Protein powder is an alternative from regular meat protein that may be taken by people if they are on a vegetarian or vegan diet, or if they are pregnant. This is because pregnant women might have difficulty in digesting meat and chicken and therefore, need an alternative source of protein. In this article, we discuss the lowdown on protein powders and how to choose one for pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that you might want to ask and know about before buying protein powders for pregnancy.
Is Protein Powder Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes! Protein powder is safe for pregnant women because it is greatly needed by pregnant women during their baby’s developmental stages. However, before you grab a can of whey protein powder, you should definitely consult your physician first to make sure you are picking the right one for your best needs and health condition(s).
Protein powder is mostly ideal for pregnant women because protein-rich foods like meat, chicken, fish and the like can put you off if you’re pregnant (which happens to most women in this case).
Which Ingredients Should I look for or Avoid?
If you are looking for a good protein powder for pregnancy then you should avoid the following:
|Gluten||This is especially the case if you are born with sensitivity to gluten. On top of that, some experts report gluten to have effects on pregnant women in general, such as mood swings and hormonal imbalance.|
|Artificial sweeteners||Having artificial sweeteners can make your protein powder taste good, but they are not good for your health. They can potentially cause headaches, added weight gain and even bouts of depression.|
|Additives||Additives like creatine and caffeine may not be suitable for nursing women and pregnant women altogether, so they should be avoided in any whey protein powder mixture. Other additives that can be avoided include psyllium and coconut flour, which can cause bloating and stomach upsets.|
|Xanthan gum||Xanthan gum and other related thickeners can also cause gas problems due to being made from soy or corn. Pregnant moms should best avoid this.|
|Vegetable oil||Vegetable oil is cheap and easy to find, but it also contains trans fats, which can add to weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle for pregnant women.|
|Soy protein||Too much soy protein nowadays has been leading to many hormonal problems for people. It is best to avoid them because most will be made from GMOs.|
|Milk solids||Milk solids and milk powders are high in lactose sugars. These sugars can also cause digestive upsets and constipation. If you are lactose intolerant, you should avoid such powders.|
|Glucose or dextrin||They generally add more fat to your body and may also cause stomach upsets in general.|
Why You Need Protein During Pregnancy
Protein is a must-have for a pregnant mom’s diet because you have to supplement your baby with enough nutrients for the developmental stage. We all know that protein can be converted into energy, and as a pregnant mom, you definitely need that energy to refuel and replenish your body after giving nutrients and support to your developing baby in the womb.
What To Look For In The Best Protein Powder For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Whether you are breastfeeding or just a pregnant mom, you should look for a protein powder that has the following features:
- Quality protein – many studies and experts have concluded that animal-based proteins have a lower count of heavy metals in their proteins as compared to that of vegetarian proteins. Therefore, soy protein may not be as high quality as actual meat protein from animals.
- No sweeteners – as we mentioned above, sweeteners can cause weight gain and many other hormonal problems as well. It is important for a mom to stay put with their hormonal balance to avoid post-partum depression and excess weight as well.
- No additives – having no additives is important when choosing the best protein powders for pregnant moms. This helps your baby to keep safe from potentially harmful ingredients that might affect their overall health during the developmental stages.
Alternative Sources Of Protein
If you can’t really take meat protein, here are some great alternative sources of protein:
|Tofu||10 g||Tofu is a typical vegan ingredient, mostly because it mainly acts as a big placeholder for meat in the vegan diet. Tofu is also pretty easy to find and simple to prepare for any dish.|
|Lentils||9 g||Lentils can be added to most vegan and vegetarian recipes.|
|Quinoa||8 g||Quinoa is known to be an alternative to rice and yet provide good amounts of protein altogether. It can be used for a variety of baked and stir-fried recipes.|
Top Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy
Here are our hand-picked best protein powders for pregnancy that you might want to try:
Prenatal Vitamin Supplement Shake
Declared to be non-GMO in its contents, this delicious-tasting Prenatal Vitamin Supplement Shake can be a great solution to moms who want to get supplemental protein during their pregnancy stages. It does not contain preservatives, artificial sugars and the like. You can use this low-carb formula as a delicious afternoon shake with ice to help you feel refreshed and energized.
Each 1 lb bag of this whey protein powder can make up to 15 servings. Most people like the flavor so much without giving off a bad aftertaste, unlike other cheaper protein powders out there. It is also easy to dissolve in its formulation.
tera’s Organic Whey Protein
If you are a big fan of gluten-free products, the tera’s Organic Whey Protein is a good choice. It is also low on carbs like our first pick and contains about 21 grams of protein inside the 12-ounce container. Being low in carbs can help those who have problems with diabetes or blood sugar. It is also made with organic bourbon vanilla so it does not contain artificial sweeteners at all – and still tastes good!
Because it is safe for pregnant women, it does not contain alcohol or caffeine, while it still retains the rich flavors. It is also available in dark chocolate if you prefer that one. You can also make shakes out of it, especially mixing with banana and similar ingredients.
Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder
For those needing a prenatal protein powder, the Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder may be a nice pick for you. It will be gentle for stomachs that often get discomfort due to the ginger and active B6 content, which can be helpful for pregnant moms. Your baby will also develop better due to the active folates that are included in the formulation.
This dietary supplement for pregnant moms comes in a chocolate flavor that is pure and contains no artificial sweeteners. If you have MTHFR and you want to avoid folic acid in a prenatal powder then this is a good choice – since it only contains folate.
Bluebonnet Whey Protein Isolate Powder
The Bluebonnet Whey Protein Isolate Powder is another great non-GMO product to pick for pregnant moms. It also does not contain gluten, soy, and sugars, so it is definitely a must-have for those with special needs. It is also Kosher certified, on top of that. The protein has been harvested from free-roaming cows that are grass-fed so you are assured to have quality protein.
Each container of this powder has 26 g of whey protein without artificial sweeteners at all. Because there aren’t any additives, they taste may not be as good as those that are sweet and tasty, but if you really value health and nutrition over flavorings then this is a good choice for you.
NorCal Organic Whey Protein
Being a USDA certified an organic product that is also non-GMO, the NorCal Organic Whey Protein may be a great choice if you want quality whey protein powder that also comes from free-roaming and grass-fed cows. Each pack of this product has 21 g of protein with no added colorings, flavorings or sweeteners at all.
Added to the USDA certification is the fact that it is also Kosher approved. Many people have used it as a smoothie and it tastes good for an organic protein powder for pregnant women.
Protiva Pregnancy Collagen Protein Powder
Containing 15 g of protein in the container, the Protiva Pregnancy Collagen Protein Powder has been specifically formulated for pregnant women, especially those who are in their 2nd and 3rd trimester, to help in your baby’s developmental stages. It contains no artificial sweeteners and is free from soy, dairy, gluten, and GMOs.
You can turn this powder into a healthy shake for pregnancy, such as mixing it with fruits or other ingredients. It can also be a great protein powder for those with lactose intolerance.
To conclude, it is just the matter of looking around for quality whey protein powders for pregnancy that do not contain artificial flavors and sweeteners. If you really value nutrition over taste then you can definitely have a healthier delivery for your baby. Let us know what you think – which of these would be the best protein powders for you?