The Best Natural Protein Powder For Pregnant Women
Women who are pregnant require a high intake of proteins as compaed to those who are not pregnant.
This is because you need enough proteins for you and the baby. If you do not get enough proteins from the food that you need, taking protein powders will greatly help you reach the required servings in a day.
There are so many protein powders that can be taken by pregnant women. It is important to consult your doctor before you begin to take the protein powders to ensure that they are safe for you.
Otherwise, you might take them without consulting the doctor and fall for a product that is likely to cause harm to the baby.
To make it an easy task, this article provides you with the best protein powders that will be helpful to you and your baby.
When a woman becomes pregnant for the first time, she suddenly may find that her perspectives on a lot of critical issues are being challenged, both by herself and others – and nutrition often ranks at the top of the list.
If you are pregnant and are now experiencing the pleasures and hurdles of sharing your body with a developing child, congratulations!.
Ingredients to watch out for in selecting natural protein powder
Protein powders are incorporated with different additives or ingredients that might be harmful to you, before you buy any brand.
Please check the composition to avoid unnecessary things stated below;
- Added Caffeine and Vitamins
A lot of protein powders out there, especially the vegan powders or those marketed as ‘diet friendly’ include a number of added vitamins and caffeine that you probably want to avoid.
Most pregnant women either already consume a pre-natal multivitamin or they have their micronutrient requirements met by food so having extra vitamins in protein powder is pointless (and can even be harmful as it leads you to consume more than your recommended daily allowance of specific vitamins).
Caffeine is also a big one to look out for because guidelines for pregnant women dictate that we should limit our consumption of caffeine. According to the NHS, we should keep our intake of caffeine under 200mg a day.
A study in Epidemiology notes that an intake of 200-350mg poses no risk. Keeping an eye on how much caffeine you’re consuming – and where it’s coming from – therefore becomes very important (here’s a guide to caffeine amounts in common foods).
My advice here would be: track your intake of caffeine – bearing in mind that tea and chocolate also include it! – and avoid any and all protein powders with added caffeine.
Stay away from ‘diet foods’ in general as these tend to often feature caffeine to boast their ‘diet’ claims by including green tea
- Heavy Metals
A laboratory study performed in 2010 found heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, in a few popular protein mixes.
Heavy metals have been shown to cross the placenta and end up in fetal tissue. Results are extremely concerning.
Exposure to heavy metals during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and affect fetal neurological development.
Since many supplements are not regulated by the FDA on the same level as “food”, many supplements get away with higher than desired levels of metals (including lead!).
- Fillers and flavors
Fillers are things that are added to protein powders to add bulk, texture, or change the consistency of the powder when mixed into a shake.
Things like guar gum, xanthan gum, palatinose, and other ingredients that are largely pointless, nutritionally speaking at least.
I mean pointless in the sense that they have nothing to give me in terms of nutrients; they’re empty calories so to speak.
Flavors too can be tricky because they too are nutritionally-void. Furthermore, natural flavors are often not at all ‘natural’ – not in the way you or I understand the word to mean at least.
They’re chemically-processed materials ‘derived from nature’ and that can literally mean anything.
As you grown up, everything you eat becomes more important to your health. It is very important to pay attention to what you are eating, particularly the source.
Ask yourself: does the powder I’m considering buying (and consequently consuming) originates from a source that is free of chemicals, pesticides, or hormones? Is it organic?
Sometimes finding out requires a bit of research but if the answer is at all no, well… you know what to do: put it down and pick up another one.
Sourcing is very important when it comes to protein powders, particularly the dairy-based powders which are a byproduct of dairy.
That’s because dairy can often contain traces of rBGH (bovine growth hormone) – not good. So, if you’re looking to buy a dairy-based powder, like whey protein,
It’s advisable to stick to one that’s organic and rBGH-free. If you’re choosing to go with a veggie powder instead of a dairy one, paying attention to sourcing is also important.
Here, I’d say to go for one that’s organic and one which you can trace back to its source to make sure it’s suitable for both you and your baby.
- Soy Protein or Soy Protein Isolate
Soy protein and soy protein isolate is topically produced using highly processed genetically modified organic soy.
These ingredients are known to contain high levels of phytic acid, which can reduce the body’s ability to absorb minerals such as zinc and iron.
Special concern should be taken by pregnant women to avoid soy protein, as it can wreak havoc on hormones and increase estrogen levels to a hazardous level during pregnancy.
Often sourced from genetically modified organic corn, unless cited otherwise, maltodextrin snakes its way into protein shakes because it an inexpensive, low-quality sweetener.
Even non-corn based maltodextrin is problematic. This highly processed, grain-based sweetener has been associated with poor gut health and has been found to contribute to the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria in the gut.
Protein Requirements for Pregnancy
A pregnant woman requires additional protein when contrasted with her non-pregnant counterpart.
During pregnancy, it is recommended by the World Health Organization, that a woman’s diet include at least 75 grams of protein.
Growing a life requires drawing from one’s resources and a solid foundation is paramount.
Realizing quality nutrition during pregnancy starts by loading the body with a wide variety of food, in as close to its natural state as possible.
Meat, fish, nuts, beans, eggs, and cheese are all excellent sources of protein.
Is protein powder safe during pregnancy?
Experts recommend women who are pregnant and nursing to take an extra 25 grams of protein a day.
This might be a tall order to fill for women who have an aversion to meat, dairy, and fish. Protein supplements are a great way to get that extra protein, but are protein shakes and powders safe during pregnancy?
The short answer is yes, the long answer, is well longer. The concern with protein supplements revolve around the type of sweetener used, how clean the protein is, and what other ingredients it contains.
Natural protein powders for pregnant women
Because pregnancy increases the daily recommended value of protein, so you have to find means to increase your daily protein intake. Get your best natural protein powder from the list below;
Whey Protein powder
When it comes to building lean muscle, research proves that whey’s the way. As the most popular protein powder on the market, whey provides an ideal array and proportion of amino acids to assist with muscle recovery and growth, as well as enhancing fat loss.
Derived from milk, whey is considered the fastest-digesting “complete” protein, which means that it contains all the essential building blocks of muscle (amino acids), including high amounts of the all-important group of branched chain amino acids (BCAA).
BCAAs become depleted after exercise and are needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue. That’s why it is so often recommended to consume whey within minutes after your sweat session to quickly repair muscle damage.
Health Benefits of whey protein powder to pregnant women
- It provides array and proportion of amino acids for growth needed by you and your baby
- It enhances fat loss during pregnancy
- It helps to fight cancer through its antibody content.
- Whey can also aid your body’s own production of disease-fighting antioxidants during pregnancy and after.
Casein Protein powder
The other milk protein, casein, is also a complete protein. However, casein has a lower biologicalvalue (BV) than whey, meaning that a lower percentage of protein is absorbed out of the total protein consumed.
Casein provides a slower and prolonged release of amino acids over time. This slow release is important for reducing muscle damage, which can occur for up to 48 hours post workout. (Do you recall ever being sore two to three days after a workout?)
For women looking to maintain lean muscle tissue, casein may be more beneficial before bed because the slow absorption will supply the body with protein through the night when the body enters a catabolic state (breakdown of protein tissue for energy).
This slow release can also help you to feel fuller longer, thereby supporting weight-loss efforts by helping you take in fewer calories.
Health Benefits of Casein protein powder to pregnant women
- It is extremely high in glutamine, an amino acid that boosts immune function, this helps a lot for you and the baby during and after pregnancy.
- It helps to strengthen your bones. Look for casein that has not been hydrolyzed as this actually turns it into a fast-acting protein, similar to whey.
Soy Protein powder
A popular vegetarian protein source, soy protein is something that meat-loving gals should also consider for boosting overall health.
And although sports research shows that soy results in inferior strength gains when compared to whey, the differences are minimal for a healthy woman.
At the end of the day, an elite athlete may need the slight edge of whey due to heavy training, but for the average active gal, soy protein powder provide the biggest bang for your “health” buck.
Health Benefits of Soy protein to pregnant women
- It lowers cholesterol levels to improve your heart health.
- It is a good source of protein to vegetarian pregnant women that why is popular know as vegetarian protein source.
- Soy isoflavones have been shown to combat menopausal symptoms and reduce breast cancer risk
Brown Rice Protein Powder
While much of rice seed is carbohydrate, it does contain some protein, which is extracted without the use of chemicals during processing to make brown rice protein powder.
As with all plant proteins (quinoa being the exception), rice protein is incomplete. It lacks one of the essential amino acids, lysine, which helps manage triglycerides (a form of body fat) and is necessary for hormone production and bone growth.
You can solve this problem by pairing brown rice protein powder with milk or soy to fill the missing link.
Health Benefits of brown rice protein powder to pregnant women
- It helps in hormone production and bone growth.
- Some people experience gas and bloating from animal-based powders, like whey and casein, but rice protein is hypoallergenic and easily absorbed, making it very well tolerated if you’re lactose intolerant or have a sensitive stomach.
Warning: Consider organic brands when purchasing plant protein powders (brown protein rice) to minimize your exposure to pesticides.
Hemp Protein Powder
Suitable for active people who avoid all foods of animal origin, hemp protein also offers the inflammation-fighting power of essential fatty acids.
For your training, the omega-3s in hemp aid in muscle recovery after your workouts. Whole hemp seeds also contains about 25 percent of a highly digestible protein.
However, the amino acid profile is not complete, but eating a variety of plant proteins throughout the day (a daily mix of beans, legumes and grains) may provide your body with all the essential aminos you need.
Health Benefits of hemp protein powder to pregnant women
· It helps your heart by lowering cholesterol levels with fiber.
· Its anti-inflammatory power omega-3s boost memory, focus and concentration
· It is good for vegan pregnant women as a source of protein.
Tips to understand before you consume protein powder during pregnancy
If you’re going to consume protein powder during your pregnancy, follow the tips below:
- Read the labels carefully
You need to make sure that there are no artificial sweeteners or additives in your whey protein powder, as they may have a detrimental effect on baby’s health.
You also need to be sure that you are not getting any stimulants in the powder. Make sure to read each label carefully before consuming.
- Show your doctor the specific products
Taking whey protein in general should only be done after consulting a doctor, but it’s also wise to bring the specific protein powder to your doctor to let them see what you are going to be taking.
They’ll be able to read the label and see exactly what’s in the product. If they recommend you avoid it, heed their advice!
- Go for natural
Instead of taking whey protein powder during your pregnancy, try to find a way to get more natural protein in your diet.
Eat more protein-rich foods, such as quinoa, meat, chicken, fish, and dairy products. These natural sources of protein are much better for your body and much easier on your digestive system.
How much protein do pregnant women need?
Generally, 46g of protein per day is the average recommendation for women (though a more specific number can be calculated based on weight and diet).
Pregnant women are said to need 10g more protein per day than they were getting before pregnancy, whereas women who are breastfeeding need 20g more.
This is a walk in the park for some but can be difficult for those who are on restrictive diets, such as vegetarians, vegans and raw dieters.
Vegans have been shown to typically obtain 10-12% of their calories from protein, while a non-vegetarian obtains about 14-18%.
While 10% of calories from protein are actually about the recommended amount for vegans, this is not consistent during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are recommended to get between 20-25% of their calories from protein, significantly higher than the 10% average of non-pregnant vegans.
There are also health risks with many raw animal-based products such as raw meat and dairy.
Sweeteners to avoid
The American Pregnancy Association cautions women who are pregnant or nursing to not take products that contain cyclamate or saccharin.
Some nutritionists suggest women who are pregnant or nursing to stay away from artificial sweeteners that haven’t been thoroughly studied on how they might impact a woman who is pregnant or nursing.
Rebaudioside A (Stevia), acesulfame potassium (Sunett), aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet), and sucralose (Splenda) sweeteners are all generally recognized as being safe by the Food and Drug Administration and American Pregnancy Association
Why do I need protein?
Protein is very important during pregnancy and you need to get an extra 25 grams while you are pregnant or nursing.
According to Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of the Pittsburgh Medical Center, protein is necessary because “it has its hands in every critical function of the body.”
For pregnant and breastfeeding women a protein-rich diet is essential to support the growth and development of your baby.
Use the Mommi protein calculator to determine how much protein you need based on your weight and activity level.
Read labels and check with the manufacturer to see how they process their protein before knocking back a shake or smoothie.
And of course, talk with a healthcare professional for supplement suggestions or if you have any other questions or concerns.
Women who are pregnant need to ensure that they are on a balanced diet that will provide the nutritional benefits to the mother and the child.
You want your baby to be very healthy. This should involve taking food that is rich in carbs, healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.
Engaging in a healthy and balanced diet when you are pregnant gives you a strong body and a healthy baby.
Proteins are very essential for a mother who is expecting a baby. This is very important because it helps to keep the child growing, and the possibilities of complications are reduced.
When there are no complications during pregnancy, the delivery is also healthy.
Look for protein powders that are designed specifically for pregnant women. You can read the labels and instructions to find out the ingredients, and the right protein specified for pregnant mothers.