Collagen May Help Relieve Joint Pain During Pregnancy
The stress of a growing baby on your body can lead to all sorts of new pain on your body parts . You may have heard of the infamous Relaxin by now the hormone released early in pregnancy intended to relax the ligaments so that later, during labor, the uterus and pelvis can more easily expand. This hormone is known to do its job a little too well because it helps other joints lose their normal stability and can even lead to injury.
Enter collagen. The word actually comes from the Greek word glue because it keeps your cells glued together . In this case, it can help keep your cartilage and tendons together. Studies have shown that collagen supplementation can reduce joint pain, and possibly reduce inflammation . In one study, 147 athletes found that those who took a collagen supplement had significantly less pain than those who didnt.
How Should I Take Collagen
Collagen is first and foremost available naturally through food. Beef, fish, chicken, beans, eggs, dairy, and animal bones . But because pregnancy can be especially exhausting, collagen supplementation is also an option. You can easily throw a collagen peptide powder in a smoothie, your morning tea, soup , baked goods, oatmeal, yogurt, pasta, and more. A good collagen peptide powder is tasteless and odorless, making the food possibilities endless.
What Protein Is Best For Pregnancy
Aside from protein shakes, mommies can also opt for proteins from natural sources. Heres a list of the best protein sources you can find on your food choices: Cottage cheese: 28g PRO per 1 cup Poultry: 26g PRO per 3oz. Fish: 17g PRO per 3oz. -Lentils: 9g PRO per 1/2 cup -Milk: 9g PRO per 1cup Peanut butter: 7g PRO per 2 tablespoons Eggs: 6g PRO per 1 large hard-boiled egg
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Proteins Role During Pregnancy
A report in Food and Nutrition Research describes a mothers diet as one of the most important factors in the healthy growth and development of a fetus. A pregnant woman has increased needs for several nutrients, including folic acid and iron, but protein may be especially important for delivering a baby at a healthy birth weight.
When your baby is developing, your body uses the amino acids from the protein you eat to create proteins in the body, like keratin and collagen, that are important for healthy bones, skin, joints, tendons and ligaments.
Dietary protein is also used to create functional proteins, such as enzymes, hormones and transport proteins, that work together to promote proper development and provide the developing fetus with the nutrients it needs to grow.
If you dont get enough protein in your diet, the developing fetus wont have access to the proper amounts of the amino acids it needs. In the early stages of your pregnancy, protein needs arent that much higher than if you werent pregnant, but as you get into the later stages , the babys growth starts to speed up and protein needs increase.
Prior to taking protein powder, both pregnant women and parents of young children should consult a physician to be sure the protein powder is right for them.
What Ingredients Should You Avoid In Protein Powders For Pregnancy
The lesser the preservatives, the better. Preservatives in general arent good pregnant or not!If you see ingredients like:
Most of these preservatives are generally recognized as safe by USDA but further investigation on these preservatives lead to the removal of carrageenan, in 2016, from the National Organic Standards Board.
#2 Added Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners
We already spoke about this. Added sugars in protein powders are bad! Too much sugar during pregnancy can lead to unnecessary weight gain, spike your blood sugar levels, gestational diabetes and increase in babys weight.
Now Im not saying that you shouldnt have sugar during pregnancy at all. According to the American Heart Association, women shouldnt have more than 25g of sugar per day.
Instead of taking your daily limit of sugars from protein powder, youd be happier eating a piece of chocolate or maybe a scoop of ice cream!
#3 Soy Protein isolate
I dont like this ingredient and neither should any pregnant woman!
Soy is highly controversial when it comes to nutrition because theres always some new research about soy.
During pregnancy your body needs extra minerals and unfermented soy can affect mineral absorption as its high in phytic acid. Soy also disrupts the digestion of protein so I dont understand why are there soy protein powders, honestly.
So if you see soy protein isolate on the ingredients list of the protein powder, burn it.
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The Best Protein Powders For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
When we chose the top 5 protein powders for pregnancy and breastfeeding, we opted for products that were recommended by OB/GYNs, had minimal ingredients, and didnt include any ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy .
We reached out to MD Obstetrician/Gynecologist Andrea Eisenberg and she stated that protein powders are generally safe and often recommended for those that are having trouble getting adequate protein or nutrition but you should always check labels and consult with your doctor first.
Most of the products in the table below have minimal ingredients. It is absolutely vital that you practice label inspection during pregnancy! Again, as always, if youre unsure, simply ask your doctor and they can give you a final answer.
In addition, you may also be interested in this related article covering the best protein powder for women.
Protein And Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know
Protein is essential for your own muscle growth and development, but is it safe during pregnancy? Research is slim on this topic, but here are some solid guidelines to help navigate your nutritional needs while your baby grows.
Our bodies are built by proteins found in every area of the body, from the lining of cells to blood to muscle tissue. So, of course protein is a necessary component of a healthy pregnancy. But is protein powder safe during pregnancy?
The idea of using supplementation during pregnancy is nothing new. In fact, many women begin taking prenatal vitamins before they become pregnant, anticipating the increased demands growing a fetus will place on their body. So, in addition to adding protein-rich foods to their diet, many women view protein supplements as another way to enhance their pregnancy nutrition, ensuring they take in enough of the nutrients necessary for proper fetal growth.
While only a few studies cover this topic, we’ll discuss what you need to know about protein requirements during pregnancy, as well as the safety of protein powder. That way you can make educated decisions about supplementation for you and your baby.
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Homemade Protein Shake For Pregnancy
A simple way to make a nutritious homemade protein shake is to combine:
- 8 ounces of almond milk
- 1/4 cup of blueberries
- 1 tbsp of almond butter
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 scoop of protein powder or 1/4 cup of greek yogurt
This protein shake can provide 20-25 grams of protein in one sitting and it tastes delicious!
What Is Protein Powder
Protein powder is a protein that has been concentrated, isolated, and packaged in powder form.
The protein can come from various sources, including milk, egg, soy, beef or any other protein-containing food.
Protein powders are often used to supplement the diet of an individual who might not be able to get enough protein from her diet, such as during pregnancy.
Protein powder should not be taken as a sole source of protein because it does not contain all other nutrients required by the human body like carbohydrates and fats.
However, if you struggle to meet the recommended protein intake during pregnancy, it may be an option for you.
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Can You Have Protein Powder While Pregnant
A healthy diet is top of the list of priorities during pregnancy, as a healthy mum is more likely to grow a healthy baby. In fact, maternal diet is one of the most important factors associated with adequate fetal growth!
While its important to ensure youre getting your full range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients during pregnancy, protein in particular is one of the most important food groups to ensure youre getting enough of, as its key for fetal tissue growth, especially for the babys brain.
The saying may go that you eat for two while pregnant, but thats not necessarily the case – especially not in terms of protein! Its actually recommended to eat about 6 grams more protein than you normally would, which isnt a huge stretch.
However, if you follow a plant-based diet and rely on protein powder to reach that recommended daily protein intake, or if you just enjoy your protein smoothies and shakes, theres no reason you have to ditch these during pregnancy – as long as you choose a simple, clean, uncontaminated vegan protein powder. Well take you through what to look for in a protein powder for pregnancy, but before adding any supplements to your diet make sure you talk to a dietitian or health professional.
In this guide well be covering:
Are Protein Powders During Pregnancy Safe
Of course, its important to speak with your OBGYN, Midwife, or health care practitioner before you consume anything youre unsure about.
I spoke with my OB and she advised that it was safe for me in small amounts. However, each woman and each pregnancy is different, so please do speak with your doctor if you have questions. However, based on the below research, it is generally safe to consume protein powder, with a few precautions.
Andrea Eisenberg, MD Obstetrician/Gynecologist, shared her thoughts with us:
Yes, for the most part, protein shakes are fine in pregnancy. In fact, patients whoare malnourished or have a calorie deficitI encourage them to drink to add healthy calories to their dietI would caution patients aboutprotein drinks with caffeine and a high amount of Vitamin A.
Additionally, she pointed out that if a woman already consumes a healthy diet with adequate protein, protein shakes may not be needed as it is preferred to consume protein from actual food sources like lean meats, dairy, nuts, and beans.
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Why Opt For Vegan Protein During Pregnancy
For pregnant women a plant based protein is often preferred as theyre easy to digest and contain natural, non allergen ingredients.
A great option is Bulk Nutrients Earth Protein as it uses 100% natural ingredients, which can be extremely beneficial for those who suffer from dairy and lactose issues. This vegan protein powder is non GMO, soy free and contain plant proteins with 100% natural flavours and sweeteners. Its also free from ingredients that usually cause allergic reactions as it utilises organic brown rice protein and yellow pea proteins.
Pregnancy Changes The Nutritional Requirements Of Women
During pregnancy, a womans nutritional requirements increase to support the growing foetus inside. Eating a wide variety of foods including protein, good fats and a large amount of fruit and vegetables is the best way to ensure the nutritional needs are met and promoted in the unborn baby. But what about protein? How important is protein for a pregnant woman?
The amount of protein consumed during the pregnancy is vital for the growing foetus and inadequate supplementation can affect factors such as the babys birth weight and health. Inadequate protein supply can also affect the health of the baby later in life. It is also important to note that excess protein intake can also have an effect on the growing foetus and therefore an adequate supply of protein is needed for a healthy baby.
If youre currently thinking Ok I need protein, but not too much. How much is that? Let us dive deeper into this.
A healthy intake of protein during pregnancy supports the growing foetus and assists their rapidly multiplying cells to function normally.
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What Are The Benefits Of Protein Powders For Pregnant Women
In general, if youre having difficulties with energy or protein deficit, protein powders are an easy way to ensure youre consuming enough protein to benefit fetal growth. For example, if you suffer from morning sickness and find it difficult to stomach actual food, adding some protein to a shake or smoothie is a good way to top up on protein! Fatigue is another symptom of pregnancy, so you might feel like whipping up a quick shake for an energy boost.
Pregnant ladies are safe to consume protein powder as long as youre not replacing entire meals with shakes, and are only supplementing to fill in the gaps. One of the best protein powders while pregnant is our RITUAL: Vegan Protein. The Unflavoured version of our simple blend contains nothing except pure, plant-based protein to give you a little protein boost.
Considerations When Choosing Protein Powders For Pregnancy
When deciding on the best protein powders, here are a few things to look for:
- Artificial sweeteners or added sugar-
Many protein powders are sweetened with a variety of sweeteners including both natural and artificial.
A diet high in sugar during pregnancy can lead to unhealthy weight gain, gestational diabetes and fetal macrosomia .
It is best to choose a protein powder that is lower in sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Adding a banana or other fruit to your protein shake will give it plenty of sweetness and extra nutrition as well!
While I would never suggest eliminating sugar from your diet completely, it is much wiser to get it from sources other than your protein powder.
- Thickening Agents
To provide protein powders with more flavor and texture, they often contain things like artificial flavoring, coloring, and thickeners.
Common thickeners could be labeled as:
- guar gum
- food dyes
Carrageen is a seaweed that is used as a thickener and stabilizer to help protein powders mix better.
While it is a natural substance, it has been shown to increase inflammation in the body and trigger ulcerations and bleeding.
It has also been linked to some cancers.
- Soy Protein
I suggest using soy protein powders should be used with caution because they are often genetically modified and exposed to pesticides.
Soy protein contains something called phytoestrogens which mimic the bodys own estrogen.
Not something you want during pregnancy!
- Vegetable Oils and Added Fats
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Green Berry Blast Protein Shake
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup almond or cashew milk
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup frozen strawberries
Strawberries contain a powerful antioxidant called Ellagic Acid that works as a probiotic for a healthy gut.
Strawberries are also very high in Vitamin C, which reduces inflammation and is critical for building collagen.
Collagen helps build a babys skin, bones, and cartilage, and for moms, it helps promote skin elasticity and relieve joint pain.
How Much Protein Powder Is Needed During Pregnancy
It will not be surprising to learn that mothers who fail to consume sufficient proteins end up having higher rates of pre-term births and smaller babies.
Also, the amount of protein you consume during pregnancy can affect the babys body composition, body weight, head circumference, and the long term risk of the baby developing heart disease, obesity, or diabetes.
Unfortunately, there is no clear guideline for pregnant women on the amount of protein they should consume.
However I found that the Institute of Medicine suggests that pregnant women should get 10 to 35 percent of their calories from proteins.
To get an estimate of your number of grams of protein per day, if your present weight is in pounds, divide it by 2.2 to have it in kilograms, and then multiply it by 1.5.
Have it in mind that this number will fluctuate during pregnancy because your weight changes when youre pregnant.
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What Are The Benefits Of Protein Powder During Pregnancy
Surprisingly, some doctors do recommend protein powder during pregnancy.
Your doctor may recommend it if youre struggling to consume adequate protein or if youre malnourished.
Of course, since protein is a vital macronutrient for optimal health and for the health of a developing baby, its an easy way to consume protein for women who are nauseous or who have trouble eating a lot of food a common complaint during the third trimester when there is just not much room left for extra food!
Bottom line: aim to get your protein from real food sources. However, if you find that you are having trouble eating a healthful, well-rounded diet due to pregnancy ailments like nausea, indigestion or something else, a protein shake may actually be preferable for you.
Are Protein Powders Safe During Pregnancy
We all know that during pregnancy, one must consume more protein rich products so as to help the mom-to-be as well as the growing baby. Protein powders are a rich source of protein and other nutrients. But the additives in the powder like the artificial sugars and preservatives make us question if it is safe to be consumed by a pregnant woman. In this article, we will be discussing of protein powders are safe to be consumed by pregnant women.
One can increase their protein consumption through protein rich whole foods like chicken, eggs, fish and beans. These foods also provide with other nutrients that are essential during pregnancy, for instance iron and vitamin B12. It can be a little tough to consume additional protein in the first few months and this is where finding a high-quality protein powder can be one of the best ways to add extra calories and nutrients in your diet.
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