To follow up my post on the best protein powder for men, I thought it was only fair to do the same for women. I am a big supporter of being health conscious for everyone, men and women included. In many regards women and men can have similar diets, but there are a few considerations that I think need to be addressed when determining what the best protein powder for women is.
Why Protein Shakes for Women?
Don’t Let the Packaging Put You Off
First of all, should women drink protein shakes? After all most of the products are clearly targeted towards men; you know the ones I’m talking about… “GET JACKED!” “. RIPPED” “HUGE PUMP”. Well for now if you’re interested in protein, you don’t have a huge selection if you want to avoid those companies, but you don’t necessarily have to and here’s why.
Regardless of how they market the product, you should choose your protein powder based on the ingredients and nutrition of the product, not what the label says. In fact, labels are often misleading as they are often marketing gimmicks, so don’t feel weird buying any powders just because you’re a woman.
Moving on, do women need the extra protein? One of the things I want to discuss is that women do on average need less calories than men, with NHS putting the average maintenance calories at 2500 for men compared to only 2000 for women. Consequently, women also need a bit less protein, but still more than you might think.
The Institute of Medicine specifies that women should have a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (about 0.4g/lb), but any woman who is active can need up to double that amount! For example, a 130 lb woman who works out a few times a week probably wants to aim for about 0.7 grams of protein per lb, which in this case is 91 grams per day; this is a LOT!
Enter Protein Shakes for Women
If you have the time input a typically days’ worth of nutrition into a calculator like MyFitnessPal to see how much protein you get, it probably isn’t as much as you may think. This is exactly when protein shakes for women or men are useful. You can easily get typically 15-25 grams easily whenever you need it, or you can sub out food for shakes occasionally for convenience.
Differences in Protein Powders for Men and Women
This is arguably the most important section of this article. Once you understand what you need to consider as opposed to men, I will recommend some of the best options in general for women, or you can use the protein comparison chart on the homepage where I have compiled several products and all the most important characteristics.
Men Need More Calories
We already more or less covered this. You must consider your calories and see where protein shakes figure into them. Protein shakes consist of protein (obviously) and often carbs on top of that. If you need to keep carbs down while getting the protein avoid shakes filled with other calories. This is something you can easily sort for on the chart on the home page.
Women Are More Likely to Get Protein from Few Sources
Let’s be honest, men are pretty much always eating throughout the day. While there are some negatives from this it means they have a much more consistent source of protein. Conversely, women often only get significant protein at one, maybe two meals a day. If you’re incorporating protein shakes because you feel you need more consistent energy and recovery throughout the day you may prefer a casein protein supplement instead of a whey or soy supplement (More info on all of these on the homepage if needed). Alternatively, if you are specifically going to add protein shakes to improve your recovery and results from the gym the standard advice of getting a whey protein for after a workout is still solid, as it will absorb quickly so it can be used to repair muscle tissue.
Consider Any Diet Restrictions
This applies to both women and men, but in general I have found that women who care about their health are more likely to be vegetarian or vegan when compared to men. Statistics back this up as well, with 7% of the women U.S. population being vegetarian compared to 4% of men. If you are a vegetarian, you can still find a protein powder for you, you just need to avoid whey and casein as they are milk proteins.
Your best bet is to go with a soy-based protein, which again you can sort for on the homepage chart. You will unfortunately not have a huge selection, but you can still find a quality product.
The Best Protein Powders for Women (In my opinion)
A final reminder that you can use the chart on the homepage if you want more options. The following 3 recommendations are based on the main criteria that people typically look for in a protein shake.
1. The Best Low Carb/Calorie Protein Shake
As discussed before, if we’re trying to cut down on calories carbs should be the first to go. In this case NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate is a great choice. There are less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving, and a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving. Remember that you don’t need to drink a full serving at a time, you could always have half a serving if you didn’t need that much protein. If you need a 0-carb protein powder you will have to look into a casein protein powder – in other words continue on to #2!
2. The Best Slow Absorbing Shake
I mentioned before that casein is the slowest absorbing protein, which makes it the best choice if you’re looking for a steady supply during the day or possibly during the night. Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein is the leader in casein protein powder and has been for some time. Get this, 0 carbs as well! Could it get any better? Why yes in fact, there’s one more thing that makes this product awesome, it comes in…wait for it…12 different flavors! I don’t care who you are you are going to find at least 1 that you like.
3. The Best Protein Shake for Vegetarian Women
Finally, I always think it is a good idea to consider alternative options to the mainstreams like Whey and Casein. Soy Protein is the best option for vegetarian or vegan women who still want to get their protein on! Garden of Life Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein is a fantastic product in this case. Do vegetarians need to suffer on taste? NOPE! While you can get it as unflavored, you can also get chocolate or vanilla. You can get 17 grams of protein per serving and there are 0 net carbs. Click Here For vegan protein reviews and ratings.
Wrapping it Up
So, what is the best protein powder for women? Well, the answer is it depends on the women, everyone is unique. If you still are unsure about protein powder there is a TON of information on the homepage as well as many more products that you can check out. If you have any questions just click on contact at the top of the page or leave me a comment below!