Best protein powder for women 2023: Clear, whey, vegan and more

Whether your form of exercise is running on a treadmill, cycling or strength training, protein powder is a fantastic supplement that can help you increase your protein intake. To put it simply, increasing protein in any diet has many benefits but is especially useful post workout as protein helps your body repair and grow muscle mass, leaving you primed for your next exercise.

Eleanor Thrupp, Nutritional Therapist at Innermost has also said: “Protein can also help with weight loss by helping to increase your metabolism and helps keep you fuller for longer.”

Protein powder is best enjoyed as a protein shake, but that doesn’t mean it has to taste bad. From salted caramel to chocolate, there are lots of different flavours available to suit all tastebuds and you can also pick unflavoured options if that’s your preference.

Ultimately protein powder is a supplement not a meal replacement, so you will see results when intaking protein with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

With so much information, here is a guide to everything you need to know about protein powder.

Huel Complete Protein

£45 for two tubs View Deal

This vegan protein has no artificial sweeteners, 26 essential vitamins and minerals and 20g of protein. With delicious flavours, it’s ideal to support your daily diet.

MyProtein Impact Whey

£15.59 View Deal

Perfect for beginners, MyProtein’s Impact Whey has over 40 flavours to choose from and delivers 21g protein per serving. It’s the UK’s go-to for a reason.

Bulk Vegan Protein Powder

£17.99 View Deal

Great for muscle building and doesn’t leave you bloated, Bulk’s Vegan Protein Powder has a blend of five vegan sources and delivers 23g of protein per serving.

What is protein powder?

Protein powder is a fitness supplement that is protein sourced from either animals or plants. The three most common types are protein concentrates, which consist of 60 – 80 percent protein and 20 – 40 percent fat and carbs; protein isolates, which are super concentrated and are 90 – 95 percent protein which no fats or carbs or protein hydrolysates, which is made with heating with acid or enzymes and absorbed faster in the body.

What types of protein powder are there?

There are many different types for different diets but the key ones to keep in mind are whey, which is the most common and is derived from milk; pea or soy protein, which is used in most vegan forms; caesin, which is also derived from milk and egg protein.

How do you make protein shakes?

You simply add the recommended amount of protein powder, typically a scoop with a liquid (typically, water or milk) then mix and enjoy a shake. You can also combine it with other fruits like bananas in a blender to make it a thicker consistency. It’s recommended to have from 15 – 60 minutes after your exercise.

How many scoops of protein powder for women?

This depends per brand and type of powder but most recommend around one to two scoops daily, which is 25 – 50g. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that those who exercise have about 0.2 – 0.4g of protein per pound of body weight daily, so a protein powder is a great way to reach that target.

Now that you have a better understanding of protein powder, here is a list of the best ones to buy in 2022.

Nutrimuscle Diet Protein Blend

Best protein powder for weight loss

Type of protein: 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey | Protein per 40g serving: 22g | 12 servings per 500g

If you want a protein powder that will help you with fat loss, the Diet Protein Blend from Nutrimuscle has a high amount of L-Carnitine, which is a chemical that helps the body turn fat into energy. It’s gluten free and also formulated with inulin and fibre, which regulates the digestive system and leaves you feeling full for longer. The chocolate flavour is sweet and blends well with just water, but you can also pick raspberry, lemon shortbread and vanilla.

Buy on Nutrimuscle (£23.95)

Huel Complete Protein

Best protein powder without artificial sweeteners

Type of protein: Hemp, faba and pea protein | Protein per 29g serving: 20g | 26 servings per 754g | 105 calories per serving

This plant-based protein from Huel is packed with 26 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12 and iron, nine grams of essential amino acids, which is more than what’s in why protein and 20g of protein, making it the ideal all-in-one supplement for daily life. With no artificial sweeteners, it’s also a safe bet for all dietary requirements as it is gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free. The best flavours include chocolate fudge brownie and banana milkshake and it’s also big enough to last a few months. Plus, subscribe and get 10 percent off your first two tubs.

Buy on Huel (£45 for two tubs)

Nutrimuscle Musclewhey – Mix Protein

Best protein powder for muscle growth

Type of protein: Native whey and native whey isolate | Protein per 40g serving: 31.6g | 13 servings per 500g

Delivering an impressive 31.6g of protein per serving, this is the ultimate pick for muscle building. The Musclewhey combines a concentrate of native whey protein with an isolate of native whey isolate to give you rapid growth and also helps to maintain mass. A great option for weight lifters, it dilutes well with room temperature water and doesn’t make you feel bloated. The vanilla tastes sweet but not sickly and it comes with six other flavours.

Buy on Nutrimuscle (£24.95 up)

Bulk Vegan Protein Powder

Best protein powder that doesn’t cause gas

Type of protein: Blend of pea protein, pumpkin skin protein | Protein per 30g serving: 23g | 14 servings per 500g | 130 calories per serving

If you suffer from bloating, pick a non-milk protein supplement as it’s easier for most people to digest and the Bulk Vegan Protein Powder is also low sugar for easier digestion. The ingredients list includes a blend of five vegan protein sources like pea protein isolate, brown rice protein and more, making it an amazing value for less than £20. Packed with 23g of protein content, it’s a great choice for vegetarians, and vegans and mixes well with water or oat milk.

Buy on Bulk (£17.99)

MyProtein Impact Whey

Best protein powder for beginners

Type of protein: Whey protein | Protein per 25g serving: 21g | 25 servings per 500g | 99 calories

One of the most popular powders, MyProtein’s Impact Whey powder is the perfect pick for beginners as it delivers all the benefits you need for basic muscle growth and maintenance. It’s a whey protein concentrate that delivers 21g of protein with naturally-occurring BCAAs with all the amino acids, which help you repair your muscles and reduces DOMS. There are also over 40 flavours to choose from, making it one of the widest-ranging protein powders available. Plus, get 40 percent off with code BEST.

Buy on MyProtein (£15.59 up)

Bulk Pure Whey Protein Powder

Best whey protein powder

Type of protein: Grass-fed whey| Protein per 30g serving: 22g | 16 servings per 500g | 112 calories per serving

A classic standard whey protein that’s great for post-workout and also throughout the day, the Bulk Pure Whey Protein Powder is ideal for muscle maintenance and comes in 20 flavours including delicious salted caramel. With high-quality ingredients and smooth when mixed with both milk and water, it’s got five grams of BCAAs as well for reducing muscle soreness. It’s one of the best tasting protein powders and is great value for money.

Buy on Bulk (£23.99 up)

Clear Whey Lemonade Flavour

Best protein powder like juice

Type of protein: Whey protein isolate | Protein per 30g serving: 26g | 16 servings per 480g

Perfect for summer, this light, refreshing Clear Whey from Foodspring taste exactly like lemonade juice, but instead is a protein supplement with 26g per serving. It’s perfect to enjoy with water and ice and is also easy to digest. Great if you want a protein shake that doesn’t feel heavy, you can drink it easily throughout the day.

Buy on Foodspring (£29.99)

MyVegan Clear Vegan Diet Protein

Best low calorie protein powder

Type of protein: Pea protein isolate | Protein per serving: nine-10g | 20 servings | 53 calories per serving

If you’re on a calorie deficit diet, which helps lose weight, pick one of MyVegan’s newest protein powders, Clear Vegan Diet. It’s got active ingredients that support weight loss with 10g of pea protein per serving and essential vitamins. Only 53 calories per serving, it’s a good choice for burning fat.

Buy on MyVegan (£28.99)

Bulk Clear Whey All-In-One

Best protein powder with creatine

Type of protein: Whey protein isolate | Protein per 50g serving: 29g | 10 servings per 500g | 186 calories

Creatine has become increasingly popular and is a sports supplement that can help boost muscle mass and show muscle development. The ideal solution, the newly launched Bulk Clear Whey All-In-One has three grams of creatine monohydrate, 29g of European whey protein and 17g of carbs per serving. Light and refreshing with flavours like passionfruit and apple and blueberry, it’ll also taste great during summer.

Buy on Bulk (£24.99)

MyProtein Clear Collagen Powder

Best protein powder with collagen

Type of protein: Whey protein | Protein per serving: 18g | 30 servings

Adding collagen into your diet can help promote the growth of hair, nails and build the skin’s barrier. The Clear Collagen Powder is perfect for injecting collagen into your diet and has a 20g blend of type I and III collagen with 18g of protein. Choose from black cherry, grape, peach tea or unflavoured options.

Buy on MyProtein (£19.99)

The Health Protein

Best protein powder for pregnant women

Type of protein: Vegan | Protein per serving: 31g | 15 servings per 600g | 150 calories per serving

Vegan protein powders are ideal options for pregnant women, who especially need more protein during the second and third trimester. The Health Protein from Innermost delivers 31g of protein, which is unusually high and is balanced with amino acids and added ingredients to keep you healthy. While there is only smooth chocolate or vanilla, both flavours have rave reviews.

Buy on Innermost (£29.95)

Here’s some more information to know about protein powder when buying one.

Is there a difference between male and female protein powder?

Men and women have different requirements for protein, with men needing about 56g of protein and women needing 46g. But there isn’t a difference between powders for both men and women. You can pick to have powders with added benefits like collagen and creatine, or pick flavours that you find more tasty.

Can protein powder go bad?

Based on research, whey protein powder has a shelf life of nine to 19 months when stored in a cool, dry place. Always store it properly and check the best by date. You can tell if it’s spoiling if the flavour starts fading.

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