Healthy Living

Best Protein Powders For Women

Exercising while on lockdown is a great way for women to be in tune with their bodies, making them feel fit at the end of the day. Of course, they will need the right food for them to eat if they want to perform their best on their next workout sessions.

One of these foods are those rich in protein, which helps support overall health while aiding in fat loss and muscle gain. "Protein plays a key role in transporting messages around the body, hormone production, cell structure and muscle growth to name a few of its roles," nutritionist Jenna Hope told Glamour U.K.

Though normally consumed through various food sources such as meat and nuts, it is difficult to obtain through these alone, especially for those following certain diets. That is why protein powders are now on the market to help fill in the gaps. Ideal for extremely busy people, they deliver amino acids (protein's building blocks) to the muscles and can be added to milk, yogurt or water.

Here are the best protein powders for women:

Whey Protein Powder 

Whey protein comes from liquids scraped off cheese. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, it is the most effective protein for the body to use. It is the ideal protein for high intensity exercises and weightlifting. "Whey protein is absorbed most quickly and is therefore recommended after a high intensity workout throughout the day," Jenna said.

Compared to other options, whey powder has a higher concentration of proteins -- 60 to 70 percent higher than in vegan protein powders, which is expected since it is an animal-based food product. It also contains lots of leucine, an amino acid responsible for muscle growth and repair. 

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein is made from soluble protein extracted from yellow split peas, which are rich in fiber.

Pea protein is a vegan protein powder, so it is an option for those who prefer avoiding animal-based products. It is also an ideal choice for those suffering from bloating. 

Pea protein powder is loaded with muscle-growing and repairing leucine amino acids. One study found it to be just as effective as whey protein in building muscle mass over a 12-month period.

Casein Protein Powder 

A favorite among bodybuilders due its fat-burning properties, casein is similar to whey because both are made from milk and contain amino acids. It is an ideal choice for those who want to be lean.

According to Jenna, casein is digested slowly, meaning it keeps one feeling fuller for longer. It also stops muscles from breaking down, so women do not have to worry about losing muscles while losing weight. 

Hemp Protein Powder 

Hemp is a superfood powder made from ground hemp seeds. "Pea, hemp and brown rice are all vegan sources and tend to contain less protein per 100 grams than milk-derived protein. None of the vegan sources contain all 9 essential amino acids and therefore it is recommended to purchase a mixed vegan protein powder," Jenna said. 

Hemp powder is best for vegans who are seeking to amp their intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It contains 21 amino acids and also have high amounts of fiber -- 8 grams per 30-gram scoop.

Soy Protein Powder 

A favorite among workout junkies, soy protein is a protein made from dehulled and defatted soy beans. It is processed into three types: soy flour, soy concentrate and soy isolates. 

Drinking a soy protein shake post workout provides one with vitamins B12 and B6 -- both of which reduce tiredness. Recent research found that it can increase bone strength in women, as well as counteract the negative effects of menopause on bones.

protein shake Protein shakes are helpful for packing muscle and cutting fat. Kamil Kaczor/ Flickr

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