In general, most protein powders are designed for men and women, but knowing a few facts about protein powders and supplements can help you find the best protein for women. Often the difference between men and women's intake of protein supplements is limited to just different serving sizes, but there a few things to look for that can help you ensure you are getting a powder suited for the unique nutritional needs of women.
Things to Consider
A woman's typical serving for protein is 20g, while men typically have 30g to 40g per serving, or approximately 15% to 20% of the daily caloric intake. Protein powders made especially for women typically have less protein, carbs, fats, and sugars than those made for men. Additionally, many also include vitamins that are especially effective for women, including vitamin B6, folic acid and iron.
Women should look for a powder that is derived from protein isolates, as opposed to concentrates. Though this is not a huge difference, isolates generally have a lower amount of carbs and fats, and they are absorbed a bit quicker into the body.
Protein for Weight Loss
If you are looking to lose weight, you may want to try soy protein. Soy protein is low GI and sugar free, making it a good choice for dieters. Also, be sure to watch sodium levels in protein powders, as well as the inclusion of monosodium glutamate: both of these will accelerate your hunger and have you craving sugary foods. If weight loss is your primary goal, the protein powder should not contain more than 7g of sugar.
Other good ingredients to look for in a protein powder if you are looking to lose weight are casein, whey, and egg white protein. Casein and whey are effective in muscle repair and helpful after a workout. Egg white protein provides a great source of amino acids.
Protein for Muscle Growth
If you are looking to gain muscle and mass, then a protein made for both men and women is an optimal choice. In this case, you should select a 100% whey protein powder. Still many of the same rules apply - look for something that does not contain high fats, sugars, and carbs so that you do not end up gaining additional fat, only lean muscle.
There are many specially formulated muscle growth proteins for women on the market that also contain the vitamins that are effective for women. These include:
- vitamin B6
- folic acid
If these are lacking in your diet, you may want to select a protein that includes this additional nutrition to keep you healthy and strong.