Whether you’re an avid gym junkie or not, you’re probably familiar with protein shakes. No longer reserved for the likes of professional bodybuilders or athletes, protein powder has recently gained mainstream popularity – and for good reason. No matter your gender or fitness goals, everyone should aim to consume enough protein for optimal health and wellbeing.
Although the benefits of getting sufficient protein are plenty, there are also some common misconceptions which, unfortunately, may deter women in particular from supplementing with protein. Some women may wonder, “Does drinking protein shakes help build muscle for women? And to what extent?” Read ahead for the answer to this question, as we detail the benefits of protein and bust some popular myths below.
What is protein powder?
Whey and milk-based protein powder is a result of the cheese-making process – which essentially takes the most nutritious part of milk, and removes the carbohydrates and fats. This powdered form of protein sourced from soy, pea, hemp or dairy is an essential supplement for women looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle and boost your protein intake to help with fitness goals, dietary requirements or managing a healthy immune system.
Does drinking protein shakes help build muscle?
Whey protein contains stacks of amino acids, which assists in the process of building muscles. During athletic activity, muscle fibres break down, and a quality protein powder such as Happy Way’s whey protein range can help repair that damage, whilst simultaneously helping you to recover faster, allowing for easier workout sessions (and post-workout life!). Sounds like a win-win to us.
If you’re looking to lean down, there’s more good news – multiple studies have found that when supplementing with whey protein and exercising, those trying to lose weight have better results, with more lean muscle and less body fat. Furthermore, their metabolism is improved too – meaning more calories burned per day when compared to those who didn’t exercise or supplement.
It’s important to note that consuming protein shakes alone will not reap results such as weight loss or a more toned appearance – this will only happen in conjunction with exercise and a balanced diet.
What type of protein powder is best?
There is a huge variety of protein powder available, and many are targeted specifically for women. At Happy Way, we are proud to offer the highest quality whey protein, which is arguably the best and most popular all-rounder. The beauty of whey is that once consumed, it’s quickly digested and absorbed, allowing it to reach into the bloodstream and muscles incredibly efficiently. This is beneficial post-training to initiate the recovery process.
Happy Way also has delicious hemp and vegan protein powders. With low calories, high vitamins and plenty of options to choose from, you can find your ideal protein supplement, depending on your personal preferences, health needs and, of course, taste. Happy Way protein is made with tons of additional health-boosting goodies, including premium raw, ancient and organic superfood supplements, mixed with whey and vegan protein powders. Find out more about how to choose the best protein powder for you.
What are the other benefits?
Apart from a resounding ‘yes’ in response to the question, “Does drinking protein shakes help build muscle?” specifically lean muscles, there are plenty of additional benefits of protein powder. In general, protein helps refuel and regenerate muscles after a workout, improve athletic performance, and maintain overall health. For women specifically, getting the necessary protein is also essential for growing and maintaining healthy and strong nails and hair, since these are largely made up of the same compound.
The benefits don’t stop there. Although many women shy away from supplementing with protein for fear of looking ‘manly’ or bulky, it’s actually a great way to get into shape and offers a rather holistic approach to health and wellness. Happy Way protein powder is superb for weight management, as it aids in weight loss via natural hunger control (making you feel fuller for longer), and stabilises blood sugar levels, which helps with reducing sweet cravings.
How much protein do I really need?
The truth is, those bodybuilding physiques that spring to mind for many women when they are considering whether to take protein powder, are shaped not by protein powder itself, but through hours of specific and intense training in the gym daily, a super restrictive diet, and often other supplements. Unlike men, most women do not have the same level of hormones – specifically testosterone levels - that are needed for this kind of bulky, hyper-muscly look, so there’s no need to worry that you’ll resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When it comes to protein powder serving sizes, it really varies depending on the individual and their activity level, so it’s best to experiment with portions until you find the size that suits you best. As a general guide, if you’re trying to lose a few kilos, take a 20-30g serving. If your priority is on building lean muscles, use 35g or more per serving.
If you don’t have the time or energy to get your protein from meal-prepping a week’s worth of chicken breast, eggs and peas, protein powder offers a convenient means of getting the necessary protein into your diet. Women are more at risk of developing protein deficiencies, so keep in mind the recommended amount is roughly 1g/kg body weight per day of protein in your diet. Find out how much protein should I have for losing weight, gaining muscle or maintaining your current physique.
When should I drink protein shakes?
Protein powder has benefits both pre and post-workout and works terrifically as a filling, convenient and healthy snack, ideal for women with busy lifestyles. Although its good to have a naturally protein-rich diet, protein shakes are great in that they increase the protein you consume, without adding the extra carbohydrates and fat that are often present with food including meat, fish, soy, eggs, beans, and legumes.
Protein shakes are great in the morning as a quick liquid meal that’s easy to digest. As a pre-workout snack, if consumed around 45 minutes prior to exercise, it can boost energy levels, helping you go harder in the gym for longer. After a workout within 30 minutes, drinking a shake will provide needed amino acids to muscles, ensuring for quicker muscle recovery.
Hopefully, this answers the question, “Does drinking protein shakes help build muscle for women?”. Now you can see that in one full scoop of quality protein powder from Happy Way, you too can grow lean muscles, assist in functioning and help with your overall wellbeing.