So you’ve committed to hitting the gym regularly and making some smart changes in your nutrition plan. If you’ve been doing your research, you likely know that protein is a key element in that equation.
The more active you are, the greater your muscle damage will be on a weekly basis and as such, the more raw materials you need to help with the process of rebuilding.
But yet, despite knowing this, you struggle to get your needs met. Should you turn to protein powder? Many women think that protein powder is more for the grunting men at the gym who appear to be trying to achieve ‘Hulk-like’ status.
Is it really for you?
It is. Here’s why.
A Great Way To Combat Boredom
If you’re like many women, you quickly tire of the usual standbys: chicken, turkey, egg whites, and lean beef. A few servings of these per week are fine, but eating them multiple times daily?! It’s just not for you.
Protein powder is perfect for this as it provides a nice change of pace and comes in a number of great-tasting sweet flavors. As a woman, chocolate cravings are likely a weekly occurrence in your life, so protein powder can easily help satisfy those.
Improved Metabolic Rate
What if I told you that using protein powder could actually help you get thinner? Fact is, it can. Protein is one nutrient that does tend to elevate the resting metabolic rate after its consumed, more than both carbohydrates and dietary fats.
This is thanks to the thermic effect of food, where protein ranks in at top position (compared to fats and carbs). So essentially, the more protein you eat, the fewer calories you’ll net overall.
Now, don’t take this to mean that you should start a protein-only diet (as that’s neither smart or healthy!), but it does mean that getting more protein into your daily diet could put you at an advantage.
Protein powder helps you do this.
Here’s another way that protein powder is great for the woman looking to tone up and get fit: it helps combat hunger pains before they start.
Researchers who published a study in the British Journal of Nutrition had test subjects consume either a whey beverage or a casein beverage 90 minutes prior to being served a buffet meal.
When the subjects went to eat the buffet meal, the researchers noted that those who had consumed the whey beverage reported eating significantly less than their casein beverage counterparts.
Likewise, the levels of plasma cholecystokinin, which is one of the primary hormones suppressing hunger, was increased by 60% following the consumption of the whey protein.
By serving up a whey protein shake between meals, you may actually sustain better appetite control and be able to consume fewer calories at your meals, leading to faster rates of weight loss.
Time! You just don’t have enough. If you feel like you’re running around at a million miles an hour all day long and never have a chance to sit down and eat a good meal, protein powder is for you.
With protein powder, you simply mix and go – it’s that easy. For women on the run, the convenience of it can’t be beat.
Sure, you’ll still need to eat some solid food meals every day to optimize your health, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with replacing a snack or two with a whey protein shake. In fact, in many cases, it will be a healthier choice than what you would have eaten anyway.
Prevention Of Lean Muscle Mass Loss
If you decide to go on a fat loss diet plan, reducing your calorie intake accordingly, you’re going to be at an increased risk of losing lean muscle mass. Any time you take your calorie intake down, there’s a greater chance that you’ll using incoming protein as a fuel source. This means less protein is left over to support your lean muscle mass tissue.
This in turn can result in the loss of that lean tissue, leaving you feeling weaker and left with a slow metabolism. This is one of the biggest reasons why many women who lose weight, end up piling the weight back on and then some. During the process of their diet, they actually lost muscle mass, so when they come off their diet, they now burn fewer calories each day and are prone to gaining body fat.
Protein powder can help prevent this. By using it and taking your protein intake up higher, you’ll provide more than enough amino acids for your body to maintain its lean muscle mass stores, even if you are on a fat loss diet plan.
If you want to achieve long-term success with your weight loss plan, using protein powder and taking in 1-1.2 grams/lb. of protein daily is a very wise move.
Finally, as whey protein powder is derived from dairy sources, it’ll provide you with a nice dose of calcium as well. This is especially important for woman as the bone strength you build during your early 20’s and even your 30’s can dictate the strength of your bones when you are 50 and beyond.
Since many women tend to avoid milk in their diet plan, which is another primary source of calcium, adding a serving or two of whey protein powder can help fill this void.
So as you can see, protein powder is not just for the men looking to ‘bulk up’ in the gym. It’s just as important – if not more important for females. Always keep in mind that you simply do not possess the hormonal levels necessary to add much ‘bulk’ to your frame, so using protein powder is not going to cause you to sprout 20 pounds of muscle over night. If anything, it’ll help you tone up, get leaner, and show that feminine muscle definition you’re going for.
Hall, W. L., et al. “Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite.” British Journal of Nutrition 89.02 (2003): 239-248.