Whey protein is an excellent addition to anyone's fitness and health routine, as it provides a concentrated dose of amino acids that your body needs to make repairs to your muscles after an intense workout. If you want to see results, you'd do well to consider taking a whey protein supplement.
"But," you may say, "I don't want to get all 'jacked' like those muscle heads I see at my gym. I want to look lean and sleek, but still retain my curves."
Well, no worries on that count! It's actually a myth that protein powder will make you look too ripped or heavily-muscled. Protein will simply provide your body the amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair. It's only by doing a lot of very heavy resistance training that you'll end up "ripped".
No, the truth is that whey protein for women is an absolutely excellent addition to your day. Below, you'll find out why you should be using it, what you should use, and how much.
Why Whey Protein for Women
Here are four excellent reasons women should use whey protein in their daily diet:
- It helps control cravings. A hefty dose of protein will satiate your appetite, but it will also shut down your cravings. The fast-acting protein can keep you full for long periods of time, preventing you from feeling hungry for hours after taking your shake. It will be much easier to avoid snacking or overeating, thanks to the whey protein.
- It increases calorie burning. Did you know that your body continues burning calories for hours after an intense resistance training session? Add to that a bit of whey protein, and you get a visible boost to your metabolic rate, leading to more calories burned even while you're sitting or resting.
- It boosts your mood. Exercise is already an excellent mood-booster, but whey protein doubles the effects. Whey protein contains tryptophan, an amino acid your body uses to produce serotonin, also known as the "happy hormone". An increase in tryptophan can improve coping abilities and reduce stress.
- It builds more lean muscle. This is the real reason most of us take protein powder, because we want to see more muscle growth for our fitness efforts. Whey protein contributes to the growth of new lean muscle fibers, and it will begin to work right away thanks to its fast-acting nature. You'll also recover from workouts more quickly and spend less time sore no matter how hard you push yourself.
As you can see, these benefits of whey protein for women are more than just "getting ripped". You'll be able to see visible improvements in your health and well-being within just a few weeks of taking protein powder daily.
Which Whey Protein for Women?
Look at the shelf of your local supplement store, department store, or supermarket and you'll find yourself confronted by dozens of different brands, flavors, and types of protein powder. It's nearly impossible to choose a protein powder because you're so concerned about looking for "the right one".
When it comes down to it, there is really only one thing you need to concern yourself with: whey isolate versus whey concentrate.
Whey concentrate is typically the cheaper of the two forms of protein powder, and the amount of protein per serving is less than an isolate. However, a whey concentrate preserves a higher level of the critical amino acids and glutathione that boost your immune system and improve muscle recovery time. So, a whey concentrate is the best choice for women looking to get in better shape, and also want to improve their health at the same time.
Whey isolate is usually more expensive, because it goes through additional processing steps to extract a higher protein content. It is favored by the muscle building folks that want to look ripped. However, the additional processing damages the fragile amino acids so its primary benefit is to build muscle.
Other than this single factor, everything else tends to be extra.
- Flavors. There are dozens of flavors to choose from, and you'll find that each brand produces its own unique tastes. Some you may like and some you may not, but the nutrients remain the same.
- Protein content. You'll find most whey protein powders contain between 16 and 30 grams of protein per serving (usually higher for isolates for reasons stated above).
- Ingredients. Aside from the whey protein, you may find the powders contain ingredients like Stevia, artificial sweeteners, natural flavorings, antioxidants, and so on. Choose these as desired.
In the end, the only thing you really need to worry about is the concentrate versus isolate decision.
What About Other Proteins?
Whey protein for women may be the most popular choice, but it's not the only one. There are other protein powders to choose from, including:
Egg - Egg protein is contains both slow- and fast-acting amino acids, and it tends to be one of the most balanced proteins around. However, it's not as effective as whey protein, and tends to be a bit pricier.
Casein - Casein protein is also made from milk, but it's all slow-acting amino acids. It's better for use overnight, when your body has hours to make repairs to damaged and broken-down muscle fibers. However, the metabolic effects of whey protein far outweigh those of casein protein.
Soy - Soy protein is a good vegetarian option, and it contains a full complement of muscle-building amino acids. However, whey protein will burn more fat than soy, and it is more easily bio-available.
Pea/Plant Proteins - These protein powders are usually made with protein derived from a mixture of various legumes, grains, and plants. They tend to be effective, but not as effective as whey protein.
In the end, whey protein for women is the superior choice. Whey protein concentrates have the highest Biologic Value (a measure of your body’s ability to utilize a protein) of any protein. If you don't have a problem with milk products, you'll find that taking whey protein delivers the best results in terms of appetite control, metabolic boosting, muscle-building, and improving your muscle recovery time and immune system.