Are Protein Shakes Safe During Pregnancy


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The Benefits Of Protein Shakes

Protein powder during pregnancy: is it safe?

Protein shakes are normally consumed in the context of physical exercise in order to enhance recovery. Administration in healthy people has been shown to delay the loss of muscle mass . This is evidenced by a study published in the journal Nutrients.

For this reason, we can say that protein supplementation is capable of improving body composition, especially when the diet doesnt meet the daily requirements of this nutrient. In fact, myths have been dismantled that linked the intake of these protein shakes with the possibility of developing kidney or liver damage in the medium term.

As a general rule, protein shakes are considered safe products for the entire population. But its best to ensure that this nutritional supplement contains a seal certifying that its free of psychoactive substances.

Boobie Body Organic Superfood Plant

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The Boobie Body protein is the second one on my recommendations list that was made with pregnant women in mind.

Its GMO-free and doesnt contain dairy. Its also suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.

After you have your baby, you can continue drinking this protein to help you on your postpartum recovery journey, especially if youd like to lose weight.

It comes in 4 flavors.

Premier Protein Shake Pricing

Premier Protein Shake is available for purchase on their website, on Amazon and on Walmart, amongst other online retailers.

The prices are significantly cheaper on third-party retailers at the time of updating this article. Here are the prices for their most popular products on the largest retailer sites:

Premier Protein Shake Chocolate 12-Count

Amazon: $23.74

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Benefits Of Protein Powder During Pregnancy

While you should always try to get protein from food sources during pregnancy, protein powder may be helpful for people who are unable to tolerate food due to prolonged nausea or vomiting while pregnant, says Dr. Roskin. If thats the case for you, talk to your doctor about whether protein powder might be helpful, she says.

Hotlzer adds that if youre pregnant and having a hard time getting the daily recommended amount of protein in, protein powder might be an easy way to quickly up your intake.

How Much Protein Do You Need Whilst Pregnant

Is Protein Powder Safe During Pregnancy?

Protein requirements will vary from person to person depending on factors such as your weight, activity levels and medical history.

As a baseline, guidelines recommend women consume at least 1.1g of protein per kg of body weight per day whilst pregnant. This is slightly higher than the requirements for the general population.

Additionally, it is recommended that protein intake for pregnant women on a vegan or vegetarian diet is increased by 10% to compensate for the reduced digestibility of plant-based protein sources. This increases the recommended intake to 1.2g/kg body weight per day.

To calculate your protein requirements, you can use the following formula:

1.2 x your weight in kg = grams of protein you need per day

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Easy & Convenient Snack

Most of us live busy lives, and chances are that even once you discovered you were pregnant, you havent slowed down.

There arent many people who dont appreciate a quick, easy and convenient snack or meal, and protein shakes offer all these benefits.

Protein drinks and shakes are great to have as a back-up during busy days or when traveling, especially as they dont need any special storage.

Are There Any Risks I Should Consider When Consuming Protein Powders During Pregnancy

Avoid consuming toxic ingredients

Protein powders are classified as dietary supplements which in hindsight could mean that not all manufacturers are trustworthy. There is no way of being 100% clear on the ingredients on the label, and it is therefore recommended to opt for reputable brands.

Bulk Nutrients are also 100% Australian owned and operated. Each product listed by the brand also contains a mandatory warning against the use of supplements whilst breastfeeding or pregnant which is officiated by FSANZ . However, this is something you can discuss with your GP if you are looking at adding a protein powder into your diet or if you want to continue taking protein powder or another supplement if you already do.

Overconsumption of protein

Whilst consuming protein is vital in a healthy pregnancy, overconsumption can occur and has its own risks to the growing foetus. A study conducted in 2018 found that pregnant women on a high protein low carbohydrate diet had a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. A further study conducted in Scotland showed that pregnant women who consumed large amounts of protein combined with a low carbohydrate diet had slow-growing babies which is a large reason why the ketogenic diet is not recommended for pregnant women. The best way to thinking about nutrition during pregnancy is to ensure a correct macronutrient split is met by including adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats each day.

Consuming excess sugar

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Who May Not Benefit From Protein Powders

It is possible to meet pregnancy’s increased protein needs through just the food you eat, including chicken, fish, beef, eggs, dairy, soy, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Consuming protein in whole food form also provides the benefits of other important components of the food such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

We dont recommend protein powder if you are able to meet your protein needs from food. Taking a high protein supplement if your diet already includes sufficient protein may even result in negative outcomes for your baby such as low birth weight, premature birth, and impaired growth.

What Are The Risks Of Protein During Pregnancy

Are protein powders okay for pregnant women, and what ingredients should I avoid?

One disadvantage of protein powder is that it does not contain all the necessary nutrients of a healthy diet.

Protein supplements are not a healthy substitute for protein-rich meals since they lack vitamins and minerals found in food sources.

They can also contain things like trace amounts of mercury and lead, so be sure to buy an organic protein powder.

Youll also want to be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any protein supplements during pregnancy.

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What Are The Risks Of Protein Powders

Protein powders and shakes are quick to make, contain the protein your body needs, and usually taste great, its a bit soon to put them on a pedestal. They have their downsides. Here a list of things to keep in mind before selecting one.

  • Protein powders are considered a supplement and are not regulated by the FDA. This means we have to rely on the manufacturer or independent studies.
  • They can be highly processed. Some companies add sugars, preservatives, caffeine, and fillers. These arent typically recommended during pregnancy.
  • In 2018 Pure Market did an independent study and found some powders contained heavy metals. Heavy metals are linked to cancer and other health conditions.
  • Many consumers of protein shakes complain of digestive issues.

The above can be scary, but as consumers, weve become informed. When consumers become informed, we demand proper and healthy foods. And the manufacturers are listening, at least the ones that want to stay in business.

While some pregnancy protein powders dont fit the bill, others have stepped up to the plate and produce protein shakes and powders worthy of our hard-earned money.

Below is a list of those powders.

And only the best powders from the Clean Label Project are listed. Also, keep in mind these protein shakes are selected for their purity and nutrition. They arent meant to include other vitamins and nutrients. Prenatal vitamins are a great source for that and can be taken in conjunction with these protein shakes.

Protein Shakes Can Help Manage Gestational Diabetes:

Protein shakes can also be a wonderful tool to help keep insulin and blood sugar stable during pregnancy. Bump Dust in particular is formulated with ingredients that are proven scientifically to balance blood sugar and insulin. By swapping a meal or snack for a protein shake, new moms can dramatically improve blood sugar levels and weight gain, even during pregnancy. The third trimester is never too late to start either. Whether it the first trimester or the last, a good protein powder like Bump Dust with very little added sugar and no artificial flavors is an easy way to get in vital nutrients and manage diabetes.

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Also Check: Silk Ultra Protein Milk Review

What Are Our Top Picks For Plant

Disclaimer: The PNW Clinic is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the following brands or products listed.

TOP PICK: Bulk Nutrients Earth Protein and Soy Protein Isolate

Specified safe for pregnancyComplete protein No extra additives Added bonus wide variety of flavours

Incomplete protein Extra additives: contains additional vitamin/minerals and wholefood powder blendsNot third-party tested

The bottom line

In general, plant-based protein powders can be incorporated safely into the diet during pregnancy. However, there are a few extra considerations and precautions that need to be taken.

We always recommend checking any supplements, including protein powders, with a healthcare professional such as your doctor or a dietitian before using them whilst pregnant.

If you want to optimise your diet during pregnancy, PNW clinic dietitian Georgia DAndrea is an expert in all things plant-based fertility, pregnancy and post-natal. You can book an appointment today.

Do I Really Need Protein Powder In My Diet

14 Best Protein Powder for Pregnancy 2021

We know protein is a major nutritional requirement for pregnant women.

However, protein sources can be limited during pregnancy because of food aversions, nausea and morning sickness.

For these reasons, protein powder is often used by pregnant women who are unable to get enough protein from food sources.

Incorporating protein shakes into your daily diet can be a quick and efficient way to get protein and other nutrients when you struggle to meet nutritional requirements.

However, protein shakes should not replace a healthy meal or snack during pregnancy.

Its important to combine protein powder with whole foods and a prenatal vitamin for a healthy pregnancy.

Read Also: Should I Drink Protein Shakes Everyday

What Is The Difference Between A Diet And A Low

The last thing you should focus on when choosing a protein supplement is that you are simply integrating it into your daily diet and still getting protein from food sources. Especially in a culture that hosts a revolving door of fad diets, pregnancy is not the time to think about a low-calorie diet.

And while the term “diet” can refer to a restricted way of eating, it can also simply refer to the foods you’re eating day to day. A healthy pregnancy diet includes a balance of foods and slowly increasing your calorie intake throughout the pregnancy and never a low-calorie or restricted diet. Protein drinks should not be used as a meal replacement during pregnancy, just as an add-on or a snack.

Protein Powder For Pregnancy

As Mission Health notes, pre-made protein shakes and meal replacement shakes may have added ingredients that offer vitamins and minerals in excess or haven’t been adequately studied for use during pregnancy.

On the flip side, some of the protein shakes may be lacking in sufficient nutrients, so if you use them to replace a meal, you may end up nutrient deficient and risking potential harm to your developing baby. If you make your own, you have full control over the ingredients.

When using protein powder for pregnancy, choose one that contains minimal ingredients. There are several available that contain only one ingredient: the protein from which they’re made. Avoid artificial sweeteners and synthetic ingredients.

Instead, create your own palate-pleasing protein shake by combining the protein powder with some fresh or frozen fruit, a high-quality milk or nondairy milk source and a little bit of healthy fat, like avocado. Blend it all together with a few ice cubes and enjoy.

âRead more:â 5 Sketchy Things to Avoid in Your Protein Powder

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Growing Naturals Pure Rice Protein Powder

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Rice protein is another plant-based option to keep in mind, especially if you have multiple food allergies that limit your choices.

The Growing Naturals protein is low in sugar and one serving has 16 grams of protein.

Whats more, its certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture , which is an important certification to look out for whenever a company claims its products are organic.

The protein mix is Non-GMO Project verified as well.

When it comes to the price, this is not the cheapest of proteins but given its certifications and the fact that its suitable for all sorts of dietary restrictions, its definitely worth it!

However, the company recommends first consulting with your OB/GYN before taking this protein if youre currently pregnant or breastfeeding just to make sure its the right choice within your individual context.

Best Overall: Needed Collagen Protein Powder

Is it safe to drink protein shakes while breastfeeding?


  • Lower in protein compared to other powders

What do buyers say? 83% of 150+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

We love Needed Prenatal Collagen because it provides you with exactly what you need from a protein powder without any unnecessary extras. The only ingredient is hydrolyzed bovine collagen protein, which is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows. It is unflavored, making it an easy addition to smoothies, soups, bars, oatmeal, or drinks.

Collagen protein may be especially beneficial in late stage pregnancy because it is high in the amino acid glycine. Your need for dietary intake of glycine increases in late stage pregnancy when your body may not be able to produce enough to meet your baby’s developmental needs.

Needed’s collagen powder provides 14 grams of pure collagen protein per serving. This product is also third party tested for heavy metals, microbes, pesticides, allergens, and other contaminants. Needed states this product is allergen free, GMO free, and hormone free.

Servings per container: 30 | Type of Protein: Hydrolyzed bovine collagen | Grams of protein per serving: 14g | Grams of carbs per serving: 0g | Grams of fat per serving: 0g | Price at time of publication: $50

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Ora Organic So Lean So Clean Protein Powder

I currently alternate between Ora Organic and KOS simply because I LOVE both and it just gives me variety.

The Ora Organic nutrition label is very impressive with simple ingredients that are easy to pronounce.

Its gmo free, soy free and does not contain dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, artificial colors or sweeteners, pesticides or synthetic herbicides.

Is Vegan Protein Powder Safe For Pregnancy

What a mother eats will impact the development of her baby. If she eats too much or not enough protein, it will affect the babys body composition and birth weight and even long-term health complications.

In addition, for the mother, without enough protein, she will be more prone to illness and skeletal muscle atrophy and likely to gain more weight, which will make it challenging to keep her blood sugar levels in check.

So, we know that pregnant women need substantial protein, but what kind? And more importantly if vegan protein powder safe for pregnancy?

Yes, Vegan protein powders are dairy-free, soy-free, and sometimes non-GMO, organic, and gluten-free. Having no added pesticides, synthetic herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics make most vegan powders so safe for pregnancy.

However, each protein powder brand will vary, and women should look out for its organic properties. To be safe, women should always consult first with their doctor or dietitian before adding something new to their diet.

Every pregnancy is different, which means certain ingredients, vitamins or minerals can impact pregnant women differently.

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What Are The Risks Of Drinking A Protein Shake During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you need to be more cautious about exposure to contaminants like BPA, lead, and mercury.

Exposing your baby to too many toxins during development may result in some serious outcomes such as:

  • Increased risk of preterm birth
  • Developmental defects
  • Hearing challenges

The FDA considers protein powders a dietary supplement. Thus, the governing body does not regulate them to make sure they are safe or effective.

Luckily, non-profit groups like the Clean Label Project have brought transparency to the consumer. This group independently tests products like protein powders for environmental contaminants and brings the results to the public.

Surprisingly, the group found that many organic protein powders contain more contaminants when compared with their conventional counterpart!

Additionally, many protein powder manufacturers are verifying the purity of their product by using third-party companies. You can find this information on the label.

Consuming Protein Powder During Pregnancy For A Nutritional Boost

What Protein Shake Is Safe During Pregnancy

You’re probably aware that getting enough protein in your diet is important for anybody. But especially when you’re growing another human, protein consumption has never been more vital. With food cravings, aversions, morning sickness, and changing appetites, getting more daily protein is no small feat. So if a protein supplement can safely be added to a pregnant woman’s balanced diet, it’s a great way to boost that protein intake.

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Is It Safe To Drink Protein Shakes During Pregnancy

Theres a lot of emphasis placed on getting enough protein in your diet, especially during pregnancy when you are supporting your babys growth.But are protein shakes necessary, or even safe?

When marketed as a food, as opposed to a nutritional supplement, the core ingredients in protein shakes are all safe during pregnancy. If youre trying a new protein shake, double-check the label to make sure there are no added botanicals or caffeine, which are occasionally added ingredients.

While many protein shakes are safe during pregnancy, choosing the best one for you can be confusing.

Ill walk you through a breakdown of the nutrition considerations as well as guidance on popular brands.

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