In case you haven’t heard ladies, protein powder isn’t just a boy’s toy anymore. Those long-believed myths that consuming protein will do nothing but bulk you up are (finally!) starting to be forgotten by the women of today who are embracing a healthy, fit lifestyle. And now you want in on the adventure, right? We can hardly blame you. So here’s our guide to everything you want to know about protein powder when you’re just starting out.
Why take protein?
The short and sweet of why you not only need to be taking in protein, but what you definitely want to be, are these:
- It helps to stabilize your energy levels
- It helps you feel to fuller for longer
- It helps boost your immune system
- It helps protect against muscle loss (which will help keep you lean!)
- And most importantly, it helps you burn calories more efficiently
Types of protein
There are countless types of protein powders out there but if you’re looking for your safest bets, these are three with a proven track record of success in the industry:
Whey is, by far, the most popular and most recognizable type of protein powder. Whey is the liquid that is left behind in the process of curdling and straining milk–which sounds pretty rotten, but actually tastes pretty darn good–and it is a complete protein source, making it a great choice for both males and females.
Another straggler from the milk process (promise we’ll get to the vegan stuff next!), casein is the slower digesting protein that comes in the form of milk curds and then is turned into powder. Casein is known for being the best protein to help with muscle recovery, which makes it a great post-workout or pre-bed protein choice.
Soy & Vegan Protein
Since even those who aren’t lactose intolerant can sometimes find milk-based proteins hard on their stomach, many choose to go with vegan formulas such as soy protein. Additionally rice, pea, and hemp protein are also other great vegan protein options that still pack a healthy punch.
How much protein powder should I eat? And how?
The average female should ingest approximately 46g of protein per day, not all of which (obviously) is going to come specifically from protein powder. Aim for 1-to-1½ scoops of protein powder per day taken before or after exercise for the optimal results. As for the how? Shake it into water straight up (almost all protein powders are flavoured and delicious) or drop it into a smoothie.