Women’s Protein Guide
Whether the goal is weight loss, muscle repair or more protein intake, protein powder is a good option for women. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is not a magic weight loss bullet, but it can be a useful aid that supplements a healthy diet.
Adequate levels of protein are essential for good health, and protein shakes can help women get more of this nutrient into their diets. Determining the best protein powder for women to lose weight, however, can be a daunting task. The protein supplement industry has catered to men for a long time through powders, bars and shakes. Choosing the right product from ones that are designed for men can pose a challenge for women.
Fortunately, recent years have seen an increase in supplement marketing to women. Companies are creating protein products that are formulated especially for a woman’s health needs. It is now common to use protein powder for weight loss or simply to get more protein into the diet.
Protein Powder for Women
How does protein powder for women differ from products for men? In principle, they are virtually the same. Many women use the same supplement than men take, and most products are formulated for both genders. Protein is a vital nutrient, after all, and men and women both need it to stay healthy.
That said, men and women have different bodies and different dietary requirements. Women often use protein powder for womens wieght loss, while men take protein to bulk up their muscles. Because of their design, women require less protein per serving than men need. Protein formulas for women also contain additional vitamins that benefit their health needs, including B vitamins, iron and folic acid.
Protein supplements have come a long way since the early days, when flavor options were few and far between. People were limited to chalky powders that did not dissolve easily. Today, they have more options that mix and taste better. From whey and casein to soy and egg, there is a protein powder formula for everyone.
Whey Protein Powder
According to Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine, whey protein is the most popular protein on the market. Whey protein powder, a milk derivative, may be the best protein powder for women to lose weight. Whey has high level branch-chained amino acids (BCCAs) such as leucine and valine, which are crucial for protein synthesis. BCCAs are the building blocks of muscle, and more muscle means more calories burned.
Isolates are lower in carbohydrates, fats and lactose than other whey products. They generally taste better than other products too, but they often contain higher levels of sodium. Whey protein is also available as concentrates and hydrolysates. Concentrates are less expensive than isolates and hydrolysates, but they yield less protein. All whey products digest more quickly than other types of protein powder.
Casein Protein Powder
Casein is another good protein powder for women. This rich protein source contains bioactive milk peptides that encourage muscle growth. It also supports immune system functioning to help women fight illness and stay healthy.
Casein is a slow-digesting protein that releases amino acids over time. This makes it an excellent choice for preventing muscle breakdown. Most women take casein protein at night, which allows the product to repair and build muscle during sleep.
Soy Protein Powder
Soy protein powder is effective for womens wieght loss because of its fat-free properties. It provides all of the amino acids necessary for protein synthesis and muscle repair. However, the body cannot absorb soy as easily as whey.
Like casein, soy protein supports the immune system. It also helps the body maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Soy protein is a good option for people who follow a vegetarian diet, and it also benefits those who are lactose-intolerant. Women can find soy protein powder in sugar-free versions as well.
Egg Protein Powder
Egg protein is a slow-digesting protein that is best taken with between-meal snacks. This fat-free, cholesterol-free product contains an abundance of amino acids, including high levels of arginine. Egg protein is typically combined with other proteins in a powder blend.
Choosing the Best Powder
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The key to finding the best protein powder for weight loss is to look for one that provides protein as well as carbohydrates and fiber. Women who use protein to lose weight should look for low-sugar products with fewer than seven carbohydrate grams per serving. On the other hand, artificial sweeteners can cause hunger cravings that wreak havoc on weight loss efforts.
In general, women can use the same protein powder that men use, if they follow the serving suggestions for women. Supplementing their diet with protein powder shakes is a healthy way to get more of a vital nutrient. Fortunately, today’s women have many protein options. The answer to “What is the best protein powder for women?” really depends on individual dietary goals, budgets and personal preferences.
Guest, Nanci S. (2011) “Protein Powders: Which One is For You?” Oxygen Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2013. http://www.oxygenmag.com/Nutrition/Articles/protein-powders-which-one-is-for-you.aspx/
Zeratsky, Katherine. (April 17, 2012) “Protein Shakes: Good for Weight Loss?” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved January 15, 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/protein-shakes/AN01332/
Above are sources for information on the best protein powder for women.