You might be wondering will protein make women bulky? There is a common misconception stating that protein — especially protein powders — will make a woman big and muscular. I mean, hello? Aren’t protein powders the reason why those gym buffs are so… well, uh… buff? Yes and no. It’s more complicated than that.
Protein such as protein powder or protein shakes, in itself, will not make a woman bulky. Women do not have enough testosterone to gain muscle mass easily. It takes months for most women to gain a significant amount of muscle even with a strict diet and resistance/strength training.
Let me expand on this to give you a clearer picture of what protein does for women…
Will Protein Make Women Bulky?
As women, our genetic makeup does not allow us to repair and gain muscle the way men do. We do not have enough testosterone to build muscle mass like guys.
So, will protein make women bulky? No. Men can get bulky when working out, while we get lean and toned… and also curvy!
But what about women bodybuilders?
There are several women bodybuilders that appear to be as bulky as men. These female athletes follow an extremely strict food and exercise plan. It takes them years of hard work to achieve the body that they have. So don’t think that you’ll achieve their bodies just by increasing your protein intake. Consuming more protein won’t make you look like the Hulk or a contender in a bodybuilding competition!
If consuming more protein will make us women bulky, then you’d see a lot of meat-loving women walk around with big guns!
What Does Protein Powder Do for a Woman?
Okay, so, now that you know you won’t get buff by eating more protein…
Why should you increase your protein intake? What will protein do to your body exactly? Here are some of the benefits to feasting on more protein:
Protein can help you lose weight and also help you gain weight. It all depends on the amount you are consuming and the calories you are taking in. Like with any food, protein can help you gain weight if you eat an abundant amount of it. If you eat too much of anything, it will obviously make you gain more weight.
As for losing weight, protein is a great nutrient that can help you suppress your appetite, control your cravings, and burn more calories. Protein acts as a natural appetite suppressant. By eating a high protein diet, you will be able to reduce your late-night snack and/or sugar cravings.
Protein also prevents muscle loss while you are trying to decrease your weight. Wouldn’t you want to look leaner and not just skinnier?
So, all in all, I highly suggest you start increasing your protein consumption.
Building and Repairing Muscles
Now, again, I’m not talking about big bulky muscles. I’m talking about lean muscles and a toned body.
Protein is the key to repairing and building your muscles. Exercising can cause micro-tears in your muscle fibers. Your muscles, then, become stronger during the recovery process, in order for them to handle the next time you do the same exercise. This is also the reason why you need to increase the intensity of your workouts.
Protein helps with quicker muscle recovery. If you help your muscles recover faster, you will see better and quicker results.
To optimize your workouts, you must increase your protein intake.
How Many Grams of Protein Does a Woman Need Daily?
The amount of protein needed varies from person to person. You must take several factors into consideration when figuring out how much protein you need.
On the average, you would need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. You can divide your bodyweight in pounds by 2.205 to get your kilogram weight.
The grams of protein needed by your body can change depending on your lifestyle, health, and activities. If you are recovering from an illness, pregnant, stressed or if you are doing consistent intense workouts you may need around 1.2 grams to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
This method works for both men and women.
Person A: 120 lbs, exercises regularly
120 lbs / 2.205 = 54.4 kg
54 kg * 1.5 = 81 g
Person A would need 81 grams of protein per day.
Person B: 110 lbs, sedentary lifestyle
115 lbs / 2.205 = 52.15 kg
52 kg * 0.8 = 41.6 g
Person B would need 42 grams of protein per day.
This is a great way to calculate how many grams of protein you need in a day to achieve your fitness goal and be a step closer to achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Should Women Drink Protein Shakes?
You might be thinking that protein shakes and powders are only for men and bodybuilders. This is certainly not true. Protein shakes may actually be more beneficial to women than men.
Men naturally consume more protein than us women. Even if they don’t take in any protein supplements, they tend to eat more food than us. Therefore, they usually meet the standard amount of protein their body needs.
Additionally, men have more testosterone to build muscles, unlike women. Therefore, we need that extra push to help us attain the great benefits from protein.
An average woman consumes around 46 grams of protein per day which is not enough for women who are living an active lifestyle or who are trying to lose weight.
So protein powders are an easy way to add more grams of protein to your diet. You can drink protein shakes on-the-go, or you can try adding protein powder to your desserts and meals.
There are so many recipes you can add protein powder to. Like cookies, pancakes, oatmeals, soup, brownies, muffins, and the list goes on and on!
What Happens If You Drink Protein Shakes Without Working Out?
If you add protein shakes to your diet without adjusting your meals and calorie intake, you will gain weight. Any extra food or beverage you add to your diet will make you gain weight.
So, if your goal is to maintain or lose weight, then you have to adjust your calories or add an activity to your daily routine to burn off the extra calories you are taking from the protein shake.
Just remember that the protein shake in itself will not make you gain weight. Weight loss or weight gain will rely on “calories in vs calories out”. If you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.
What are the different types of protein powder?
There are several types of protein powder to choose from. Here are some of the best protein powder for women:
- Whey Protein
- Pea Protein
- Mixed Plant-Based Protein Powders
- Hemp Protein
- Brown Rice Protein
- Egg White Protein
When choosing a protein powder, always consider your fitness goals and any intolerances or allergies you may have. Each protein powder has its own benefits and disadvantages. Find out which one will work best for you.
Which Protein Powder is Best for Weight Loss?
According to research whey — a dairy-based protein — is the best for weight loss. Whey contains a significant amount of the amino acid leucine, which is a powerful tool for building muscles. When you build muscle you will burn more calories. Studies show that people who drank whey protein lost more inches off their waist and lost more body fat.
So if you are starting your weight loss journey and you are looking for a great protein shake to add to your diet or to act as a meal replacement, I recommend you start with choosing the best whey protein for you. But, keep in mind any health conditions you have before buying a certain type of protein product.