The Best Protein Powder For Women



The other day, I stumbled upon a sports nutrition brand that epitomizes all that’s wrong in the supplement industry in general and the fitness world in particular.

The company in question sell two types of protein powders: one is packaged in red tubs and one in pink. The red tub is clearly marketed to men. It features a very muscular man and the words ‘SIZE AND STRENGTH.’

The pink tub? The pink tub features a woman with very low body fat and is promoted as being designed for ‘DIET AND WEIGHTLOSS.’  It also says that it’s for women looking to ‘slim down’ and attain a ‘toned physique.’

womenThey’re both whey protein concentrates though. They contain a very similar amount of protein. The only difference is that the women’s version features a little bit of green tea powder and l-carnitine. Oh and the price: the women’s version is more expensive.

This kind of stuff grinds my gears like nothing else. You can probably tell I’m passionate about it from this post I recently wrote on IG as well as my Pancake for Men post. It grinds my gears because what a load of nonsense! To put it politely.

First of all, why are women not urged to work oMAN TUBn size and strength? Why do products labeled for women have to be de facto dieting products? Why are women pushed to focus on losing and shrinking while men are pushed to work on building strength and muscle – the prerequisite to a fit and powerful body?

Now, you may think I’m being facetious about all this – “yawn, Anna, you’ve written about this enough.” Or you may think, “but… it really doesn’t matter.”

But it does.

It matters because marketing like this is what promotes misinformation, the kind that leads countless women to eat an insufficient amount of calories, shun strength training because of the belief it’ll make them ‘bulky,’ waste muscle and strength away by living on cardio machines, and feel like sh** as a result. It also distorts the meaning of a fit female body which does NOT automatically mean a stereotypically ‘toned’ body with a six pack and extremely low body fat (check out this post on what a ‘bikini body‘ actually looks like).

So that’s why I’m STILL writing about it. I’m still writing about it because it doesn’t seem to be going away. There are still brands out there pushing ‘his’ and ‘hers’ protein. Pink tubs are being printed with the words ‘slimming’ and ‘weightloss’ and ‘toning’ instead of ‘strength’ and POWER. Women are wasting away on treadmills or ellipticals while looking at the strength training part of the gym as a world they don’t belong in! Active women are eating 1200 calories a day, or less, in an attempt to (indiscriminately) ‘lose weight’ (fat and muscle because who’s distinguishing?) while in the process losing their stamina, health, and ultimately themselves.

That’s why I’m critiquing marketing like the above. Because it DOES matters. It’s manipulative. It’s nonsensical. There are no male and female foods. That’s just ridiculous. As ridiculous as this:


Comments for This Entry

  • Angie.Evan.

    I have never bought whey for women, it is just stupid. i also buy shaving foam for men because it does exactly the same job as a women’s pink scented foam at half the price.

    September 20, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Reply to this comment

  • MonicaP

    The Ellen video was pretty funny. I do think women have a harder time with fat loss than men so .. that’s probably why they have dual marketing. I’m more interested in a clean protein and one that’s not filled with fillers and ingredients that I don’t understand.


    September 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brian

    What are the pros. and cons. of plant protein vs. whey isolate and how do you choose which one is the best?

    October 2, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Anna Sward Author

      Hi Brian,

      Well, it’s up to you. It’s a persona choice which type of protein you use. For a lot of people, it’s lactose that makes them choose a plant vs. a dairy-based powder like whey. That or being vegan. Another factor that often influences people’s decision to choose a whey protein powder vs. a veggie one is that whey protein is a complete source of amino acids, whereas most veggie powders are deficient in one or a couple of amino acids. If you combine them (e.g. by cooking with them or, for example, by blending pea with rice protein) however, you can get over that issue. It boils down to a personal choice at the end of the day. In terms of how to choose, I always look an ingredients’ labels. No matter what type of protein I’m choosing. I avoid proteins with soy and other cheap bulk ingredients as well as unnecessary things like vitamins and minerals which I’d rather get from fresh fruit and vegetables. I also avoid a bunch of artificial sweeteners and flavourings. That’s a personal choice based on the fact that I’d rather flavour and sweeten my powders myself :-) Let me know if this clarifies things and/or if you have any other questions! Have a great rest of your day :-)

      October 3, 2016 at 11:05 am | Reply to this comment

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