Protein supplements can be a great way to keep you full, energized, and improve your workouts by helping you build lean muscle and assist your body in recovery. Traditionally, whey- and casein-based supplements are what come to mind when you think about adding protein powder to your smoothie. However, women with digestive issues, lactose intolerance or allergies might have trouble tolerating these types of supplements. In this case, the best protein supplement for women looking for an alternative to animal-based protein powders are often plant-based protein powders. These protein supplements are also good for women who are vegan. To find the right one to meet your individual health needs, it is important to review all your options and find a good fit based on the ingredients. Here are some guidelines that can help steer you in the right direction for choosing the best plant-based protein powders.
Plant Proteins are more Easily Digestible
Plant-based protein supplements are usually digested more easily for women who are lactose intolerant or have other digestive problems. They can reduce side effects like gas, bloating and discomfort because they are often dairy-free and do not contain lactose. Even some animal-based proteins that have had almost all the lactose removed still contain proteins found in dairy products. Some women who are not even lactose intolerant can have problems digesting these proteins because it is possible to be allergic to the milk protein.
Plant-based protein powders can be made up of several different plant sources, or a combination of a few of them. Here are four ingredients commonly found in plant-based protein powders:
- Hemp—Highly digestible and nutritious. Sometimes natural sweeteners, like Stevia, are added to a hemp-based powder to enhance the taste.
- Rice—Surprised? Rice actually contains a good amount of protein and has a mild flavor.
- Pea—Great for muscle building, and even better when combined with rice protein, as they complement each other.
- Pumpkin—Mixes well with liquids and has a pleasant flavor, but it is usually better combined with other protein sources to provide the most complete nutrient and protein profile.
What to Look for in a Plant-Protein Powder for Women
It is important to know what to look for when you are choosing a protein powder in order to pick the healthiest, most effective choice for your personal goals such as weight loss. Although each individual has different needs, the best protein supplement for women will usually have at least a few of these characteristics:
- No sugar
- Easily mixed with other ingredients
- No artificial flavors
- Low carb, high protein
A Superb Protein Powder Alternative
Plant-based protein supplements can be a great alternative to the typical animal-based protein powders that contain whey and casein. The best protein supplement for women who are vegan or need something that is easier to digest is often one that uses peas, hemp, rice, pumpkin or a combination of these ingredients to provide protein. These protein alternatives are often just as effective for building muscle, without the unwanted side effects. The best plant-based powders often share a few qualities that women should look for, such as those that are sugar-free and dairy-free.