Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss Female Specific (Top Picks)

By Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

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Protein powder is a type of product that can be used for a number of benefits. Both men and women can use protein powder, but we’re going to be looking at the benefits of protein for women and reveal which is best for weight loss (female specific) in this article. Whether you’re looking to lose a number of pounds, you’re interested in building up your muscle mass or improved athletic performance is your main goal, protein powder contains a number of nutrients that can help you reach your goals.

The old stereotype regarding protein powder focused on men who were looking to build up crazy amounts of muscle by bulking up. This isn’t the only use of the product, and many women are finding it helps them in many different ways. Whipping up a quick smoothie with a scoop of high-quality protein powder doesn’t take very long, and protein powder tends to be relatively affordable. You don’t have to replace your meals with a protein shake for weight loss. You can use it as a complement to an already healthy diet or as a quick snack.

If I’ve piqued your interest, you may already be looking on the internet for some protein powder options. There are a ton of different brands out there, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. In my article, I want to talk to you about protein powder specifically for women, how they can help you lose weight, the amount of protein that you should be consuming and I’ll even run down some of my favorite protein powder blends.

Quick Table of Our Top Weight Loss Protein Powders for Women

Female Weight loss Protein Powder

Price

Shop

1. 1st Phorm Level-1 Protein Powder

$54.99

at Level-1 (free shipping using our link)

2. Ritual Protein Powder

$44

at Ritual (free shipping always)

3. iHeart Macros Protein Powder

$53.95

at iHeart Protein (coupon code FHM gets you 15% off)

4. Phormula-1 Protein Powder

$59.99

at Phormula-1 (free shipping using our link)

5. Clean Simple Eats

$59.99

at Clean Simple Eats (coupon code TAMI gets you 10% off)

Is Protein Powder Good for Females?

Protein powder is an excellent opportunity to increase your protein intake each day. This is especially beneficial for women that are concerned they’re not meeting their protein intake requirements. You can refer to the Daily Recommended Intake of protein for women, which is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This number goes up if you’re a woman that is regularly exercising, training or performing in some sort of athletic activity. Protein does much more than just provide us with energy and endurance. It can also support our body’s ability to repair our muscles and help them grow.

Our main meat sources like chicken, beef, pork, eggs and fish include high amounts of protein in each serving, but many women are falling short, especially those that are following a predominantly plant-based diet. There are plant-based foods that contain protein such as beans, nuts and grains, but unfortunately the amounts just don’t add up quickly enough.

What Are The Benefits of Protein Powders for Weight Loss?

You may be thinking to yourself, “How can I lose weight using protein powder if it’s known to increase mass?" This is a valid question that is true to some degree. While you can use protein powder to increase your mass and increase muscle on the body, protein powder can also be used to drop weight. Approximately eighty percent of women think they need to lose weight, whether it be a substantial amount or just a few pounds. Add to that percentage the number of women that simply want to make sure they don’t gain any additional weight and you have a large portion of the female population focusing on their weight at any given point in their life.

Protein powder has the ability to control your appetite. If you’re not getting enough protein, your body is going to make you feel hungry so you eat more. Protein powder provides your body with the protein your body needs, but you’re not consuming other things like unhealthy fats, sugars and high amounts of carbohydrates. It also helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time so you’re not snacking on unhealthy options. Certain ingredients may be added to your protein powder that will help with weight loss, such as added fiber.

Enhances Muscle Growth

Protein powder helps women build muscle because of its rapid rate of digestion. Once you’ve consumed your drink, its amino acid profile will quickly break everything down so it’s rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. These amino acids and other nutrients will then be moved to your bodily tissues, initiating the process of protein synthesis. Whey protein is especially beneficial for this process.

Many protein powders are also rich in branched-chain amino acids such as valine, leucine and isoleucine. These amino acids are incredibly important for protein synthesis and building muscle mass.

Reduces Hunger

When you consume protein, this results in the production of the hormone called ghrelin. This is an important hormone in the body because it affects our hunger. The more we produce, the less hungry we will feel. This means you’ll consume less calories overall. The calories you do eat will be used to digest and metabolize your food, allowing for a more efficient process that doesn’t result in weight gain.

A protein drink is also a great option for the middle of the afternoon when you’re hungry but you don’t want to eat too many calories. The protein will keep you energized and focused until dinnertime.

Burns Fat

We’ve talked a bit about the increase in protein synthesis that occurs when you consume branched-chain amino acids in protein powder. This process has been proven to increase the development of muscle fibers while burning more calories even when you’re not active.

Provides Energy

Amino acids in protein powder are very similar to glucose in regard to energy. Once you’ve consumed protein powder, it will be digested in amino acids and then converted to glucose or fatty acids that will provide you with an energy boost. This is also a longer lasting source of energy compared to foods that are high in carbs or sugar. Take it before your workout to boost your performance, or take it after for faster energy recovery.

How Much Protein Do Females Need for Weight Loss?

An average woman should consume approximately 46 grams of protein each day. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should change that amount to 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. As an example, a woman that is 150 pounds would consume 55 grams of protein each day in order to drop a few pounds.

What to Look for in a Women’s Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Protein powders contain a whole host of different ingredients. The protein can come from things like whey or plant sources. There are also other additional ingredients that you should pay attention to if you want to make the most out of the product that you’re considering buying for weight loss.

High in Protein

If you need to consume approximately 55 grams of protein each day in order to lose weight (it may be more for women that weigh more than 150 pounds), chances are you need to increase your protein intake. Most women aren’t coming close to that number. You could try to increase your protein intake from foods like meat, eggs and dairy, but this also increases your calorie and fat consumption. Shop for a protein powder that provides you with a large amount of protein in each serving.

Low in Carbohydrates

Many women find that limiting their carbohydrate intake helps drop pounds faster. You don’t want to increase your carb intake from protein powder, so pay close attention to that serving number when you’re reading over a product label. High protein and low carbohydrate is what you’re ideally looking for.

High in Quality

Quality comes in a number of forms in regard to protein powder. A clean and healthy protein source is ideal, so consider a plant-based product. You also want to make sure there aren’t any artificial ingredients, fillers, additives, etc. A protein powder brand should be transparent regarding what’s in their products so you can make an educated decision. If you’re having trouble figuring out their ingredients and where they’re sourced, move on to another product.

The Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss for Females

It’s time to take a look at some of the best protein powders available to women for weight loss purposes. Each of these products are slightly different, so consider what you’re looking for from a protein powder for weight loss before making your purchase.

#1: 1st Phorm Level-1 Protein Powder

level-1 protein powder

Free shipping with link below!

Level-1 Protein Powder from 1st Phorm helps the body prevent muscle breakdown, promotes muscle repair and growth as well as offer sustained energy. It’s delicious, mixes easily into whatever liquid you’re using and it’s made from very high quality ingredients. A lot of research and development has gone into the creation of this product, which uses low temperature processed whey protein isolate, low temperature processed micro-filtrated whey protein concentrate and low temperature processed milk protein concentrate. This sustained released formula will mimic the consumption of whole food protein so you reap the benefits for longer periods of time.

1st Phorm has used a very intricate process to create this product so that the protein doesn’t become denatured or damaged. This results in better bioavailability. In addition to protein, Level-1 also contains five grams of branched-chain amino acids for muscle repair and growth. Glutamine and glutamine peptides are also included, which accounts for approximately 61 percent of the amino acid profile in your muscle tissue. It comes in delicious flavors like chocolate banana, blueberry muffin and caramel latte.

Free shipping with link below!

#2: Ritual Essential Protein Powder Daily Shake

ritual protein powder

Ritual Essential Protein Powder Daily Shake is a product you can use on a regular basis to support muscle growth, build strength and lose weight. Each serving contains twenty grams of protein as well as a complete amino acid profile (eight grams of EAAs and four grams of BCAAs). It’s also known for promoting the feeling of being full, which prevents overeating. This is an extremely clean product that is free of soy, gluten, stevia, GMOs, artificial ingredients and it’s totally vegan friendly. Ritual uses a thorough testing process to check their protein powder for over 250 different banned substances such as microbes and heavy metals.

The flavor of this protein powder shake is mild vanilla with hints of caramel and spice. It’s sweetened naturally using monk fruit and fermented sugarcane. Whether you drink it first thing in the morning or post workout, you get a healthy quota of protein from organic pea protein (Non GMO grown in the USA using sustainable farming practices).

#3: iHeart Macros Protein Powder

iheart protein

If you’ve tried protein powder in the past and experience bloating and discomfort, iHeart Macros Protein Powder is worth a try. It is made without the use of any additives, artificial sweeteners or dairy, making it much easier on your stomach. This product is delicious and has a high protein content, providing you with a faster recovery time, increased satiety and consistent energy throughout the day. The goal of this product is to replenish any depleted glycogen levels that occur after you’ve worked out. It has a combination of protein and carbohydrates for energy, muscle repair and weight loss.

iHeart Macros is a brand that you can trust. They believe in full transparency as well as a thorough testing process that checks for heavy metals, bacteria, mold and much more. You’re getting only the ingredients that you want without anything unnecessary or unhealthy. This brand is FDA registered and all products are made in the U.S.A. Each serving of this protein powder provides twenty grams of protein sourced from whey protein isolate. It’s easy to mix; one scoop is measured into eight to ten ounces of any liquid you choose.

#4: 1st Phorm Phormula-1

phormula-1 protein powder

1st Phorm also has this Phormula-1 protein product that is designed to be used after your workout. It is a whey-sourced isolate that is extremely pure thanks to a low temperature micro-filtration process that promotes assimilation speed and retention of amino acids. It’s easy to digest so you don’t experience any stomach discomfort or bloat, which can make you feel like your weight loss goals aren’t successful. It’s the perfect protein powder for a diet that is low in carbohydrates.

1st Phorm believes in paying close attention to the ingredients that you’re putting into your body in addition to your workout routine. When it comes to weight loss, it’s important that you’re paying attention to how quickly your body can repair and build muscle mass. Otherwise, fatigue can set in and prevent you from getting back to the gym. It’s recommended that you use this product first thing in the morning or directly after you’ve completed your workout.

#5: Clean Simple Eats

clean simple eats protein powder

This Clean Simple Eats Vanilla Protein Powder is so delicious, you’ll almost feel guilty for consuming it. It has a very rich and creamy flavor that can stand alone on its own, but it’s mild enough that you can mix it with other ingredients. It’s naturally sweetened and made from grass-fed whey. Cold processed from beginning to end, all of the nutrients are protected for a well-rounded product. Each serving contains twenty grams of protein along with an enzyme blend that supports your digestive system as it breaks your protein powder down into amino acids. There’s nothing artificial included, so you can feel good about adding this product into your weight loss regimen.

#6: Cira Bright Whey Nutrition

cira nutrition whey protein powder

Bright Whey by Circa Nutrition is a very basic product that provides you with versatility if you want to mix your protein into a large variety of beverages. Its main ingredients are whey protein isolate / concentrate, which have a versatile amino acid profile that can be rapidly absorbed by the body. Himalayan rock salt is also included, which helps to hydrate your body by way of its sodium, potassium and chloride composition. It does contain artificial sweeteners and flavors, which is something you may be watching out for. Available flavors include cookies and cream, cinnamon swirl and a basic vanilla.

#7: Orgain Organic Protein Powder

orgain organic protein powder

This organic protein powder from Orgain is a plant-based product that provides an impressive 21 grams of vegan protein with only 150 calories in each serving. A complete amino acid profile is also included without any artificial sweeteners or additives. You get beneficial ingredients such as Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine Acid, Cystine,

Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine and Isoleucine. This protein powder is a clean and effective way to energize your body. You can use it as a snack or before / after your workout. It helps to make you feel full for longer periods of time, increase your recovery rate and support you as you drop weight.

#8: Vital Proteins Performance Protein Powder

vital protein powder

Vital Performance Protein Powder combines lactose-free milk protein isolate along with collagen peptides. Each serving contains twenty-five grams of protein to complement your fitness routine and weight loss goals. It helps decrease recovery time, stimulates muscle protein synthesis and even helps maintain healthy bones, joints and tendons.

Vital Performance has included nine essential amino acids and clean protein for nutrition any time of the day. It doesn’t cause stomach discomfort and can be used by people with a dairy intolerance. Third party testing has been used to confirm safety and purity. MCT oil adds to the creamy texture of this product as well as its health benefits. MCT oil can help boost your metabolism, make you feel full for longer periods of time and even help your body build up a more diverse microbiome in your gut.

#9: Muscle Milk 100% Whey Protein Powder

muscle milk whey protein powder

Muscle Milk’s 100 Percent Whey Protein Powder is designed to satisfy hunger while providing the protein necessary to build muscle. High quality protein and amino acids are used for post-workout recovery and weight loss. You get twenty-five grams of protein in one serving of this whey-based product. It only contains two grams of sugar in each serving. Low in fat, you’ll get the protein you need without slowing down your weight loss goals. Muscle Milk tests all of their products for more than 270 banned substances.

#10: GNC WHEYBOLIC Protein Powder

gnc wheybolic protein powder

GNC Wheybolic Protein Powder has one of the most extensive flavor selections I’ve ever seen. From Girl Scout Lemon to Fruity Crisps, you’ll have a hard time deciding which one you want to buy to start out with. Flavors aside, this is a clinically proven performance product that contains whey protein isolate along with hydrolysates that help with muscle growth and recovery. It also allows for a more effective anabolic response, which can lead to increased fat loss over time. It’s easy to digest and can be used after your workout, on rest days and in between your meals.

Each serving of GNC Wheybolic protein powder provides an impressive forty grams of protein, fifteen grams of BCAA, 500 milligrams of Velositol and six grams of leucine. Also included is a 400 milligrams serving of enzyme blend. It’s completely gluten free.

Should Females Take Protein Powder Daily?

Protein powder helps a female fill in dietary gaps. Unless you’re paying very close attention to the protein content of each food that you’re eating over the course of a day and making sure you’re adding enough to your meal plans, you’re probably deficient in protein for weight loss purposes. You can safely use protein powder on a daily basis, so making it part of your healthy routine is fine. However, you can use it intermittently on days that you’re concerned you aren’t meeting your protein requirements. It’s really up to you what you think you need in order to meet your weight loss goals. Some women find a protein shake each afternoon helps keep them energized and full for longer periods of time. Some women use it more as a complement to a fitness routine (recovery, burning calories, building muscle).

When’s The Best Time to Take Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

If you’re exercising on a regular basis and want to use your protein powder for optimal recovery and weight loss, it’s recommended that you consume your protein anywhere from 45 minutes to 60 minutes after your exercise has ended. This is considered to be your anabolic window, which is when your body can absorb the most nutrients. However, feel free to consume your protein in place of another meal or snack at different points in the day if you feel that it helps to stave off hunger and prevent overeating.

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons why a woman is looking to lose weight, and there are a number of ways that this process can be made more efficient. Changing up your diet and increasing your exercise are great places to start, but protein powder is also something worth considering. It helps to have something on hand that provides you with fast nutrition and protein so that you don’t turn to unhealthy snacks or meals. You should also have products as part of your routine that help speed up your recovery and muscle growth so that you can maintain a successful fitness regimen. Protein powder can help you boost your metabolism, manage your energy levels and keep you feeling your best, so you’re motivated to keep going with your weight loss routine.

I’ve covered ten high quality, reputable protein powders in this article that give you a place to start your search. Of course, there are plenty of others that you can consider as well.

About the author 

Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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