Right from the time of conception until the day a mother takes her last breath, she is going to do everything in her capacity to keep her child healthy, happy and safe. So it is no wonder then that an expecting mother will try her best to eat all of the healthiest foods in order to maximise her nutritional benefits.
She needs to have the right amount of all the nutrients while pregnant - proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. She has to not only consume nutritious food but also ensure that the food she eats is safe to consume during pregnancy. Not having enough proteins can cause a lot of problems during pregnancy. This is why many pregnant women consider having protein powders while pregnant.
But when it comes to consuming protein powders during pregnancy, it raises another question - is it safe to have protein powders when you are pregnant? If so, what are the best protein powders for pregnant women? Worry not, we have the answers to all your questions.
How Much Protein Do You Need When You Are Pregnant?
The amount of protein you need to consume in a day can be calculated from your body weight. Multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.5. The number you obtain is the number of grams of protein you need in a day. You would have to keep a watch on your weight and adjust the protein requirement accordingly throughout your pregnancy.
You would be able to consume this amount of protein in your regular diet. You can talk to your doctor and figure out a diet plan. Your doctor may even ask you to take protein supplements in the form of protein powders.
Are Protein Powders Safe During Pregnancy?
Although you should be getting all of your nutrients from your diet, some women may need the supplements in order to meet their nutritional needs. If you are unsure about whether you are taking enough proteins, you should consult your doctor or ob-gyn about it. Do make sure that the protein powder isn’t your only source of protein. You should be obtaining your protein from your diet itself.
They would be able to guide you by telling you how much of the protein shake you would need to consume in a day. They would also be able to tell you which protein powder is best for you. You should, in general, avoid powders that contain caffeine and/or certain herbs that are harmful during pregnancy. Remember the golden rule - when in doubt, ask your doctor.
Which Protein Shakes Are Safe While Pregnant?
While there are many protein powders to choose from, there has been much debate on which is the best protein powder while pregnant. Even though whey protein is the most popular and natural form of protein powders, WebMD has cautioned pregnant and/or breastfeeding women to avoid whey protein during pregnancy. This is because there has not been a lot of research done on the safety of whey protein powder for pregnant and lactating women.
However, whey protein is found in natural dairy products as well, just not in a concentrated amount. So you can continue consuming cheese and other dairy products to obtain your protein in a natural way. You could also opt for other natural plant-based protein powders if you are allergic to dairy products. Just make sure to check the ingredients in the protein powder before buying them.
Ingredients Used In The Protein Powders
When it comes to choosing protein powders, you would want to be extra cautious about checking the cover for the ingredients. Even after doing a check by yourself, it is best to ask your doctor to check as well before using it. Here are a few things to check before you buy a protein powder:
1. Heavy Metals
A study in 2010 showed that a few popular protein powders contain lead, cadmium and mercury. These heavy metals can enter the area where the fetus is present. This can affect the development of the baby and even cause birth defects.
2. Artificial Sweeteners And Additives
Most protein powders contain artificial sweeteners. It is best to opt for protein powders that are as natural as possible while pregnant.
This is a common sweetener found in most protein powders. This can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut and can cause inflammatory digestive disorders. This is why protein powders that contain this ingredient should be strictly avoided during pregnancy.
4. Soy Proteins
Soy contains phytic acid and consuming this can decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals like iron and zinc. Also, soy proteins can mess up the hormones and increase the estrogen levels by a harmful amount thus worsening the pregnancy symptoms.
5. Read The Labels
Certain protein powders are marked as “designed for athletes”. Avoid buying these as they may contain certain performance-enhancing drugs or herbs that are harmful to pregnant women.