Can I Drink Protein Shakes While Pregnant? – Facts and Risks

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Monitoringclub.org | Can I Drink Protein Shakes While Pregnant? Pregnancy is often synonymous with limiting the intake of certain foods and beverages.

If before pregnancy, you are allowed to eat, drink and do anything, usually after pregnancy requires the mother-to-be to limit intake and activities [1,2].

If you were previously accustomed to consuming protein shakes due to diet or regular exercise, many pregnant women then question whether it is safe to drink protein shakes [3].

Can I Drink Protein Shakes While Pregnant?

Yes, You can; pregnant women may drink protein shakes as long as they limit it (not in the usual portions like before pregnancy) [4,5].

Protein is indeed important as an intake for pregnant women and meets the needs of the fetus to develop [4,5].

A report on Food and Nutrition Research 2013 showed that the diet of a pregnant woman is important for fetal growth and development, one of which is to meet the needs of iron and calcium folic acid [6].

Meanwhile, protein is an important nutrient that will enable pregnant women to give birth to babies of healthy weight [6].

The body of pregnant women usually uses amino acids from proteins that enter as daily intake as long as the baby grows and develops in the womb [6].

The use of amino acids by the body is for the formation of collagen and keratin (another type of protein) which supports the development of skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints. [7].

So it is true that protein is the need of a pregnant woman so that the fetus gets amino acids that are useful for its perfect development [8].

Usually, pregnant women’s body needs for protein are even greater during the last trimester of pregnancy [8].

Another fact that pregnant women need to know is that protein shakes are not only good for muscle building after a high-intensity workout [3,9].

The intake of protein shakes for pregnant women can also provide a number of other benefits, such as: [9] :

  • Chicken breast substitute; if pregnant women have been getting protein only from chicken meat (the chest) constantly, avoid boredom by taking turns consuming protein shakes.
  • Morning sickness solution; When nausea becomes a daily complaint during pregnancy, pregnant women usually experience loss of appetite. Therefore, protein shakes are an alternative solution to fill the stomach quickly and easily.
  • A helper for vegetarian or vegan pregnant women; for pregnant women who are vegetarians or vegans so they are accustomed to consuming protein shakes before pregnancy, during pregnancy protein needs can be met by drinking protein shakes as long as they are not excessive.

Although protein shakes themselves are not foreign to pregnant women, their consumption should still be consulted with a doctor.

Even if you can drink it, there is a difference in the dose that needs to be considered between the amount of protein shake consumed before pregnancy and during pregnancy.

How many protein shakes can you drink while pregnant?

The daily protein requirement of pregnant women is between 60-100 grams per day (this depends on the weight during pregnancy) [7,8].

According to the results of studies on the Journal of Nutrition In 2015, the increase in protein requirements in pregnant women caused protein intake to increase to 1.22 grams to 1.52 grams per kilogram of body weight both in the early and late trimesters of pregnancy. [10].

This is because in women who are not pregnant, the need for protein per day is 0.88 grams per kilogram of body weight [8].

To meet 60-100 grams of protein needs for the body of pregnant women, protein sources that can be consumed are: [5]:

  • A glass of milk (8 grams of protein)
  • Handful of nuts (6 grams of protein)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (6 grams of protein)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (28 grams)
  • Skinless chicken breast (26 grams of protein) / 1 cup protein shake (20-25 grams of protein, depending on how many scoops) [11]

The total amount of protein intake above with skinless chicken breast is 74 grams of protein.

Meanwhile, if you replace chicken breast with 1 glass of protein shake, the total protein intake will be 68-73 grams.

If you are tired of having to eat skinless chicken breast every day, then make a protein shake as an alternative.

However, make sure not to drink it too often (this can be asked to the doctor first so that the pregnancy condition remains safe).

People Are Also Looking For:

Are there any health risks to drinking protein shakes while pregnant?

There are; The health risks of drinking protein shakes while pregnant are exposure to contaminants such as mercury, lead and BPA [9].

This is because protein powder products that are used as protein shakes are not completely safe [5,9].

Protein powder is classified as a dietary supplement where the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which usually regulates food does not regulate the production of protein powder in the United States. [5].

In addition, the following are some of the disadvantages and risks of drinking protein shakes during pregnancy:

  • The content of calories and sugar is more than stated on the packaging label or than expected. During pregnancy, high sugar intake is very unhealthy because it triggers excess weight gain [5].
  • Pregnancy disorders due to exposure to mercury, lead and/or BPA (the fetus has developmental defects, the baby is at risk for premature birth, to the mother’s miscarriage) [9].
  • Excess protein. The body of pregnant women who experience excess protein can result in the baby growing more slowly than normal and a high risk of gestational diabetes, especially if carbohydrate intake is too low. [9].

Therefore, even though you can drink protein shakes while pregnant, make sure even more by asking the doctor who handles it directly.

Pregnancy is often synonymous with limiting the intake of certain foods and beverages.

If before pregnancy, you are allowed to eat, drink and do anything, usually after pregnancy requires the mother-to-be to limit intake and activities [1,2].

If you were previously accustomed to consuming protein shakes due to diet or regular exercise, many pregnant women then question whether it is safe to drink protein shakes [3].

Pregnancy is often synonymous with limiting the intake of certain foods and beverages.

If before pregnancy, you are allowed to eat, drink and do anything, usually after pregnancy requires the mother-to-be to limit intake and activities [1,2].

If you were previously accustomed to consuming protein shakes due to diet or regular exercise, many pregnant women then question whether it is safe to drink protein shakes [3].

  1. Pregnancy Birth & Baby. Appetite changes and food aversions during pregnancy. Pregnancy Birth & Baby; 2020.
  2. Ask Tantry, MD. 10 Things You Can’t Do While Pregnant. Flo Health; 2022.
  3. Image: Pixabay
  4. Hallie Levine & Erin Hinga, MS, RD Is it safe to drink protein shakes while pregnant?. Baby Center; 2021.
  5. Video: Nourish with Melanie
  6. Selma C. Liberato, Gurmeet Singh, & Kim Mulholland. Effects of protein energy supplementation during pregnancy on fetal growth: a review of the literature focusing on contextual factors. Food & Nutrition Research; 2013.
  7. Rajavel Elango & Ronald O Ball. Protein and Amino Acid Requirements during Pregnancy. Advances in Nutrition; 2016.
  8. Lindsay Boyers & Sylvie Tremblay, MSc. Can Pregnant Women Drink Protein Shakes?. Live Strong; 2019.
  9. Lauren Manager MS, RDN, LD, CLEC. The Best & Worst Protein Powders for Pregnancy. Eat This, Not That; 2019.
  10. Trina V Stephens, Magdalene Payne, Ronald O Ball, Paul B Pencharz, & Rajavel Elango. Protein Requirements of Healthy Pregnant Women during Early and Late Gestation Are Higher than Current Recommendations . The Journal of Nutrition; 2015.
  11. Jonny Bowden, PHD CNS. Scoop Size – What exactly constitutes a scoop of protein powder?. Clean Eating; 2013.
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