Do Protein Powders Work the Same Way for Men and Women?

Being healthy is, fortunately, the new trend. People are trying to pull their lives together now more than ever, mostly caused by social media serving us stories about other people being healthy and active. Physiologically speaking, women and men are far more similar than they are different, both genetically and in nutritional needs. Proteins are perhaps the essential nutrition segment when we talk about building muscle. 

When it comes to supplementation, there is always a lot of buzz around it, especially when related to women. In this article, we will discuss the differences in protein needs between biological sexes, what are the most suitable protein powder options available, and debunk a few major myths regarding protein powder consumption.

Why do we need protein powder?

The words “protein supplement” are used to make people think of bodybuilders trying to bulk up. Nowadays, this stereotype might have been true in the past. Not only that, but more and more women realize protein supplements for women can be helpful and sometimes even necessary for anyone who exercises. Proteins are building blocks of the muscles and are essential for muscle growth and recovery. 

Without them, exercise recovery takes much longer, and there are more fatigue and muscle soreness. Simply put, it gives the body the materials it needs to rebuild muscles after using them. To increase your protein intake, you will have to change your eating habits and include more protein-rich food such as meat and eggs into your diet. Protein powders are a great substitute if you don’t eat enough protein or just find it easier to drink a protein shake instead.

Difference between men and women

The most common concern of the majority of women is the fear of “getting bulky” by using protein powder. But thankfully, this fear is unfounded. Men’s ability to put on bulk is the result of two issues. Firstly, they are much bigger than women, and the second one is the higher production of testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone responsible for increased muscle mass. It is essential for muscle protein synthesis. As men produce a higher level of testosterone, it will naturally build more muscle. 

Women’s bodies also produce testosterone, but significantly less than men. As a result, women are physically incapable of “bulking up” like men, without hormone replacement or steroid use.  Since they don’t require as much protein as men, women don’t need to take large doses of protein powder to regrow muscles after physical activity. Muscles in women’s and men’s bodies are completely the same, build-out of the same amino acids. That means women don’t need a completely different type of protein than men-they simply need less amount.   

How to choose the best protein powder?

Keeping in mind that both need the same protein,  most protein powders are made the same. Women simply need to take smaller doses to reach their nutrient needs. If you are looking for an optimal women’s choice, look for low-calorie protein sources like whey isolate, soy, or pea. It is best to find those that exclude additional carbohydrate sources like potato or corn, with the added vitamins/minerals like calcium or iron. Regardless of your choice,  make sure you know how much protein is in each dose. It is essential to know how much of a protein you need to reach your goal. Generally, one dose of protein powder (a scoop) contains 20-30 grams of protein, which is approximately half of the recommended daily protein intake for women.

How to choose the best protein powder

Myths about proteins

Even though the source of information is endless today, there are still a lot of popular myths people tend to believe. One of the most famous is that the use of protein will increase testosterone levels. Consumption of any protein source doesn’t interfere with testosterone levels unless consumed in huge doses. The second is the connection between protein powder use and working out. As it is true that your body will need more protein after you work your muscles out, even when you don’t, there is a minimal amount of protein your body will need every day, regardless of physical activity. For females, the lower limit is 56 grams of protein per day, and in this case, protein powders can act as a nutritional supplement to help your body stay healthy and fit.

Now that we’ve examined what protein is and why it is so important, you can see that it’s not just for bodybuilders or gym addicts, and certainly not for men only. Protein powders do work the same for men and women, and so every woman can fully enjoy the benefits of adding it to the diet.