How To Choose The Best Protein Powder For Women
Protein powders are not regulated, so its important to source products from reputable suppliers, like the ones in this guide. Yasi Ansari, a registered dietitian, recommends looking for a product that has been third-party tested, for example by NSF or Informed Choice.
She adds: There are a lot of products out there that contain protein powder but also have added artificial sugars and sugar alcohols. Sometimes these can cause gastrointestinal discomfort gas, cramping, loose stools. If youre taking a protein supplement, look out for these symptoms.
Sophie Medlin also says she looks for a product with as few ingredients as possible. I am a big fan of whey protein isolate for my patients because it is lactose-free and usually doesnt have any other ingredients, but contains the right blend of amino acids for muscle building, she says.
When it comes to the best vegan protein powder, she recommends looking for a blend of protein sources to make sure that all amino acids are covered. Again, I would prefer for this to contain as few colorings and flavorings as possible, but this is much trickier in a vegan protein product because the protein sources can have strong, unpalatable flavors, she says.
When Should Women Drink Protein Shakes
The goal of protein shakes is to assist in meeting daily protein needs. Protein shakes may not be appropriate for everyone, especially if you are meeting your protein needs with diet alone. However, if there are nutritional gaps in the diet, or you simply cannot meet protein needs with diet alone, a protein shake is a great option.
How Do You Know If A Protein Powder Is Not Full Of Fillers
The amount of protein in a product is typically measured by the nitrogen content of the protein. Some products may have certain amino acids added to them, which will increase the nitrogen content, but these aminos can be much cheaper than a whole protein, such as whey, and may not offer the same benefits. You can see these aminos on the label, theyll be listed under ingredients and are sometimes identified as added amino acids. Another common filler used is maltodextrin, a type of sugar. When looking at protein powders, consumers should look at the ingredient statement and make sure that proteins are listed first, which means they make up most of the product.
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What To Look For In A High Protein Powder
Here are some tips for buying high protein powders: Quality is always a key factor. You want to make sure that the protein powder is organic and contains the right types of amino acids. Select a powder with high protein content. You want to make sure that the protein powder youre buying has at least 20 grams of protein per serving. If not, youll have to increase your protein intake by adding more protein sources, such as lean meat, eggs, or dairy. A clean label is always a good thing. Look for a label with few or no artificial additives or colors. Your protein powder should be in a single-serving container. This way, youll know exactly how much youre taking. Ideally, you want to buy your protein powder at a store that sells a variety of high protein food products. This way, youre not stuck only buying the protein powder.
How To Choose The Best Protein Powders For Low
You must keep carbs and sugars low in order to stay within your carbohydrate bank and not exceed your budget, and when you pile on different fruits, nuts and seeds, the carbs and sugars can increase quickly and youâre way past your daily intake maximum before you know it.
Any organic protein powders, dairy free protein powders and gluten free protein powders generally are lower in carbohydrate content, as a protein powder alone. However, as a rule of thumb, plant options are heavier in carbs than whey protein powders and egg based protein powders, which will be lower in carbohydrates than plant-based protein powder alternatives.
Itâs really just about the ingredients you then add in that can cause the total to skyrocket. âThe carbs in the powder should be low, ideally less than 5-8 grams,â explains Harris-Pincus. You can also learn how to choose the best protein powders for you based on body reactions, so consider jotting them down in a journal if youâre in the process of experimenting with new powders.
Fiber is another factor particularly useful for those on the keto or low-carb diet plan, since many foods they eliminate happen to be high-fiber. Leafy greens are great fiber-rich examples to include in these protein powder smoothies, and they will likely want to go with whey protein powders and egg based protein powders, or other organic protein powders, instead of the higher carb options, like dairy free and gluten free protein powders.
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Which Protein Powder Should I Use
So youve finally decided that protein powder is something youd like to try. Yay! But a single trip to the supplement aisle has you feeling completely overwhelmed. Yikes! Heres a mini protein powder guide on how to choose based on your goals
1. If You Want To Build Muscle
You should pick out a protein powder that has a high biological value. What exactly does that mean? Put simply, the body can absorb and digest it easily.
And the protein powder with the highest biological value iswhey protein! Another upside to whey is that its packed with compounds which help to reduce stress and improves sleep. Learn how to Make Protein Pancakes + 4 Easy Protein Pancake Recipes
2. If You Want To Lose Weight
Make sure you choose a protein powder that has no added sugar or sweeteners. And youll also want to avoid ones that have BCAAs because they encourage weight gain. There are differing opinions on this, but the majority of studies say these amino acids encourage weight gain.
Any of the protein powders will work well for you as long as you avoid the sugars and BCAAs! Delve deeper by reading this post The 4 Best Protein Powders and How to Choose a Good One.
3. If You Want To Maintain A Vegan Lifestyle
Skip the egg or milk-based proteins and find a plant based option. There are plenty to choose from! Youve got soy, hemp, pea, rice, pumpkin powder, and more. Check my Ultimate Guide to The Best Vegan Protein Substitutes for more helpful info.
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For guys looking to put on muscle mass, Kaged whey protein is a good way to go. Whey protein isolate contains essential amino acids for the body to undergo muscle protein synthesis, otherwise known as muscle growth. This product doesnt offer a full amino acid profile breakdown, which we would like to see. Still, it does have 12 grams of essential amino acids, 8.3 grams of non-essential amino acids, 5.7 grams of BCAAs and 4.7 grams of conditional amino acids per serving.
Kaged Muscle offers whey protein isolate that contains no artificial colors or flavors. This product contains pure whey protein isolate however, it is flavored with sucralose, which causes the product to taste very sweet and can possibly cause gastric distress for sensitive individuals. That being said, if you can tolerate the artificial sweetener, at only $1.16 per serving of protein this supplement is a great option for those looking to maximize their budget.
Kaged Muscle offers the standard Chocolate and Vanilla flavor options, but also includes Chocolate Peanut Butter, Smores and my personal favorite, Cinnamon French Toast.
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Transparent Labs offers a grass-fed whey protein isolate that contains no artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors. Whey isolate is different from concentrate because it’s processed to reduce the fat and lactose content, leaving mainly high quality protein. With Transparent Labs, consumers can enjoy a low-calorie, high-protein shake option that’s easier to digest than many other options, since a majority of the lactose is removed during processing.
This product is sweetened with stevia leaf extract, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor was one of the best tasting protein powders I have ever tried. This product was a little clumpy in a classic shaker bottle, so using a blender is advised. The brands eight flavors include Cinnamon French Toast, Salted Caramel and Mocha. I would have to agree with the 1,600+ reviews and an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on the companys website that this is one of the best protein powder supplements currently on the market you can feel confident trusting that this protein powder checks all the boxes of a high quality protein supplement.
Best For Allergies: Aloha Organic Protein Powder
This plant-based protein powder is ideal for women with allergies because it is free of gluten, lactose, and soy. It may also suit people who prefer more sweet powders.
It uses natural coconut sugar as a sweetener and contains 4 g of added sugar per serving. This powder contains no genetically modified organisms and is low in carbohydrates. The main ingredients used in this powder are pea, brown rice, hemp seed, and pumpkin seed proteins.
Add two scoops to water or plant-based milk to make a healthy shake.
The chocolate-flavored version of this product contains the following nutrients per serving:
- 0 milligrams of cholesterol
- 320 mg of sodium
- 18 g of protein
ALOHA Organic also offers a vanilla-flavored protein powder.
This product costs $32.99, but a person can also enroll in a monthly subscription for $29.69.
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Be Mindful Of Your Goal
Heres what you might want to consider depending on your goals, and what youre hoping to get out of your protein shake.
Weight loss / fat loss: If youre looking to lose fat, pay attention to the protein-to-calorie ratio of your protein powder. The best protein powder for weight loss will be higher in protein and lower in carbs and fat, since the latter two macronutrients will be more satisfying coming from whole foods.
Muscle gain: To put on muscle, look for a protein powder with a high protein-to-calorie ratio, as the main goal is to consume adequate overall protein. If youre struggling to get adequate overall calories, a protein powder thats also rich in carbohydrates can be helpful around workouts.
Weight gain: For those who are looking to gain any type of weightmost often this is due to illness that reduces appetiteconsider powders that are high in protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Particularly if you wont be getting much other nutrition, its important to get all three.
Meal replacement: If you plan to use your protein shake as a meal replacement, its important to get some other nutrients in there, too. While there are protein powders that come with additional nutrients built-in, we recommend making your own Super Shake instead by incorporating fruit, vegetables, a source of healthy fats, and possibly more. That way, you get all the whole-food benefits of these ingredients.
The Benefits Of Protein Powder For Women
Women need protein for so many reasons. It helps to:
- Reduce appetite and hunger levels
- Increase muscle mass and bone strength
- Reduce cravings and desire for late-night snacking
- Boost metabolism and increase fat burning
- Maintain weight loss
- Support hair, skin and nails
- Build and repairs cells in the body
When it comes to weight loss in particular, one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight women who increased their protein take from 15% to 30% of their calories ate 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting anything. So if youre looking to shed a few pounds without restricting yourself, investing in the best protein powder for women could be a good idea.
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How To Spot A Fake Protein Powde
How to Find a Fake Protein Powder: If youre looking for protein powder, you should conduct a thorough research first. You wont be able to tell if your purchase is genuine or not until you test it out there are a lot of fakes available. If your protein powder is legit, shake it for 30 seconds at normal temperature. If you notice any lumps, clumps, or residue on your supplement, its most likely fake. Protein powders under Rs 2,500 will also work well for a 1kg package. The price of a stock is likely to be too high if it is an investment.
Choose Whole Foods First
Each of our bodys cells needs protein to function properly. Protein can be found in both plant and animal products, and can also be taken in the form of a supplement, like protein powder.
The amount of protein our bodies need depends on a number of things, including age, gender and activity level. As important as protein is, our bodies dont need all that much. Rule of thumb: Consume between .8 and one gram of protein for every two pounds of body weight. For a 150-pound person, that’s between 55 and 68 grams of protein a day.
Its possible to get the recommended amount of protein in your diet through foods like fish, poultry, beans and lentils. Cohen recommends the average person consume whole foods as a main source of protein, instead of blending up a protein shake. Your body is going to be able to break down whole foods a lot easier than something that’s processed, she says.
Some whole foods that can help you meet the daily recommendation include:
- Three ounces of chicken breast21 grams of protein
- Three ounces of salmon19 grams of protein
- Half cup of black beans7.6 grams of protein
- Half cup of lentils9 grams of protein
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What To Look For In The Best Vegan Protein Powder
When shopping for a vegan protein powder, Sass recommends looking for products with simple, recognizable ingredients and steering clear of artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. You can easily find single-ingredient vegan protein powders where the only ingredient is the plant protein itself and nothing else. These are also more versatilewithout added sweeteners and flavors, they can be used in a wider variety of dishes, she says.
Consider the source of the protein as well. The best sources will be organic and non-GMO, explains Dr. Pedre. Organic and non-GMO avoids contamination with pesticides, which are harmful to gut bacteria and can lead to leaky gut, he explains.
When shopping for a vegan protein powder, common protein sources include blends of different plant-based proteins, such as pea, brown rice and different seeds, making these varieties of vegan protein powders the most accessible and often affordable. However, as mentioned above, soy-based protein powders might have a nutritional edge over other varieties, as they contain all nine essential amino acids.
When Should I Take Protein Powder
After a workout is the most obvious time to consume a protein powder because thats when your muscles need it most. Drinking a shake of whey protein mixed with cold water or milk within 30 minutes of finishing your training session will initiate recovery by flooding your bloodstream with amino acids, which are quickly shuttled into your muscle cells to become new muscle tissue.
Protein powder can also be taken at other times. Blend a scoop of your favourite flavour with an egg and a banana then cook in a pan to make some high-protein breakfast or dessert pancakes. And its especially useful to have to hand to make a shake when youre out and about all day and dont have time to eat a proper meal.
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What To Look For In A Protein Powder
Medically reviewed by Abbey Sharp, Registered Dietitian , BASc.
We break down the top protein powder on the market including whey, casein, and vegan options and help you get a better understanding of third party testing to help you select an option that is right for you.
It is no surprise that protein powder is one of the most popular nutrition supplements on the market. While you may find fitness and nutrition influencers crediting their gains to their daily shake, the truth is theres nothing magical about protein powder when it comes to building muscle or losing weight. Protein is important for both of these things but protein powder is just a convenient source of it. Its not necessarily superior to food based sources like chicken, tofu or fish. But I do think it has an important place, and it is so easy to add a scoop to a morning smoothie or stir some into your oats for a balanced snack or meal.
With that said, its important to note that not all protein powders are created equal, and I get a lot of questions on how to choose the right one. In some cases, protein powder might even be dangerous. There have actually been a few high-profile lawsuits where protein powders were called out for containing unlisted fillers, or inaccuracies in ingredients or quantities.
Best With Superfoods: Orgain Organic Protein & Superfoods Plant
The protein powder combines plant-based proteins with 50 superfoods, including vegetables, berries, herbs, sprouts, and grains. However, the long list of ingredients might make it one to avoid for people with allergies. Additionally, this powder is higher in carbohydrates than some other options.
People can choose their preferred flavors from creamy chocolate fudge or vanilla bean.
Further to that, people can also consider the nutritional value per serving 2-scoop serving:
Chocolate and vanilla flavors are available, and the product includes 18 servings.
The one-time price is $22.99. People may also benefit from a subscription for $16.09.
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