How To Choose The Right Protein Powder For PCOS

How can you choose the right protein powder for PCOS? That’s a great question, and one I’m often asked.

Natural PCOS treatments are powerful, and important approaches. I highly recommend them. And increasing our healthy protein is a great step. We know this helps us subconsciously eat less calories, improves our blood sugar balance, helps us to maintain our muscle mass which is important for our fat burning ability and metabolism. Without protein, we cannot be well or conquer our PCOS signs and symptoms.

In your everyday food plan, sources of protein include meat, chicken, fish, tofu, beans, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Healthy protein powders are an alternative way of gaining protein also.Why is protein important for your entire body? A protein is a chain of amino acids, and every cell in your body contains them. Therefore, protein is needed to repair cells and to produce new ones.Protein powders are supplemental protein sources that are very popular with people who frequent the gym, bodybuilders, football players, basketball players, gymnasts, and other athletes. They are also popular with those trying to lose weight and busy people looking for a quick and filling meal. These powders are often mixed with water to form a shake, or sprinkled on food sources.The three most recognised forms of protein powders are whey, casein, and soy. Whey is the most commonly used and advantageous of the three.SoyOne form of protein powder is soy. It is a vegetable protein that you can mix into a drink or sprinkle over your foods. It is often found to be less palatable than casein or whey, nor does it dissolve as well. However, if you are a vegan, you may prefer it.


There are two proteins that make up milk, casein and whey.

There is growing concern regarding A1 beta-casein in cow’s milk. Before cows were domesticated, cows were genetically of the A2 type, producing A2 beta-casein. However, somewhere along the line, maybe through a natural mutation, an important component of the beta-casein changed. Of the 209 amino acid chain of the beta-casein protein, the 67th amino acid was changed from proline to histidine. This formed the A1 beta-casein, and a peptide called beta-casomorphin-7 or BCM7 formed. Heart disease, diabetes, autism and other illnesses have been linked to BCM7. I cannot recommend you choose casein containing protein powders, as we are unable to tell which beta-casein is within it. A1 casein is NOT something you want to include in your food plan. Period. To find out more, there is a wonderful book called Devil In The Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk by Keith Woodford. It is a heavy, but worthwhile, read.


Whey protein has all 9 essential amino acids, contains antioxidants and enhances immune function.

For individuals looking to shed pounds, whey protein can aid in the reduction of body fat. Consuming whey before and after workouts can increase fat-free mass and muscle strength. Whey has also been shown to reduce hunger, which contributes to weight loss and toning.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, “whey protein supplementation during resistance training offers some benefit compared to resistance training alone.”

Indeed, studies have shown that whey protein is more significant for strength building than casein. In the study published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, “in two groups of matched, resistance-trained males, whey isolate provided significantly greater gains in strength, lean body mass, and a decrease in fat mass3 compared to supplementation with casein during an intense 10-week resistance-training program.”

In addition to the benefits of whey protein with weight loss and the gym, there are significant health benefits associated with the protein. Whey fights cancers, particularly prostate and colon cancers. Consuming the protein in a shake form has shown to reduce episodes of depression. Whey can benefit your immune system and fight off colds and illnesses. A decrease in total cholesterol, as well as LDL cholesterol, has been reported. It also has significant advantages in lowering blood pressure.

Finally, whey protein is naturally gluten free.

When choosing the right protein powder, whey has significant benefits over casein and soy.


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What other choices are there?

Hemp and pea protein are good options also. Make sure they are free from harmful additives and high quality as well.

Protein powders can make a world of difference for those looking to shed unwanted kilos, to boost their intake of this important macronutrient, to improve hormonal balance and to be well.


From PCOS to perfect health, with love,

Dr. Rebecca Harwin
The PCOS Expert
Nutritionist, Bestselling Author, Chiropractor
P.S. You can add berries, bananas or other fruit, plus powder or liquid supplements, plus psyllium to maximise the goodness and nutritional kick you get from each shake.

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6 Responses to How To Choose The Right Protein Powder For PCOS

  1. Victoriya June 23, 2015 at 1:38 am #

    The issue for me is that I am lactose intolerant but I cannot stand the taste of pea or hemp protein and they aren’t as filling. When I have regular whey protein I feel full (as mentioned) longer and don’t crave any sweets or carbs! However I ended up bloated and not able to lose any weight from the stomach. It also caused me to have severe acne breakouts on my chest and body. What do you suggest I try? I heard whey isolate may be a better option since it contains less lactose.

    • Dr Rebecca Harwin June 24, 2015 at 5:52 am #

      Hi Victoriya,

      Many women with PCOS have issues with dairy. Often it’s the casein (the protein) rather than the lactose (the sugar) that causes the intolerance.

      Are you using these are a vegetarian source of protein? Have you considered getting your protein from food, not shakes? Then you could look to eggs (if you eat these), nuts, seeds, even leafy greens have some protein.

      This sounds like it may be a better approach for you.

      Warm regards,

      Dr. Rebecca Harwin.

  2. EB August 12, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    I have been using EAS complete protein. I tried whey when reading that it could be more beneficial. However, I found that it either rises or lowers (unsure) my blood sugar so quickly after drinking that I feel ill. Do you know why this is?

    • Dr Rebecca Harwin August 14, 2015 at 2:23 am #


      Insulin resistance and blood sugar control can vary depending on different health challenges a person has. If you find that a product or particular food doesn’t agree with you, it’s good to avoid it. It could be because of the fillers and other ingredients, not just the whey. i.e. it may also contain A1 casein, and this can make people feel unwell.

      Hope that helps.

      Dr. Rebecca Harwin.

  3. Mori August 28, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. I have been doing some research and have a question regarding whether soy or whey is better for meal replacement. Prior to being diagnosed I was on the herbalife diet which contains soy isolate protein I have not been able to lose weight and I wonder if it’s because of the pcos and the soy and estrogen it contains or the effect it has on estrogen. I guess my question is does soy really affect people with pcos and is whey a better alternative?

    • Dr Rebecca Harwin September 30, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

      Hi Mori,

      There are choices based on proteins like pea and hemp. You might find these more helpful?

      There are many reasons that may contribute to PCOS weight gain though, so addressing sleep issues, stress, gut problems, an underachieve thyroid, inflammation and insulin resistance, really helps and is very important.

      The supplements I personally take an recommend to address these underlying drivers are at

      I hope that helps, and good luck x

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