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Nourishing your body with adequate protein is essential to a healthy nutrition regimen, and getting sufficient protein with every meal can help you feel fuller, control your appetite, lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass, and even gain muscle! Easily put: Protein is incredibly important, no matter your fitness goals, and your body most likely needs more than you get from fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and meats.
When considering macronutrients in your health and fitness plan, it's unfortunately much easier to meet our carb and fat counts, which leaves us in search of high-protein foods throughout the day. That's where protein powders come in handy, as they make it super easy to meet your macronutrient goals by simply adding a dash here and a scoop there, rather than trying to force down yet another serving of grilled chicken (#brodiet). Stock your shelves with one (or two) of the best protein powders for women, made from a variety of different ingredients, to fuel your body with what it needs to stay on track.
Need something to mix your supplement? Check out our favorite shaker bottles!
$49 for 5 pounds BUY NOW
Best Whey Protein
Whey is a milk-based protein, jam-packed with nutrients, that's super efficient at building muscle and breaking down fat. Each scoop of Optimal Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey has 24 grams of top-quality whey protein, 5.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs, and 4 grams of glutamine. Don't be deterred by the sticker shock, because when you break it down, this whey only costs about $12 per pound. Our daily favorite is this Double Rich Chocolate flavor, but we like to switch things up with their cake batter or banana options from time to time, too!
$26 for 22 ounces BUY NOW
Best Plant-Based Protein
Plant-based proteins are great for anyone who's meat- or dairy-free, as vegetarians often have a harder time getting as much protein in their daily diet compared to carnivores. Each scoop of Vega's Essential Shake delivers 20 grams of plant-based protein from peas, flaxseed, and hemp. It also has some veggies and greens, including broccoli, kale, and spirulina, plus 25% of your daily value of 12 vitamins and minerals. Start your day off right with some vegetables in your breakfast, or take it as a post-workout protein supplement to get some extra greens with your recovery shake.
$27 for 2 pounds BUY NOW
Best Complete Shake
Life comes at you fast, and it's easy to fall behind on meal prep when there's a burrito stand staring you in the face outside your office window. Luckily for you, complete shakes are a completely acceptable way to skip a meal. Each scoop of FitMiss Delight contains 16 grams of a potato-derived protein isolate called SolaThin, which helps you feel full faster and for longer, making this a great supplement for weight loss.
It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that give you sustained energy that's needed to power through a long day! And best of all, FitMiss packs a big punch in every guilt-free, 90-calorie serving!
$27 for 1.5 pounds BUY NOW
Best Egg-Based Protein
Egg-based proteins not only make a great alternative for people who have trouble stomaching dairy-based supplements like whey, but it also contains tons of high-quality protein, because it's made from your favorite breakfast food. Each 100-calorie scoop contains 23 grams of protein, and because it's made from only egg whites (yolks are excluded), this natural supplement contains zero fat, zero cholesterol, zero gluten, and zero carbohydrates! Don't worry, though — it doesn't taste like you're drinking eggs — the rich vanilla flavor is great by itself, and it blends seamlessly with baking mixes or smoothies!
$90 for 5 pounds BUY NOW
Best Grass-Fed Protein
Naked whey is proud of this powder — it's 100% pure whey from small dairy farms in California with strictly grass-fed cows. There are zero — yes, we said zero — additives. That means GMO-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and free of any chemical detergents that are sometimes used when denaturing whey. With 25 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of BCAAs, and only 3 grams of carbs per serving, Naked Whey makes a perfect post-workout supplement to speed toward your goals, whether you're building muscle or toning up.
$65 for 4 pounds BUY NOW
Best Casein Protein
Think of whey as the top-ranked recruit in the draft class, and casein as the less-known classmate who surprises everyone with rookie year stats. Similar to whey, casein also comes from milk, but casein is digested at a slower, steadier rate than whey (it sometimes takes up to 6 hours!), which makes you feel fuller for longer — that's why it's great for weight loss.
The prolonged digestion period also releases the 11 grams of essential amino acids into your body over time while you rest, which helps speed muscle recovery and minimize soreness, so you wake up feeling ready to crush tomorrow's spin class or leg day without hesitation.