It is down from $629 to $380.

Protein is key for building, repairing muscle, and minimizing muscle loss with age—and while you can easily get protein from food like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, some people might turn to protein powder to obtain adequate amounts of the essential nutrient. “Supplementing with protein powder can be a great way to increase protein content in a women’s diet,” says Kristen Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic and founder and president of KAK Consulting, LLC. The best protein powder for women (or anyone, regardless of gender) can make it much easier to obtain the ideal dosage of your preferred protein source, whether from animal or plant origins, without unnecessary additives.

It’s important to note that protein powder is a supplement; it isn’t a substitute for a well-rounded diet that is rich in protein, and it should only be used to help fill in any nutritional gaps. And as, if not more importantly, you’ll also want to talk to your own physician before taking a new supplement. With this in mind, I spoke to Kirkpatrick to help you make an informed decision when choosing your ideal protein powder. Below are expert tips for selecting protein powder along with seven of the best options for women.

Best protein powder for women, at a glance

What to look for when shopping for a protein powder for women

Protein source

First, consider whether you want an animal- or plant-based protein powder. “I recommend finding a protein type that works based on preference,” says Kirkpatrick. If you consume or can tolerate dairy, she suggests protein powder made with whey, which typically comes from cow’s milk. Whey protein is rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein, and studies have shown that it can help support muscle health when paired with exercise.

If opting for whey powder, you might come across several types, the most common of which are whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein. According to registered dietitian nutritionist Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, in a previous interview with Well+Good, whey protein concentrate has a larger percentage of protein concentration (approximately 70 to80 percent protein) compared to whey protein isolate, which has about 90 percent protein. Hydrolyzed whey protein, albeit a more expensive option, also has about 90 percent protein, but Ehsani tells us that it can be easier on the stomach than whey protein concentrate and isolate.

Vegans, vegetarians, and people with dietary restrictions have the option of supplementing with plant-based protein powders, which can be made from legumes, seeds, or grains. Soy and pea protein powders are among the most popular choices, both of which can provide a substantial amount of protein, as well as fiber—keeping in mind that these options can cause stomach distress in some individuals, registered dietitian Christina Manian, RDN, previously wrote in Well+Good.

Whether you opt for an animal- or plant-based protein powder, consider an option with a short ingredients list. “The simpler the ingredients, the better,” says Kirkpatrick. She also suggests avoiding protein powders that contain artificial sweeteners, a sentiment echoed by Lauren Harrius-Pincus, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition You. “Personally, I prefer using naturally derived, zero-calorie sweeteners including monk fruit, erythritol, or allulose,” she told Well+Good.


Typically, the recommended daily dietary allowance for protein is 0.36 grams per pound for people 19 years of age and older. For a 130-pound woman, this would translate to 46.8 grams of protein per day. However, the recommended amount can differ from person to person, based on factors like activity level, age, overall health, and whether a person is pregnant or breastfeeding, says Kirkpatrick. Also note that too much protein can do you more harm than good. Experts have cautioned that a high-protein diet can lead to kidney damage, and diets high in red meat could lead to hi

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