Protein shakes have rapidly become a popular dietary supplement among both men and women. However, as women have different dietary needs, they may find protein shakes to be of particular benefit.
Protein shakes can help to boost women’s muscle-building and fat-burning goals, as well as support overall health.
In this guide, we will discuss the numerous benefits of protein shakes for females and how to best incorporate them into your everyday diet. We will also review some of the common myths and misconceptions about protein shakes, so you can make an informed decision about whether this dietary supplement is right for you.
- What Is Protein Shake?
- What Do Protein Shakes Do For Females?
- What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Taking Protein Powder?
- What Are The Steps On How To Use Protein Shakes?
- Types Of Protein Shakes And Supplements Available
- What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best For Women?
- How Much Protein Powder Should Women Take?
What Is Protein Shake?
A protein shake is a drink made by combining protein powder with water, milk, or other liquid. It’s a convenient and tasty way to get an extra boost of protein into your diet. Protein shakes are typically made from an animal- or plant-based protein such as whey, casein, egg whites, hemp, soy, or pea.
Depending on the type of protein powder used, shakes can provide a range of other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Protein shakes are popular among athletes, bodybuilders, and people trying to gain muscle mass, but they can benefit people of all ages who want to increase their protein intake. Protein shakes can also be a convenient snack or meal replacement.
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What Do Protein Shakes Do For Females?
1. Protein shakes can help increase muscle mass and strength
Protein shakes can help increase muscle mass and strength by providing the body with the necessary amino acids for muscle growth and repair. When consumed before exercise, protein shakes can also boost energy levels, increasing stamina and endurance, and allowing for more intense workouts.
Additionally, protein shakes can help to meet daily nutritional needs, making up for nutrients that might not be consumed through whole foods.
Studies have found that those who supplemented with protein powder and exercised saw improved results, with more lean muscle and less body fat. To maximize the benefits of protein shakes, it is important to combine them with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet.
2. Protein shakes can help reduce hunger and cravings
Protein shakes can help reduce hunger and cravings by providing a burst of protein from healthy plant-based sources like sunflower seeds and nuts. As protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats, consuming more protein can help suppress appetite, as well as increase metabolism and fat burning.
A 2018 research review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that both women and men who were overweight lost more total weight and fat mass when they supplemented their diets with whey protein than those who did not.
Protein shakes can also act as a meal replacement and are often low in fat, carbohydrates, and lactose, which can help reduce calories while keeping you full.
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3. Protein shakes can help boost metabolism and energy levels
Protein shakes can help boost metabolism and energy levels by increasing protein intake and increasing the body’s thermogenesis and satiety levels. Protein is an essential part of any well-balanced, healthy eating plan and an important source of energy. Consuming a protein shake as a pre-workout snack can help to boost energy levels, increasing stamina and endurance and allowing you to go harder in the gym for longer periods.
Most protein shakes contain high levels of protein and a number of healthy ingredients, with minimal fat, carbohydrate, and lactose content. These shakes can help suppress appetite and keep you fuller for longer, which means less snacking and an increase in metabolism and fat burning.
A study published in 2007 in the journal “Metabolism” showed that women with obesity who used protein shakes as meal replacements over a 16-week trial period lost more than 10 percent of their body weight and 20 percent of body fat.
Protein shakes can be an excellent way to get more protein in your diet, helping you towards your daily protein target and providing many benefits for women.
4. Protein shakes can help improve overall health and well-being
Protein shakes can be a great way to supplement your diet with the essential nutrients needed to improve overall health and well-being. Protein is essential in helping to maintain a healthy energy level, protect your body’s tissues, and provide essential amino acids for healthy cell functioning.
Protein shakes provide an easy and convenient way to help meet your daily protein target, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. They can also be beneficial for those with restricted diets, as they can help fill in any nutrient gaps.
Additionally, protein shakes can be beneficial for those with increased protein requirements, such as athletes and active individuals. By supplementing with protein shakes, these individuals may be able to more easily meet their daily protein needs and optimize their performance.
In general, protein shakes can be used as part of a well-balanced diet to help meet your daily nutritional requirements and promote overall health and well-being.
5. Protein shakes can help improve skin, hair, and nails
Protein shakes can help improve the health of skin, hair, and nails by providing essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to support these areas of the body.
Consuming protein-rich foods or taking protein powders can help replenish collagen, which is a protein that makes up 70% of our skin composition and is necessary for maintaining joint mobility. Protein helps to maintain healthy and strong nails and hair as these are largely made up of the same compound.
6. Protein shakes can help reduce the effects of aging
Taking protein shakes may help reduce the effects of aging. A 2007 study published in the peer-reviewed journal “Fertility and Sterility” found that post-menopausal women who consumed a 20 g soy protein shake daily experienced less increase in overall body fat than those who did not. As women age, they naturally start to experience a loss of muscle mass, 3-8% per decade starting from the age of 30. Protein shakes can provide the essential amino acids needed to build and repair muscle to help maintain muscle mass.
Additionally, a study ‘published in 2007 in the journal “Metabolism” showed that women who used protein shakes as meal replacements for 16 weeks lost more than 10% of their body weight and 20% of body fat.
It’s important to note, however, that protein shakes are a dietary supplement and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it’s best to consult your doctor or dietitian if you’re considering adding them to your regular diet.
7. Protein shakes can help increase fertility and ovulation
Protein shakes can help increase fertility and ovulation by providing the body with essential nutrients that aid in reproductive health. Studies have shown that protein shakes, specifically, those containing soy or casein as the primary protein source, can be beneficial in aiding weight loss and body fat reduction, both of which play a role in improving fertility and ovulation in women.
Additionally, consuming protein shakes as meal replacements over a period of time can also help reduce overall body weight and body fat, improving the chances of conception. Protein shakes can also be consumed as a convenient snack or pre-workout to give women an extra boost in energy, endurance, and stamina, allowing them to push harder in the gym and increase the likelihood of conception.
8. Protein shakes can help increase bone density
Protein shakes can help increase bone density in females due to their high protein content. Protein is a major component of bone tissue and helps maintain bones, and high-protein diets are associated with increased bone mineral density levels and reduced bone loss rates.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Recommended Daily Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but a 2018 research review suggested that women may need twice that amount if they want to gain strength and muscle mass or maintain their strength levels as they approach middle age.
Protein shakes can provide 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving, making them an easy and convenient way to meet daily protein requirements and ensure that bones are receiving adequate nutrients. It is recommended to consult a doctor or registered dietitian before adding protein shakes to one’s regular diet.
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9. Protein shakes can help aid digestion and prevent bloating
Protein shakes can be beneficial for digestion and prevent bloating in females. Consuming protein can help keep your body functioning properly, as it is an essential part of any well-balanced diet. Protein is more satiating compared to carbohydrates and fats and can help you feel full for longer. This, in turn, can prevent you from overloading with calories, binging on unhealthy snacks, and reaching your goal weight.
Furthermore, opting for a whey protein isolate over whey protein concentrate can eliminate lactose, thus reducing stomach upset and gas. Reading the back label and avoiding protein powders with added amino acids and high carbohydrate and fat content is also key for preventing bloating.
10. Protein shakes can help increase strength and endurance
Protein shakes are a great way to help increase strength and endurance during physical activity. When consumed around 45 minutes prior to exercise, protein shakes can provide the body with extra energy, allowing the body to go harder in the gym for longer periods.
The extra energy provided by protein shakes can also help to increase stamina and endurance, aiding in overall performance during physical activity
Furthermore, the high-quality protein from the shakes can help to repair muscle fibers that break down during exercise, decreasing recovery time and allowing for more frequent and intense workouts.
Finally, supplementing with protein shakes in conjunction with exercise and a well-balanced diet can help to maintain lean muscle mass and improve the body’s metabolism, resulting in more calories burned per day and a more toned appearance.
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Taking Protein Powder?
The potential side effects of taking protein powder include digestive distress, high added sugars or calories which can cause weight gain and unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, and an increased risk of consuming dangerous ingredients such as steroids, stimulants, and hormones if using unregulated dietary supplements.
The long-term effects of protein supplementation are not well understood. Additionally, the FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products, so there is no way to know if a protein powder contains what is claimed without reading labels and seeking guidance from a healthcare professional before taking protein powder.
What Are The Steps On How To Use Protein Shakes?
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Use Protein Shakes:
- Choose the right protein shake for your needs. Consider the types of protein, your goals, and what is in the shake. Ready-to-drink protein shakes come in a variety of flavors and are made from animal or plant-based proteins.
- Determine the best time to take your protein shake. The most important time is right after a workout. Other times include before bed, upon waking, and additional servings throughout the day depending on your protein requirements.
- Prepare the shake. Mix 1 scoop of the protein powder with 8 ounces of water or milk. For a delicious protein smoothie, mix in a blender.
- Enjoy the shake. Try making some of the delicious recipes above, or create your own. Enjoy the shake immediately after preparing.
Types Of Protein Shakes And Supplements Available
1. Whey protein
Whey protein is a fast-absorbing, complete protein derived from the by-product of the cheesemaking process. It is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, and is low in lactose. It has been linked to increased muscle growth, muscle recovery, and weight loss, making it beneficial to people who work out and lift weights. It is available in over 20 flavors, such as banana cream, coffee, strawberry, and rocky road, and it comes in sizes of 1.8–10 lb. Each 1-scoop serving of the banana cream flavor contains 120 calories, 1 g of fat, 35 mg of cholesterol, 100 mg of sodium, 4 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of sugar, and 24 g of protein. Prices start from $37.99.
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The key features of whey protein include its complete protein content, fast absorption rate, muscle growth and recovery benefits, and various flavors. The benefits of using whey protein include increased muscle mass, improved muscle recovery, and weight loss. It is also helpful in satisfying hunger and boosting energy. Additionally, it is gluten-free, non-GMO, and made in a peanut-free facility with no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
2. Soy protein
Soy protein is a type of protein derived from soybeans, a legume. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Soy protein is a popular plant-based protein source and is often used as a meat replacement or supplement for individuals who cannot consume animal-based proteins.
Soy protein has a number of benefits, including its ability to help build and maintain lean muscle mass, aid with weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve bone health. It is also low in fat and carbohydrates. Additionally, soy protein can help to regulate hormones and reduce menopause-related symptoms.
3. Plant protein
Types of plant protein shakes and supplements available:
- Pea Protein: This is an excellent source of protein for vegans and those who cannot tolerate animal proteins. It is made from dried yellow peas and helps in weight loss and muscle toning. It is also hypoallergenic, so, for most people, it is safe to use.
- Organic Protein Powders: These are 100% organic, USDA-certified protein powders, which are free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. They are suitable for those looking to boost their energy levels and aid in weight loss and muscle toning.
- Plant-Based Protein Powders: These are vegan protein powder supplements that contain all the essential amino acids. They are sourced from plants and are suitable for those looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and reduce stress.
- Hemp Protein: This is a great option for those looking for a low-cost option. It is rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and is a great source of protein for vegans.
- Whey Protein: Whey protein is derived from cow’s milk and is a great choice for those looking to increase muscle repair and development. It is also a great source of protein for those on a ketogenic diet.
- Collagen Peptides: Collagen peptides are a great source of protein for older women. It helps reduce wrinkles and skin sagging, supports joint health, and boosts muscle recovery.
- Superfood Protein Powders: These are protein powders that contain superfoods such as greens, fruits, and spices. They are suitable for those looking to increase their nutrient intake and boost their immune system.
4. Protein blends
Some examples of protein blends include ALOHA Organic Protein Powder, which is best for those with allergies, Tone It Up Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder with natural sweetener, Vega Protein & Greens Protein Powder, a great plant-based option, and Orgain Organic Protein & Superfoods Plant-Based Protein Powder with superfoods. For those seeking high protein per serving, Cellucor Whey Sport Protein Powder is a great choice. Levels Grass-fed Whey Protein is ideal for those who want a variety of flavors.
Those following a keto-friendly diet should look to Owyn 100% Plant Protein Powder. Sunwarrior Organic Hemp Protein is a great low-cost option, while Sunwarrior Collagen Building Protein Peptides is a great choice for older women. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein is a great whey protein powder, Naked Nutrition Micellar Casein Protein Powder is a great bulk buy, and Garden of Life MD Protein Fit is a great option for vegans.
5. Post-workout shakes
Post-workout shakes are an excellent way to refuel the body and provide the necessary nutrients and amino acids for muscle growth and recovery. Here are some examples of post-workout shakes:
- Chocolate Milk: Chocolate milk is an excellent post-workout recovery drink. It’s high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and contains only a little bit of fat.
- Protein Shake: Protein shakes are great for an extra boost of protein. Look for one that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates for the best results.
- Protein Smoothie: A protein smoothie combines the benefits of protein with the added nutrition of fruits and vegetables. Blend fruits and vegetables with a high-protein powder for the best post-workout shake.
- Plant-Based Protein Shake: Plant-based protein shakes are made from vegan sources such as nuts, seeds, and legumes. These shakes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals as well as protein, making them an ideal post-workout snack.
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6. Meal replacements
What are some examples of meal replacements? Meal replacement protein powders are the best way to go when it comes to weight loss. Some of the best on the market include SlimFast Original Meal Replacement Shake Mix Powder, which is clinically proven to aid weight loss and can be used to replace 2 meals per day. It contains 10 g of protein and 5 g of fiber per serving and helps to suppress hunger for up to 4 hours.
Other meal replacement options include consuming electrolyte drinks to fuel your workouts, leftovers that taste better when stored in meal preppers, gluten-free meal delivery services, healthy snacks, easy soup recipes that freeze well, and Ka’Chava. For those avoiding protein powders, other options include whole foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and eggs to boost your protein intake.
Collagen is a type of protein that is the main structural component of our skin, hair, and nails. It is essential for keeping them healthy and strong and supports overall beauty. Collagen is made up of amino acids and is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up around 70% of our skin composition. It is responsible for providing structure and strength to our bones, muscles, and ligaments, and helps to maintain joint mobility. There are five different types of collagen in the human body, which are types I, II, III, IV, and V.
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Type I is the most common and is found in abundance in the skin, tendons, ligaments, and teeth. Type II is found in cartilage and provides cushioning for our joints. Type III is found in the muscles and helps maintain structure and shape. Type IV is found in the walls of the blood vessels and helps in regulating blood flow. Finally, type V is found in the kidneys, eyes, and placenta and helps to support the structure of these organs.
Collagen is essential for keeping skin, hair, and nails looking healthy and vibrant as we age and our collagen stores begin to decline. Without adequate collagen, we may suffer from premature wrinkles and thin, brittle nails that can be caused by protein deficiency. Taking a supplement that contains collagen precursors is an effective way to replenish these lost stores and can help keep skin hydrated, nails strong and healthy, and hair shiny and strong.
8. Amino acids
Amino acid protein shakes and supplements typically contain a combination of proteins from plants, eggs, and milk. Plant proteins include soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, and hemp, while egg proteins include egg whites, egg yolks, and egg albumin. Milk proteins include casein and whey protein.
The powders may also include added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. The amount of protein per scoop can range from 10 to 30 grams, and supplements used for muscle building typically contain more protein than those used for weight loss.
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in the body that is primarily responsible for providing energy to muscles and the nervous system. It is often used as a dietary supplement by those looking to build muscle mass and increase strength.
Creatine has several benefits and uses. It can improve exercise performance by increasing energy, enhancing muscle growth and strength, reducing fatigue and muscle soreness, improving muscle endurance, and reducing recovery time.
It has also been studied for its potential to treat depression, epilepsy, and various other medical conditions. Additionally, it may be beneficial for those with certain heart and kidney conditions.
Overall, creatine is a safe and effective way to boost exercise performance, build muscle, and increase strength.
10. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for bone health and is often included in protein shakes and supplements. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is necessary for the development and maintenance of strong bones. It also plays a role in muscle function and helps the body maintain healthy levels of phosphorus, both of which are important for healthy bones.
Vitamin D also helps to regulate the immune system and can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers. In short, Vitamin D is an essential component of protein shakes and supplements as it helps to promote overall health, especially when it comes to bone health.
What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best For Women?
When it comes to finding the best protein powder for women, it’s important to look at the concentration of protein, as well as the list of additives and fat. Popular types of protein powder include whey, soy, casein, hemp, and egg powders, any of which can support muscle development.
However, according to consultant dietitian Sophie Medlin, it’s important for women to have a high-protein breakfast and lunch to stay full throughout the day. Protein powder can be an easy and convenient way to boost protein intake, and our tried and tested round-up includes products specifically with women in mind.
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From digestive-friendly options to metabolism-supporting ingredients, you may want to consider Innermost The Lean Protein, MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate, Misfits Vegan Protein Powder, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, Vega Protein Made Simple, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein and Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate.
How Much Protein Powder Should Women Take?
For women 19 years and over, the recommended daily protein intake is 46 grams, and 56 grams for men of the same age. Protein powder can be a convenient way of getting the necessary protein into the diet, and the serving size varies depending on the individual and their activity level.
Women trying to lose a few kilos should aim for a 20-30 g serving, while those looking to build and maintain lean muscle mass should use 35 g or more per serving. When using protein powder, it’s important to stick to the brand’s specified amount – for example, Plix Life Women Protein & Superfoods recommends taking two scoops or 33 grams per day.
Protein shakes can be beneficial for women looking to reach their protein goals, as well as helping to maintain lean muscle mass and aiding in weight loss.
What is the best way to take protein powder?
The best way to take protein powder is to mix it into pre- and post-workout shakes and smoothies. Start by determining how much protein you want to consume, keeping in mind that for post-workout, combining whey protein with some potassium-rich fruit like bananas or strawberries in your smoothie helps with recovery.
Aim for at least 15-25 grams of protein, depending on how hungry you are. Shake the protein powder vigorously with water or milk until it mixes uniformly. You can also add it to other meals and snacks. For example, you can add it to oatmeal or a smoothie bowl. Take only the amount specified by the brand and enjoy the nutritional benefits that a protein powder can provide.
Does protein powder affect hormones in women?
The answer is yes. Protein powder has been shown to have a positive effect on hormones in women. Studies have shown that whey, soy, casein, hemp, and egg proteins can all help to increase muscle mass and bone strength, reduce cravings and late-night snacking, boost metabolism and fat burning, maintain weight loss, support hair, skin and nails, and boost memory.
A 2007 study published in the peer-reviewed journal “Fertility and Sterility” studied the effects of soy protein on postmenopausal women and found that it helped to reduce hot flashes and improve overall well-being.
Furthermore, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that overweight women who increased their protein intake from 15% to 30% of their calories ate 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting anything.
These studies demonstrate that protein powder can have a positive effect on hormones in women, but it’s important to note that it is not a miracle solution. It should be used in combination with regular exercise and a healthy diet for optimal results.
When is the best time to supplement with protein powder?
The best time to supplement with protein powder is before and after a workout. According to a review published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, eating enough carbs and protein within the hour after exercise enables muscles to replenish lost glycogen and provides protein and amino acids to build and repair muscle.
It is also recommended to look out for times when it is difficult to get enough protein, and supplementing with a protein shake or powder stirred into oatmeal or a post-recovery snack with carbohydrates can also be beneficial.
In conclusion, protein shakes can provide numerous benefits for females, including aiding in muscle growth and recovery, improving satiety, and promoting weight loss. However, it is important to note that protein shakes should not be used as a sole source of nutrition and should be consumed in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise routine.
Additionally, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before adding protein shakes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or allergies. Overall, protein shakes can be a useful supplement for females looking to improve their health and fitness goals but should be used appropriately and in moderation.