Best Protein Powder For Women
Just like men, women can experience some fantastic benefits from taking protein powder. But – also just like men – women need to choose their protein powder wisely to be sure that their getting the best product for their money. So... what does that mean? What exactly is the best protein powder for women?
- Grass-fed and Organic – It might not seem like a big deal, but the diet and living conditions of the cow that produced your whey or casein can have a large impact on the end product. We'll talk about this a little bit further when we deal with the macronutrient profile but, for now, let's simply say a grass-fed cow produces a more nutrient dense whey. Cows that have been raised in organic facilities have also been kept free from antibiotics and hormones, guaranteeing their absence in the end product. If you're looking at vegan protein powders, you'll also want to stick to organic options to be sure that these have not been treated with pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals.
- Concentrate - Typically, whey protein is classified as either “concentrate,” “isolate,” or “hydrolysate.” Both isolates and hydrolysates have gone through extensive processing to breakdown the bonds between the proteins and to remove anything besides protein. Ultimately, this creates a supplement that is rich in protein that can be quickly absorbed. Here's the problem: whey is already rich in protein that can be quickly absorbed. That extra processing then, removes other highly beneficial compounds and greatly increases the cost – all to only slightly increase the protein concentration.
- No Additives - It's very common for protein supplements to be full of plenty of things besides protein. Dyes, preservatives, flavorings, fillings, anti-caking agents and the like fill the average tub. These additives carry with them a host of harmful side-effects, including an increased risk of diabetes, obesity and even some cancers. Instead, opt for an all-natural, additive-free protein that has as few ingredients as possible. If you find it necessary to add some extra flavor, you can always toss the protein into a shake or smoothie.
- Solid Macronutrient Profile - As mentioned, the conditions in which the cows were raised can have a large impact on the nutrient make-up of the final product. Grass-fed cows produce dairy that is lower in saturated fat and rich in healthy omega-3 and conjugated linoleic fatty acids – which are both extremely good for brain, metabolism and cardiovascular system. But, of course, you'll want to make sure that your protein has plenty of... well, protein. The exact amount you need will depend on your workouts and your overall diet, as well as your fitness level and goals. Along the same lines, check to be sure that the protein supplement has a complete amino acid profile. It should contain high levels of naturally occurring BCAAs, rather than having some added later. When amino acids needed to be added back to a protein product, it's a sign of an inferior starting ingredient and excessive processing.