The Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in your life, but it does carry with it an endless slew of worries and concerns.
A big part of this involves what you eat while you are pregnant. Committing to a healthy lifestyle is never as important as it is when you are pregnant. Unhealthy eating in general, or unhealthy activities (drinking or smoking) can lead to birth defects.
Smoking or drinking especially can lead to a higher chance of your child acquiring certain diseases later in life. They also may result in genetic mutations that can lead to a variety of chronic illnesses.
On top of the quality and overall healthiness of the food you have to eat while pregnant, you also have to eat more.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that, when you’re pregnant, you have to ‘eat for two.’ This should not be taken completely literally, but the sentiment of this little statement is accurate.
You need approximately 300 more calories a day, while pregnant. But, it is important to keep in mind that these calories should be loaded with nutrients – the more nutrients you consume, the better off your child will be.
Whether or not you are an incredibly active athlete, consuming protein powder can have numerous benefits if you are pregnant. Because you have to consume more food, more nutrients, more minerals, etc. etc., drinking a daily protein shake makes this increased food margin a lot easier to reach.
Now, if you are pregnant, I’m sure you are being extra-cautious about anything you choose to consume, knowing that, if you eat it, so will your baby. This caution is definitely not misplaced.
Everything you eat should be treated with scrutiny. Many protein powders contain ingredients that would be unhealthy for a pregnant woman to consume. But that doesn’t mean you have no options.
Here are the three best pregnancy-protein powders of 2019:
(Note: with foods that you should or should not consume while pregnant, they are generally suggestions, as scientific testing cannot ethically be performed on pregnant women to prove certain theories about the safety of certain foods. Regardless, these suggestions should be heeded).
#1 Fermented Organic Vegan Protein +
The biggest thing about consuming protein powders while pregnant, is that you want to be sure it is made from whole foods.
Optimally, the protein powder you choose will also be loaded with servings of vegetables/fruit, and so will contain high levels of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, in addition to clean protein.
Organic is also a good option, so long as you have the means to buy organic – if you are consuming food that is devoid of pesticides and other chemicals, you are ensuring the prolonged health of you and your baby.
In addition, protein powders that contain added sugar or sweeteners are generally not a great idea – you want to keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and you definitely want to avoid consuming chemicals.
The best thing about this organic, vegan protein powder, is that it is fermented. You don’t often see this with protein powders.
One of the biggest drawbacks to using 100% plant-based protein, is that it is often more difficult to digest.
Considering the hormonal shifts you are going through, this would not be an optimal situation. But, by fermenting the protein, which is derived from a total of seven vegan, whole-food options, digestion becomes much, much easier.
It comes in a decent variety of flavors, and is loaded with Iron, Calcium, and other minerals and nutrients, as well as 20 grams of clean, natural protein.
Unfortunately, this product is on the more expensive side, with a 30-serving tub costing $50. But considering the quality of the ingredients you’re getting, it could very well be worth the expense.
#2 Mommi Prenatal Protein Shake
This protein powder was designed and recommended by OB/GYNs, and is meant for pregnant and breast-feeding moms.
In addition to the 15 grams of whey protein, this powder contains all the same vitamins most prenatal supplements contain, which ensures that you are consuming the right nutrients.
It also includes extra levels of vitamin B6, which helps ease morning sickness. On top of being non GMO and gluten free, this powder is designed to mix easily, quickly, and smoothly, resulting in a delicious, palatable shake.
It is on the more expensive side, with a one-pound (15-serving) bag costing $35. Additionally, the ingredients used are not organic, which is not a must, but is still a preferable option.
The protein used is also not plant-based, so the product cannot be classified as vegan, either. It is still a good, healthy option, and certainly has the credibility to back it up.
But due to price and quality of ingredients, it’s not as good as our first choice.
#3 Levels 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein
This protein powder has the highest protein content per serving, at 25 grams of whey protein in each serving. The protein used is Whey concentrate, and the milk Levels purchases comes from 100% organic, grass fed cows.
This product also contains no antibiotics, bleach, hormones, or gluten. It comes in a handful of flavors, including Chocolate, Vanilla, and Unflavored.
The Unflavored option contains only two ingredients: whey concentrate, and Sunflower lecithin, which can help prevent breast inflammation. Having only two ingredients allows for a lot of confidence that this product is natural, wholesome, and healthy for you and your baby.
In addition to their variety of vitamins and minerals, Levels contains 130 calories, 2 grams of total sugar, and 25 grams of protein.
It is also the most reasonably priced option on this list, with a two-pound (30-serving) container costing $30. This is a good, all natural, ultra-healthy option that will keep you and your baby well-fed and supplied with an adequate amount of protein.
Your child’s health is of course of paramount importance, which is why selecting the right protein powder for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother is so important. These are three good options that represent a variety of choices out there.
In addition to closely scrutinizing each label and ingredients list, if you ever have any doubts or questions, call your doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when the health of your child is at stake.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.