On the average college campus, I would say there are almost a proportional amount of those shaker things that have the wire ball in them for protein powders as there are people who go to the gym. Gym rats, whether men or women, definitely have a certain amount of swag carrying them around so long as they look they regularly attend swol sessions.
Generally, you end up paying a pretty penny for the powder, anywhere from 32.99 for 5 lbs with 70ish servings to 94.99 for 10 lbs with 154 servings. The former of two is MuscleTech from Sam’s Club (I’m sure Costco has it too) and the latter is Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Gold Standard. Now I am not writing on this to necessarily denounce or promote powder. I personally am a Builder’s Bar kinda guy even though they are a little more expensive. What can I say, I like eating a bar over drinking a shake. An important question you need to ask yourself though if you are thinking of investing in protein anything is this: “How disciplined am I?” A TON of my buddies freshman year got into the protein powder thing. Actually, almost everyone on the floor of my freshman dorm was doing it. If you are not someone who has a consistent workout routine built (meaning you go at around the same time or the same days each week) you may want to think twice about sinking 33 or 100 or whatever into the stuff if you will only use it once in awhile. I cannot tell you how many friends of mine have two, even three of the containers of two or three year old powder sitting in their closets taking up space. That and if your gym attendance is sporadic, at the end of the day, all the nutrition products will not help you physically and you’re better off eating a decent protein packed meal with a lot of water after lifting. On the other hand, if you do frequently go in with a routine, it can definitely be a worthwhile investment. I go off and on with the bars, occasionally substituting them with slightly more natural protein-packed foods like globs of peanut butter or hard boiled eggs. Frankly, every time I take the eggs n’ peanut butter route, I end up hungry as hell by mid-morning at work. The dense bar seems to hold me over until lunch easily, though. I gather that a shake is similar since a lot of the full feeling really comes from the 32oz’s of water I chug post-lift with whatever it is I am eating anyway. In any case, before jumping on the whey protein bandwagon, try and evaluate if that money might be better off loading your fridge up with some deli meat. You might just get more out of that at lunch time than a mildly good tasting shake.