Protein Powder

Are Protein Powders Safe During Pregnancy?

Protein Powders & Pregnancy

Are ingesting protein powders during pregnancy safe? Protein powders are very popular for those who are athletes. Many serious athletes use protein powders as a quick way to get their protein needs met. Nonserious athletes use to add it to coffee, smoothies, oatmeals, and soups. 

In my opinion, eating food high in protein should be the first choice. Actually, eating food versus using an additive. Why? Food includes much more than protein and is probably better for pregnant women for this reason. There are a couple of reasons why pregnant women can use protein powders. The body requires more protein through each trimester. For that reason, most women will use protein powder as a quick fix! 

If you experience nausea when eating food, replace the food with protein powder- smoothies. Some smoothies are an easy way to get your nutrients because they contain fruit, veggies, fats, and protein. Make sure you get sound medical advice first before you take protein shortcuts. 

conception & protein powder?

The most crucial point to remember is the majority of your daily protein must come from food sources. Fish, chicken, beef, and eggs are great examples of food that provide essential vitamins and minerals. 

Does protein powder also contain vitamins and minerals?

Taking protein powder can give you more nutrients than you need, especially if you are also taking prenatal vitamins. By over supplementing yourself you can get too much of a good thing. You do not need protein powder if you are taking a well-rounded prenatal vitamin that contains vitamins and minerals.  The most crucial point to remember is the majority of your daily protein must come from food sources. Fish, chicken, beef, and eggs are great examples of food that provide essential vitamins and minerals. 

What are the other risks?

Since the supplement industry isn’t well regulated, these supplements can be contaminated with heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, or mercury. Therefore, a 3rd party tested supplement, especially for prenatal vitamins, is necessary. Keep in mind, detectable heavy metals in products like protein powders may not be considered harmful. Use your best judgment!

Which ingredients should you avoid in protein powders?
Add Sugar

Excessive weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, and a giant baby occur due to a diet high in sugar. Sugar imbalances can increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes. The recommendations are to limit added sugar to 25 grams (6 teaspoons) or less per day for women. 

SOY

The body needs minerals for growth, especially during pregnancy. If minerals are blocked, then you might not get enough minerals for the baby to grow. The nutritious value of soy has been debated for a long time. Unfortunately, soy can interfere with protein digestions. For this reason, you may want to reconsider soy as part of your diet. Because of the protein blocks, most people add protein powder to their diet is to increase protein intake.

Thyroid hormone production can be affected by soy intake

Soy is known to interfere with iodine absorption and can cause thyroid complications. It also can affect conception and fertility. Because soy can be contaminated by pesticides, it may be harmful to developing fetuses. It’s important to do further research because there are healthier versions of soy, such as natto or miso.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners can affect blood sugar mainly through your gut flora and fauna. Some examples of common artificial sweeteners include sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, neotame, and acesulfame-K. 

A study suggests that artificially sweetened beverages during pregnancy can affect the birth size and even affect the weight of the progeny, even years later. Refer this idea to sweetened protein powders, especially if you consume powders sweetened with artificial sweeteners daily.

 Sweeteners like stevia, sugar alcohols, and monk fruit extract are being used as alternatives for the artificial sweeteners. The reseach isn’t plentiful, so moderation is still necessary even if they seem safer.

Herbs

There isn’t enough data to suggest “green” or “superfood” blends are safe. Herbs appear to be harmless because we consider them to be natural. Herbs aren’t necessarily safe or unsafe. There simply isn’t enough data to confirm safety, so you must be especially mindful during pregnancy. 

Preservatives/additives

Common additives in protein powders are things like thickeners, artificial flavoring, colorings, alginin, guar gum, locust bean gum, and xanthan gum. These items are common additives used to thicken protein powders. Others include agar, carboxymethyl cellulose, pectin, and carrageenan. Most are considered safe by the USDA. 

If you would like to keep a food journal, record your grocery lists and meal plan over the course of your pregnancy the the click on the link to but “Meal Planning Made Easy Journal. “

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sj@sheilainman.com