Protein Shakes For Pregnancy – How to Choose the Best One

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When you are pregnant, you should take nutrition seriously, because your nutrition plays a vital role in the growth and development of your baby. For most expecting Moms eating a balanced diet and consuming healthy pregnancy drinks is a good start to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. But in many cases, pregnant mothers struggle to get enough nutrition from diet alone. That’s where supplements like protein shakes for pregnancy can be very helpful.

Many pregnant women seek out protein shakes for pregnancy during the 1st trimester as a way to get in nutrients despite the nausea. No doubt, protein shakes can be an excellent source of nutrition for pregnant women and while breastfeeding, but not all protein shakes offer the same benefits.

So let’s take a deeper look at what makes a good protein shake while pregnant.

The advice included in this article is meant for informational purposes only. Please consult your care provider before making any decisions regarding your pregnancy.

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{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

Are all protein shakes safe for pregnancy?

You might be wondering if all protein shakes are safe for pregnancy or not. The simple answer to your question is NO!

While pregnant women can drink protein shakes, there are some ingredients that you don’t want in your protein drink during pregnancy as they could have different effects on your body.

During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes. Your body might need some essential nutrients, but not everything is safe for you and you probably don’t want to take any risks with your baby.

This is so helpful to learn about early in pregnancy. I found this online pregnancy nutrition course super informative. It goes more into the toxins to look out for during pregnancy and how to eliminate them. Plus how to optimize your diet during pregnancy.

You should know that not all protein shakes are the same. Some of them contain a huge amount of sugar while others don’t provide enough nutrition.

To ensure you are getting safe protein powders, you need to think twice before buying one and always read the labels.

How to Choose the Best Safe Pregnancy Protein Shake

After discussing with your care provider, you should have a better idea what your body needs and what would be suitable for your baby.

But there are so many pregnancy protein shakes you can find in the market, and believe me, it is not easy to choose one among them.

Here are some smart questions to ask before buying a protein shake during pregnancy:

  1. What are the ingredients? Is it whole foods based?

If your protein powder has ingredients you are allergic to, it is a big NO. You cannot take any risks during pregnancy.

It should contain natural ingredients and no additives, or artificial flavors. Ingredients like maltodextrin, cellulose, dextrin and glucose should be avoided.

Look for brands that are whole food based and are both certified organic by USDA and non-GMO. This will help ensure that you are getting a clean product.

2. How much protein does it contain?

What is the point of consuming something that doesn’t have enough protein? Make sure you are buying one that makes a decent contribution to your daily protein requirement.

During pregnancy it’s recommended to consume 80 g of protein per day in early pregnancy, and 100 g per day in late pregnancy. (Source: Real Food for Pregnancy)

If you prefer a vegan or vegetarian diet, there are many vegan options. You can go with pea protein, or hemp protein which is as considered as effective as any animal protein powder.

Read more the best foods for pregnancy here.

3. How much sugar does it contain?

It’s a good idea to avoid protein powder with too much sugar while pregnant. A lot of sugar intake can cause gestational diabetes, so avoid any protein powder that has a large amount of sugar.

Learn more about how to pass the glucose test during pregnancy here.

In general, it’s recommended for women to eating no more than 24 g of sugar a day. So read your protein shake’s label and make sure that it does not exceed that level. Also consider how much sugar you are getting from other sources throughout the day when judging that number.

Make sure to also look at what type of sugar/sweetener is used. Monk fruit and stevia are safe natural sweeteners. High fructose corn syrup and sucralose included are signs of a low quality protein shake.

4. Is it third party tested?

It’s best to buy a protein that has has been third-party tested. A third-party-tested label indicates that the product contains all the ingredients written on the label. It will help you know that you are getting a good quality protein shake.

5. Is it pre mixed or a powder?

Protein shakes can be pre mixed with liquid, while protein powder are diy and require you to add liquid (or to a recipe) in order to make your own protein shake.

Both are good options, but protein powder is generally considered to be a better value and offers the ability to customize.

There’s lots of variation between the quality of protein shakes and powders in general. That’s why is so important to read labels and compare ingredients before consuming.

Things to avoid in protein shakes while pregnant:

Here’s a list of the ingredients you should avoid in your pregnancy protein shakes. Always read the label before consuming a protein shake and make sure it doesn’t contain these ingredients.

Soy or Soy Protein

Some studies have shown that soy intake might increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes which can be harmful to both mother and baby. (source)

Furthermore, soy intake can interfere with protein absorption.

Sugar

As discussed earlier, too much sugar is not good for optimal health, especially during pregnancy. If your protein powder has a large amount of sugar, you might experience nausea or fatigue. There is also an increased chance of developing gestational diabetes.

Caffeine

Caffeine can be a great boost to your energy. Even when you are pregnant, you can add a limited amount to your daily intake.

Some protein powders contain caffeine which can be good for keeping you active, but they might not be an ideal choice during pregnancy. Too much caffeine in pregnancy can possibly lead to complications therefore it is better to limit caffeine. (source)

Added herbs

Some protein powders contain herbs like senna, primrose, palmetto, and many others. Many of these herbs are not tested for pregnancy safety, so make sure your protein powder doesn’t contain any harmful herbs because they could have a detrimental effect on your pregnancy.

There are herbs that are beneficial during pregnancy. Herbs like red raspberry leaf during pregnancy are good. So if you are unsure of what herbs to avoid, be sure to ask you care provider.

Best Pregnancy Protein Powder

I personally like protein powders over pre made shakes, as you can easily add it to pregnancy smoothies and customize it to taste good.

To make it easier for you to choose a protein drink while pregnant, here are my choices for the top three safe pregnancy protein powders:

1 – Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder 

Bump Dust is on the our top list of prenatal protein powders. Bump Dust contains organic ingredients and provides sufficient nutrition to pregnant mothers. It helps pregnant moms to:

  • Combat sugar cravings – Bump Dust contains antioxidants, herbs, and nutrients that reduce sugar cravings and optimize blood sugar levels.
  • Improves nourishment – Some pregnant women don’t know that they have Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase or MTHFR gene mutation. Bump Dust has real methylated folate that helps women absorb essential folate. 
  • Reduces weight gain – Bump Dust helps women manage their weight by helping in restraining sugar cravings and providing essential nutrients. 

Use the code BIRTHEATLOVE to get 10% OFF your first order!

2 – Prenatal Multi Powder

Prenatal Multi Powder is a prenatal protein powder ideal for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and postpartum. It contains hydrolyzed collagen that is sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised bovines from New Zealand. 

  • All the nourishment you need in a day – contains over 100% of the vitamins, minerals, and botanicals needed for complete, comprehensive nourishment while pregnant
  • Supports joints and pelvic tissues – This protein powder not only supports the mother’s joints and pelvic floor tissues but also provides skin elasticity reducing the chances of developing stretch marks. 
  • Manage blood sugar and weight – It helps pregnant women manage their blood sugar level and weight. It also reduces the chances of nausea, joint pain, and other pregnancy issues. 

More about preventing stretch marks during pregnancy here.

3 – Klean Isolate 

Klean Isolate contains whey proteins isolate as the protein source. It provides a high concentration of milk protein without any lactose. It is an ideal pregnancy protein powder for women who are lactose intolerant.

However, it is not recommended for women who have a vegan preference or have any dairy allergies or sensitivity. 

  • Includes BCAAS; Klean Isolate provides women with essential amino acids including branched-chain amino acids. These amino acids help with muscle building and rebuilding broken skeletal muscle. 
  • Naturally occurring electrolytes; Klean Isolate contains naturally occurring electrolytes including sodium and potassium. These electrolytes help pregnant women to stay hydrated. 
  • No added preservatives; The protein powder is safe to be used in pregnancy. It is GMO-free and doesn’t contain wheat, gluten, artificial coloring, or flavoring. The product is third-party certified which makes it more trustworthy. 

Do you need a protein supplement while pregnant?

You can get your complete protein needs with a healthy pregnancy diet. Include chicken, fish, beef, dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, soy, seeds, and whole grains.

If your diet includes enough nutrients, taking extra protein might not be necessary. That said many mother’s have nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy. So consult your care provider to know if your body needs any additional supplements like protein shakes for pregnancy or not. 

Remember proteins are good for the human body, but excess of everything is bad. Overconsumption of protein has its risks to the growing baby in the womb. Too much protein with lower carbohydrate intake can lead to the slow growth of babies.

Consider all these factors before adding a protein shake to your daily routine while pregnant.

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More on Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Protein Balls for Pregnancy

High Protein Breakfast for Pregnancy

Healthy Dinners for Pregnancy

High Protein Snacks for Pregnancy

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