We’ve already written about whether protein shakes or good or bad for you, but does this apply to women as well?
For the most part yes, women are fine to use any of the protein shakes out there on the market, but the same guiding principles apply. Try to choose one that has very little additives, and choose one that is naturally sweetened. These sweeteners include stevioside or rebaudioside which are derived from the leaves of the stevia plant, lo han extract, coconut nectar, organic raw honey, or black strap molasses.
How Much To Take?
Women specifically need to consider the amount of protein that they take, as the body cannot store protein. The average woman needs around 50 grams per day, 60 grams for pregnant women, and 70 grams for lactating women. So check the label and adjust upwards or downwards if necessary.
Meal Replacement and Weight Loss
These protein shakes can be used for weight loss, but be careful to buy ones that have few additives – you want mainly the protein, not all the other carbs or sugar that they might contain. Be careful using them as a meal replacement, perhaps one a day is fine, but you will be missing out on the other benefits that whole food can provide, such as other essential vitamins and minerals, and fiber.
Both soy and whey protein have received a lot of attention over the last few years, and although the test results are mixed, most are favourable. Benefits include prevention of cancer, the calcium included increases bone strength, weight loss, prevention and control of obesity, can assist with menopause, and can improve cardiovascular health.
So Which Shakes are the Best?
Stick to the guidelines mentioned already, and women might also want to choose protein shakes that have additives such as:
- folic acid
- vitamin B6
Women need more of these vitamins than men. I recommend these shakes: Jay Robb’s Whey Protein Powder, North Coast Natural’s ISO Protein, and EnergyFirst – Ultimate Vanilla Protein Powder as very natural products and a safe way to take whey protein. Also, try to choose one you like the taste of – but remember, you can always select a generic vanilla, and add your own fruit (provided you have the time and facilities to blend it at home or work).
As always, use these products in moderation – use common sense. Loading up on protein can have other unwanted side effects, such as weight gain, intestinal irritation such as constipation or diarrhoea , dehydration, and kidney problems.
Read the ingredients and instructions, and be safe and healthy.