Whether you go for a run several times a week, or you’re working out hard at the gym, nothing helps with faster recovery and results more than whey protein powder. But there are other options out there, and if you’re serious about your fitness and weight loss goals, then you should consider stacking some products.
As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I get asked all the time about the best protein shakes for women. Over the years, I have done some in-depth analysis with the help of some dieticians I work with, and we’ve been able to sort through all the marketing hype and noise.
The result is this list of protein supplements for women that have a suitable formula, positive reviews, and proven results with my clients.
Our Top Protein Powders For Women (2020 Updated)
HIGHLIGHTS & BENEFITS
OUR #1 RATED
1. Transparent Labs
4. Orgain Organic
1. Transparent Labs: Best Overall
The absolute standout feature of this product is that it contains high-quality grass-fed whey protein. This has a direct impact on how easy it is for you to absorb, process, and deliver the amino acids to your muscles.
From a nutrition point of view, the ingredients are kept really simple with no artificial sweeteners, or preservatives added. And there are also no fillers that just add calories and no value.
So far, I have tried 3 of the 5 flavors available, and I have found them all to be tasty: French Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Strawberry, and Mocha.
And with a lot of people agreeing that it mixes very easily, you won’t have that clumpy and chalky effect.
Make sure you take advantage of the bulk-order discounts.
2. ORA Vegan Protein Powder
Based on the feedback from my dietician Emily, this is probably the best protein for women who suffer from food allergies or intolerances. The ingredients are 100% free from dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, eggs, and shellfish, making it a great choice to keep your stomach from rebelling.
What a lot of women also loved about this product is that you can either buy it in a standard size container or you can get individual pouches.
They easily fit in your gym or handbag, making it easier to mix it up fresh when you need it.
Each scoop of PaleoPro contains 26 g of protein sourced from pasture fed cows and organic eggs. This combination provides a great range of different amino acids that your body needs to stay healthy and repair after tough workout sessions.
One of the main benefits most online reviewers highlighted is that it provides a significant boost in collagen, which is vital for repairing muscles, connective tissue, and joints.
It’s also soy, gluten, hormone, and GMO-free, which is not something you often find in this price range.
You have a good choice of flavors available, including an unflavored option that is good if you want to mix it with a smoothie or some other snacks.
4. Orgain Organic
For a lot of people, healthy organic ingredients are going to be a top priority. For this, I often recommend vegan options, especially those that combine different types of protein. Orgain lists brown rice, chia seed, and pea protein as the main sources.
According to the label, you’ll get 21 g per serving, along with some bonus calcium and iron, as well as 7 g of fiber. All this makes it a lot more than the average protein powders, at a very reasonable price.
Available in loads of different flavors, a lot of women have commented on how easy it is to mix in a shaker. Just keep in mind that the recommended serving has 150 calories, which is a bit on the high side.
OK, so we’ve covered a few vegan options as well as a beef product, so it’s time to get back to basics with some whey protein. Cellucor has become one of the more popular options among performance athletes because of some really good savings on bulk orders and subscriptions.
As a low-carb and low-fat option, it also supports all types of weight loss efforts, so you won’t have to adjust your food plan much.
The only thing to be aware of is that it’s a bit higher than average when it comes to cholesterol.
6. RSP TrueFit Meal Replacement Powder
For many diets, you’ll need to keep a close eye on what and how often you eat. Sometimes that means combining some fruit and veg that aren’t ideal just after you’ve finished a run or training session.
This TrueFit meal replacement is a good solution for these situations, and beyond the 24 g of protein, you also get 8 g of fiber and probiotics that support your digestion and gut health.
Once you’ve found your favorite flavor, make sure you take advantage of the large 4-pound tub for some significant savings.
7. BodyLogix Natural Whey
BodyLogix is another popular supplement brand, and this one will give you more than just a boost of whey. Each serving also contains 5 grams of BCAAs which many users say helps with reducing muscle soreness after exercising.
By using a combination of whey isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate, the company claims to be able to provide a much wider and more concentrated selection of different amino acids which your muscles need.
However, this does come at a price that is a bit higher than the competition.
8. FitMiss Delight
I guess the name says it all, as this is a supplement specifically formulated for women. It does come with less protein per scoop than average, but the extra ingredients for digestive health really make up for that.
A lot of women also comment that it’s quite an effective appetite suppressant, so if you need to go through some fasting periods, this could help with the cravings.
The main downside I found is that it does contain quite a few food sources that people have intolerances for and it has quite a bit of cholesterol.
9. Vega Essentials Shake
The final product on this list is another vegan option containing a decent 20 g of protein in each dose. But it also contains a good selection of vitamins and minerals that are especially important for anyone on a plant-based diet.
All the ingredients are natural and based on whole plant foods, with no crap mixed in as fillers and sweeteners.
Of all the supplements on this list, this one is probably the most grainy out of a shaker, so you may need to consider blending it.
10. Nutraleaf Protein Superfoods
There aren’t many products like this that combine superfoods into a whole foods protein powder, so it immediately sparked my interest. Whether you live a vegan lifestyle or not, this plant-based product is something to consider because of the added ingredients that provide many nutritional benefits.
It provides 22 g of pea and rice protein isolate in each serving, which is actually a good amount based on average female needs. The added superfoods are there to give a boost of vitamins (including B12), iron, and biotin.
There were quite a few vegan Facebook groups and forums where I found a lot of people recommending it, which is why I’ve listed it here as the top vegan option.
The main downside is that you can only get it in vanilla and chocolate flavor.
Why Choose A Female Specific Formula?
The main reason is that most protein powders contain a formula for men with much higher doses than the average woman will need. Now, there is nothing wrong with buying one of those and just taking a smaller serving size, but it’s just more convenient to have the right amount and combination of amino acids per day.
The other downside is that most powders aim at delivering lean muscle mass, and that’s not something every woman is looking for. It’s much more likely that you just want to lose some fat and enjoy the health benefits of faster recovery times than building up muscle.
While it’s always best to try to get your macros from whole foods, that’s not always possible or feasible, especially for female athletes who are always on the go. In these situations, protein powder is a great alternative.
Health And Fitness Writer
How Much Protein Do Women Need?
Women need about 46 grams of protein per day on average, excluding what is needed to support physical activity.
You should aim to take a lot of this through your diet, but when it comes to providing a large boost after training, protein powders are simply the best option.
It’s important to also look at products that provide enough essential amino acids per day like BCAAs as your body cannot produce these. You might not need them after just a cardio session, but any high-intensity workout should be followed up by them.
What Should You Look For In A Good Women’s Protein Powder?
If you’re looking for a good women’s protein powder, then you really need to focus on the recommended daily allowances of the ingredients.
This should be for the average female body, and not for male bodybuilders in a bulking phase.
And then there are the types of protein.
If you saw my pantry shelf dedicated to supplements, you might think I was planning to open a sports nutrition store. But the reason I have a range of them is that by creating your own blend you can actually come up with your own mix that supports multiple parts of your body.
Here’s what I tell my clients to focus on:
- 1Whey Protein: Fast absorption time with a great range of amino acids
- 2Pea Protein: Excellent vegan option
- 3Collagen: Vital for connective tissue and joint repair
- 4Egg White Protein: Good choice for diabetics
- 5Hemp Protein: Complete protein with antioxidants
- 6Brown Rice Protein: Good option for women with food intolerances
- 7Mixed Plant-Based Protein Powders: Highly bioavailable meaning more protein is absorbed
Eating protein-rich foods and taking supplements may help people feel fuller for longer. Feeling full tends to result in smaller portion sizes and less frequent snacking, which can help a person maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if necessary.
Should women use protein powders?
Yes, women should use protein powders both for building lean muscle and weight loss phases of a training regime. By promoting a faster recovery time, you’ll be able to keep up a higher level of intensity, even the day after a hard workout session.
What does whey protein do for females?
Whey protein promotes faster muscle recovery, weight loss, and prevents muscle wasting for women. You don’t have to be aiming for huge muscles, but at various stages in a woman’s life, it can become more difficult to maintain healthy muscle strength.
Is whey better than plant protein?
Yes, a grass-fed whey protein is better than plant protein as it is more complete when it comes to providing all the essential amino acids. Individual plant-based proteins are not as complete, and you will have to make sure you get a good combination of them.
What is the cleanest protein powder?
Both Transparent Labs and Nutraleaf are the cleanest protein powders I have been able to find. Having reviewed the products with dieticians, they just really get the extraction process right to deliver a high-quality product.
Which protein powder is best for weight loss?
Transparent Labs is the best protein powder for weight loss, as its main ingredient is grass-fed whey. This provides one of the most complete ranges of amino acids to make sure your body has all the stuff it needs to repair quickly.
When should you drink protein shakes?
You should drink protein shakes immediately after a training session even before you hit the shower or steam room. Some top athletes I know will even start sipping it during their cool-down phase to give their digestion a head start.
Does protein powder go bad?
Yes, protein powder does go bad, and you have to make sure you keep track of the expiry date. If you don’t use it that often, then maybe get a smaller container to avoid it going to waste.
What’s The Best Protein Powder For Women?
From the dozens of products I’ve researched and tested, there is one that I keep going back to.
With Transparent Labs, I just find that it gives me the right amino acid range that is absorbed very fast, which is why I rate it the best whey protein for women.
So many people that I have recommended it to have said that it really makes a difference when it comes to recovery times. I also find the flavors are very good, so it’s not a case of pinching your nose to gulp it down like some bad tasting medicine.
If you train a lot and need something reliable, then take advantage of the bulk order offers, as it can save you a good bit of money. And as always, let us know on Facebook or Pinterest how you get on.