Can Women Use Men’s Protein Powders? A Girl’s Perspective

Since the protein supplement industry has largely been dominated by men and bloated bodybuilders for such a long time it can be a daunting place for a woman on the lookout for a protein powder that is right for her.

And so it comes as no surprise that often the first place they will look is at the brand their husband or boyfriend is using and wonder to themselves:

hmmm, I wonder if I can use this one?

At which point their beloved snorts his disapproval and says something like:

what do you want to use protein powder for? this is not for girls

at which point he becomes ever so slightly less beloved! 😉

Unfortunately, it is this kind of macho attitude that has caused much of the confusion around women’s protein and whether ladies can actually use men’s protein powders or do they have to stick exclusively to those that are designed for them?

In this article I’m going to show you the main differences between men’s and women’s proteins and some key points to remember the next time you go shake shopping.


Protein is Protein


Well, to be honest the key thing to remember is that protein is protein – no matter what shape it comes in.

In other words there isn’t a protein for men and a protein for women – I mean, you don’t get steaks for men and steaks for women, do you?

So on the face of it, yes, you can use a “men’s” protein supplement. In fact, some of the major brands now are actually putting different serving suggestions for men and women onto their labels, so you can tailor it to your own individual circumstance.

However, it is a little bit more complicated than that and there are a few things you need to consider when making your choice, since the “unisex” powders may not be the best ones for you.


What’s The Main Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Shakes?


Since men and women are different – physiologically at least – it makes sense that their nutrition requirements are going to be different too. This fact is most obvious on any food packaging as you’ll see different recommended daily calorie allowances for guys and gals.

On the whole women require less calories, protein, carbs, and fats than men do and so you’ll often find that the protein powders that are designed specifically for women will contain less protein per serving. In addition there will usually be extra ingredients that are more important for a woman’s body and health than they are for a man’s.

This typically includes the following:

  • Folic Acid
    This is an essential vitamin for women particularly if they are pregnant or looking to conceive as it helps in the formation of DNA and can reduce Neural Tube Defects in children. It has also recognised as helping to risks of heart disease, strokes and some kinds of cancer
    You can read about the benefits of Folic Acid here
  • Vitamin B6
    This vitamin helps to maintain a healthy immune system as well as reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Iron
    Iron helps the red blood cells transport oxygen around the body, so an iron deficiency can cause fatigue and even lead to anaemia. It is extremely important for women who in general need more of it than men, since women will typically lose a lot of blood each month during their period, so it makes sense to replace it where possible.


Some Other Key Points


As a general rule it’s also worth noting the amount of sugar that is used in some of the protein powders on the market.

Since protein shakes have been notorious in the past for their bland often synthetic (and in some cases disgusting) flavours, they have made huge efforts to improve their taste over the years, particularly if they want to target the female market.

And so in an effort to make “great tasting” shakes companies will often try to outdo each other, but this will sometimes come at a cost as they will add extra sugar to get that flavour boost.

While it may not be a huge negative, you should bear it in mind and how it fits into your diet plans.

And don’t immediately trust the “zero-sugar” brands as sometimes, not always, but sometimes they’ll use sugar substitutes instead like aspartame and sucralose, which are notoriously cheap and bad for you – much worse in fact than sugar!

If you really want natural, low sugar protein then look for those that contain natural sweeteners like stevia or honey, like this brand here

So in conclusion you can see that by no means are women “barred” from using men’s protein powders, it just requires a little know-how on how best to use them and which ones are lacking for your own unique situation and diet and fitness goals.


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