HealthyBeat articles include advertisements and affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn more Updated December 18, 2020When you hear the words “products for women,” protein powder probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your head. However, getting sufficient protein is just as important for women as it is for men—regardless of whether or not they’re athletes. Protein is vital to building and maintaining muscle mass, and it can also keep you full and satiated throughout the day, helping reduce the temptation to snack on junk food.Even if you think you’re eating enough protein, supplementing with a quality protein powder may help you meet your daily protein requirements without having to consume excess calories. It can also be a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, who may sometimes have a hard time getting enough of this vital nutrient. A good protein powder can do everything from helping you maintain a healthy weight to aiding you in your fitness journey. Here are our picks for the best types of protein powder for women.Best Protein Powders for WomenBest for Great Skin: RSP Nutrition AvoCollagen Protein Powder Best for Workouts: Bodylogix Natural Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder Best for Vegas: Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder Best Low-Calorie Protein: Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Isolate Best Tasting Protein Powder: ALOHA Chocolate Protein Powder Best Low-Cost Protein Powder: ProMix Grass-Fed Whey ProteinBest Protein Powders for WomenBest Protein Powder for Great Skin: RSP Nutrition AvoCollagen Protein PowderA blend of 10 grams of collagen peptides and 5 grams of omega-3-rich avocado oils per serving, this protein powder is uniquely suited to those women looking to give their skin, hair, and nails a boost. Collagen is a structural protein that forms one of the fundamental building blocks of the skin, giving it its volume and elasticity. Supplementing with collagen over other types of protein can help restore your skin’s youthful glow.Best Protein Powder to Supercharge Workouts: Bodylogix Natural Grass-Fed Whey Protein PowderThis protein powder offers a full 24 grams of powerful whey protein to help you kickstart your weight training routine. Not only can it help build muscle and support performance, but the all-natural, high-absorption whey can also help you feel satiated for hours, cutting down on workout-negating snacking.Best Protein Powder for Vegans: Ora Organic Vegan Protein PowderA powder with the words “so lean and so clean” right on its label has a lot to live up to, and this all-natural, vegan offering from Ora does just that. This supplement powder is packed with 22 grams of protein per 2-scoop serving and includes ingredients from 20 different superfoods. It also boasts no filler ingredients and a range of digestive enzymes for better gut health and increased absorption.Best Low-Calorie Protein Powder: Bulk Supplements Whey Protein IsolateAt 115 calories per serving, this protein powder might not be the absolute lowest-calorie option out there, but it’s got some of the highest protein content on the market because it’s an isolate—meaning almost every ingredient besides protein has been filtered out. Since 90 percent of this supplement’s calories are from protein, you can get the most out of your supplement and know you’re eating as few extra carbs and calories as possible. As an added perk, this protein powder is also quite budget-friendly, coming in at just $11.96 for 100 grams.Best Tasting Protein Powder: ALOHA Chocolate Protein PowderALOHA’s rich, smooth, chocolatey protein powder is great for those of us who normally can’t stand the taste of protein supplements. A versatile powder, it tastes great in coffee, granola, oatmeal, and milk. Try peppering it over your favorite dessert for a more balanced dish or using it to make a mean protein shake.Best Low-Cost Protein Powder: ProMix Grass-Fed Whey ProteinIf you’re looking to supplement protein on a budget, look no further—at $19.99 per pound, this protein powder works out to just a buck and a quarter per ounce. Don’t let the price fool you; ProMix protein powder packs a high-quality protein punch at a reasonable price. The whey is sourced entirely from grass-fed cows, it’s minimally filtered to retain higher concentrations of omega 3s, and it comes in several fun flavors like vanilla, peanut butter, and raw chocolate.How to Shop for Protein PowdersIf you’re looking to add as much protein to your diet as possible without adding a lot of extra calories, the best protein powders for you are going to be the ones that have the highest protein concentration. Over 90 percent is the gold standard for efficiency, so if you want to get the most bang for your buck (and your calories), always look for these.However, if you’re looking for a great-tasting shake, 90 percent may not be for you. These powders often don’t taste as good as others, and if you want to include additional supplementary ingredients like fiber or vitamins in your shake, high-concentrate powders probably won’t have them.Generally speaking, finding the right protein powder is as much about evading what you don’t want as it is seeking out what you do. Consider avoiding excessive amounts of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes, and chemical additives. The healthiest choices are usually powders with as few ingredients as possible. You may also want to look for natural ingredients like organic or grass-fed whey, egg whites, and all-natural high-protein plant sources like beans and soy.Another thing to keep in mind is the price of your protein powders. Protein supplements don’t have to be wildly expensive. There are plenty of high-quality options for 75 to 80 cents a serving, though if you’re paying less than that, it might be a good idea to check the reviews or the label to see why.It’s also a good idea to figure out exactly why you’re supplementing before you buy a protein powder. Do you want to just generally lose weight? Bulk up? Get leaner and stronger? Supplement a low protein diet? The protein supplement you buy needs to reflect your goals, so it’s important for you to know what they are before you shop.How to Use Protein PowdersHow you use your protein powder is going to depend a lot on your fitness goals and the results you want. Let’s talk about some of the most common reasons people turn to protein supplements:Meal ReplacementA lot of us simply don’t have time to cook a full meal; we’re too busy rushing out the door in the morning or running off to a lunchtime meeting to make a big issue out of breakfast or lunchtime. Protein shakes can help you avoid skipping meals, which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, put a damper on your mood, and may even slow your metabolism.If you want to replace a whole meal, you can whip up a quick shake or smoothie using protein powder. Just make sure to add a serving or two of veggies, fruits, and healthy fats to get the amount of nutrition your body needs to stay healthy.Try this fruit-and-veggie-packed shake recipe to replace breakfast or lunch with a well-balanced protein smoothie:1/4 cup no-sugar-added apple juice1/4 cup water or unsweetened almond milk1 scoop vanilla protein powder1/2 pear, chopped1/2 cup spinach, loosely packed1/4 ripe avocado1/2 frozen bananaWeight LossEven if you don’t replace whole meals, a quick serving of low-calorie protein powder can make an excellent snack option to help you stay full without grazing and consuming too many calories. Try this low-calorie ginger, berry, oat smoothie recipe for whenever you’re feeling hungry between meals:1/4 cup prepared oatmeal1/4 cup 1 percent low-fat milk1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger1 cup fresh blackberries1/2 cup sliced strawberries1 teaspoon honey1/2 cup iceWorkout OptimizationIf you’ve spent any time weight training at the gym, you’ve probably seen your fair share of lifters hitting the smoothie bar right after their workouts—sometimes even during! There’s a reason for this. Protein powers muscle growth, and according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, consuming a protein shake anytime within two hours from the end of your workout can help increase the rate you put on lean muscle.Building muscle mass is just as important for women as men. (Interested in protein powders for men? Check out our other guide.)Training your muscles can help you maintain strength as you age, preventing falls and injuries. Building muscle is also important to maintaining a healthy weight—since muscle burns more calories than fat and can help you boost your metabolism. So if you’re looking to put on more muscle, try this high-protein shake:8 oz skim milk1 banana1 tbsp peanut butter2 scoops of whey protein powderFAQsWhat is protein?Protein is made of fundamental ingredients called essential amino acids and is one of the building blocks of all life. It’s found in every part of your body, from muscles to skin to hair to joints and other tissue. It’s also responsible for a lot of the chemical reactions that take place inside your system—like your blood carrying oxygen to your tissues.How much protein do women need a day?Your protein needs depend on a lot of factors. The CDC recommends that your average protein intake be around 15.8 percent of your daily calories. However, your protein needs can vary based on your body weight, your activity level, your body fat content vs lean muscle mass, and your muscle-building goals. The National Academy of Medicine allows for a wider range of protein intake than the CDC: anything between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calorie intake is acceptable.When should I eat my protein?The best time to eat protein is all the time! To clarify, an even intake of protein throughout the day may help you build muscle mass, feel fuller longer, and lose weight. You don’t have to supplement with every meal. If you’re eating a high-protein meal like an omelet for breakfast or chicken dinner, that’s more than enough protein for a balanced bite. However, if you’re eating a meal with a lot of carbs or starches, sprinkling some protein powder over it or making a shake afterward can help balance it out and give you the protein you need to feel full for a longer period after eating.Can there ever be side effects to supplementing protein?Since protein occurs pretty much everywhere in the body, it’s unlikely you’ll have a reaction to the protein itself. But there may be other ingredients in a supplement that can cause a reaction. Protein powders can contain lactose, eggs, nuts, soy, and shellfish, so if you’re sensitive or allergic to any of these foods, pay special attention to the ingredients label on your protein powder.Also, keep in mind that diets too high in protein can be harmful to your body—putting you at risk for kidney stones. If you eat too much meat-based protein or take too many supplements based on animal products, it could also up your risk of heart disease and colon cancer. As with all other supplements and diets, moderation with protein powder is key to maintaining optimum nutrition.Are there other protein supplements besides powder?Sure there are. In addition to powders, you can also get premade shakes and smoothies, bars, pills, and soft chews. You can also think about upping your protein intake without supplementing. There are tons of high-protein foods out there, including meats, shellfish, fish, eggs, cheese, and other dairy products. For vegans, plant-based protein sources include nuts, beans, quinoa, lentils, seeds, soy, and oats. Even if you’re not vegan, you should consider upping your intake of plant-based proteins, as many protein-rich vegetables offer vitamins, fiber, minerals, and other essential nutrients as well as protein.Bottom LineProtein supplements can be great if you’re wanting to jump-start your weight loss, increase your muscle mass, balance your meals, or just not feel so hungry all the time. They may also be a good option for you if you’re a vegan and you’re feeling like you’re not getting enough protein from an entirely plant-based diet. Whatever protein powder you choose, you should always consider a limited ingredient formula made with as little processing and as many natural components as possible.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.