Protein powder is commonly used as a dietary supplement to help build and recover muscles or to meet daily protein requirements in general.
If you are considering incorporating this dietary supplement into your routine, it may be overwhelming to find the most suitable product since there are a lot of options on the market.
In this article, we gathered a few products of what we consider the best protein powder for women and provided detailed justifications for each selection.
Best protein powder for women: shortlist
- Future Kind — best third-party tested protein powder for women
- Huel — best protein powder enriched with vitamins and minerals
- Bulletproof — best collagen protein powder
- Transparent Labs — best tasting protein powder
- HUM — best protein powder formulated for the FODMAP diet
- Primegenix — best protein powder for women weight loss
- Kaged — best value protein powder
- Onnit — best protein powder with a digestive enzyme blend
- Prolab — best whey protein for women
- mindbodygreen — best protein powder for women muscle gain and fitness
- MTN OPS — best caramel-flavored protein powder
Our criteria for selecting top women's protein powders
|Protein to calorie ratio
|Most calories come from protein
|Tested by an independent laboratory
|Source of protein
|Animal and plant-based
|Clean ingredient list
- Protein to calorie ratio. We focused on selecting protein powders that boast high protein content while maintaining low levels of carbohydrates and fats. This enables consumers to increase their protein intake without taking in excess calories.
- Safety. As protein powders are classified as dietary supplements, they do not need to be approved by the FDA. Some companies conduct third-party testing on their products to ensure that they are free from harmful ingredients and contain the amounts of nutrients as claimed on the label.
- Source of protein. Protein powders can be derived from a wide variety of sources. For our list, we choose some of the most popular and widely used options, both vegan and vegetarian.
- Additional ingredients. When analyzing the ingredients, we preferred products that contained no added sugars, preservatives, emulsifiers, or other ingredients that some people may choose to avoid.
Best women protein powder: top products
Whether your goal is to build muscle mass or increase protein intake in general, the multitude of protein powder options can be quite daunting.
To help you make a well-informed decision, we have put together a list of recommended protein powders for women that we believe are worth considering.
1. Future Kind — best third-party tested protein for women
Made using organic pea protein isolate, Future Kind stands as the top choice in our list due to impressive quality standards. Every batch of this protein powder undergoes rigorous testing by a third-party laboratory, so you can rest assured that you are getting nothing but the best.
Moreover, this protein powder is comprised of around 94% protein: each 85-calorie serving provides 20 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and zero fat. As the sweetener, Future Kind used organic stevia.
Right now, this Future Kind product is retailed at $59.99. Since it contains 34 servings per container, one serving would cost you $1.76.
2. Huel — best vitamin and mineral-rich protein powder for women
Huel Complete Protein is a protein powder enriched with vitamins and minerals. Besides protein itself, this dietary supplement includes vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium, and a wide range of other micronutrients that are essential for humans.
One serving of this Huel protein powder delivers 110 calories in total — and 20 grams of protein.
When it comes to flavors, Huel offers 5 of them: chocolate fudge brownie, vanilla, strawberry, banana pudding, and salted caramel.
As claimed by the manufacturer, all ingredients within Huel products are being tested by independent laboratories. However, Huel does not provide certifications on its website.
If you decide to opt for the Huel protein powder, one jar of it is currently priced at $40.50 without a subscription. As one jar of this Huel product contains 26 servings, one serving comes to $1.56.
3. Bulletproof — best collagen protein powder for women
Collagen protein is associated with skin and joint health. If you are looking to include collagen into your routine, Energy Collagen Protein by Bulletproof stands as one of the best choices.
Made from hydrolyzed collagen, this dietary supplement can be easily mixed into coffee, milk, or smoothie and comes in two flavors: vanilla bean and dark chocolate.
One serving of this product delivers 22 grams of protein and 110 grams of calories. Moreover, it contains various micronutrients such as vitamin C and l-tryptophan.
As per the manufacturer's website, Bulletproof products go through testing, although they do not specify if they conduct it themselves or delegate it to a third-party laboratory.
Right now, you can purchase one jar of Energy Collagen Protein for $44.99 if you opt to buy without a subscription. One jar contains 14 servings in total, meaning one serving would cost you $3.21.
4. Transparent Labs — best tasting protein powder for women
Made from grass-fed milk, this whey protein powder by Transparent Labs is known for its exceptional taste according to numerous reviews. Moreover, buyers can choose from 15 flavors, including peanut butter, milk chocolate, and mint chocolate chip.
One serving of this protein powder delivers 28 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and zero fat. This all comes down to 120 calories per serving in total.
As claimed by the manufacturer, their protein powder has been tested by an independent laboratory. However, the brand does not display a Certificate of Analysis on its website.
Right now, you can purchase this Transparent Labs protein powder for $59.99. As it contains 30 servings in total, one serving would come to $2.00.
5. HUM — best protein powder for the FODMAP diet
Core Strength by HUM is a protein powder formulated to suit a low FODMAP diet. Since this protein powder is targeted at people who want to improve their digestion, it also contains probiotics, dietary enzymes, and flax seeds.
One serving of this product would deliver 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fat. The total calories you would intake per serving would be 120.
As claimed by HUM, this powder has been tested by a third-party laboratory.
Right now, a package of HUM is priced at $30. As it contains 15 servings in total, this protein powder would cost you $2.00 per serving.
6. Primegenix — best protein powder for weight loss
Made from high-quality grass-fed milk, Primegenix stands as a solid choice for whey protein isolate. One serving of this product delivers 25 grams of protein, zero carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of fat. In total, you would get 100 calories per serving. Moreover, this powder would deliver 2.7 grams of BCAA.
You can choose from two different flavors: chocolate and vanilla.
The brand does not disclose any information regarding third-party testing on its website.
Right now, one jar of Primegenix protein powder is priced at $79.95 and contains 30 servings in total ($2.67 per serving).
7. Kaged — best value protein powder for women
Being only $1.36 per serving, Kaged is the most affordable option of our reviewed products. Moreover, the 44-serving container is currently priced at $59.99 before the discount.
One serving of this protein powder delivers 25 grams of protein, zero fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates, totaling 110 calories. Moreover, this whey protein powder includes digestive enzymes. As a sweetener, Kaged contains stevia.
You can pick from four flavors, including vanilla and s’mores.
As claimed by the manufacturer, this protein powder has been third-party certified. However, no Certificate of Analysis is available on the Kaged website.
8. Onnit — best protein powder with digestive enzymes
Containing a blend of digestive enzymes such as protease, amylase, and lipase, Onnit is a solid choice among protein powders for women. Made from milk from grass-fed cows, Onnit is a whey isolate powder containing 20 grams of protein per serving.
The total caloric amount of this powder will depend on the flavor: vanilla contains 110 calories, while Mexican chocolate has 120. The vanilla-flavored option has a lower fat content (2 grams) than the Mexican chocolate one (2.5 grams).
Right now, one jar of Onnit would cost you $59.95. As it contains 30 servings, one serving is priced at $2.00.
9. Prolab — best whey protein
Containing 23 grams of protein, this whey protein supplement is an excellent choice for women looking for ways to increase their protein intake.
One serving contains 110 calories, zero fats, and 5 grams of carbohydrates.
Buyers can pick from two flavors: vanilla ice cream or milk chocolate.
If you decide to purchase this protein powder, one jar of it is currently priced at $109.00. However, it contains 75 servings; thus, one would cost you $1.45.
10. mindbodygreen — best protein powder for women muscle gain
Made from whey protein isolate, mindbodygreen is a protein powder containing 25 grams of protein per serving. Alongside the protein content, each serving provides 6 grams of BCAAs, with 2.5 grams being leucine.
As claimed by the brand, mindbodygreen protein powder has been tested by an independent laboratory. However, this brand does not display the certification of the said testing on its website.
As the sweetener, mindbodygreen uses organic monk fruit and organic cinnamon. You can pick from two flavors: vanilla and chocolate.
Right now, you can purchase one pack of this protein powder for $59. However, it only contains 20 servings, making it $2.95 per serving.
11. MTN OPS — best caramel-flavored protein powder for women
If you prefer caramel-flavored protein powders, this MTN OPS product is a great choice. As claimed by the customer reviewers, this protein powder mixes well with water or milk, earning praise for its delightful chocolate caramel taste.
One serving of this protein powder would deliver 23 grams of protein. However, the brand does not display the full label of the product on its website, so it is unclear how many calories, fats, and carbohydrates are in the product.
Right now, you can purchase a 30-serving jar of this product for $54.95. This would total to $1.83 per serving.
Comparing best female protein powders
|Protein per serving
|Calories per serving
|Source of protein
|Servings per container
|Price per serving
|Hemp, faba and pea protein
|Chocolate fudge brownie, vanilla, strawberry, banana pudding, and salted caramel
|Vanilla bean, dark chocolate
|Milk chocolate, French vanilla, peanut butter, and 12 more
|Plant protein blend (pea, hemp, pumpkin seed)
|Does not specify
|Chocolate and vanilla
|Vanilla, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, s’mores
|Vanilla, Mexican chocolate
|Vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate
|Vanilla and chocolate
|Milk and whey protein
Identifying the best protein powders for women: A buyer's guide
If you have decided to incorporate protein powder into your routine, certain things are worth checking before committing to a purchase. Below, we will explain what to look for in the best protein powder for women.
- Third-party testing. Protein powders do not need to be approved by FDA. For this reason, it is worth checking if the protein powder has a COA certificate issued for products that have been tested by an independent laboratory. This can be treated as a signal of a transparent and reliable brand.
- Isolate vs concentrate. Common forms of protein powders are isolate or concentrate. Isolate protein powder will have a higher concentration of protein than concentrates.
- Other ingredients. It is important to investigate other ingredients that are added to the protein powder. Some products may contain artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives that may not align with your nutritional goals.
- Price per serving. Purchasing protein powder in bulk or with a subscription can often help you save on your purchases. Consider calculating the price per serving to better compare selected products.
Key benefits of protein supplements for women
When it comes to protein powders, there are many reasons why women may consider incorporating them into their diet. Essentially, protein powders provide the same protein benefits as natural food sources, but they offer a convenient way to ensure an adequate protein intake.
May protein benefits include:
- Essential for optimal body function. Protein is necessary for enzymatic activity, immunity, cell signaling, and muscle contraction. For this reason, it is crucial to consume enough protein per day.
- Muscle gain. Protein is a core component of muscle, and thus, active people who are trying to increase their muscle mass can enhance their protein intake by consuming protein shakes.
Moreover, some people want to increase their protein intake while trying to lose weight, as it may assist in preserving muscle mass while reducing body fat.
Daily protein requirements: How much do you need?
The daily requirement of protein for women will depend on their lifestyle and health factors.
For the general population, it is commonly recommended to consume 0.75-0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This means that a woman weighing 60 kilos (132 pounds) would need to consume around 45-48 grams of protein per day.
Active individuals should consume more protein than the general population. If you are participating in endurance sports, aim for 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per body weight in kilos per day. Individuals involved in resistance or speed exercises should opt for 1.6-1.8 grams of protein per kilogram per day.
Protein powder dos and don'ts for women's health
There are certain things that you can watch out for when purchasing or consuming protein powders.
- Avoid over-reliance. Protein powders should not be seen as substitutes for whole foods in your diet.
- Check for third-party testing. Some protein powders may contain heavy metals. Check for COA certificates before you purchase protein powders.
- Beware of excessive intake. Chronic high protein intake (>2 g per kg BW per day for adults) may result in digestive, renal, and vascular side effects for some.
- Ignore misleading claims. Certain protein powder manufacturers may promise unrealistic results or benefits for their products.
The science behind women's protein powders: Research insights
A large proportion of the protein in the body is present within muscle (43% on average), with significant proportions being present in skin (15%) and blood (16%). The main types of protein in the body are collagen (connective tissue), hemoglobin (red blood cells), myosin, and actin (muscle fibers).
When consumed, protein is broken down into amino acids, forming a pool that the body utilizes for synthesizing needed proteins for tissues and cells. This dynamic process, called protein turnover, involves the continuous construction and degradation of proteins.
Protein powders for women can help to increase overall protein intake. This could be important for various reasons, such as muscle building.
It's important to note that the effectiveness of women's protein powders depends not only on the product's formulation but also on individual factors such as overall diet, exercise routine, and health goals.
For instance, studies showed that postmenopausal women combining whey protein with resistance training increased their muscle mass more than the placebo group. However, taking only protein powder without engaging in resistance training did not affect body composition.
Consulting healthcare providers about protein powder: When and why
Most healthy individuals can incorporate protein powder into their routine without the supervision of their healthcare provider.
However, certain people could benefit from consulting with their doctor. This includes people with certain health issues (e.g., kidney conditions) or people who want to increase their protein intake by more than 2 grams per body weight in kilograms.
Final thoughts: choosing the best protein powder for women
Finding the best protein powder for women involves careful consideration of individual needs, preferences, and health goals. This article highlighted various products catering to different requirements, from third-party testing to specific dietary preferences.
As with any dietary supplement, it is essential to make an informed decision based on personal health circumstances and fitness objectives. Always prioritize the quality of the product, verify third-party testing, and consult healthcare professionals when in doubt. The diverse array of protein powders showcased in this article provides a starting point for women looking to enhance their protein intake and support their fitness journeys.
Find out more supplements to support your fitness goals
If the flavor is the most important factor when choosing a protein powder, you can check out our best tasting protein powders article.
Moreover, if you are trying to gain muscle, you may be interested in the best supplements for muscle growth.
If you are seeking to increase your amino acid intake, the best BCAA supplements for women could be worth checking out.
And lastly, supplements for muscle recovery may also aid your fitness progress.
What is the best protein powder for women?
It depends. Look for protein powders that have been third-party tested and display COA certificates on their website since protein powders can contain heavy metals. Moreover, consider your goals (e.g., muscle gain, overall increased protein intake) when choosing the best protein powder for women.
Is a protein shake a meal replacement?
A protein shake is not a meal replacement. Protein shakes can help you meet your protein intake goals, but they should not be used as substitutes for a healthy and balanced diet.
How much protein should I take daily?
Depends on your goals. The recommended protein intake for women is 0.75-0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. However, active adults may aim for higher levels: 1.2-1.4 g/kg for individuals participating in endurance sports and 1.6-1.8 g for those involved in resistance or speed exercise.
Which protein powder is best for weight loss for female?
Look for protein powders that contain high amounts of protein rather than products that also have high amounts of carbs, fats, and calories. It is important to get enough protein with every meal to ensure satiety and may lead to decreased caloric consumption throughout the day.
What is the best protein for muscle growth for women?
The best protein for muscle growth for women is a topic that often depends on individual preferences, dietary restrictions, and overall health goals. Look for high-quality protein powders that preferably have been third-party tested.
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