We consulted registered dietitians so you can find the right protein powder designed specifically for women.
Making sure you’re getting the right amount of protein every day is obviously a major part of a healthy diet, but when you think about which foods pack the most, it’s not always the most exciting options. Chicken, brown rice, broccoli, and eggs might be high-protein foods that immediately come to mind, but they aren’t really grab-and-go meals. However, it’s still important to make sure you’re fueling your body with enough protein, and that is especially true for women. That’s where finding the best protein powder for women comes into play.
Why do women need protein?
“Protein is essential to build and maintain muscle, especially for active women. [This macronutrient] is not only important for muscle-building and strength, but is used for a number of functions in the body, including hair and nail integrity, making hormones and enzymes, and immune system support,” says Jordan Mazur, MS, RD, Coordinator of Nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers. “Protein powders can be a great way to get extra protein in throughout the day or around your meals.”
How much protein do women need per day?
Let’s back up a minute: Curious about what protein intake is right for you?
“Women need a recommended minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound woman, that is about 54-60 grams of protein, or 20 grams per meal, more if you are working out and moderately to very active or if you are recovering from an injury or sickness,” explains Amanda Barnes, MS, RDN.
What are the benefits of protein powder for women?
OK, so are there benefits for women adding protein powder to their diets? The short answer: yes, it’s a good thing, especially for those who have been hitting the gym or just find themselves not eating enough foods that are high in protein.
Women may want to include protein powders in their diet if they are:
- Diet supplementation: If women are not consuming enough protein from whole foods, protein powder is an easy way to supplement your diet.
- You’re exercising: Women will have a higher protein need due to their activity level and mode of exercise (resistance training females require more).
- You want to lose weight: For women who would like to manage their weight, adding protein powder can help.
“Protein needs vary for each female based on their weight, activity level, and desire to maintain, lose, or gain weight,” says Ashley Reaver, MS, RD, CSSD, owner of Ashley Reaver Nutrition.