Protein is often one of the most misunderstood macronutrients when it comes to female nutrition. Often associated with hulk-like guys, chugging it down to achieve monster-sized mass—it has, for some women, been assumed to be a no-go area.
Yet, that’s both a shame and a mistake.
Sure, protein can help women achieve muscle gains if that’s their target. But equally, it has numerous other benefits that can assist with overall female health and fitness—and that’s what I’m going to make clear.
This article gives you everything you need to know about female protein intake—what it is, how it works, and the advantages it can bestow. What’s more, I have put together a list of what I consider to be the best protein powder products for women available today.
So, let’s get started and get protein working for you!
What Are Protein Powders for Women?
Protein powders are natural health supplements that can assist you in reaching or exceeding your protein intake targets.
The majority of these powders are formed from whey, a by-product created when milk is processed into cheese. That being said, there are increasingly other forms of these powders using soy, casein, egg, peas, and hemp as their base, providing similar benefits.
Protein powders can be mixed with water, milk, soy milk or almond milk, to make a protein “shake”. Some are flavored, while others are not.
Depending on your protein requirements (discussed below), they are usually taken once or twice a day, as an addition to a meal or a complete alternative.
Why Do I Need a Protein Supplement?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, together with fats and carbohydrates, which are crucial for wellbeing. Usually, this macro is absorbed into the body through food consumption—most often from sources such as meat, beans, eggs, or fish.
When digested, they’re broken down into amino acids which provide numerous benefits for the female body—more about that later on. Some of these amino acids, known as essential amino acids, cannot be synthesized by the body itself—they have to be ingested.
However, dietary intake can often be insufficient for your body’s needs. Consuming too many processed products, eating a lot of takeouts, food intolerances, vegetarianism, and veganism, can often leave us girls lacking in this important macro.
Furthermore, fitness choices can have an impact too. If you’re pushing yourself hard at the gym to obtain a gorgeous beach body, your muscles need fuel to build—more than the ordinary Jane on the street.
Hence, the best protein powder for women can enable us to hit or exceed our protein targets—simply and easily. And the benefits they provide are incredible.
What Are the Health Benefits of Protein Supplements?
Protein Powders Improve Weight Loss
When trying to drop the tummy, butt, and thigh fat, consuming protein may not immediately spring to mind. Yet, research has indicated it’s a powerful pound-shedding tool.
Protein acts as an appetite suppressant. So, if too large portions or infrequent snacking are an issue—this potent macro can be the answer. It achieves this through two main processes.
Firstly, it works better than carbohydrates in reducing the feeling of hunger. Studies have shown that consuming protein reduces the secretion of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” This is what tells the brain the body needs sustenance and creates the yearning for food.
Secondly, protein promotes a feeling of satiety, meaning that after consumption you feel fuller, and the desire to eat a second portion is reduced.
Protein Powders Build Muscle
If you’re looking to achieve a tight and toned figure, you need protein. The perfect beach body requires defined muscles—otherwise, you can develop the skinny-fat appearance—little fat but no shape or definition.
Let me be clear. I’m not talking about a Schwarzenegger-esque physique here! That comes through some seriously heavy weight training and masculine traits from dangerous anabolic steroids. But, for a shapely figure, your muscles need protein.
After exercise, muscles repair and rebuild through muscle protein synthesis—they’re broken down into amino acids which fuel this process. Too little of this macro and your gym work will all be in vain. Therefore, for an awesome figure—use the best protein powder for women.
Protein Powders Prevent Disease
Being 21st-century women—work, family, friends, and indeed exercise all make significant demands on our time. If we fall ill, this can dramatically affect our ability to function on top form.
Protein can act as a barrier to illness, allowing us always to be on top of our game. To fight disease we need antibodies (themselves proteins) which are produced by the plasma in the blood.
Experts have proven that an adequate dietary intake of protein is required to build these antibodies—with women suffering from protein malnutrition having weakened and ineffective immune systems.
Protein Powders Build Healthy and Strong Nails, Hair, and Skin
How often have you walked down the aisle of your local health store and seen the plethora of products purporting to be the answer to beautiful nails, skin, and hair?
The truth is, protein powders can provide the most potent answer to these essentials of female beauty. The amino acids in dietary protein form the basis of keratin and collagen production. Keratin promotes strong and shiny hair and nails, where collagen provides elasticity to the skin—alleviating wrinkles and reducing the signs of aging.
How Much Protein Do Women Need?
For women, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended that consumption of 46 grams of protein is required for good health (it works out to be about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight).
The Best Protein Powder for Women
After extensive research, and to save you time, I’ve put together what I consider to be the best protein powder for women. Each one has been specifically selected due to its ability to promote female health benefits.
In my opinion, this has to be the best protein powder for women 2019. With a massive dosage of 24 grams of protein per serving, it hits over 50 percent of your recommended daily requirement in just one shake.
The main source of protein in this supplement is whey isolate, a form which has most of the lactose and fat content removed. This means that it will not promote weight gain to the extent that whey concentrate forms can.
It also includes four grams of glutamine—an essential amino acid that can prevent the breaking down of muscles. This can occur when either doing extensive cardio exercise or consuming too few calories to meet your energy requirements. Hence, with this protein powder, you can maintain a toned physique which would otherwise be lost.
- Contains five grams of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
- Made from mainly whey protein isolate, the most potent form of whey.
- Available in a choice of nine different flavors.
- A large 5-pound container—which can reduce ordering frequency.
- There’s no unflavored option.
This supplement is manufactured by Legion Athletics, one of the best known and trusted fitness nutritionists on the market. Looking at the ingredients, I would suggest that this is the best protein powder for women for weight loss.
I’ll tell you why.
Firstly, it’s made from 100 percent whey protein isolate. With all of the fat removed (unlike concentrate), this powder will not pack on the pounds. Secondly, it contains no fattening simple carbohydrate sugars.
Instead, the sweetness is provided by Stevia, a naturally occurring sweetener that is calorie free. Finally, it includes only three grams of carbs—meaning you are not adding to your current daily intake of this macronutrient.
Each container provides 30 servings, delivering a large dose of 22 grams of protein per shake.
- Produced from milk sourced from Irish dairy farms.
- 100 percent lactose-free.
- Naturally sweetened yet supplying no unwanted calories.
- Free from GMOs, hormones, artificial colors or antibiotics.
- Available in four flavors.
- Probably the best protein powder for fat loss.
- A premium price for a premium product.
For women looking for something extra in their protein powders, this supplement from Nature’s Bounty delivers. The extensive ingredients make it probably the best protein powder for women’s health available on the market today.
With a holistic approach to female wellbeing, this product could be all you ever need in supplementation—meaning no more shelves full of numerous bottles and containers.
It includes over one billion Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bifidum probiotics, proven to improve the digestive system and raise immune health. Additionally, the incorporation of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, D, folic acid and niacin provide the benefits of alleviating the chance of strokes, strengthening bones, preventing cancer, and reducing heart disease.
Despite these numerous other ingredients, this powder still provides a solid dosage of 15 grams of protein in every serving.
- A protein powder that provides a complete solution to female health supplementation.
- Competitively priced.
- Guaranteed for potency and purity after being laboratory tested.
- Choice of only two flavors.
- May lack sufficient protein for women looking to build impressive muscle.
For women looking to make serious muscle development, this is an ideal supplement to take alongside heavy resistance training workouts. Its powerful formulation means that it could be considered the best protein powder for women’s weight gain.
Each scoop gives a massive 26 grams of protein in every serving—making it ideal for fuelling muscle protein synthesis. What’s more, for the body to be in the ideal anabolic state, it requires calorie supplying fats to power this growth. As this protein powder is made from 97 percent whey concentrate—all of the inherent milk fat remains (unlike isolate).
Additionally, this supplement has been designed to deliver protein over a sustained 8-hour period. This alleviates the sometimes impractical requirement of consuming protein powders before and after workouts—simply take just one shake per day.
- Generous 50 servings per tub.
- The best protein powder for women looking to gain impressive muscle.
- Designed to deliver protein over an extended period.
- 26 grams of protein per serving.
- Available in just 3 flavors.
- Too potent for women who are looking to lose weight.
For those who are concerned about the provenance of their supplements, this product could be the answer. In my opinion, I would consider it the best protein powder for women looking for the most natural solution.
This powder is non-denatured—that is, unlike many whey supplements where the amino acids are broken down, making them less efficient—this supplement retains its overall integrity and power.
What’s more, this protein powder is produced from one of the most natural sources. The milk is provided from Australian dairy cows which have been fed all-year-round on grass (instead of unnatural hay and grain). Furthermore, it’s free from GMO, hormones, chemicals, and pesticides.
For the health conscious, it’s gluten-free and soy-free, with no added sugars.
This concentration on natural production has not diminished its benefits. It still packs in 15 grams of protein, including all nine essential amino acids, together with 75 mg of calcium to support female bone health.
- 100 percent money back guarantee if not completely satisfied.
- Sourced from grass-fed cow milk.
- Available in flavored or unflavored formulations.
- Suitable for women who are gluten intolerant.
- Dried at ambient temperature to preserve the integrity of the protein content.
- Contains all nine essential amino acids.
- Lacks sufficient protein for serious muscle building power.
- Some users found it has a gritty texture.
Best Protein Powder for Women Summary
Protein supplements are not just for those people looking to pile on the muscle. Not only can they assist in reaching the recommended dietary intake of this macro, but they also provide the additional benefits of enhancing weight loss, boosting the immune system and enhancing skin, hair, and nail beauty.
In my opinion, the best protein powder for women is Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition. Its 24 grams of protein, provided from mainly whey protein isolate, make it a potent supplement but without the disadvantages that lactose and fat can provide.
However, that being said, all the other protein powders listed here are also awesome in their own way. From the natural sourcing of Wild Whey, the weight loss properties of Whey+ and the all-around female health benefits of Nature’s Bounty—there’s a protein supplement ideal for your own requirements.
So, start today on fulfilling your health and fitness potential by using the best protein powder for women.