The 7 Best Protein Shakes for Women to Buy in 2018

Build muscle or enjoy a nutritious snack with these drinks

The power of protein has long been touted by hardcore fitness enthusiasts for its ability to help build muscle and boost fitness. Remember Rocky drinking raw eggs in the famous boxing movie by the same name?

In recent years, however, a focus on protein has grown more mainstream, as people realize its many health benefits. For women, protein is vital for everything from maintaining bone health and a healthy weight to fighting aging.

Fortunately, today you don’t have to drink raw eggs to get more protein, as there are products such as protein shakes that deliver significant doses of it. Some protein shakes come ready-to-drink while others come in powder form that you mix with water or another beverage like milk. They're available in all sorts of flavors to suit every taste, too.

Here are the best protein shakes for women to consider buying.

Best Overall: Purely Inspired Organic Protein Powder

This protein powder gets high marks all around. It packs in a lot of what you want in a protein shake and not a lot of the things you don’t. It’s not only organic, but also vegan-friendly and gluten-free. One serving contains 20 grams of protein from plant-based sources, such as pea protein and brown rice protein. This mixture also has 7 grams of fiber and just 2 grams of fat. No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners are added.

It comes in chocolate and vanilla, and you mix it with 8 ounces of water to make your shake. You can add everything from fruit to peanut butter to doctor it up, depending on your personal taste. Customers say they like the taste and value of this option, plus the fact that this protein powder keeps them satiated for hours. Many who are looking for an alternative to whey-based protein powders are particularly fond of Purely Inspired's powder.

Best Ready-to-Drink: LABRADA NUTRITION - Lean Body RTD Whey Protein Shake

If you don’t want to mess with mixing, these ready-to-drink shakes from Labrada Nutrition are perfect for protein on the go. Each 17-ounce serving is packed with 40 grams of protein and zero grams of sugar. Fortified with 22 vitamins and minerals, they can be used a meal replacement or snack.

These shakes are gluten-free and lactose-free, and they come in eight different flavors including cinnamon bun, bananas and cream and salted caramel. Customers rave about them, with more than 70 percent of reviewers on Amazon giving them five stars. People say they love the taste and that the abundant protein keeps them full and energized.

Best Vegetarian: NorCal Organic Whey Protein

Yes, you can get ample amounts of protein without consuming meat products. This organic protein powder from NorCal contains 21 grams of it. Made from pure organic whey from the milk of grass-fed cows in California, there’s no added sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, or artificial flavors and colors. NorCal Organic also stresses that it’s the only whey protein on the market that’s Non-GMO Project Verified and American Humane Association Certified.

To use, mix one to two scoops of the unflavored powder with 8 to 12 ounces of water or another beverage, like almond milk. The company suggests using it as a convenient breakfast or as a post-workout recovery shake. Customers rave about it, saying they love that it mixes well, tastes good, and is about as pure as it gets. Some aren’t fans of the taste when just mixed with water, but say with almond milk or other beverages it’s great.

Best Vegan: OWYN 100-Percent Vegan Plant-Based Protein Shake

Yes, you can still get plenty of protein even if meat and dairy are out of the question for you. This ready-to-drink protein shake from Owyn is 100 percent certified vegan and contains 20 grams of protein per serving. It requires no refrigeration before you open it, so it’s great to take on the go to work, while hiking, or anywhere you need to refuel along the way. If you have allergies, this one is likely safe for you too as it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, and contains no fish or shellfish. It comes in flavors like smooth vanilla, dark chocolate, and cold brew coffee.

Most customers say they love the taste and the fact that it is so pure. “Have been looking for a great tasting, ready-to-drink, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan protein drink forever and have finally found it!” one reviewer wrote.

Best Tasting: CalNaturale Svelte Organic Protein Shake, Chocolate

Customers say these ready-to-drink protein shakes from CalNaturale taste so good it’s hard to believe they’re good for you. They come in several flavors including French vanilla, cappuccino, and chocolate, and more than one reviewer has compared the taste to that of a milkshake.

Organic, gluten-free, vegan ,and kosher, they fit most diets. Each 11-ounce shake contains 11 grams of protein, 180 calories, and 20 percent of the recommended daily amount of fiber. Recommended for before or after a workout or anytime as a snack, customers say they make a good, light breakfast too. More than 65 percent of reviewers on Amazon gave these shakes five stars.

Best Meal Replacement: SlimFast Advanced Nutrition Smoothie

SlimFast has been in the shake business for decades now and has a loyal following of fans who love their shakes for weight loss. This version with 20 grams of protein is no exception. It also boasts 5 grams of fiber, 24 vitamins and minerals, and it’s gluten-free.

Plenty of customers will attest that SlimFast's shakes are great weight loss aides. Of course, there no magic pills (or shakes) when it comes to weight loss, so you have to consider all aspects of your health when making a significant change to your diet.

SlimFast suggests you eat one “sensible meal” per day plus three snacks, and then replace your other two meals with the shakes. To make the shakes, you mix the powder with fat-free milk. You can also add banana, Greek yogurt, or cinnamon to spice things up.

Best Low-Carb: EAS® AdvantEDGE® Carb Control™ Protein Shake

If you’re counting carbs, you needn’t count very high with these shakes from Advant Edge. There are just two net carbs per 11-ounce shake and 100 calories, but with 17 grams of protein they’re designed to help keep your hunger in check. There are also zero grams of sugar, so you don’t have to worry about that getting in the way of your fitness goals either. The shakes also tout significant amounts of Vitamins C, E, and B.

These shakes come in several flavors including rich dark chocolate, strawberry cream, and French vanilla. Customers say these shakes are a good value, they taste great, and that the ratio of calories to carbs to protein is just right for their goals.

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