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Our Picks for the Best Protein Powder for Women in 2024:

Protein can be found in numerous food sources, yet some women may require an extra boost of protein to meet their protein needs, particularly those who are physically active. Adding a good protein powder to your diet can make a big difference if you’re not getting enough of this macronutrient through food, or for busy days when you just don’t have time to cook. 

Most protein powders are formulated for both men and women (though some are marketed to one or the other), so choosing the best protein powder for you depends less on your biological sex and more on your individual needs and preferences.

After asking registered dietitians, sports nutritionists and personal trainers to weigh in, we’ve compiled a list of the best protein powders for women based on considerations like diet, physique goals and lifestyle.

This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.

Why I picked it:

Our pick for the best overall protein powder for women is Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate. With 28 grams of protein per serving, third-party testing for purity and potency, and no artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives or secretive “proprietary blends,” Transparent Labs whey outperforms the competition for quality.

Additionally, the whey used in this protein powder comes from 100 percent grass-fed cows on U.S.-based dairy farms, rather than cows fed with corn or soy (cheaper food sources with fewer nutrients). 

Our team tested the Milk Chocolate and French Vanilla flavors mixed with water, and favored the Milk Chocolate flavor, though both were good. We recommend using milk or a milk alternative for a richer, creamier texture and flavor.

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XWerks Grow is our choice for the best whey protein powder for women because, similar to Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey, it’s sourced from 100% grass-fed cows—this time from New Zealand. It’s also low in calories, fat, sugar and carbs, and made with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or coloring. It has 25 grams of protein per serving, compared with 28 grams in Transparent Labs whey, but 25 grams is still a substantial amount.

In addition to protein, Grow provides six grams of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), making this protein powder a good post-workout supplement. It also provides trace amounts of important micronutrients for women’s health, including 21 percent DV of calcium and four percent DV of iron. Beyond protein, it’s low macronutrient profile is good for those trying to keep fats and carbs out of their protein shake. 

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We love Jacked Factory Authentic Whey protein powder for its excellent value. Walk into any supplement store (either digital or brick-and-mortar), and you’ll be hard pressed to find a protein powder—much less a good one—for less than $1.50 per serving. Not only is Jacked Factory’s Authentic Whey made with a premium blend of whey concentrate and isolate, it costs only $1.33 per serving, and is even cheaper when you subscribe.

If you’re an active woman looking to supplement pre- or post-workout, the 24 grams of protein is sufficient to help boost your muscular recovery. And many reviewers on Jacked Factory’s website enjoy the combination of flavors and consistency. As one reviewer says, “It still has the rich and creamy taste with (just) water and that’s what I love!”

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Transparent Labs Mass Gainer isn’t your average protein powder. This mass gainer is designed for women athletes, gym-goers and bodybuilders who need a serious boost of macros that food alone can’t provide. This protein powder is created for muscle growth and recovery. Each serving provides between 730-750 calories, 13-14 grams of fat, 106-110 grams of carbs, 12 grams of sugar and 51-53 grams of grass-fed whey protein concentrate. It’s also fortified with oat flour, which can benefit digestion, and sweet potato powder, which has anti-inflammatory benefits.

Research has long proven that high-protein diets can build muscle mass and contribute to lean muscle, so if gains are your goal, check out this muscle building supplement. It also has creatine for muscle recovery. Be aware, however, that this product is high in cholesterol, with 145 milligrams per serving, or 48 percent of your DV, so you may want to look elsewhere if you have high cholesterol or heart disease.

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With all-natural flavoring and grass-fed whey, XWerks Grow is designed to be a treat for both your tastebuds and your muscles. There’s nothing artificial about the flavors, as Grow uses natural cocoa beans, vanilla beans and peanut butter powder for flavoring. We tasted the Chocolate flavor, and the flavor was the best out of all the protein powders we tried. It smells and tastes like real cocoa, rather than flavoring.

There are four total flavor options: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and peanut butter. You also won’t find any artificial colors, sweeteners, soy or gluten in Grow. What it boils down to—rather, is filtered down to—is just 25 grams of protein and 6 grams of essential amino acids. XWerks uses micro-filtration to pull out the extra carbs, sugar and fat to leave behind high quality, tasty protein powder.

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The main feature of plant-based protein powders that you should be looking out for is the protein source. Many plant protein sources aren’t “complete” proteins—meaning they lack some essential amino acids (30), which can affect how your body absorbs and uses the protein content (31).

We chose Cymbiotika Plant Protein as our best because it has a protein blend that includes hemp protein, pea protein and spirulina. A blend of multiple protein sources like this gives you your best chance at getting the complete amino acid profile your body needs (32).

Cymbiotika Plant Protein also has a mushroom blend, a whole food-sourced greens blend, a digestive enzyme blend, a dairy-free probiotics blend with 35 billion CFUs and a prebiotic fiber blend. All of these features are packed into a formula with just 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of naturally occurring sugar (no sweeteners).

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If you’re looking for a protein powder that perfectly fits into your health and fitness goals, then check out Gainful. It’s our pick for the best personalized protein powder because it offers a totally customizable product tailored to your diet and wellness needs. Before purchasing Gainful you’ll take a short quiz with questions about your height, weight, current diet, current workout routine, body composition and fitness goals. You’ll then be matched with a protein powder that’s right for you and meets your personal dietary restrictions.

We love that Gainful’s products are formulated by registered dietitians. Once you purchase Gainful you get free, one-on-one access to a registered dietitian who is available to answer questions about your personal fitness and nutrition goals.

Gainful is completely customizable down to its flavor. This protein powder arrives tasteless so you can add “flavor boosts” like strawberry cream, madagascar vanilla, rich chocolate and caffè mocha to satisfy your taste buds.

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How to Choose the Best Women’s Protein Powder

You’ll want to factor in your personal preferences and health needs before choosing a protein powder that’s right for you. First, consider your diet. If you eat soy-free, for example, be sure to seek out a protein powder made without soy products. You’ll also want to decide on whether you prefer a protein powder made from plant or animal sources, both of which can help you meet your protein intake goals. By carefully reading the ingredient list of any protein powder you consider, you’ll get a better sense of whether ingredients are organic or non-GMO, and if that particular product has amino acids, vitamins and other minerals that support women’s health.

Price and shipping costs are another important factor to consider; if you’re planning to use protein powder regularly, this can quickly add up in cost.

Finally, be sure to find a protein powder you actually like. If the taste doesn’t work for you, it’s unlikely you’ll use it.

How We Chose the Best Protein Powders for Women

We chose the best protein powders for women based on price, ingredient list, grams of protein and their overall benefits for women’s health. In general, we sought out protein powders that accommodate numerous dietary needs (like vegan or low-carb) and that truly do taste good. Reputation and safety were also top of mind as we put together our list, and we made sure we only included protein powders with a solid reputation and detailed manufacturing process.

Ingredients to Look For

As you consider protein powders, keep an eye out for common allergens like gluten, soy and dairy, which you may want to steer clear of if you follow a specific diet. Be sure to carefully read the nutritional value as well to make sure that the protein, carbs, fat and sugar content align with your dietary needs. Don’t forget to consider the protein source, too; most animal-based protein powders are made with casein, collagen, whey or eggs, while most plant-based protein powders are made with pea, hemp and brown rice protein. You’ll also want to check which vitamins and minerals protein powders include. If you’re low in iron, for example, which is common in women, you may want to seek out a protein powder with a higher iron content (like pea protein).

Do Men and Women Need to Use Different Protein Powders?

At the end of the day, most protein powders are designed for equal use amongst both men and women, although some brands are marketed more towards women. Still, women can seek out protein powders fortified with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for women’s health, like iron and folate. If you share your home with a male partner, you don’t necessarily need to buy or use different protein powders, but keep in mind that women generally require less calories than men, so you’ll want to tailor your protein powder intake to meet your own recommended intake.

Benefits of Protein Powder for Women

Protein powder can provide a host of benefits for women, the most important of which is simply supplementing your diet to make sure that you get enough protein. While most protein that you consume will likely come from food sources, like meat or beans, adding protein powder to your diet can help you up your protein intake if you’re still falling short.

Most health experts agree that 10-35 percent of your calories should come from protein, or roughly 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Yet aside from simply increasing your protein intake, protein powders can provide you with essential amino acids, which are important for muscle recovery. Protein powder can also help build muscle mass when combined with regular exercise and even reduce your body weight.

Best Protein Powders for Women FAQs

What does protein do to a woman’s body?

Protein helps create strong bones, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood. Healthy bones are especially important for women, since women are prone to developing osteoporosis, a medical condition in which your bones become brittle and fragile. Protein sources rich in iron also help prevent anemia, or low iron, which women are more susceptible to developing than men.

What can protein powder be added to?

Smoothies and shakes are arguably the most popular way to consume protein powder, but protein powder can also be added to oatmeal, coffee, pudding, energy bites and even some desserts. Feel free to get creative with your protein powder; some people even add unflavored protein powder to soups, pizza crust, hummus and other more savory dishes.

When should women have protein powder?

There’s no right or wrong time to have protein powder, but many women like to have protein powder as a meal replacement shake for breakfast or before or after a workout, since protein provides energy and aids in muscle recovery. Don’t sleep on nighttime protein shakes, however: evidence suggests that consuming protein before bed can actually boost muscle growth.

Is it safe to have protein powder every day?

It’s generally considered safe to have protein powder every day, as long as you’re consuming most of your protein from whole food sources and stay within your recommended protein intake. There is some debate over whether or not protein is safe for pregnant women, so it’s important to speak to your OBGYN before starting or continuing a protein powder during pregnancy.

Who is protein powder not right for?

Protein powder may not be necessary if you manage to get your recommended protein intake through food alone; this is important to be mindful of, since too much protein can actually cause stress on your bones, kidneys and liver, potentially increasing your risk for heart disease as well. You may want to steer clear of protein powder if you have a sensitive stomach or skin, too, since protein powder can sometimes cause digestion issues or acne depending on its ingredients.

How else can women increase their protein intake?

Women can up their protein intake naturally by eating more meat, lean poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds and beans. Protein bars are another option if you don’t like the taste of protein powder.

Final Thoughts

Protein powder can be a healthy addition to a woman’s diet. It can help you achieve and maintain weight loss, fitness and other wellness goals, while making it easier to get enough protein. Still, with so many protein powders on the market, it can be tough to find a protein powder that’s right for you (and actually tastes good enough to stick with). Before choosing a protein powder, consult our handy list of best protein powders for women and be sure to speak to a registered dietitian or nutritionist if you’re unsure what type of protein is best for you.

Expert Contributors


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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.

Ashley Zlatopolsky


Ashley Zlatopolsky is a Detroit-based writer and editor. She writes about health, wellness and fitness for Sports Illustrated, Real Simple, Healthline, Greatist, SELF and more. Previously, she worked as a branded content strategist at USA TODAY. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys dancing, kickboxing, strength training and running. This author is writing sponsored content paid for by Pillar4 and not affiliated with Sports Illustrated.