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Protein powders are commonly used to increase muscle mass or support weight loss.

They’re also helpful for women who want a quick and convenient way to add more protein to their diet.

However, with so many brands, types, and flavors on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which powder to choose.

The products included in this article were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Third-party testing. We looked for products that are third-party tested to ensure safety and quality.
  • Quality ingredients. In addition to the type and quality of ingredients used, we included powers with a limited use of fillers, additives, and artificial ingredients.
  • Nutritional value. We considered the nutritional value of each product, specifically looking for products that are high in protein and low in added sugar.
  • Brand quality. We vetted each brand and product to ensure they meet our business and medical standards.

Also, keep in mind that while these products are either marketed toward women or contain ingredients that are particularly beneficial for women, the protein powders listed below can be enjoyed by most healthy adults.

Here are our picks of the 8 best protein powders for women in 2021.

Best plant-based

Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein + Superfoods Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: pea, brown rice, and chia seed
  • Available flavors: chocolate and vanilla
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (51 grams)
  • Calories: 160
  • Carbs: 21 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams

Offering 21 grams of protein and a hearty dose of fiber in every serving, this powder from Orgain is one of the best plant-based protein options.

In addition to its impressive nutritional profile, the powder boasts high quality ingredients, including a blend of over 50 nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, and herbs intended to help boost your intake of several key vitamins and minerals.

Plus, it’s quite high in iron — an important mineral that nearly 30% of women don’t get enough of (1).

The powder is also vegan, certified organic, and gluten-free, making it a great option for women with certain dietary needs or preferences.

As a bonus, customers note that the powder mixes easily and has a smooth, creamy texture when combined with water or plant-based milk.

According to its website, Orgain’s products are produced in Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-registered facilities that have been third-party certified for quality and safety, though the name of the testing organization is not disclosed.

Best whey

Naked Whey Grass-Fed Unflavored Protein Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: whey
  • Available flavors: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and unflavored
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (30 grams)
  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Added sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 25 grams

Rich in a variety of essential amino acids, Naked Whey Protein Powder is a popular choice among women looking to ramp up their protein intake.

Along with being free of artificial sweeteners, additives, and growth hormones, this product is sourced from grass-fed cows, which may produce milk that’s higher in certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids (2).

Furthermore, Naked Whey is certified gluten-free and has been tested by Informed Choice — a third-party company that evaluates the quality and safety of supplements (3).

While it can be mixed with water or milk using just a shaker bottle, reviewers recommend blending the unflavored version with other ingredients like fruit, spices, or cocoa powder for extra flavor.

Of course, you can also opt for one of Naked’s flavored whey powders, which are lightly sweetened with coconut sugar.

Just keep in mind that flavored options are higher in carbs, and may not be ideal if you’re following a very low carb or ketogenic diet.

Best pea protein

Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein Powder

  • Price: $
  • Protein type: pea
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Serving size: 1 tbsp. (10 grams)
  • Calories: 35
  • Carbs: <1 gram
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams

Pea protein powder is a great choice if you follow a vegan diet, are lactose-intolerant, or have allergies to dairy, soy, or nuts.

Anthony’s Premium Pea Powder contains just one simple ingredient: vegetable pea protein isolate.

Plus, it’s tested for quality, gluten-free, and a good source of iron, which may be especially beneficial for women.

What’s more, because it’s unflavored and unsweetened, it can be used as a base for smoothies, shakes, baked goods, and more.

Best tasting

KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed
  • Available flavors: chocolate, vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate chip mint, and unflavored
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (39 grams)
  • Calories: 170
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Added sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 20 grams

With five delicious flavors to choose from, KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is a great-tasting choice if you want more variety in your protein shakes.

Along with being certified organic, the powder contains a proprietary blend of digestive enzymes that are designed to help optimize nutrient absorption.

It’s also rich in B vitamins like riboflavin and vitamin B12, along with vitamin E, an antioxidant that plays a key role in skin health and immune function (4, 5).

Another added benefit is that it has a slightly thicker texture than other products, making it a great option for protein shakes and smoothies.

Best unflavored

Natural Force Organic Whey Protein

  • Price: $$$
  • Protein type: whey
  • Available flavors: chocolate and unflavored
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (26 grams)
  • Calories: 100
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Added sugar: 1 gram
  • Protein: 20 grams

For those with dietary restrictions, this high quality protein powder from Natural Force is definitely worth checking out.

It’s not only certified organic but also kosher, certified keto, paleo-friendly, and free of genetically modified ingredients.

It also features whey protein, a type of milk-based protein sourced from grass-fed cows. It contains all essential amino acids and can help support muscle growth (6).

Furthermore, the powder contains just one ingredient and has undergone third-party testing by Covance to ensure that it’s free of heavy metals and contaminants (7).

The company even includes a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each batch, allowing you to view the third-party testing results online.

Available in both chocolate and unflavored varieties, this Natural Force Organic Whey makes a great addition to smoothies and baked goods.

However, as it doesn’t contain any additives or mixing agents, you’ll want to use a blender to ensure a smooth, even consistency. Additionally, keep in mind that it’s not suitable for those following a dairy-free or vegan diet.

Best post-workout

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder

  • Price: $$$
  • Protein type: pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and alfalfa
  • Available flavors: berry, chocolate, mocha, peanut butter, vanilla, chocolate, and vanilla
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (43 grams)
  • Calories: 160
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Added sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 30 grams

If you’re looking for an easy way to refuel after a workout, be sure to check out this plant-based protein powder from Vega.

In addition to 30 grams of protein per 1-scoop (43-gram) serving, Vega Sport Premium Powder includes probiotics — a type of beneficial bacteria that has been shown to support gut health, immune function, and female reproductive health (8).

The powder likewise contains tart cherry powder, which may help reduce inflammation and improve endurance exercise performance (9, 10).

Additionally, this supplement is NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that it’s third-party tested to ensure that it’s free of substances that are banned among athletes (11).

The powder has a pleasant taste that can be mixed with water or your favorite plant-based milk for an easy, on-the-go protein shake. Alternatively, try blending it with fruits and veggies for even more nutrition.

Best organic

Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

  • Price: $$$
  • Protein type: pea, sprouted navy bean, sprouted lentil bean, sprouted garbanzo bean, and cranberry
  • Available flavors: chocolate and vanilla
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (42 grams)
  • Calories: 160
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Added sugar: <1 gram
  • Protein: 30 grams

Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder features a blend of plant-based proteins, including peas, navy beans, and lentils. It’s also vegan, organic, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Each 2-scoop (42-gram) serving provides 30 grams of protein, along with 2 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of probiotics to support digestive health and immunity.

Additionally, the product is third-party certified by NSF International and Informed Choice to ensure quality (3, 12).

While it mixes easily, customers note that the powder has a thick, gritty texture that tastes best when blended with other ingredients.

Best for smoothies

ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: pea, brown rice, hemp seed, and pumpkin seed
  • Available flavors: chocolate and vanilla
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (35 grams)
  • Calories: 130
  • Carbs: 10 grams
  • Added sugar: 4 grams
  • Protein: 18 grams

Naturally sweetened and available in two flavors, this plant-based protein powder from ALOHA is a great choice for women who are wanting to make healthy high protein smoothies at home.

Along with 18 grams of filling plant-based protein, the powder contains 5 grams of fiber per serving, which can help promote bowel regularity and help stabilize your blood sugar levels (13).

It’s also vegan, organic, and free of any artificial ingredients, additives, and preservatives.

While this product works especially well in smoothies, you can also use it to make baked goods or homemade protein bars.

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a protein powder.

First, it’s important to decide the type of protein that you prefer.

While whey protein is popular among those looking to gain muscle, those following a vegan or dairy-free diet should choose a plant-based alternative that’s sourced from ingredients like peas, brown rice, or chia seeds.

You should also look for a supplement that offers a variety of flavors and is suitable for however you plan to use it, whether that’s in baked goods, protein shakes, or smoothies.

You may also want to opt for a protein powder that contains nutrients and ingredients that offer specific benefits for women, including probiotics, B vitamins, and iron.

Be sure to also review the nutrition label carefully and opt for a product that meets your nutritional needs, especially if you’re looking to increase or decrease your intake of sugar, fat, fiber, carbs, or specific vitamins or minerals.

Finally, products should ideally be tested by a third-party company, such as NSF International or Informed Choice, to ensure that the powder contains the type and amount of ingredients it claims to on the label.

Whether you’re looking to build muscle or need help meeting your protein needs, several great protein powder options are available for women — and they’re suitable for most healthy adults, too.

To help narrow down your search, be sure to consider the type, flavor, and nutritional value of each product. It’s also best to opt for supplements that are third-party tested to ensure safety and quality.

Of course, keep in mind that protein powders are not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. In fact, most women can meet their protein needs by eating a variety of protein-rich foods.