Protein powders are a good option to get that additional protein, but can pregnant women drink protein shakes? The simple answer is yes, but it depends on various factors.
When you’re pregnant, your protein requirements increase considerably. You can get your protein from various plant and animal-based food sources. But if you’re vegan or don’t eat meat, then you’ll need to consider protein shakes.
Protein shakes are a great source of protein in addition to other essential nutrients. But due to some additives in protein shakes, like artificial preservatives and sugars, their safety has been brought to question, especially during pregnancy.
Protein Requirements During Pregnancy
Pregnant women require around 70-100g of protein daily, depending on full body weight.
Let’s break this down: A hard-boiled egg supplies around 6g of protein, while a skinless chicken chest supplies 26g. Not into eating so much dairy and meat? Well, the good news is that many plant foods also have lots of protein. For instance, ½ a cup of lentils contains about 9g.
If you’re unable to get enough protein through your diet, however, you can boost your intake with a protein powder supplement—of course with your OB-GYN’s approval.
Is It Safe To Drink Protein Shakes While Pregnant?
Protein shakes are deemed safe for women, whether they’re pregnant or not. However, it’s always best to consult your doctor or other health professionals before drinking them.
When picking a protein shake, carefully read (so exciting!) the list of ingredients. Choose one containing fewer ingredients that have been approved by the FDA. The first ingredient in any protein shake should definitely be the source (e.g. egg, whey isolate, or plant-based blend), along with a natural sweetener (e.g. stevia, cane sugar), and/or flavorings such as chocolate, cacao, or vanilla.
Extra ingredients like xantham gums or lecithins, which add texture, are usually safe. Make sure that the ingredients don’t include saccharin, as it’s unsafe for pregnancy since it may go past the placental barrier; artificial sweeteners; stimulants like caffeine; or any additional fillers or chemicals.
If you’re unfamiliar with a certain additive on the label, you can usually get more information about it only. Alternatively, you can pick another brand, or show your doctor the label so that you can decide if you should proceed with it or not.
Are There Better Protein Sources for Pregnant Women?
If you need extra protein and can’t stand the taste of a protein shake, there are numerous foods full of protein you can include in your diet.
The following protein foods are safe to eat during pregnancy:
- Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Nut butter
You can add them to baked products or use them in protein-rich smoothie recipes to meet your daily protein needs without having to take a supplement.
Why Would Pregnant Women Drink Protein Shakes?
There are many different reasons and factors why pregnant women consider drinking protein shakes. And there may be different resources available to you when you’re looking for answers (especially online), but not everything you see or hear is true. Just look at the long list of results you got when you search for anything online!
When it comes to choosing the best protein shake to take while pregnant, always consider asking your doctor first for medical advice. Also, make it a habit to crosscheck the facts you get by asking reliable professionals before anything else. Our best recommendation? Find or use natural ingredients when picking protein shakes for pregnancy.
We wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy, leading to the safe delivery of your baby!