Protein is a very familiar word when discussing what makes a healthy diet. Protein is found naturally in many foods, but recently the fad of adding protein supplements to the normal health regimen has branched out from men to women. With brand names like Muscle Milk creating lighter versions of their original protein drinks and trainers like Jillian Michaels endorsing a whey protein powder aimed specifically at women, it raises the question of what benefit and harm protein supplements bring to women.
I personally don’t believe in taking supplements in addition to my normal workout regimen. I cringe every time I see the large number of calories on the back of one small muscle work. Unless a woman is trying to add on pounds, and quickly, I don’t see why Muscle Milk is necessary. Some women, however, swear by protein powders and Muscle Milk, so I explored what benefits they actually have.
Protein powders like whey protein are a great choice for women because they can be added to any smoothies or juices that a woman can make at home. Whey protein is naturally low in fat, easy to digest, and can aid in weight loss when used correctly according to the article “Whey Protein” from Webmd.com. The reason it can aid in weight loss is that it provides the protein a woman needs to stay full after a meal. This protein can also be found naturally in meats and other foods which is a better option than whey protein. If possible, it is better to get the proteins to keep one full and focused through lean foods and not through a supplement.
The real issue with women taking protein supplements is that most of them reach for the flavored, pre-packaged, high calorie options like the popular Muscle Milk. High in fat content, the aim of this drink is more for gaining muscle mass and getting “ripped” than losing weight. Although a light version of the drink has recently surfaced, it still has more fat grams than eating a lean piece of chicken or steak.
In my opinion, the only protein that a woman should have in her diet is from high protein foods and not from supplements.