Protein Powder For Women – Should Women Use Protein?

Many women looking to improve health ask if there is a protein powder that satisfies their specific needs, but the truth is this: regular protein powders are not just for male bodybuilders; they benefit women, too.

Protein Powder for Women

Protein has proven to be one of the best ways to improve health for both men and women and offers several benefits to both sexes.

If you have additional questions about protein powder for women, here’s a quick guide on how protein powder for women.

Let’s discuss how protein affects women, how much protein women need, and what benefits are available if women supplement with protein powders.

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Some of the protein powder benefits for women:

  • 1. Appetite Suppressant and Weight Loss Aid
  • 2. Muscle Growth and Repair
  • 3. Skin, Hair and Nail Health
  • 4. Cycle Regulation
  • 5. Preventing Muscle Breakdown

Appetite Suppressant & Weight Loss Aid

Protein is an effective appetite suppressant, which means women wanting to lose weight will be less likely to overeat.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released a study reporting women who supplemented with protein experienced better satiety and weight loss results than women who did not. [1]

Of course, you don’t want protein powder to be your sole source of protein and nutrition. But, taking a shake or supplement in addition to a healthy diet gives the sustaining power needed to cut calories without feeling starved.

Muscle Growth and Repair

Protein powder allows for healthy muscle growth and recovery. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll turn into the Hulk if you take additional protein.

Rather, protein creates the ideal environment for repairing muscle tissue after extensive exercise; it doesn’t build muscle on its own. It aids recovery during DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, so you’ll be able to get back in the gym more quickly. [2]

Furthermore, most women don’t have the hormones and the additional genetic makeup to pack on large, bulky muscles. [3]

Consequently, weight loss experts and personal trainers encourage women to strength train regularly and to supplement with protein powder to slim down and tone up.

Skin, Hair and Nail Health

If your hair is lacking shine or your skin is looking less than healthy, you might not be getting enough protein.

Collagen is a type of protein present in skin, hair, and nails. It is primarily made of the amino acids lysine and proline. These amino acids are mainly found in milk products, including whey and casein protein powders. [4]

Protein supplementation may improve collagen production, which in turn optimizes growth and appearance of skin, hair, and nails. [5]

Menstrual Cycle Regulation

Your nutrition needs vary depending on your time of the month, and those needs include protein supplementation.

According to studies, protein is essential for maintaining healthy nitrogen utilization during the menstrual cycle. [6]

Additionally, hemoglobin is a protein that composes and is vital for a healthy blood supply. Many women who complain of heavy menstrual cycles may have conditions relating to a low hemoglobin count.

Studies show protein supplementation positively affects hemoglobin count and supports healthier menstrual cycles. [7]

Preventing Muscle Breakdown

At night, the body undergoes 6 to 8 hours of rest and repair. During this time, it uses nutrients it stored during the day to rebuild damaged tissue, secrete helpful hormones, and maintain other bodily processes.

However, 6 to 8 hours is a long time. The longer your body goes without additional nutrients, the more creative it has to be to find the building blocks necessary to function. Subsequently, it starts to pull these nutrients from wherever it can find them; namely, by breaking down muscle tissue – all your hard work at the gym starts to go down the drain.

Fortunately, there is a protein powder for women that counters this breakdown: casein. This protein digests slowly, taking up to 7 hours to digest. [8] Subsequently, it provides energy and prevents the body from breaking down muscle during long periods of inactivity and no consumption. [9]

How Much Protein Does a Woman Need?

Daily recommendations from the Institute of Medicine are about 46 g protein for the average woman. However, Harvard Medical School recommends women consume 15% of their daily calories from protein – or about 75 g protein in a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keep in mind, women may need to consume more if participating in high intensity or extended endurance exercises. It is safe for women to consume as much as 1.1 g protein per pound body weight per day. [10] In that ratio, a woman weighing 140 pounds could potentially consume 154 g protein to increase muscle, strength, and lean body mass.

References

[1] Noakes, M., Keogh, J. B., Foster, P. R., & Clifton, P. M. (2005). Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(6), 1298-1306. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/6/1298.short
[2] Etheridge, T., Philp, A., & Watt, P. W. (2008). A single protein meal increases recovery of muscle function following an acute eccentric exercise bout. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 33(3), 483-488. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461101
[3] Chee, Rosie. “Breaking the Myth. Increasing Testosterone in Females Equals Muscle Accretion, Strength Gains, and Fat Loss.” BodyBuilding.com. Available from: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/myth-of-women-lifting-heavy2.htm
[4] “Can you tell me which foods promote collagen?” The World’s Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation. Available from: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=fightdz&dbid=6
[5] “Lysine.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Available from: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lysine
[6] Calloway and Kurzer. ‘Menstrual Cycle and Protein Requirements of Women.” The Journal of Nutrition. 112: 356-366. 1982. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/112/2/356.full.pdf
[7] Orten, A. U., & Orten, J. M. (1943). The role of dietary protein in hemoglobin formation. The Journal of Nutrition, 26(1), 21-31. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/26/1/21.full.pdf
[8] Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. “Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 23;94(26):14930-5. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9405716
[9]Wein, Debra. “Whey Protein vs Casein Protein and Optimal Recovery.” National Strength and Conditioning Association. Available from: http://www.nsca.com/education/articles/whey-protein-vs-casein-protein-and-optimal-recovery/
[10]Coleman, Erin. “How Much Protein is Too Much for a Female?” SFGate. Available from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-protein-much-female-6346.html

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