Is Protein safe during pregnancy?
By Maddie Francis*
Can I take Protein powder when I’m pregnant? Can I drink meal replacement shakes while pregnant?
Pregnancy - it is truly overwhelming at times and let’s be honest nobody enjoys this part of pregnancy – the daily anxiety and worry that you will mess up your unborn child if you’re not the perfect mother. I am speaking from experience here – it sucks. Add to that, all of the confusing and at times conflicting information out there about what you can and cannot eat and you have a red-hot mess. Let’s clear up one issue here for you – Protein powder use during pregnancy.
Can I take Protein powder when I’m pregnant?
Yes, you can. Protein powders are wonderful as they provide an easily digestible and highly concentrated protein source, however, not all protein powders are created equally. Generally speaking, protein powders do not pose a major threat to the health of the mother or her unborn child as many contain only healthy doses of protein, calcium and other essential nutrients and vitamins. Unfortunately though, some protein products on the market these days are full of unnatural chemical additives, preservatives, artificial flavours and more, so be sure to read the labels carefully.
Can I drink meal replacement shakes while pregnant?
We believe this should never be done during pregnancy without first consulting your health professional or dietitian about your individual nutritional needs. While you can take powders in replacement of a meal, we believe in a full, balanced diet and as such do not recommend using protein shakes to replace all meals, especially during pregnancy when your body needs extra nutrients for you and your growing baby.
What to consider before settling on protein powders
Before deciding to consume any form of protein powder always seek the advice of a health professional because we, as humans, are all structured differently and while one food group may be beneficial to some, it can be detrimental to others. Nevertheless, as long as environmental, allergen and obstetrics advice have been considered and the mother is not undertaking a radical change to her diet without professional advice, then choosing a naturally sourced, additive free, protein powder to supplement her diet while pregnant or breastfeeding can be extremely beneficial for the health and well being of the mother and child.
Protein Powder – what are the benefits when pregnant?
Key nutrients for pregnant mothers that can be found in some all-natural protein powders include:
A pregnant mother will need extra protein, but as the human body cannot store protein the best way to meat your daily requirements is to make sure there is healthy protein included in all meals and snacks.
Many protein powders will have the added benefit of naturally sourced vitamins from the fruit and vegetable ingredients.
The Vitamin Shoppe state that Whey concentrate contains beneficial nutrients like conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs)… which are healthy fats that can help to decrease body fat.
Fibre plays an important role in the healthy function of liver, digestion and overall metabolism. Fibre also helps stabilise blood sugar levels, which allows for sustained energy. Extra fibre can also help ease the need for laxatives, which are generally not recommended during pregnancy, which is unfortunate as constipation is a common side effect of pregnancy.
Some proteins contain fruit powders created using a method called Refractance Window drying which preserves excellent levels of flavour, colour, and nutrients from the original food.
Protein powders can become an integral part of the diet for busy pregnant mums who will not always have time to prepare protein and nutrient rich meals. Always seek medical advice and make sure to choose naturally sourced quality protein powders, that are additive free.
DISCLAIMER: It is important to note too that guidelines around the world for what is deemed safe during pregnancy differ greatly, so it is always best to check the guidelines for your country of residence as different environmental factors in different locations can affect what is safe and what is not. We are not giving you the full guide on what foods are safe here – for that please check out the sites below for more information and always consult your health care provider, particularly if you have any questions or concerns.
INFORMATION on Australian Dietary Guidelines During Pregnancy
Australian Federal Government’s – Healthy Eating During Your Pregnancy
The Melbourne Royal Women’s Hospital – Foods to Avoid List
The Victorian Government - Better Health Pregnancy and Diet https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-and-diet
The NSW Food Authority - Foods to Eat/Avoid Duing Pregnancy
"Ultimately Natural are an Australian based company who specialise in providing real food, protein and fibre enriched nutrition by blending completely raw plant and whey based protein powders with nutritious fruits, spices and superfoods. We use organic ingredients where possible and completely avoid the use of unnatural additives. Our unique, smoothie inspired creations are not only great for fueling workouts and post recovery but also aid in sustaining energy levels, improving immunity and attaining greater overall health & well being. Check out our "all natural" product range here.
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About the author:Maddie is an ex-lawyer and current stay at home mother to two children aged 2 and 3 (+ a nanny to her 1 year old niece). She loves Ultimately Natural products and used them throughout both of her pregnancies and breastfeeding times. Maddie writes freelance for us now in between wrangling kids and updating her blog www.cookcreatecelebrate.com www.instagram.com/cookcreatecelebrate