What Are The Best Protein Powders For Women?

Best Protein Powders For WomenIt’s long been a notion that protein powders are strictly for men.

It’s also been thought of as something only for massively bulking up and achieving the level where your arms can’t lay flat against your sides or your muscles are sprouting their own set of muscles.

(Hey, it’s a good look for some people!)

But, ladies, we can stop running in fear from protein powder.

There’s a new wave of fitness and ideals and luckily it’s more focused on health than looking stick skinny.

Many of us have tried the hours upon hours of looking like a gazelle about to be a lion’s prey on the elliptical machine, only to come home to a dinner made of rabbit food and precisely counted out baby carrots (ranch dressing is only a figment of your delightfully deprived imagination.)

We thought that tons of cardio and low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets, paired with unreasonable calorie restriction would lead to that perfect female body.

However, that thinking just had us set up for failure.

I can’t tell you how many times I geared myself up for that plan, only to fail due to being excessively hungry, energy deprived, and craving the entire Willy Wonka factory and possibly even Willy himself depending on how hungry I was or if he was in my proximity.

Deprivation doesn’t work.

And it can lead to harmful things like binge eating and malnutrition.

Insert new diet plans and new research, some of which actually focuses on the past and how our ancestors lived.

Our ancestors weren’t bellied up to fat-free pasta, cooked in I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, with a few Saltine crackers, and a Diet Coke.

We now see that protein might be the “golden ticket” to everything we’ve been looking for. (Why not keep the Willy Wonka theme going, right?)

We can all sing in joy at the fact that we can eat real food and real portions!

And this is all while still reaching our weight-loss and fitness goals.

We all generally want the same or a combination of the same things…

We want to be healthy and fit and happy (aka not driving ourselves mad in the process).

Protein and weight lifting are two components to female health and fitness that are spiking in popularity.

If you’ve perused social media lately or take to people watching at the gym, you’ll see that women are now frequenting the gym but are no longer gazelles on the elliptical.

They’re fierce lionesses kicking butt and taking names in the weight room and looking fan-freaking-tastic as a result.

You’ll see they also have their protein shakers close at hand and a scrumptious meal full of macronutrients they’re about to consume without one single regret.

So, how are they weight lifting and eating real portions of real food without looking like a masterfully crafted Hulkette?

For one, women’s testosterone levels are nowhere near that of men’s.

Testosterone is a key player in large muscle mass growth.

Adult men have about 270-1,070 ng/dL, whereas adult women only have 15-70 ng/dL.

Quick side point, ng/dL is just a super fancy shortcut for saying “nanograms per deciliter”, which is how testosterone is measured in the body.

Nanograms = one billionth of a gram, deciliter = equal to one tenth of a liter.

This means that women can lift weights without promptly busting out of their shirtsleeves.

What does happen is that weight-training builds lean muscle mass.

We like this!

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, which leads to weight loss.

What remains is the lean muscle that gives the bodacious “toned” look.

Protein swoops in and plays a huge part in the process of achieving your dream bod.

Protein helps build the lean muscle mass but consuming protein in food or powder form doesn’t immediately mean packing on muscle.

It’s a gradual process.

Weight-training involves creating microscopic tears in the muscle fibers.

Protein helps aid in the healing and repairing of these tears that eventually lead to greater muscle size and more strength.

Amino acids are what make up protein and they’re the body’s building blocks, including muscle protein.

So we know that protein is crucial for building that sexy, lean muscle mass, but what are the best protein powders for women?

We all want to find Cinderella’s equivalent to our perfect, protein-powdered slipper.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re a woman and looking for the perfect protein powder.

So let’s break down some of the best protein powders for women and see what will work best for you!

1. Whey protein

If you’re looking to lose weight, whey protein may be the best protein powder for you.

Whey comes from cow’s milk and has been researched to be an effective weight-loss tool because it’s highly thermogenic, meaning it burns a large amount of calories once you consume it.

A study done by Australian researchers showed that those who had 50 grams of whey protein showed significantly lower levels of ghrelin, which is the hormone that signals your brain that you’re hungry.

These levels stayed lower up for up 4 hours after having the whey protein powder drink.

This means that whey not only helps burn more calories but it also curbs your appetite and helps you feel fuller for longer.

All of these areas can lead to potential weight-loss.

Whey is also a great source of leucine, which is an amino acid that has a crucial impact on stimulating protein synthesis.

This makes whey especially good for maximizing muscle size and mass.

Whey is also quickly digested in the body, making it a great post-workout recovery drink.

Other research suggests that the components in whey make it a potential option for women looking to lose weight and gain muscle.

2. Casein

If you’re looking to build muscle and tone up, casein may be the best protein powder.

However, there’s still an ongoing debate on whether casein or whey is the very best for building muscle.

Casein also comes from cow’s milk, but it’s digested much more slowly than whey, which leads to a more gradual, steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream.

This slow-burning protein may lead to greater muscle growth in the long term.

It’s also a great protein powder to take right before bed because it can help speed up muscle recovery and repair.

3. Soy protein

Soy is a great alternative if you have allergies to whey or casein.

It’s also a suitable option for vegans, since it’s free of milk.

Unlike other plant based protein powders, soy is a complete protein.

Research shows that soy is considered a high-quality protein because it provides all essential amino acids in the necessary ratios that support development and growth of muscle tissues.

Soy also contains arginine, which promotes muscle formation and glutamine, which is needed during metabolic stress in the body.

A 12-week study, done on 41 individuals, showed that the intake of soy protein powder resulted in an increase of lean muscle mass.

Things to keep in mind…

Whether it’s whey, casein, or soy protein, there are a few things to keep in mind for women looking to supplement with protein powder.

Women don’t necessarily need their own special protein powder.

However, some specialized formulas may be useful depending on your specific needs.

Usually protein powder geared towards woman has less overall protein per serving.

This is because women’s daily protein requirement — regardless of wanting to lose weight, tone up, or bulk up — is still less than men.

So it’s helpful to have a product that has appropriate serving sizes and overall amounts for women’s recommended daily intake of protein.

Protein powder’s specifically made for woman usually also have added vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B6, and folic acid, which are particularly beneficial for women.

In conclusion…

Protein powder is a great tool to help women lose weight and also tone up.

When protein is combined with eating a balanced diet and regular exercise, especially weight training, it may be the ticket to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Specifically, whey, casein, and soy may be the best options for women looking for the ideal protein powder.

If you’re searching for a specific protein powder for your individual needs, be sure to check out our list of the 10 best protein powders.