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What Is Protein Powder?
Based on information provided by CNN, sales of protein powder in the USA, are expected to reach upwards of 7.5 billion dollars by the year 2020. Aggressive marketing by many supplement manufacturers are the main reason for these projections, where they target 4 primary markets:
- Athletes and those with active lifestyles looking to build muscle and increase performance
- Individuals who wish to lose or manage their weight
- Vegetarians and vegans who wish to enhance their current diet
- People who are looking for quick healthy meals to replace fast food and processed food
Quite simply, protein powders are dehydrated forms of milk or dairy products, soy products, or plant-based products, which result in a powder. The powder can be mixed with liquids such as water or milk, used as an ingredient in a smoothie, or included in baking.
Types Of Protein Powders
- Whey Powder
Whey is a by product of cheese making, and the most popular source of protein powder amongst those looking to build muscle. Isolate and concentrate whey protein are the purest forms of protein and absorb quickly into the system. In addition, they are high in BCAA’s which are amino acids responsible for repairing and re-building muscle.
- Casein Protein
Casein is a protein found in milk, which is very high in amino acids. The benefit is that they are slowly released into the bloodstream and in turn the muscle, providing muscle building post workout and while sleeping.
- Weight Gain Powders
Generally used by body builders in their bulking phase. Weight gainers can be whey, casein, or both, however, additionally calories are added generally in the form of carbohydrates.
- Egg Based Protein
Made by dehydrating the whites of eggs and are generally high in amino acids and other vital vitamins and minerals.
- Soy Protein
Most commonly found in vegan protein powders and made by drying soy until it reaches a powder form. Soy is also very high in amino acids.
- Rice Protein
A great source of carbs, and very high in protein once it is processed into a powder form.
- Hemp Protein
Extracted from the cannabis plant, hemp protein is high in fiber, essential fatty acids, and known for its hypoallergenic properties.
- Pea Protein
A great vegan alternative, pea protein acts much like casein as it delivers slow release amino acids over a long period of time.
The Difference Between Protein Powder For Women Versus Men
One of the biggest myths surrounding the use of protein powder by women, is that they will build muscle, and bulk up to the same extent as a man. Nothing could be further from the truth, as men are larger in nature, and have a lot more testosterone than women. Testosterone is the substance which is responsible for creating large muscle masses in men.
In fact, unless a woman is on a high dose of steroids, or taking excessive hormones, it is physically impossible to achieve the same muscle mass as men. Therefore, women do not require different types of protein powders, they just need to take less.
Does this mean that protein powder supplement companies are pulling the wool over our eyes and simply calling the same product “protein powder for women”? The answer is no!
There are many products on the market which are specifically marketed as protein powder for women, and most have additional ingredients which women require. These include ingredients such as vitamin D, folic acid, and calcium, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals in which women may be deficient.
Below is a list of the top 10 protein powders for women we have compiled based on researching the internet and reading customer reviews.
Top 10 Protein Powders For Women
- Her Whey – The Ultimate Lean Protein
At the #1 position is Her Whey – The Ultimate Lean Protein, a glucose free protein supplement specifically formulated for women. No longer do women have to settle for vegan-based protein powders which are too soft to be effective or male protein powders which can too harsh for most women.
Every scoop contains 28 grams of protein, 180 calories, 5 grams of branched-chained amino acids (BCAA) which are the building blocks for protein, 10 grams of Glutamine, and 24 essential vitamins and minerals. Her Whey can be mixed with 16 ounces of water to make a great tasting shake, added to your favorite smoothie, or used in pancake batter.
In addition, Her Whey The Ultimate Lean Protein can be used as a pre or post workout booster, as a snack between meals, or as a protein-rich meal replacement. Finally, this protein powder for women, is an ideal supplement to promote lean muscle building, subdue appetite, and supply nutrients to support high intensity training.
Her Whey The Ultimate Lean Protein has a 4.1 Star rating based on 265 reviews, and is 5Star in our books.
- Scientifically formulated for the unique needs of women
- Contains low carbs which helps in alleviating the cravings for junk food
- Facilitates lean muscle growth, supports recovery of muscles, and provides fuel for high intensity training
- Can be taken daily, and contains fast and slow release nutrients to ensure round the clock effectiveness
- Complaints about the taste of the product, especially the vanilla flavor
- Does not include a measuring cup
- LadyBoss Lean – Premium Protein For Women
Ladyboss Lean – Premium Protein For Women, is a meal replacement, weight loss supplement specifically formulated to facilitate the unique requirements of women. Each package contains 30 servings of this tasty, creamy, nutritional shake which stimulates loss of fat, boosts the immune system, and is loaded with 18 crucial vitamins and minerals.
LadyBoss Lean is manufactured by LadyBoss Labs, and use the slogan, “Supplements Backed By Science”. They can confidently boast that claim, as all the 54 primary ingredients which are used in the LadyBoss line of women supplements, are backed by at least 3 scientific research papers.
The LadyBoss Lean formula includes the following:
- Proprietary Digestive Enzymes to promote digestion
- Patented Fiber Blend called Fibersol-2 creates a feeling of fullness and regularity
- Quality Grass Fed Whey Protein too build lean muscle and promote fat loss
- 15 Female Friendly Vitamin & Minerals including vitamins A, C, and E
- Biotin from the vitamin B family to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Stevia Redaudiana leaves used as a natural sweetener
- Can be taken at breakfast, as a dinner replacement, as a snack, late night, post workout, and great for baking
- Suppresses appetite, curbs cravings for sugar, and creates a perfect weight loss setting
- Specifically formulated for women, recognizing uniqueness in body composition and hormones
- Uses the LadyBoss Lean formula to maximize effectiveness
- Backed by scientific studies
- Price point may be somewhat high for some
The LadyBoss Lean – Premium Protein For Women, has a 5 Star rating, and although the price is somewhat higher than competitors, it is well worth the investment.
- FitMiss Delight – Women’s Complete Protein Shake
FitMiss Delight – Women’s Complete Protein Shake, is one of many FitMiss supplement products, created for women, and designed to facilitate their dietary needs, increase energy levels, manage their weight, build lean muscle mass, control body composition, and promote overall health and wellness.
FitMiss Delight uses a proprietary fast acting vegetable-based protein called SolaThin, which creates the feeling of being full, along with providing a day’s worth of necessary nutrients, digestive enzymes, and high-quality calories.
It is this scientifically formulated combination of ingredients which deliver nutrition to lean muscle tissue, stimulates fat loss and increases overall energy.
The FitMiss Delight is a gluten free, low carbohydrate shake, but does include milk and soy products.
The FitMiss Delight – Women’s Complete Protein Shake, has a 4 Star rating based on 4,490 customer reviews, which we believe speaks for itself.
- Proprietary Solathin that helps with making you feel full faster, thus reducing the desire to over eat
- Very high in vegetable-based protein and low in carbs, curbing hunger for hours
- Unique blend of fruits and vegetables delivers optimal levels of digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals
- Stimulates weight loss and builds lean muscle mass
- May not be suitable for some diets as it contains milk and soy products
- Flavors do not taste like their name
- Jamie Eason Signature Series Whey Protein
Jamie Eason Signature Series Whey Protein, arose from a partnership between Jamie Eason, a world-renowned fitness model, and Labrada Nutrition, a world leader in nutritional supplements. Having used the Labrada line of nutritional supplements for many years, Jamie felt the quality and effectiveness of the Labrada name would be the perfect fit for her own product line.
Lean Body for Her Whey Protein Isolate is entirely gluten and lactose free, and unlike many of the competitors, is delivered at a price which every woman can afford. In addition, the Signature Series Whey Protein, uses isolate as opposed to concentrate. Isolate is the purest form of protein, resulting in fast absorption and containing a low level of carbohydrates.
This woman’s protein powder does not contain any genetically modified organisms, artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives or artificial sweeteners. The product is as pure as it gets.
The Jamie Eason Signature Series Whey Protein has a 4.5 Star based on 67 customer reviews and ranks #4 on our list.
- Contains 25 grams of extremely high-quality protein and only 3 grams of fat
- Extremely pure as it is free from gluten, lactose, additives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors
- Smooth, creamy texture, and very delicious
- Manufactured and backed by the highly respected brand Labrada Nutrition
- Some complaints about a poor taste and after taste
- Although the current price point is reasonable, it has recently increased substantially
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
Optimum Nutrition is not only one of the largest sports nutrition manufacturers in the World, but also one of the best in terms of high standards and quality assurance.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, is a testament to that statement, as the product is produced by precisely combining Whey Protein Isolates with Concentrated Whey powder, to produce a protein powder which they say is “the standard by which other protein powders are measured”.
In addition, there are at least 4 grams of Glutamine & Glutamic Acid in each serving which minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue, and help the body metabolize protein. Finally, each serving includes approximately 5 grams of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which act as the building blocks for protein.
The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder has a 4.5 Star rating based on a whopping 16,385 customer reviews. We think those numbers speak for themselves.
- The protein powder is specially formulated to quickly dissolve in a shaker cup or glass and a spoon
- ON uses the highest quality ingredients and has stringent quality assurance measures in place
- Ingredients include a combination of protein isolates and protein concentrate allowing 24 grams of pure protein to be loaded into each serving
- Comes in 30 different flavors, and can be taken to start the day, pre-workout, or post workout
- Contains natural glutamine, glutamic acid, BCAA’s, leucine, isoleucine, and valine
- ON recently changed the formula and removed Amidogen, a digestive enzyme
- Many flavors, however, some complaints about the taste
- MuscleTech NitroTech Protein Powder
MuscleTech NitroTech Protein Powder, is really the powerhouse of protein powders as it contains a full 30 grams of protein using a combination of whey isolate protein and whey peptide protein. NitroTech is designed for the male or female athlete who is looking to build muscle, increase strength, and reach high performance levels.
Muscle Tech boasts that they are the #1 selling supplement brand in the United States, and that scientific studies have proven that NitroTech build 70% more muscle than conventional protein powders.
In addition to the high protein count, it also contains 5 grams of glutamine and precursor, 6.8 grams of BCAA plus, and 3 grams of creatine in each serving.
MuscleTech NitroTech Protein Powder has a 4.3 Star rating based on 1,420 customer reviews and is a perfect protein powder for women or men who are looking to build muscle and strength.
- Uses two of the cleanest and purest protein sources available, whey peptide and whey isolate
- Includes creatine which has been proven to enhance muscle building in conjunction with high protein levels
- Contains 30 grams of protein, 6.8 grams of BCAA, 3 grams of creatine, and 4 grams of glutamine
- Builds 70% more muscle than conventional protein powders
- Very powerful and harsh, and may not be suitable for some women
- Some complaints about the taste and occasional allergic reaction to the high protein level
- BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder
BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder, although not specifically formulated for women, is extremely popular choice of many women based on the 5,000+ customer reviews on Amazon. SYNTHA-6 targets individuals with an active lifestyle, heavily involved in physical exercise, and is used to repair and build muscle.
The manufacturer Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc., (BSN), is dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation, and as a result, has gain a reputation of being a World leader in sport nutrition supplements.
Each scoop of BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder contains 22 grams protein per serving, 5 grams of fiber per serving, and 10 grams of essential amino acids. It is available in 10 delicious flavors and is by far the best tasting protein powder on the market.
BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder has a 4.6 Star rating based on 5,929 customer reviews and is without question a premium protein powder for women.
- Excellent blend of proteins including Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate to maximize muscle repair and building
- Come in 10 flavors and tastes exactly like a smooth, creamy milkshake
- Packed with 22 grams of protein in conjunction with fiber and amino acids
- Can be taken morning, day or night, and is effective pre and post workout
- Uses sucralose, an artificial sweetener to add flavor
- Some complaints of bloating and gas which is a side effect of high protein intake
- Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, is an ideal protein powder for women and a great substitute for its non-vegan counterparts. To make this protein powder vegan friendly, Orgain uses organic pea, brown rice, chia seed, and hemp protein in place of milk and soy proteins.
A single serving contains 21 grams of plant-based protein, 5 grams of organic fiber, 3 grams of net carbs, and no sugar. In addition, each serving contains only 150 calories for those who are weight conscious.
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is great for the both the athlete or individuals who have an active lifestyle. The protein powder can be used post workout, as a meal replacement or snack, and is also great for smoothies and baking.
The Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder has a 4.0 Star rating based on 4,763 customer reviews and, although it sits at #8 on our list, could be ranked much higher.
- 100% vegan formula which still packs 21 grams of plant-based proteins
- Gluten free, kosher, vegan, non-GMO, soy and dairy free, and contains no artificial ingredients
- Ideal protein powder for women, especially those who lead an active lifestyle
- Creamy chocolate fudge flavor tastes great
- Contains no BCAA’s which may be required to maximize effectiveness
- Amino acid count is much lower as a result of plant based protein sources
- Garden of Life Organic Raw Fit
Garden of Life Organic Raw Fit, is a USDA approved plant-based protein powder for women, which is specifically designed for weight loss. The 13 raw primary ingredients are produced at very low temperatures to protect the integrity of the amino acids which can be compromised at higher temperatures.
What sets Garden of Life Organic Raw Fit apart from other vegan protein powders for women is the inclusion of tried and tested ingredients such as Green Coffee Bean Extract, Raw Food Created Chromium and Organic Cinnamon. These ingredients have proven to aid in fat burning, manage blood sugar levels, increase energy, and lose weight.
In addition, it contains live probiotics and special enzymes which assist in digestion and protect the gut.
Garden of Life Organic Raw Fit has a 4 Star rating based on 2,179 customer reviews.
- Is packed with 28 grams of plant-based proteins, and 5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) to build up the protein
- Formulated to reduce hunger cravings, and create a full feeling for a long period of time
- 100% dairy and soy free, and contains less than 1 gram of sugar
- USDA approval means 100% organic, contains no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides, and is GMO, hormone, antibiotic free
- Numerous complaints about a formula change in 2016 where pea protein was added
- The taste is unappealing to some
- ProMix Nutrition Container of Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein
ProMix Nutrition Container of Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein, without question has the highest standards of its ingredients in the protein powder industry today. In fact, every ingredient can be precisely traced back to it origin.
As the name implies, the powder is not flavored, meaning that it can be mixed with your favorite base to create a flavor unique to you. Each ProMix serving is loaded with 25 grams of whey protein and 5.9 grams of BCAA’s which are used to build up proteins. In addition, it contains a single serving includes 180 grams of Glutathione, a potent anti-oxidant.
ProMix Nutrition is corn, soy, and gluten free, and contains no genetically modified organisms (GMO), hormones, or additives. It is as pure as it gets.
ProMix Nutrition Container of Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein, has a 4.5 Star rating based on 1,572 customer reviews, as is a great protein powder for women who are looking to lose weight and build muscle.
- Will build muscle and burn fat when taken post workout
- 100% Grass-fed, and free from heavy metals, GMO’s, gluten, soy and anything artificial
- Includes sunflower lecithin to provide additional nutrients and allow for greater mixability
- Contains 25 grams of whey protein and 5.9 grams of BCAA’s, as well as the anti-oxidant glutathione
- Although not confirmed, some users feel the formula has changed
- Price point may be too high for those on limited budgets