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Protein powders are a popular dietary supplement available to buy online and over the counter. People often associate them with men, but women also use them.

Scientists have found that adding protein powder to the diet helps with weight loss, recovery after exercise, and building new muscle.

In this article, we explore the benefits and risks of using protein powders and how women can make an informed choice about using one.

Protein powder is a convenient way to add protein to the diet. It is widely available in supermarkets, health food stores, and online.

People often mix protein powder with water or milk or add it to smoothies and soups. People can also add it to many home-cooked meals and baked foods.

Some people who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet might find it difficult to meet their bodies’ protein needs through diet alone. Protein powder can be a cost-effective top-up that is easy to use.

Taking protein powder may come with a few benefits.

Muscle building

Protein is essential for growing different sorts of body tissue, including muscle. People who want to build muscle might choose to add protein powder to their diet.

A 2018 review of 49 studies concluded that when healthy adults combined protein supplements with resistance training, they experienced increases in muscle strength and size.

Older adults may not build the same amount of muscle as younger adults due to differences in hormone levels. That said, they will see other benefits, such as less muscle and bone loss if they increase their protein intake and commit to resistance training.

Recovery after exercise

Some people use protein powders to help their muscles recover and feel less sore after exercise.

Many studies have supported the link between consuming protein and muscle recovery.

One 2017 review notes that both resistance training and consumption of protein stimulate muscle growth. The reviewers also recommend consuming protein just before or after exercise to enhance further muscle growth.

The combination of carbohydrates and protein powder may benefit muscle recovery after a workout. Adding carbohydrates replenishes glycogen stores, which could speed up muscle recovery.

To consume both proteins and carbohydrates, a person could make a fruit smoothie and add protein powder to it for a post-workout drink.

Weight loss

Eating protein can make women feel more full, meaning they might eat fewer calories. This is helpful for people who want to lose weight. It may explain the popularity of low carbohydrate diets.

A 2017 study concluded that whey protein supplementation seems to improve body weight, fat mass, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in people with excess weight.

Added nutrition

The recommended daily intake of protein differs depending on a person’s body weight and their activity levels, among other things.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, protein may make up 10–35% of daily calorie intake.

People who find it difficult to eat this amount may wish to consider using protein powder to supplement their diet.

Eating protein-rich foods as part of a balanced meal would provide more of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed than a protein powder shake alone.

In general, some supplements may interact with medications. Therefore, people who are taking other medications or supplements may want to seek guidance from a healthcare professional before taking protein powder.

Consuming extra protein may also lead to dehydration if a person does not drink enough fluids. As a result, people with kidney disease must take extra care with the amount of protein they consume.

People should also be aware of unregulated dietary supplements, such as energy and so-called muscle-gain products. They may contain dangerous ingredients, such as steroids, stimulants, and hormones.

There are a couple of key factors to consider when choosing a protein powder.

Few ingredients

Some people may want to avoid products with artificial colorings, preservatives, and other additives.

Low sugar

Some protein powders are available in sweet flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. These may significantly add to a person’s daily sugar intake. Therefore, it may be worth checking the nutrition label before choosing a product, or avoiding flavored powders altogether.

It is advisable to look for protein powders with less than 4 g of sugar per serving and those with natural sweeteners, such as stevia or monk fruit.

Below, we list some of the best protein powders for women.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

ALOHA Organic Protein Powder

This plant-based protein powder is ideal for women with allergies because it is free from gluten, lactose, and soy.

It uses natural coconut sugar as a sweetener and contains 4 g of sugar per serving. This non-GMO powder is also 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 healthful shake.

ALOHA Organic Protein Powder is available for purchase online.

Tone It Up Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

Tone It Up market this powder as ideal for active women who need a quick and convenient way to refuel.

It contains monk fruit sweetener rather than refined sugar or sweeteners. It contains 90 calories per serving.

Reviews of this powder vary. While many people like the flavor, others have noted that the formulation has changed and is not as good as it once was.

Tone It Up Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is available for purchase online.

Vega Protein & Greens

In addition to pea, brown rice, and sacha inchi proteins, this powder contains organic kale, alfalfa, broccoli, and spinach. Sacha inchi protein comes from the roasted seeds of a plant native to South America.

This powder contains natural stevia sweetener, has no added sugar, and delivers 120 calories per serving.

The company suggest using the powder in the usual way to make a drink or baking with it by replacing between one-eighth and one-fourth of the flour in recipes.

Vega Protein & Greens protein powder is available for purchase online.

Orgain Organic Protein & Superfoods Plant Based Protein Powder

This is a popular protein powder, with over 12,000 reviews on Amazon.

It combines plant-based proteins with 50 so-called superfoods, such as vegetables, berries, herbs, sprouts, and grains. However, the long list of ingredients might make it one to avoid for some people with allergies.

Each serving contains 21 g of protein, 5 g of dietary fiber, and 1 g of sugar.

Orgain Organic Protein & Superfoods Plant Based Protein Powder is available for purchase online.

Using protein powders to provide a nutritional boost does not suit everyone. Here are some alternative ways to add protein to the diet.

Eating protein-rich foods

The easiest way for the body to digest and metabolize protein is through food.

A diet rich in natural protein is also likely to contain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the body needs. Some foods rich in protein include:

Exercising

Resistance training is a tried and tested route for gaining muscle and losing fat.

However, resistance training alone will not build muscle. A person still needs to consume an adequate amount of protein and nutrients from their diet before they start seeing any gains in muscle growth.

Resistance training has numerous other health benefits. For example, it may protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Protein powders can be a useful addition to a woman’s diet, whether they want to improve their general health, lose weight, or build muscle.

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is the ideal option for meeting the body’s protein needs. However, protein powders offer convenience, and people can use them in a number of ways in the diet.

Before choosing a powder, a person may wish to make a list of their priorities, such as plant-based, organic, and flavor, to help narrow down the choices.