Health Ahoy may earn commissions on purchases from this page.
Best Protein Powders for Women
Health Ahoy may earn commissions on purchases.

Best Protein Powders for Women

Protein supplements can be a great way to help lose fat, gain muscle, or simply improve diet. But when most powders are marketed toward men, it can be pretty tough to make a good choice.

To help, here’s our list of the 10 best protein powders for women, with the best picks for weight loss, building muscle, and more.

Farther down, we present research on protein powder’s side effects, nutritional value, and more.

Quick Glance: 4 of 10
Best Overall: Perfect Keto – Collagen Peptides

“This delicious collagen powder is a great option for supporting hair, skin, and nail health.”
Check Price
15% off coupon
Runner-Up: Naked – Pure Casein Protein

“This clean, minimal-ingredient casein protein is a great option for long-lasting nutrition.”
Check Price
10% off coupon
Best Vegan: Snap Supplements – Clean Plant Protein

“This delicious, easy-mix protein powder is a tasty treat for any vegan diet.”
Check Price
20% off coupon
Natural Force Grass Fed Organic Whey Protein Powder – Non GMO Verified, Humane Certified & Lab Tested for Toxins – Real Vanilla Flavor – Keto Friendly, Low Carb, and Kosher - 14.3 Ounce A2 ProteinWhey Pick: Natural Force – Organic Whey Protein

“This whey protein powders comes in three delicious flavors with minimal, organic ingredients.”
Check Price

Top 10 Best Protein Powders for Women

Best Protein Powder for Women Overall

Perfect Keto – Collagen Peptides

Best Price
from vendor, with coupon

15% OFF COUPON

for checkout at vendor’s shop
  • 100% grass-fed
  • Keto-friendly
  • Delicious flavors
30g1 oz1/4 cup
18g
protein
1.5g
carbs
7g
fats
141
calories

This delicious, nutritious, and keto-friendly-icious collagen powder is a great choice for supporting a healthy body and a glowing complexion. Support hair, skin, and nail growth with a dash of delectable powder in pretty much any beverage of your choice.

And this powder is perfect for maximizing protein on a ketogenic diet. Each 17-gram serving contains 5 grams of MCT oil powder, which helps with boosting energy while in a state of fat-burning ketosis.

As a bonus, you don’t even need a blender for this stuff. We were able to smoothly blend up some delicious drinks with just some brisk stirring.

BOTTOM LINE

This delicious collagen powder is a great option for supporting hair, skin, and nail health.

Runner-Up Best Protein Powder for Women

Naked – Pure Casein Protein

Best Price
from vendor, with coupon

10% OFF COUPON

for checkout at vendor’s shop
  • 1-3 ingredients
  • Organic, non-GMO
  • Free of soy and gluten
30g1 oz1/4 cup
21.1g
protein
4.9g
carbs
0g
fats
105
calories
1 lb / 454 g Unflavored

Naked’s casein powder is a lean, clean source of long-lasting protein. The two flavored powders contains only three ingredients, while the unflavored option contains only one.

Since casein powder dissolves more slowly than most others, it’s a great option for slow-release protein that keeps you feeling full for longer.

BOTTOM LINE

This clean, minimal-ingredient casein protein is a great option for long-lasting nutrition.

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Women

Snap Supplements – Plant Protein with Nitric Oxide Booster

Best Price
from vendor, with coupon

20% OFF COUPON

for checkout at vendor’s shop
  • Vegan
  • Complete protein
  • Delicious flavors
30g1 oz1/4 cup
22g
protein
1g
carbs
2.1g
fats
105
calories
1.85 lb / 842 g Banana Vanilla Chocolate

Snap Supplements’ vegan plant protein is a great option for clean and delicious muscle fuel. With protein derived from brown rice, yellow peas, and lentils, you’re getting a complete amino acid profile that measures up closely with animal protein sources. (See this table for a comparison.)

Available in a handful of delectable flavors, this powder is a treat whether mixed into water or blended into a smoothie. And we were even able to fully dissolve the powder with only some brisk stirring—no blender needed.

BOTTOM LINE

This delicious, easy-mix protein powder is a tasty treat for any vegan diet.

Low-Calorie Pick

Ascent – Native Fuel Casein Protein Powder

Sale
  • Filling protein
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Gluten-free
30g1 oz1/4 cup
23.4g
protein
1.9g
carbs
0.8g
fats
103
calories

This is a healthy, lean, filling protein powder that’s perfect for weight loss.

Casein protein powder is a milk product popular for its filling, slow-digesting protein content. It has the ability to clump up in the stomach, making you feel fuller for longer while slowly providing the body with amino acids.

Ascent Native Fuel is an all-natural, gluten-free casein protein powder that’s perfect for weight loss. Because it’s digested so slowly, it’s a great option for managing appetite while maintaining a fairly low calorie count.

BOTTOM LINE

This casein powder has slightly less calories per serving than our top few picks.

Top Whey Protein Powder for Women

Natural Force – Organic Whey Protein Powder

Sale
  • Tastes great
  • 3-4 ingredients, organic
  • Keto, paleo, gluten-free
30g1 oz1/4 cup
22.4g
protein
3.4g
carbs
1.7g
fats
123
calories

This whey protein powders comes in three delicious flavors with just a few organic ingredients. The cacao bean, coffee bean, and vanilla bean flavors keep things sweet without going too wild.

This protein powder is organic, non-GMO, kosher, and gluten-free. It’s also perfect for those looking for paleo protein powders and keto-approved protein powders. It’s a great option for anyone wanting a great-tasting protein powder without unhealthy additives.

BOTTOM LINE

This is a delicious, organic protein powder available in vanilla, cacao, and coffee flavors.

Best Meal Replacement Protein Powder for Women

RSP – TrueFit Meal Replacement Protein Shake

  • Nutrient-rich
  • Probiotic-packed
  • Filling
30g1 oz1/4 cup
15.3g
protein
8.6g
carbs
2.1g
fats
104
calories

This grass-fed whey shake is packed with fruits, vegetables, fats, and probiotics.

Each 49-gram serving of this powder contains 25 grams of grass-fed whey protein, 5 grams of BCAAs, and lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and vegetables.

This protein powder is a great way to keep full throughout the day. It contains no GMOs, gluten, or artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

BOTTOM LINE

This is the best protein powder for women looking for a filling meal replacement shake.

Best Egg White Protein Powder for Women

Paleo Thin – Egg White Protein Powder

  • Complete protein
  • Keto-friendly
  • Paleo-friendly
30g1 oz1/4 cup
25g
protein
1g
carbs
0g
fats
108
calories

Egg whites protein powders are a super rich protein source. They’re a source of complete protein and they’re low-carb, keto- and paleo-friendly, and all natural. This powder is a great option for women wanting high-quality protein.

And for those who want the fewest ingredients possible, the unflavored powder contains only egg white powder and sunflower lecithin (a natural fat used for texture).

BOTTOM LINE

Paleo Thin’s egg white powder is a simple and clean, high-quality protein supplement.

Runner-Up Collagen Protein Powder for Women

Collagen Peptides Powder – Double Hydrolyzed

Sale
  • Double hydrolyzed
  • Grass-fed, non-GMO
  • Unflavored
30g1 oz1/4 cup
25.7g
protein
0g
carbs
0g
fats
107
calories

This protein powder contains nothing but collagen peptides and digestive enzymes. And these peptides are derived exclusively from grass-fed, non-GMO bovine sources. They’re perfect for ketogenic diets.

The collagen peptides have also been double hydrolyzed for easier absorption. This process combined with the mixed-in digestive enzymes makes this one of the most digestible amino acid supplements on the market.

BOTTOM LINE

This is a high-quality, clean concentration of easily-digestible collagen peptides.

Runner-Up Vegan Protein Powder for Women

KOS – Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

  • Vegan
  • Minimal ingredients
  • All organic
30g1 oz1/4 cup
15.4g
protein
6.9g
carbs
4.6g
fats
131
calories

This blend of five vegan protein sources is a rich source of protein and other nutrients. It contains non-GMO pea, flax seed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed protein sources.

This is a great vegan option for anyone wanting more than just protein. It’s nutrient-dense and packed with fiber, making it an invaluable for any health and wellness goal.

BOTTOM LINE

This nutrient-packed blend of five organic protein sources is a great option for extra vegan protein.

Fruity Protein Powder for Women

Isopure – Infusions Whey Protein Isolate

Sale
  • Only 5 ingredients
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Light and refreshing
30g1 oz1/4 cup
24g
protein
2.4g
carbs
0g
fats
108
calories

This light, fruity whey protein isolate is a deliciously lean protein source with no added junk. It’s sweet and refreshing without any artificial ingredients.

Available in five different fruit flavors, each with only five ingredients, there’s sure to be an option to help with your lean health and fitness goals.

BOTTOM LINE

This light and lean whey isolate powder comes in five deliciously fruity flavors.


All About Protein Powder

How to Take Protein Powder

Once you’ve picked the best hemp protein powder for your goals, you’ll need to figure out how to take it and how much to take.

With most protein powders, the go-to option is to mix the powder into a protein shake. Some powders do this really well, such as whey and casein powders. Other powders won’t dissolve as easily, such as hemp powders.

For protein powders that don’t mix as easily, you can mix them into foods instead, or even bake with them. Get creative!

Blueberry Protein Shake
Get creative with your protein shakes!

How Much to Take

  • For Building Lean Muscle

For building lean, toned muscle, research has shown that you should be taking between about 0.73 and 1.1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (1.6 to 2.4 grams per kilogram of weight).1A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults2Do athletes need more dietary protein and amino acids? The more you work out, the more protein you’ll need.

For women wanting to build muscle, it would be best to take either Revel Whey Protein Powder or UMP Protein Powder.

  • For Losing Fat

To burn fat, it’s better to consume less protein and fewer calories overall. Studies have demonstrated that the ideal protein intake is around 0.36 to 0.73 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (or 0.8 to 1.6 grams per kilogram of bodyweight.)3A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults4Dietary protein intake and human health.

Leaner protein powders like Ascent Native Fuel Casein Protein Powder and Isopure Infusions Fruity Whey Protein Isolate are perfect for working on losing fat.

  • For Health and Wellness

For those who want to supplement protein simply for healthier living, you’ll want to stick to the above 0.36 to 0.73 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (or 0.8 to 1.6 grams per kilogram), depending on your activity level. We recommend sticking with something simple like Her Natural Whey Protein Powder.

When to Take It

  • For Building Muscle

If you run, lift weights, or perform other athletic activities, you’ll want to take protein right after your workout.

Research has linked post-workout protein with a whole bunch of positive effects.

These benefits are useful for more than just increased athletic performance. Having more lean muscle helps with fat loss, as explained below.

  • For Weight Loss

If you work out, it’s best to drink a protein shake immediately after your workout. As explained above, this helps with maximizing performance and muscle building.

But building muscle doesn’t mean you’ll get bulky. In fact, muscle tissue is incredibly important for fat loss. The more muscle you have, the most calories you burn at rest. (This is called your basal metabolic rate, and the higher it is, the easier it is to lose weight.)

And if you drink protein outside of workout timeframes, it’s better to drink your protein shakes with your meals instead of in between meals. Studies have shown that this can help with losing more fat.14Effects of protein supplements consumed with meals, versus between meals, on resistance training–induced body composition changes in adults: a systematic review

For more information on protein powder dosage and timing, take a look at our protein powder guide.

Golfing Woman Drinking Protein Shake
Protein shake timing is important for meeting specific goals.

Protein Powder Side Effects and Considerations

While protein powders are generally quite safe as nutritional supplements, some kinds can lead to mild side effects.

For those not used to taking protein powder, supplementing a lot of it can result in digestive issues, including bloating and stomach aches. For those concerned, it may be best to take only a little protein powder initially, then slowly work up to the recommended daily dosage.

For those with lactose or gluten sensitivities, protein powders than contain these elements will likely cause unpleasant side effects. Check the label of each protein powder to see whether it’s advertised as gluten- or lactose-free.

You can also take a look at our gluten-free protein powder guide.


Quick Protein Overview

Not sure if protein supplements are right for you? Here’s a quick overview to help you decide.

What Proteins Are

Proteins are the basic building blocks of the body. They’re made of amino acids, which are used for building muscle and connective tissue, as well as performing other functions necessary for life.

There are 8 amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own but still needs. These are called essential amino acids.

Not all protein sources are created equal. Sources that contain all essential amino acids are called complete proteins. These include most animal proteins such as whey, casein, and egg whites, but also some plant sources. Hemp, rice, soy, and pea are some other examples.

Different protein sources are helpful for meeting different goals.

How Protein Supplements Help

The following information is summarized from our complete protein powder guide. Check it out for more thorough information.

With Athletics

  • Building and Preserving Muscle Mass

Many studies have demonstrated that drinking protein shakes in combination with exercising regularly results in increased muscle mass.15Whey Protein Supplementation Improves Body Composition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis16A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults

There are a few reasons for this, but one is that drinking protein after a workout has two immediate effects. First, the supply of fresh amino acids from the protein stops the body from breaking down muscle tissue. Second, the body simply creates muscle tissue at a higher rate when supplied with amino acids after a workout.17Reduced resting skeletal muscle protein synthesis is rescued by resistance exercise and protein ingestion following short-term energy deficit.18Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids19Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders.20Effects of exaggerated amino acid and protein supply in man.

  • Boosting Performance and Decreasing Soreness

Protein supplements help with more than just muscle size. Research has shown that drinking a protein shake after workouts leads to increased strength, performance levels, and one repetition max.21A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults/mfn]21Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans22Effects of resistance training and protein plus amino acid supplementation on muscle anabolism, mass, and strength

There are three major reasons behind this. First, protein supplements simply help the body produce more muscle tissue, as discussed above.

Second, drinking protein after an intense workout helps restore muscle glycogen, a primary energy source. 23Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement24Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise25Postexercise protein-carbohydrate and carbohydrate supplements increase muscle glycogen in men and women26Regulation of Muscle Glycogen Repletion, Muscle Protein Synthesis and Repair Following Exercise

And finally, post-workout protein also reduces muscle soreness. Since sore, damaged muscle fiber can’t perform as well as it normally could, reducing soreness results in increased performance and resultant strength gains over time. 27THE EFFECT OF A CARBOHYDRATE AND PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT ON RESISTANCE EXERCISE PERFORMANCE, HORMONAL RESPONSE, AND MUSCLE DAMAGE28Effect of milk-based carbohydrate-protein supplement timing on the attenuation of exercise-induced muscle damage29Acute milk-based protein–CHO supplementation attenuates exercise-induced muscle damage

SUMMARY

Taking protein supplements can help with gaining muscle mass, boosting performance, and decreasing soreness.

With Weight Loss

Research has demonstrated that drinking protein shakes can help with reducing fat mass while increasing or maintaining muscle mass.30Whey Protein Supplementation Improves Body Composition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis31A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study32Effects of protein supplements consumed with meals, versus between meals, on resistance training–induced body composition changes in adults: a systematic review

There are a few contributing factors here. The simplest is that protein shakes are filling, and can often replace unhealthy food choices. They can help with both appetite control and responsible dietary choices.

But beyond simple meal replacements, protein shakes help increase muscle mass, which in turns helps with burning fat.

Even at rest, muscle consumes more calories than fat does. This means that the more muscle tissue you have, the higher your resting metabolism. And the higher your resting metabolism, the easier it is to maintain a calorie deficit and burn fat.

SUMMARY

Protein supplements can help with losing fat and maintaining calorie-burning muscle mass.


Summary

Protein supplements can be an incredibly useful tool for reaching health and wellness goals. Once you know your goals, you can reference this guide to pick the best protein powder for you.

For more information on protein supplementation, see our complete protein powder guide.

Overview: Best Protein Powders for Women
Best Overall: Perfect Keto – Collagen Peptides

“This delicious collagen powder is a great option for supporting hair, skin, and nail health.”
Check Price
15% off coupon
Runner-Up: Naked – Pure Casein Protein

“This clean, minimal-ingredient casein protein is a great option for long-lasting nutrition.”
Check Price
10% off coupon
Best Vegan: Snap Supplements – Clean Plant Protein

“This delicious, easy-mix protein powder is a tasty treat for any vegan diet.”
Check Price
20% off coupon
Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein Protein Powder - 2 Lbs - ChocolateLow-Calorie: Ascent – Native Fuel Casein Protein

“This casein powder has slightly less calories per serving than our top few picks.”
Check Price
Natural Force Grass Fed Organic Whey Protein Powder – Non GMO Verified, Humane Certified & Lab Tested for Toxins – Real Vanilla Flavor – Keto Friendly, Low Carb, and Kosher - 14.3 Ounce A2 ProteinWhey Pick: Natural Force – Organic Whey Protein

“This whey protein powders comes in three delicious flavors with minimal, organic ingredients.”
Check Price
RSP TRUEFIT - Protein Powder Meal Replacement Shake, Grass-Fed, Organic Real Food, Probiotics, MCT Oil, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, No Artificial Sweeteners, 2 LB ChocolateMeal Replacement: RSP – TrueFit Meal Replacement

“This grass-fed whey shake is packed with fruits, vegetables, fats, and probiotics.”
Check Price
Julian Bakery Paleo Thin Protein Powder | Egg White | Unflavored | 25g Protein | Soy-Free | GMO-Free | 2 LBS | 30 ServingsBest Egg White: Paleo Thin – Egg White Protein Powder

“Egg whites are an incredibly rich protein source, and this powder is packed with them.”
Check Price
Collagen Peptides Powder - Enhanced Absorption - Supports Hair, Skin, Nails, Joints and Post Workout Recovery - Hydrolyzed Protein - Grass Fed, Non-GMO, Type I and III, Gluten-Free, UnflavoredRunner-Up Collagen: Collagen Peptides Powder

“This protein powder contains nothing but collagen peptides and digestive enzymes. Super clean.”
Check Price
KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder – Raw Organic Vegan Protein Blend, 2.6 Pound, 30 Servings (Chocolate)Runner-Up Vegan Protein: KOS – Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

“This blend of five vegan protein sources is a rich source of protein and other nutrients.”
Check Price
Isopure Infusions, Refreshingly Light Fruit Flavored Whey Protein Isolate Powder, 'Shake Vigorously & Infuses in a Minute', Tropical Punch, 16 ServingsFruity Pick: Isopure – Infusions Whey Protein

“This light, fruity whey protein isolate is a deliciously lean protein source with no added junk.”
Check Price