Medically Reviewed

A Scientific Guide to the Benefits of Taking Protein, for Women

A lot of women do not eat protein because they are afraid of bulking up. But protein should not just be associated with building muscle.

Why Women Need Protein

What do you think of when you hear the word “protein?” You might imagine a muscular man pumping iron, but the truth is women need protein just as much as men do. In the body, protein plays a critical role in many functions, from cells all the way up to muscles. It is present in every single cell in the body, helping to repair cells and make new ones. As a macronutrient, protein is required for the structure and regulation of all tissues and organs, ensuring that they function optimally. Protein also helps generate energy for healthy muscle contractions. Plus, protein is necessary when trying to gain muscle mass.

Dietary protein is commonly found in animal products and poultry; however, it is also found in some vegetables and legumes. When consumed in meals, protein contributes to feeling fuller and satisfied. The US National Library of Medicine recommends that men and women consume between 10% to 35% of their total calories in the form of protein. For some people, this can be challenging, especially for older adults. That’s why protein powders and shakes are a great way to ensure you consume the right amount of protein you need daily.

But won’t it make me bulk?

A lot of women do not eat protein because they are afraid of bulking up. But protein should not just be associated with building muscle. A lot of women are afraid of appearing larger than they are due to muscle gain; however, women can also use protein to build lean muscle. Lean muscle makes the body appear stronger and healthier instead of bulky. That protein making women look overweight is simply a common misconception. Protein helps women maintain radiant skin, strong bones, and helps the body recover faster after exercise.

One of the biggest benefits of protein for women is that it can provide a source of energy and promote satiety. Consuming extra protein in snacks can help women get through an afternoon slump, or fuel the body to get through a tough workout. Protein shakes make it easy to grab protein on-the-go.

Protein for weight management

If you are trying to manage your weight, or change your body composition, eating enough protein is essential (along with regular exercise, stress management, adequate water intake, and sleep). Ideally you should be consuming some protein with every meal. Dairy products, lean meats, poultry, seafood, and legumes are all good sources of protein. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, on the other hand, tofu, quinoa, almonds, and chia seeds are all great options. If you are prone to snacking, eating protein during a meal can help you feel satiated longer and may even curb snacking especially when combined with fiber. Digesting protein requires more calories than other kinds of macronutrients, making it a calorie-efficient snack.

To effectively manage weight with protein, consumption should be spread out throughout the day. A 2015 study in the [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition] ( found that people who consumed protein throughout the day at each meal were more likely to consistently maintain healthy weight, compared to those who skipped protein during meals.

Protein for lean muscle growth

Building lean muscle tissue is essential to increasing the body’s ability to burn calories. The more muscle tissue a person has, the higher their metabolic rate. Metabolic rate is how many calories your body needs to function properly each day at rest. The presence of lean muscle tissue increases metabolism. It also helps the body convert food into energy. Muscles are more metabolically active than adipose tissue. So the more lean muscle present, the more calories your body can burn at rest. Protein is essential to building lean muscle tissue to keep this process running optimally.

Amino acids are known as the “building blocks" of protein. Making sure you get enough through your diet can help with muscle repair for continued growth in the long run. When you exercise or lift weights, your muscles experience fatigue, and micro tears develop in your muscles. Protein breaks down in the body and the body uses amino acids to repair the tears, making muscles stronger.

Protein for hair, skin, and nails

Protein plays a large role in the health and integrity of hair, skin, and nails. Collagen is a protein that makes up to 70% of our skin’s composition. Collagen is the most abundant protein that the body provides and it is present in the connective tissues we rely on to maintain joint mobility. There are even some forms of collagen that are stronger than steel! Collagen greatly declines in the body with age, making it an essential nutrient for women. Here’s a breakdown of what happens to collagen by decade:

Around 20, less than one percent of collagen is produced in the dermis every year. At age 30, collagen stores begin to decline. Collagen is no longer produced when we reach our forties. After 50, collagen in the skin declines by 40%.

Without the structure of collagen, we begin to show signs of age quickly. Physical beauty is very revealing of protein deficiencies. Puffy skin under the eyes may be a sign of protein deficiency. One of the most common misperceptions of nail health is that the nails are made of calcium, when they are actually made of protein. Protein is necessary to maintain strong and smooth nail beds.

Hair is also made of a protein called keratin, which promotes shiny, strong, and healthy looking hair.

Protein for bone health

According to statistics, women tend to be more prone to experience challenges with bone health. When it comes to bone health, most people associate calcium and Vitamin D as the powerhouses behind strong and healthy bones. This is true; however, protein also plays a role. Getting adequate protein also helps keep bones strong. This study demonstrates that a healthy lifestyle with increased physical activity, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking are essential for maintaining optimal bone health.

Recent in vitro research shows that active components found in whey may contribute to osteoblast cell formation which contributes to overall bone health. While research also suggests that peptides derived from pea protein may also have properties that promote bone health. Additional human research is needed before conclusions can be made.

Protein for convenience and taste

Did you know there was an entire study done on how taste, convenience, nutrition, and cost impact the shopping habits of consumers? Taste was the highest-rated concern, while convenience was the lowest concern. Shopping for a tasty protein powder shouldn't be complicated. When conducting your search, you will probably find that whey protein powders come up first; however, there are all sorts of protein powders out there: hemp, soy, and egg are only a few. The taste varies widely when it comes to protein powders.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of powders out there that taste dry and chalky. Another problem is that many protein powders have trouble dissolving or blending into milk, juice, or water. Nobody should have to sacrifice taste for convenience. And nobody should have to sacrifice convenience for taste. With a large selection of protein powders on the market, you can make comparisons for which one works best for you. After all, who wants to waste money trying to find the perfect powder? Especially when you can find the perfect powder to fit your dietary needs.

Which protein should I take?

Care/of protein powders are recommended to you based on your health goals and dietary preferences. Our protein powders are made from real, natural ingredients you would find in your pantry, like organic cocoa, coconut MCT oil, and pink Himalayan sea salt. We believe that by using real, natural ingredients, the taste stays true to you, allowing you to savor every sip. Here’s how our powders work:

You tell us about your nutritional needs. We use scientific research to recommend the right powder combination for you. You get your protein powder recommendation delivered to your door each month.

Our protein powders are made with ingredients that you recognize, sourced from high-quality sources around the world. We carry whey, plant, and boost powders for every nutritional need.

Whey: Fewer than 100 calories and made with hormone-free, grass-fed Irish cow milk. Plant-based: Vegan, fewer than 150 calories, and made from organic plants dense with nutrients. Boost powders: Includes chia-flax, electrolytes, superberry, and maca powders.

Don’t waste your time with chalky powders that don’t blend. Let Care/of deliver your perfect match to support muscle growth, boost your body, and power your way through life. We like to think that by drinking the right protein powder, you don’t just build a strong body, but a strong soul.

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