One question that comes up a lot in the health and fitness world pertains to the type of food we should be eating in order to get into shape, burn fat, and build muscle. Often the answer that people get is to eat lean meats, increase their consumption of veggies, and other answers of that nature. Another tip that gets thrown around quite often is to start consuming protein powder.
Unfortunately many people do not really understand how to implement these tips effectively in their day-to-day lives. This is especially true with protein powder. With women in particular there seems to be the most confusion simply because the vast majority of information online about this topic is geared toward men.
Before we try to determine what the best protein powder for women is let’s first look at what the purpose of protein is in the body. For everyone, male and female, protein plays a vital role in cellular regeneration and muscle growth. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to call protein the primary building block that muscle is created with.
One of the biggest dangers of insufficient protein is the inhibition of our bodies to properly synthesize protein at the molecular level. This in turn causes us to have a more difficult time regenerating new tissue as old cells die off. Also recovering from injuries takes a far greater amount of time. On top of all this a lack of protein can also lead to low energy which is accompanied by an entirely different set of problems.
The point here is that protein is a crucial element to the body.
This brings us to the major questions at hand: What is the best protein powder for women? Who should be taking it and how should protein powder be used?
To answer these questions let’s first take a look at what types of protein powders are available on the market.
One of the most well known supplements of this type is whey protein. For many years now this supplement has been used as a means for athletes and muscle builders to add a quick burst of protein to their diet. The theory behind it is that whey is a fast metabolizing protein. Protein is a compound that typically is slow to be processed through our systems. This is why it can be used as a highly effective hunger suppressant.
Whey protein is unique in that our bodies can process it fairly quickly. When taken immediately before or after a workout session the theory is that the supplement will provide the body with protein right when it needs this nutrient the most.
For women whey protein powder is an excellent supplement to take in conjunction with exercise. There is no difference with how this supplement works in men or in women. One of the great things about whey is that it is readily available in powder form from a variety of manufacturers and in a large number of flavors. It is probably the easiest form of protein powder for people to get their hands on due to its popularity in the exercise world.
As mentioned above the best way to use this powder is right around the time that you will be doing a workout. Generally about 30 minutes before or up to 30 minutes after. The powder can be mixed with water, juice, or any other type of liquid that you find palatable. Experiment with it to find the flavors and mixture that you most prefer.
The other two types of protein powders that I want to mention here are soy and casein.
Soy protein powder has a normal digestion time. Meaning that it is absorbed into the body as fast as any average type of protein. It makes an excellent meal replacement for weight loss and has the added benefit of being relatively high in anti-oxidants. Women with soy sensitivities or diets that are already high in soy may want to avoid it.
Casein protein powder does not have the antioxidant effects of soy, but it is the slowest metabolizing protein that you can get. This makes casein the best powder to use as a meal replacement for the purposes of losing weight. The reason this matters is because the slower something is to metabolize the longer it stays in our stomachs. The result is that we feel fuller for a longer period of time. For example a person trying to use whey protein powder as a meal replacement would find themselves hungry again in a fairly quickly. While the person who drank a shake made out of casein powder would have their hunger satisfied for hours.
As you can see it is impossible to say what the best protein powder for women is. It really depends on why you are taking the supplements. For exercise whey is the best because it quickly enters into your system. For a meal replacement both soy and casein work quite well, although casein will give you a greater feeling of satisfaction. If you are simply trying to up your overall intake of protein then any of the powders are suitable. The most important thing to remember when you are taking these types of supplements is that your overall diet needs to be nutritionally balanced. Do not take too much protein and neglect the other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs.