Are Protein Shakes Safe To Drink During Pregnancy
What started with nutrition supplements used in healthcare and hospital settings has blossomed into a large consumer industry with a near-endless array of brands in the mix.
Protein shakes are marketed as everything from meal-replacement weight loss drinks to a way to get your essential nutrients and gain weight when needed.
While the variety of protein shakes seems endless, many of them contain very similar ingredients.
Vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrate, fat, a little fiber, and flavorings to help make them tasty are the basis of nearly every shake on the market.
Some brands may include extra ingredients like botanicals or caffeine, but the core protein shake ingredients are common dietary staples and all perfectly safe, even during pregnancy.
However, the ingredients may not give you the full story.
Protein shakes manufacturers can label their shakes as either a supplement or a food. Because the FDA doesnt regulate nutrition supplements, its best to choose a shake thats classified as a food.
An easy way to tell whether or not a shake is food or supplement is checking the label. Food protein shakes will have a Nutrition Facts panel, while supplement shakes will have a Supplement Facts panel .
Another consideration is the nutrition content of protein shakes.
A hang-up many folks have with protein shakes is their sugar content. Protein shakes are most often sweetened with either a sugar, a non-nutritive sweetener, or a combination of the two.
How To Pick The Best Protein Powders During Pregnancy
Now that you know the benefits, risks and different types of products available, here are a few tips to help you get the most bang for your buck when choosing the best protein powder for you and your pregnancy.
How to choose the best protein powder for your pregnancy:
Benefits Of Taking Protein Powders During Pregnancy
- During pregnancy its not easy to get in all the proteins required for your pregnant body. Between morning sickness and aversion to certain goods like meat, eggs or fish protein powders are the best way you can make sure you have your daily protein intake
- Youre often tired when youre pregnant and cooking elaborate meals may not always be an option. Protein powders, in this case, can be your quick and easy protein fix!
Protein powders are very common amongst pregnant women. Its just that you have to be extremely careful when selecting a protein powder during pregnancy.
But dont worry, with the help of this guide to choosing the safe and best protein powder for pregnancy and along with your OBs recommendation this should be really easy for you!
Brands Of Clean Powder With No Added Ingredients
After searching through dozens of protein powders, I managed to put together a shortlist of protein powders that only contain minimal ingredients and scored highly on the Clean Label Projects review of protein powders.
This is not a recommendation or endorsement of the following products since everyones dietary needs vary, but this should save you the trouble of reading loads of ingredient labels and help you make an informed choice.
If youre vegan or just want something with one single ingredient, then Now Foods make a protein powder made solely from peas, and have both an organic and non-organic version. The single ingredient is pea protein, and thats it.
Jay Robbs Unflavored Egg Protein only contains sunflower lethicin and flash-pasteurized egg white powder, and nothing else.
Jarrow Formulas Unflavored Whey Protein is similar and it only contains sunflower lethicin and whey protein derived from milk. View it on their site.
Are Protein Powders Safe To Consume During Pregnancy
It cannot be said that protein powder supplements are completely safe for pregnant women, as they often contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose. Although these artificial sweeteners may be FDA approved and labelled as generally recognised as safe , it cannot be said that they are safe for a pregnant woman and her growing foetus. Their safety is questionable as they are manmade and not natural. Some brands of protein powders can also have ingredients like creatine and caffeine in them which may not be good for foetal growth.
If you want to take protein powder as a supplement during pregnancy, it is suggested that you consult your doctor to understand whether or not you need it, and if yes, then which one you should opt for. Since most powders are made out of proteins such as whey, casein, and soy, women allergic to dairy products can switch to other organic protein powders that are safe for consumption during pregnancy.
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Teras Organic Whey Protein
If you are a big fan of gluten-free products, the teras Organic Whey Protein is a good choice. It is also low on carbs like our first pick and contains about 21 grams of protein inside the 12-ounce container. Being low in carbs can help those who have problems with diabetes or blood sugar. It is also made with organic bourbon vanilla so it does not contain artificial sweeteners at all and still tastes good!
Because it is safe for pregnant women, it does not contain alcohol or caffeine, while it still retains the rich flavors. It is also available in dark chocolate if you prefer that one. You can also make shakes out of it, especially mixing with banana and similar ingredients.
Risks Of Taking Protein Powders During Pregnancy
Honestly, when youre pregnant anything and everything can be a risk and so can protein powders, unless youre super careful, ofcourse. Read on to find out the risks of taking protein powders during pregnancy and how to avoid these risks.
#1 Toxic ingredients
Since protein powders fall under dietary supplements, its not regulated by the United States FDA . Which means that the consumers are at the mercy of the manufacturers being genuinely concerned about their users health.
This basically means that you cannot completely trust what the ingredients label says as the manufacturer could add ingredients that arent mentioned in the label. Or you may not be getting the right amount of protein that the brand claims.
Which is why keep the protein powders to a minimum, try to get most of your proteins from whole foods. And make sure that you only use a scoop of your most trusted and doctor approved protein powder when you really need it.
#2 Over Consumption
If youre already eating a range of high-protein foods in your diet then you probably dont even need protein powders. Having too much protein during pregnancy is not good for you or your baby.
According to research, less carbs and too much protein slowed down the growth of the babies. Which is why doctors dont recommend a keto diet during pregnancy. Which means its best to keep protein powders to a minimum and get your protein source from natural sources like nuts, eggs, or milk.
#3 Added sugars
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Prenatal Vitamin Supplement Shake
Declared to be non-GMO in its contents, this delicious-tasting Prenatal Vitamin Supplement Shake can be a great solution to moms who want to get supplemental protein during their pregnancy stages. It does not contain preservatives, artificial sugars and the like. You can use this low-carb formula as a delicious afternoon shake with ice to help you feel refreshed and energized.
Each 1 lb bag of this whey protein powder can make up to 15 servings. Most people like the flavor so much without giving off a bad aftertaste, unlike other cheaper protein powders out there. It is also easy to dissolve in its formulation.
What Type Of Protein Powder Should You Choose When Pregnant
The proteins that are derived from the food sources listed above should be safe.
However, you will want to avoid protein powders will a large number of additives or artificial sweeteners, as listed below.
Some women are advised to remove dairy from their diet when breastfeeding due to their baby having a possible dairy intolerance, so, in that case, a woman would want to avoid whey or casein protein powders.
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What Are The Different Types Of Protein Powder
There are a number of protein powders on the market today which include:
- Brown Rice
- Mixed Plant
Because all of these types of proteins are derived from food products, the protein themselves is not harmful to pregnant women. You would simply choose the type of protein that suits your particular dietary needs depending on specific restrictions or allergies.
Protein And Pregnancy: Balance Is Key
Advice from an expert:
Dr. Nicole Avena, author of What to Eat When Youre Pregnant, says that protein is one of the key macronutrients that our bodies need to properly grow and function. Protein is especially important during pregnancy, when your body is hard at work building a new human being!
Protein helps with the growth of fetal tissue and it impacts the development of the brain, as well. Protein can also help increase blood supply which will then be sent to your growing baby.
Protein deficiency in mothers during pregnancy has been associated with lower birth weight and various undesirable changes in the infants biochemistry. On the other hand, a diet too high in protein can raise maternal blood pressure and result in preterm birth. Nutritional balance is key when you are pregnant for your own health and the health of your baby!
A 2014 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that both low and high protein diets during pregnancy seem to have a detrimental effect on offspring. The report discusses that most of the research on protein needs during pregnancy is based on animal studies. It is challenging to extrapolate the results of this research to humans.
But, what we do know is that inadequate protein can impact fetal development, resulting in low birthweight and other complications. It also may cause long-term health effects later in life.
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How Can I Make Sure The Protein Powder I’m Choosing During Pregnancy Is Safe
You can verify the safety of a protein powder by visiting the clean label project’s website and checking a specific brand’s “score”. Alternatively, ensuring the product is third-party certified by NSF can be easily done by checking the labeling of the product.
“While many protein powders are considered safe during pregnancy, you want to avoid those that have added herbs and other ingredients that may be untested in pregnancy or even potentially harmful,” according to Melissa Groves, RDN and owner of Avocado Grove Nutrition.
“Assuming you are taking a prenatal vitamin, you should make sure that you are not getting a protein powder that has a ton of added vitamins and minerals, because you shouldn’t end up taking more than what you need,” Groves says.
Pregnant women should avoid protein powders that contain:
- Herbal supplements
- Potentially harmful artificial sweeteners like Acesulfame potassium.
What Are Some Pregnancy
You might scrutinize every ingredient listed on a products label still, theres no way of being 100 percent sure that the protein powder is safe for pregnancy. You can do your own research, but no brands specifically make protein powders for pregnant women. Thats why its ideal to choose from a trusted protein powder brand when you need one. Here are a few brands that you can trust to meet your protein intake requirements during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, your low appetite may make you picky. Pregnant protein powders are a solution. If you want to try protein powders during pregnancy, there are plenty of options for you. From natural sources to protein supplements, its easy to pick one. You need to make sure you are choosing the right nutrition thats safe for you and the baby. Thankfully, our selection offers all the answers to your concern.
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Whey Protein During Pregnancy: Is It Safe
When you are pregnant, it is vital that you are careful to eat the best foods for you and your growing baby. You want to keep both you and your baby as healthy as possible and avoid any complications. It is critical to eat a well-balanced diet. This means getting plenty of complex carbs, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Keep in mind that this may be easier said than done, particularly in the first trimester when many women experience nausea, but do the best you can to prioritize healthy whole foods as much as possible.
This also means being aware that there are many foods that could be harmful during pregnancy. These foods are anything that could have a negative effect on your body or your baby, and youll be surprised to find that there are quite a few of them. It is likely that during your first prenatal appointment your doctor or midwife will provide you with a list of foods to eat and a list of foods that are best to avoid.
During those months when youre not feeling the best, you may experience a reduction in your appetite or desire to eat much of anything. Practicing good nutrition is important though, and you may be inclined to consume foods in their liquid form instead.
Garden Of Life Raw Organicmeal Replacement Powder
There are some moments that a pregnantwoman has no appetite. Dont ever judge that we are always a hungry foodmachine! LOL! Anyway, you can replace your no appetite body with the Garden ofLife Raw Organic Meal Replacement Powder.
This is not just a proteinpowder, because it gives you all the macronutrients and vitamins just like acomplete meal.
As a pregnant mom, we cannot riskbeing insufficient for nutrients because our hungry baby inside needs lots ofit!
This powder is packed with 21vitamins and minerals. Plus, it is delicious too!
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Other Sources Of Protein During Pregnancy
If youre not uncomfortable with taking protein powders, no worries at all. Its, then, best to stick with natural sources of protein from whole foods.
Low mercury fish, lean meats like turkey and chicken, some legumes and grains can also provide you with all the protein you need during your pregnancy!
You can consume about 24g of protein by just having 4 ounces of ground beef. Having a burger or a steak once or twice a week can help you get the protein points you need! But dont over-indulge cause red meat is high in fat and cholesterol.
You can eat certain fish to gain your protein during pregnancy. But avoid bigger fish as they may contain mercury.
According FDA, pregnant women should avoid these fish: Mackerel, Swordfish, Tilefish
It goes without saying that pregnant women should definitely avoid undercooked or raw seafood. Steer clear of fish-based sushi when youre pregnant or nursing.
If youre not into meat or fish, you can also take plant-based proteins like:
Protein Powder In Pregnancy
Are you curious about protein powder consumption in pregnancy?
Do you want to know if youre getting enough protein to support your baby?
Youre in the right place.
Today, youll learn
- Is it safe to take protein powder while pregnant?
- How much protein should you get throughout your gestation?
- What are the best alternatives to protein powder?
Lets dive right in.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
Protein powder is a supplement that concentrates protein-rich foods into a dissolvable mixture.
They are made from different kinds of foods such as
- Milk products
Just to name a few.
Often times, protein powders are also fortified with other essential nutrients, making them similar to a multivitamin.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
It has made a significant difference in my joint health, hair growth, and skin elasticity.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is found in connective tissue, bones, skin and organs.
For this reason, it can help to prevent stretch marksby improving skin elasticity and reducing inflammation.
How Much Protein Is Required When Pregnant
Doctors recommend a daily intake of approximately 71 grams of protein during pregnancy. The limits can go up to 90 grams a day during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. In all, the protein requirement increases by around 25 grams per day for pregnant women .
A few good sources of protein include nuts, beans, soy, chia seeds, peas, eggs, poultry, fish, and lean meat. Vegetarians and others who are lactose intolerant may not get enough protein from these sources and may have to rely on protein powders to meet the recommended daily intake of protein during pregnancy.
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