Choosing The Best Protein Powder For Pregnancy
At Happy Way, we get asked all the time if protein powder is safe to use when youre pregnant. Our answer is always that it depends on what protein powder you are consuming. We want to make sure you and Bubba will be getting the best most nutritious protein possible. So we created this article to help you with choosing the best protein powder for pregnancy.
According to experts, you should be adding an extra 25 grams of protein per day into your diet when pregnant or nursing. This may not be the easiest, as we are all busy ladies right? Between going to doctors appointments, work, keeping up gym classes and setting up an adorable nest for the new baby, there isnt going to be a lot of time or energy to be constantly cooking and checking nutrition indexes to make sure your getting enough protein into your diet. Thats where protein powder comes in handy. You will be able to get the extra protein you need by incorporating it into easy to make smoothies, protein shakes, bliss balls and more. Check out our range of protein-rich recipes for inspiration.
What you want to look for
Organic & Natural
Look for a protein powder that is highly rich in nutrients. Anything with natural antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins is a big plus to add to your diet. Also try to eat wholesome, nutritious foods and avoid synthetic pills or supplements that have harmful chemicals in them.
Health Risks Of Using Regular Protein Powder During Pregnancy
Most women dont use protein powder during their pregnancy because they think that it might cause health problems for their babies. They also think that it will only be good for the mothers body. There are other reasons why pregnant women avoid using protein powder.
These include the fact that some protein powders may contain a lot of sugar, fat, and cholesterol. Sugar and fats are not good for pregnant women. Also, if a pregnant woman uses too much protein powder, it can affect her babys growth. Protein powder can cause anemia in pregnant women.
This can be dangerous to the baby. Anemia is a condition that causes low blood levels in the baby. This could lead to preterm and low birth weight babies. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid using any regular protein powder during pregnancy.
Note:Protein powder is an excellent supplement for pregnant women because it helps them build up their muscles. But you must be careful about what kind of protein powder you use. If you use a regular protein powder, you may put your health at risk.
Some protein powders contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners and other chemicals. This is not good for you. Its best to get your protein from healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Are There Any Risks When Consuming Protein Powders During Pregnancy
It’s worth keeping in mind that relying on protein powders as your primary source of protein could mean you are accidentally ingesting too much protein, especially if it is a pure protein powder, which may counteract any health benefits and in fact be harmful.
In addition, a low carbohydrate intake is not recommended for most people but especially for pregnant people.
With this in mind, you want to ensure you aren’t accidentally forgetting to add carbohydrates and fats to your diet as well.
Adding protein smoothies to your diet is great, as long as you’re mindful of continuing to eat balanced and nutritious meals outside of that, too.
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How Much Protein Is Required During Pregnancy
Women need to consume more than normal during pregnancy. Proper maternal food intake ensures the adequate development of the fetal body and brain. During pregnancy, a womans diet must contain the appropriate nutrients, with protein needs being especially important. Protein is broken down into amino acids and assists with bodily functions including, the growth and restoration of muscle tissue, hair nails skin bones and organs.
Why Do Some Women Use Protein Shakes During Pregnancy
Put aside any notion that protein powder is just for building muscle after a hard workout. Many women will opt for a protein shake during pregnancy for multiple reasons:
- You’re experiencing morning sickness or a food aversion. Often times, protein powder may be the only protein source you can stomach.
- You’re tired. If you’re too tired to cook up chicken breasts, protein powder is a quick and easy source of protein.
- You’re vegan or vegetarian. You may be accustomed to leaning on vegan protein powders to help you meet your protein needs.
Whatever the reason, using protein powder and drinking protein shakes is common during pregnancy, and the question of whether it is safe for mom and baby during this precious time is a common concern.
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Is Protein Powder Bad For Pregnancy
Since protein powder supplements often contain added sugars like sucralose, it is impossible to conclude that they are entirely safe for new moms. It cannot be claimed that these artificial sweeteners are safe for a pregnant woman and her new baby, even though they may be FDA-approved or regarded as safe .
Considering that they are artificial rather than natural, their safety is in doubt. Also, some protein powders may have ingredients like caffeine and creatine that could hurt the development of the embryo.
It is suggested that you consult with your doctor if you wish to use protein powder as a supplement during pregnancy. This will help you to determine whether you need it and, if so, which type.
Women who are sensitive to dairy products can switch to alternative organic protein powders that are suitable for intake during pregnancy. It is because the majority of powders are made out of proteins like whey, casein, and soy.
Are There Heavy Metals In The Protein Powder
Testing for heavy metals, especially in plant-based protein powders is important. It wasnt known for quite sometime the amount of heavy metals found in protein powders, and more companies are working hard to test and eliminate the existence of heavy metals. Find a protein powder that does testing for heavy metals, like mine, or reach out to their customer service to ask if they do!
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The Benefits Of Vegan Protein Powder:
There are many benefits of using vegan protein powders. One of the most important reasons why people use these products is to lose weight. These powders contain a lot of protein, which means that they can help you to build muscle mass. They also contain high-quality carbohydrates.
These carbs give you energy when you exercise. When you eat them, your body gets the nutrients that it needs to build muscles and lose weight. Many other benefits come with using these products. You can improve your health, boost your energy levels, and get the body that you want.
The most adored and most effective vegan protein powder is PlantFusion. It is made from pea protein. Pea protein is also known as legume protein. It is the richest source of plant protein. Pea protein is high in amino acids, which help to build strong muscles and bones.
This product is great for vegetarians as well as vegans because it is made from plant sources. It is also the best option for those who are lactose-intolerant. It has a nice, smooth taste.
Is It Safe To Drink Meal Replacement Shakes During Pregnancy
It is safer to avoid doing them during pregnancy before first speaking to your dietitian or health professional about your nutritional needs.
Although you can take protein powder in place of meals. It is best to make sure you have a full balanced diet.
It is not advisable to take meal replacement shakes as a substitute for meals, particularly during pregnancy when your body requires extra nutrients to sustain both you and your developing baby.
I think its a good addition to your meals to top up your nutrient uptake.
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What Are Other Plant
When planning your pregnancy diet, I recommend emphasizing whole plant food sources of protein.
Some of the best plant-based protein foods include:
- Black beans: 6 grams in 1/2 cup
- Peas: 5 grams in 2/3 cup
- Lentils: 18 grams in 1 cup
- Tofu: 15 grams in 4 ounces
- Whole grain bread: 6 grams per slice
- Quinoa: 4 grams in 1/2 cup cooked
- Peanut butter: 7 grams in 2 Tablespoons
- Oats: 11 grams per 1 cup
- Nutritional yeast: 8 grams in 2 Tablespoons
- Broccoli: 4 grams in 1 cup cooked
- Chia seeds: 3.5 grams in 2 Tablespoons
- Hemp seeds: 6.5 grams in 2 Tablespoons
Including a variety of these foods can help you meet protein needs during pregnancy. But if you feel like you need another source, plant-based protein powders for pregnancy can be a helpful and convenient option.
Weigh-in: Have you used any protein powders during pregnancy? Do you have any to add to this list?
For more prenatal nutrition tips, check out these posts:
Do All Protein Powders Contain The Same Ingredients
Not all protein powders are the same. Protein supplements come in many different varieties, consistencies and flavours.
Some contain added vitamins, minerals or carbohydrates, whereas others are simply pure protein.
Most available protein powders fall into one of the following types, all of which are safe to consume during pregnancy:
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What Protein Can I Use While Pregnant Whey Or Vegan
This really depends on you as an individual, your health status, and personal preference.
WPC 80 is a tasty and affordable option for those who regularly use and tolerate protein powders derived from milk.
WPI 90 is also derived from milk but is more refined, containing only minimal lactose which may be better tolerated for those who have lactose intolerance.
Our Vegan 85 could be a suitable option for those who are following a vegan or vegetarian diet, those who have dairy related gastrointestinal upset, or those who cannot tolerate egg, milk or soy protein due to allergy.
All of these blends are sweetened with organic stevia which is a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners without the calories of regular sugar. Currently, there is limited data on stevia consumption and human pregnancy.
Types Of Vegan Protein Powder
If youre vegan, lactose intolerant, or allergic to dairy, youll need to avoid whey and casein protein powders, as these ingredients are by-products of cheese.
There are a number of vegan options available that are excellent sources of protein, and many vegan formulas contain all-natural ingredients.
There are two types of protein: complete and incomplete. Ideally, youll opt for a complete protein powder, as these contain all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own.
- Some vegan protein powder options to consider include: Pea Protein This protein is made from yellow peas and is a complete protein.
- Hemp Protein Hemp is a complete protein. It is made from ground hemp seeds.
- Brown Rice Protein Brown Rice Protein is not a complete protein as it lacks lysine, so its usually used in vegan protein blends. It is made by separating the protein from the carbohydrates in brown rice.
- Plant Protein Blends These are essentially a combination of multiple plant proteins. Blending different plant proteins together helps to ensure that all amino acids are present at equal levels. Our Body Science Clean Plant Protein contains both pea and brown rice protein.
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What Are Protein Powders And How To Use Them
One of the prevalent dietary supplements is Protein powders. As you may know, protein is a fundamental macronutrient that repairs tissue, makes a difference construct muscle boost chemicals and hormones. Eating protein powder may too help weight misfortune and offer assistance to individuals tone their muscles. There are numerous diverse sorts of protein powder, such as and plant-based powder or dairy-based.
Protein powder might come from:
These are often fortified with other nutrients but dont forget that protein powders arent designed to restore a meal.
Do you know the best way to consume protein powder? Before consuming, you should calculate all the general needs of your body. In fact, this is especially true for women who do not get enough protein from their diet.
Research has shown that excessive protein intake can damage the kidneys and liver. It also upsets calcium balance.
Also, if you use protein powder in high amounts, it will result in a reduced intake of other beneficial foods, such as vegetables, fiber-rich fruits. and legumes that the body uses to sustain gut bacteria. Many people believe that it is better to use protein powder after workouts, but some researches are inconclusive due to studies creating conflicting results.
On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the benefits of protein supplements, you can eat them with meals. In this way weight management and reducing fat mass are better.
Verywell Family Approved Pregnancy
- Best Overall:Needed Prenatal Collagen is a versatile option that helps pregnant people meet their daily protein needs. We like that it’s unflavored so it can be easily incorporated into sweet and savory dishes alike.
- Best Vegan:Ritual Essential Protein is a complete protein that also contains the key nutrient choline .
Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.
Given that protein powders are supplements that are minimally regulated by the FDA, the quality of the brand matters even more to ensure a safe product. If you are taking other prenatal supplements, we recommend avoiding powders with added vitamins and minerals to help prevent over-consuming these nutrients.
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What Should I Look For In A Plant
If a protein powder makes sense for your pregnancy, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right one for you.
My ideal criteria for recommending protein powders include the following:
- third-party tested for heavy metals
- no artificial or non-nutritive calorie sweeteners
That being said, Ive found it difficult to find a single option that meets ALL of those criteria. Instead, youll likely have to decide what criteria are most important to you and find an option that aligns best.
Below are 5 of the best plant-based protein powders I have found thus far, that could be incorporated as part of a healthy pregnancy, in no particular order:
Protein Powder Supplements For Pregnant Women
If you are pregnant and want to gain more protein on your diet, it is a good idea to take a protein powder supplement. Your doctor will need to consult with you before determining which type is best for you. There are several ways for pregnant women to benefit from protein powders, but it is critical to consult with your doctor before using one. Protein is an excellent source of energy, and it is always a good idea to consume it before bedtime in order to maximize its benefits.
Tips To Increase Your Diets Nutrient Content
A few other small steps can help make a vegan diet robust and nutrient rich.
Eating fortified foods is an easy way to boost the nutrient content of your diet. For instance, you should keep an eye out for plant milks and yogurts fortified with calcium.
In addition, eating 1 Brazil nut each day can help you meet your selenium needs. To meet your daily ALA needs, incorporate 2 tablespoons of chia or flax seeds, 1/4 cup of hemp seeds, or 1/3 cup of walnuts into your meals .
Furthermore, fermenting, sprouting, and cooking with cast iron pans may enhance your absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron and zinc .
The vegan foods above can help you meet your nutrient needs during pregnancy. Eating fortified, sprouted, and fermented foods, as well as using cast iron cookware, may further boost your diets nutrient content.
Better Sources Of Protein
Perhaps the best way to get protein is through your food rather than a powder. Lean meats , low-mercury fish, and certain grains and legumes are among the best choices.
You can get a whopping one-third of your daily protein requirement from just one serving of red meat. A 4-ounce serving of ground beef gives you about 24 grams of protein!
So enjoy a steak or burger once or twice a week, but dont go nuts. Red meat is high in cholesterol and fats and may affect your heart health. Additionally, a 2014 review found that mothers who ate more animal protein during pregnancy had children with higher blood pressure.
Some seafood is also a great choice for you. But bigger fish sometimes contain mercury, a toxin. The advises that pregnant women avoid fish like:
Also avoid raw or undercooked seafood. This means no fish-based sushi while youre pregnant or nursing.
The best plant proteins include:
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Can Pregnant Women Eat Protein Bars
Generally speaking, absolutely â many protein bars are made from similar ingredients to protein powders.
A key difference is that due to the structure of a ‘bar’, there may be more binding agents like sugar or artificial sweeteners that can either increase your sugar intake or upset your stomach .
If you’re feeling particularly inclined, you could try making your own protein bars with protein powder or protein-rich foods like dates, nut butters, almond meal or seeds.
Excess Caffeine And Vitamins
Many protein powder brands that are labelled diet-friendly or vegan have added vitamins and caffeine. You should avoid buying such brands as caffeine and excess vitamin intake is not recommended during pregnancy. You may already be on a prenatal multivitamin supplement or get all your micro-nutrients from a balanced diet. Hence, it is pointless and sometimes harmful to consume excessive vitamins. Caffeine intake should also be low during pregnancy and must be limited to under 200mg per day.
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