There are many days where I rely on protein powder to help turn a snack (like a smoothie) into a full meal. I’ve found that there are many benefits to protein powder when used to supplement my nutrition, and today’s post will cover the different types of protein powders and how to best use them.
I’m also going to share some ways to make protein powder taste delicious and eliminate the “chalky” shake experience.
Protein Powder for Women
I’m sure you’ve noticed the growing marketing trend of specific products as the protein powder for women. From pink canisters to pretty branding, companies often want us to believe that some proteins are better suited for women.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. There is no gender difference in the benefits of a specific protein powder.
However, it is true that some protein powders can be more beneficial for women than others. In my opinion, the best protein powder for any woman is the one that tastes the best, fills any nutritional gaps, and is easily digested by the person drinking it, which is often person-specific.
The most common protein powders recommended for women are:
- Whey protein
- Pea protein
- Collagen protein
- Egg protein
- Hemp protein
- Rice protein
- Soy protein
- Plant-based proteins (other than pea)
Each type has its nutritional markup and benefits, which means that the real answer to the best protein powder for women is the one that fits that person’s dietary requirements and nutritional needs.
Whey, collagen, and plant-based proteins seem to be the most popular and beneficial options for women.
Easy to find both online and in local stores. It has been broadly studied and is completely safe for use.
Whey protein powder benefits are highest for women who may not consume enough calcium since it’s derived from dairy.
Studies show that the amino acid profile is great for women looking to maintain or gain muscle mass and have no issues digesting lactose, the protein found in milk.
A widely beneficial supplement outside of the scope of muscle mass. Research shows that collagen proteins can help strengthen hair and nails and improve skin texture.
Collagen protein also aids in joint and muscle recovery and may help improve gut health and digestion. However, most collagen is sourced from animals and not suitable for a strict vegan/vegetarian diet.
Bovine (animal) sourced collagen has both type I and type III collagen proteins, beneficial for bone, joint, and gut health.
That said, there are marine collagen proteins available with similar benefits derived from fish. Marine collagen provides type 1 collagen, which is good for joint and gut health and has high bioavailability.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate collagen powder is in my Bulletproof Coffee.
Ideal for women who cannot digest animal proteins have a lactose/dairy allergy, or whose skin is prone to breakouts and acne.
Plant-based proteins are not considered to be “a complete protein” but do contain essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and are beneficial for workout recovery.
Benefits of Protein Powder
The benefits of protein powder go beyond the essential amino acids they contain. Protein powder helps me recover post workouts since it’s easy to mix into a drink.
As a snack, it’s super convenient, and it helps me keep up my energy throughout the day.
I often mix protein powder into my oatmeal and eat it a couple of hours before my long runs (7+ miles) to keep me both full and fueled without having liquid sloshing around in my stomach.
The main benefit from a protein powder is that it helps add protein into your day, which can be hard to get from solid foods on busy days and with different dietary lifestyles.
Protein powder also provides an affordable protein option, aiding in digestive health (like from collagen protein), improving joint health, building muscle, and more.
Protein Powder Side Effects
Depending on the type of protein that you purchase, there can be some protein powder side effects.
This is another reason why it’s important to select the right type of protein powder for each individual. Side effects can be both positive and negative.
One of my favorite protein powder benefits is how easy it makes adding both protein and my vitamin and minerals into one.
While I don’t enjoy shakes of just water and protein, it is easy to make delicious high-protein coffee or smoothies in minutes without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
The most common negative side effect of some protein powders is that it may disrupt digestion. This is especially the case with whey protein powders because they concentrated milk proteins.
When this happens, symptoms include irregularity, gas, bloating, and fatigue. If you know you have a sensitive stomach, opt for more easily digested options such as a whey isolate or plant-based protein powders.
Similarly, those with acne-prone skin can sometimes suffer breakouts in or around the chin area when incorporating a new type of whey protein.
What Does Protein Powder Do?
Protein powder benefits vary slightly depending on which type of protein you choose. Overall, they provide nutritional support and often help maintain muscle mass – which is especially important for women.
Luckily, I’ve detailed what I feel are some of the Best Protein Powders for Women and provided details about each kind’s specific functions in this post as well as some of my favorite brands.
In the case of collagen protein, the biggest benefit is skin, hair, and nails as well as bone & joint support. That is the top reason why many women supplement with collagen protein.
How to Use Protein Powder for Weight Loss
There are ways to use protein powder for weight loss in your diet. I feel that shaking a 110 calorie scoop of protein + water is not the way to replace a meal if you want to lose weight.
Steady weight loss is achieved through proper nutrition, exercise, and proper recovery like sleep.
A reason why using protein powder can be beneficial for weight loss is because it is the most satiating macronutrient when compared to carbs and fats.
Therefore, no matter what diet approach you use, including keto, paleo, etc., it is likely to prioritize protein intake. This means that snacking options can be limited, and protein powders can be beneficial to help you stay satisfied throughout the day without adding too many calories.
This being said, not all protein powders are ideal for weight loss. Make sure to check the label of your protein powder for added sugars and flavors that can add both calories and carbohydrates.
If you want to keep calories low, opt for whey isolates or whey hydrosolate proteins as they are the lowest in carbs and fats. Collagen protein is also unflavored and considered a pure form of protein.
For a complete meal and nutritional option, choose protein powders that contain added vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that will help supplement and keep you full longer.
Adding a scoop to your morning smoothie, substituting your afternoon snack with a shake, or creating delicious recipes with protein powders will help to keep you satisfied, making weight loss easier.
Protein Powder Recipes
Of course, I have a few favorite protein powder recipes for you to try. They are easy to make, simple to incorporate into your diet, and taste delicious!
- Protein Pancakes – I love replacing flour with vanilla protein powder in my morning pancakes. While these aren’t as thick as my traditional fluffy pancakes recipe, they are full of flavor and always a huge hit.
- Protein Smoothies – Smoothies are the classic “protein powder” recipe, and it’s easy to see why. They’re easy to make, and if you’re still getting used to using protein powder, it’s easy to disguise the flavor under tasty fruits and veggies.
- Protein Muffins – Adding a scoop of protein powder to the muffin mix is a great way to add flavor. While these aren’t as moist as traditional muffins, they’re a great easy breakfast or a quick snack.
- Instant Oatmeal – Adding protein to oatmeal creates the perfect balance of protein, complex carbs, and fiber. It makes the ideal post-workout snack.
- Protein Ice Cream – Blending protein powder, bananas, and your milk of choice creates a creamy ice cream-like dessert to cure your ice cream cravings without spiking your blood sugar.
- Protein Cheesecake – This recipe has quite a few steps but is super easy. Adding protein powder to the cheesecake filling creates a dense texture that replicates everyone’s favorite dessert.
What are some of the reasons you purchase protein powder? How do you use it and for what benefits?