and protein powder and then blended. Dieticians say that protein powders can be a healthy supplement in a person’s diet but shouldn’t be the only source of protein. People use vanilla-flavored protein powder and drink it as a copycat of Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade. A serving of the Chick-fil-A version has 65 grams of carbs, six grams of protein and six grams of fat. Using sugar-free lemonade and protein powder makes something almost carb-free and packed with 15 to 30 grams of protein.
A lot of people have called the drink unhealthy, but dietitians disagree. “It’s not much different than a standard protein shake that you’d mix up,” said Jamie Nadeau, registered dietitian and founder of The Balanced Nutritionist. “But if you’re not a fan of protein powder, it can be a great protein shake alternative.”
People make it with all sorts of recipes. They use cottage cheese, almond milk, vanilla pudding powder and more. TikTok creators play with the recipe in attempts to optimize its health value.
While some people make their lemonade with lemon juice and honey, agave or maple syrup, most use a sugar-free powder to keep the carbs low. “Both sugar and artificial sugar have their drawbacks,” said Blair Persyn, registered dietician and founder of Bites With Blair. “But I believe most things are fine in moderation.”
She added, “Protein powders can help people fill in the gaps to meet their protein needs. Older adults, vegans and athletes all have higher protein needs, so this frozen protein lemonade can be a fun way to get in extra protein.”
Protein powders can contain a lot of added vitamins, minerals and additives, so it’s important to read labels and know what you are adding to your diet. The body can only absorb 20 to 25 grams of protein during a meal. Anything more than that is pointless.
People with kidney concerns should be wary of this new trend. While the drink may be delicious, it could also be tough on the kidneys. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your protein intact. And, if you are going to take protein powder, review your options with a dietitian. Many brands are on the market, and it’s hard to pick one that’s high quality and free of harmful additives and fillers.
People like to decry the latest TikTok trends as being unhealthy. Many of them have been in the past! If you have a reason to limit your protein intake, this isn’t the drink for you. However, if you want to add more protein into your day and enjoy a frozen lemonade treat without a ton of carbs, this might be the perfect drink for you.