We have the scoop on what women want—when it comes to protein shakes, that is. We take a look at the best protein shakes and protein powders for women, and we share some gift ideas to help the mom in your life fuel up on protein in sporty style.
PROTEIN for WOMEN: WHY IT MATTERS
Protein is an essential macronutrient for any human. It plays a role in nearly every system in our bodies. It helps repair tissue, build muscle, boost the immune system, and manufacture hormones, among other functions. There are several reasons why protein for women is important, including athletic performance, body composition, and convenience.
Female athletes require more protein than sedentary individuals. This 2006 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that women strength athletes need even more protein than women endurance athletes in order to properly synthesize protein. Just as it is important for male weightlifters to fuel up on protein-rich foods and supplements post-workout, it’s equally important for women wishing to perform and recover at their best. Muscle protein synthesis requires plenty of dietary protein to help rebuild damaged muscle fibers and gain strength and lean muscle mass.
A high-protein diet is often associated with a higher percentage of lean muscle mass, and may help support weight loss goals. The findings from this 2008 study, published in the Nutrition & Metabolism journal, suggest that women who follow high-protein diets are more apt to lose body fat. Additionally, protein-rich food and drinks tend to better satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full longer, which is helpful in terms of weight management.
From athletes to multi-tasking moms to on-the-go executives, nearly all women can benefit from the convenience of grab-and-go meals and snacks. The recommended daily intake of protein for women is 46 grams, although The American College of Sports Medicine recommends nearly twice that amount for athletes, depending on training volume and intensity. For many people—especially those with busy schedules—it can be difficult to consume enough high-quality protein from diet alone. Portable protein shakes made with high-quality protein powder offer a convenient, great-tasting solution to meet a woman’s daily protein needs.
BEST PROTEIN for WOMEN
It’s clear that women need plenty of protein, and can often benefit from using protein supplements. But what is the best protein powder for women? In general, the best protein powders for women are low in added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. The fewer ingredients, the better, as this is one indication of a high-quality protein supplement. Protein powder can come from a variety of sources, including:
The British Journal of Sports Medicine study suggests that whey protein in particular may positively impact protein synthesis in women. Whey is a milk protein containing all nine essential amino acids, making it an optimal choice to help reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and improve muscle recovery. It also breaks down relatively quickly for fast absorption. While whey protein concentrate is the most commonly used milk protein, whey protein isolate is a higher-quality protein source and is lactose free, meaning it is well tolerated by many people with dairy sensitivities.
Some people prefer dried egg white protein powder over other supplements because it is the closest to getting your protein from whole foods. Egg white protein digests more slowly than whey, but it is an excellent complete protein for women on a strict non-dairy diet.
Plant-bases brown rice protein is high in B-vitamins and fiber and is lactose and gluten free. Rice protein is an incomplete protein, however, so it should be paired with another protein source (pea or hemp, for example) in order to make it complete.
Collagen is a top protein powder choice for many women because it helps support elastin and can enhance your skin, hair, and nails. Collagen is also an incomplete protein, and therefore needs to be combined with another protein to take full advantage of both its beauty and nutrition benefits.
Help the woman in your life have quick, convenient access to all the protein she needs. She’ll love the insulated BlenderBottle® Radian™ Stainless Steel shaker to keep her protein drink chilled for up to 24 hours. Or maybe the BlenderBottle® SportMixer® Twist shaker—with a comfortable silicone grip—is more her style. Better yet, give her a gift subscription to our Color of the Month Club and she’ll receive a fun, funky new BlenderBottle® shaker design every month.