The Protein Powerhouse for Women: Part 2 - The Supplement Showdown

Protein duel! Study reveals impact of whey, meat, vegan & BCAAs on women's muscle growth.

NYB Team
By NYB Team
Mar 21, 2024
The Protein Powerhouse for Women: Part 2 - The Supplement Showdown

In our previous blog, we explored the science behind protein and resistance training for building muscle in women. Now, let's delve into the results of our study to see which protein supplement emerged as the champion!

The Big Picture: Supplement Impact on Muscle Growth

The study revealed interesting variations in how different supplements impacted muscle mass in women after eight weeks of training. Here's a breakdown:

  • Meat Supplementation: This group showed a slight increase in weight and body mass index (BMI), but it wasn't statistically significant. This aligns with other studies suggesting meat protein and whey protein offer similar benefits.

  • Whey Protein: While participants in this group experienced increases in weight, muscle mass, and BMI, along with a decrease in body fat mass, none of these changes reached statistical significance. A longer study duration might have yielded different results.

  • Vegan Protein: This group saw a decrease in weight, muscle mass, body fat mass, and BMI, although again, not statistically significant. This could be due to differences in digestibility and bioavailability between plant and animal proteins.

  • BCAA Supplementation: This group experienced a decrease in all measured parameters, including a statistically significant drop in BMI. This contradicts some existing research suggesting BCAAs promote muscle synthesis.

Why the Differences? Digging Deeper

Several factors might explain the observed variations:

  • Study Duration: Eight weeks might not be enough to see significant changes, especially with muscle mass. Longer studies are needed for conclusive results.

  • Protein Intake: The provided protein intake (1.4 g/kg/day) may have been lower than optimal for muscle building, particularly for the vegan protein group.

A Call for Further Research

This study highlights the need for more research on protein supplements for women. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Women-Specific Research: Most studies focus on men, making data on women scarce. This study paves the way for future investigations on women's nutritional needs for exercise performance.

  • Supplement Type and Timing: More research is needed to explore the effectiveness of different protein sources and timing of supplementation for optimal muscle growth in women.

  • Digestibility and Bioavailability: Understanding how well our bodies absorb and utilize various protein sources is crucial for making informed choices.

The Takeaway: It's All About Individual Needs

While the study didn't identify a clear winner, it emphasizes the importance of individual needs. Factors like dietary preferences, training intensity, and overall protein intake play a significant role.

Stay tuned for our next blog!


Ballesteros-Torres JM, Escalante-Aburto A, Villarreal-Arce ME, Caballero-Prado CJ. Exploring the Impact of Protein Supplement Source on Body Composition in Women Practicing Anaerobic Resistance Exercise: A Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2024; 16(2):321.