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Protein powder is an amazing tool for pregnancy, and there are much great protein shakes on the market for pregnant women. Pregnant mamas need more grams of protein per day for their growing baby bump, so I’ve put together a list of the best protein powders while pregnant. These protein powders are high-quality, safe, and full of extra nutrients for pregnancy. It is very important that you ask your doctor about any of these protein powders you are considering. Protein powders are not regulated by the FDA, so analyzing the ingredient list is going to be really important. It is also important to ask if the product is tested for heavy metals, as that can be an issue with any dietary supplements.
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How much protein do I need while pregnant?
Protein requirements change during pregnancy, just like vitamin needs change. Your prenatal vitamin doesn’t have protein in it, so it is important to add a good protein supplement to your routine when you are pregnant. Various sources advise that pregnant mothers need about 60-75 grams of protein per day. These of course are general guidelines, and your individual protein needs will depend on your height, weight, and activity level. Your doctor can help advise you on what is enough protein for you.
Is protein powder safe for pregnancy?
This is a big question, and I have an in-depth post going over exactly why and how protein powder is safe for pregnancy. There are a few factors you want to consider when looking at a protein powder, to determine if it is safe. Make sure the ingredients are natural, whole foods, and mostly organic. Also, steer clear of artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Vegan protein powder tends to be my favourite, but there are some good animal protein powders as well.
I am going to go over the best protein powders for pregnant women, and I’ve gone through the ingredient lists for all of these. I hope this helps you when determining the right one for your pregnancy journey.
The Best Protein Powders While Pregnant:
#1 Ritual Daily Pregnancy and Postpartum Protein Shake:
This was not on the market during my last pregnancy, but it is a great clean, plant-based protein powder. The formula itself isn’t that big. It doesn’t have specific blends and additional nutrients like Bump Dust, but you do have a good, clean protein source. It offers 20 grams o protein per serving, which is a great amount. The source is organic peas, which is the best plant-based source due to peas having all the essential amino acids. This is a great, basic protein powder. It doesn’t offer the additional superfoods that some others do, but it is a pure and simple choice.
#2 Bump Dust by Milk Dust:
Bump Dust is, in my opinion, the best protein powder for pregnancy. It is formulated specifically as a prenatal protein powder (which not many protein powders are!). I formulated this protein powder specifically during my fourth pregnancy, and I drank it almost the whole time. I have never been so thankful for a protein powder. Bump Dust is a plant-based, vegan protein powder with a great variety of protein sources, in addition to essential vitamins for pregnancy. I recently reformulated it to become a prenatal vitamin as well, so you can drink your protein shake every day and not have to worry about your prenatal vitamin. Here are the main points for Bump Dust:
- It offers a variety of plant-based proteins like pea protein, brown rice protein, chia seed protein, flax seed protein, and pumpkin seed protein
- It offers L-Methylfolate rather than synthetic Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12 is also methylated, and really important for energy
- The blood sugar blend can help balance blood sugar and prevent gestational diabetes
- It is sweetened with natural sweeteners, and it tastes amazing
- It has spirulina and chlorella which can help with anaemia (common in pregnancy)
- Manufactured in the USA
- Non-GMO, Dairy-free, Soy-Free, and Vegan (also Kosher!)
As a pregnant mama, nutrition coach, and fitness professional, I hand-picked EVERYTHING for this powder, and I really think it is the best prenatal protein shake on the market.
#3 Ora Organics So Lean and So Clean:
This is the protein powder I drank before I had Bump Dust. Ora Organics ensure they use high-quality ingredients, and they have some amazing ingredients in their formula. It doesn’t have enough nutrients to meet the needs of a prenatal vitamin, but it does have some great superfoods. The formula uses pea protein and rice protein, in addition to sprouted quinoa, sacha inchi, blueberries, apples, strawberries, and kale. There are more superfoods, but I think you get the idea. Ora Organics really put together a great super-food formula that tastes great and offers clean, essential protein.
#4 Sakara Protein and Greens:
This is a more expensive protein powder, but I LOVE that it offers spirulina and chlorella. You will find that not many protein powders offer these nutrients, but in particular, for pregnancy, they are so important! I actually drank drops of spirulina during my second pregnancy, which is why I wanted it in Bump Dust. This also has a plant-based protein blend with peas, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. This protein offers essential greens with 20 grams of protein, which is really important for nourishing during pregnancy. It isn’t formulated specifically for pregnant mothers like Bump Dust, but it does offer some really important nutrients for a pregnant woman.
#5 Best Nest Wellness Mama Bird Protein Powder:
This is another plant-based protein powder using pea protein and hemp protein together. It doesn’t have the variety of protein sources that Bump Dust offers, but the two together are good. It has 15 grams of protein per serving, but that is about the extent of the formula. This is a great, basic protein powder without all the additional nutrients and superfoods. It is non-GMO and third-party tested, which ensures it is a quality product. If you aren’t looking for anything special, but a high-quality protein powder, this is a good option.
#6 PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder:
This protein powder is also plant-based (don’t worry I have a good whey protein powder next), with digestive enzymes. It offers 21 grams of protein per serving and claims to be the world’s best-tasting protein powder. I haven’t tried them yet, but awesome of they taste amazing too! The digestive enzymes can help you absorb the protein, but those are usually used for higher fiber, and plant ingredients, which there aren’t many in this protein blend. It does offer whole algae protein, which is a new one to me. I haven’t seen this in a protein powder, and I didn’t see any significant nutrients resulting from this. There isn’t a prenatal vitamin blend, but this is a great protein powder on the market.
#7 Simply Tera’s Goat Whey:
I love that this protein powder uses goat milk instead of cow milk. Many people can tolerate goat’s milk better than cow’s milk, making it a great whey protein powder for pregnant mothers. It is sourced from USA families-owned farms, whose goats are pasture raised. This is really important when looking at whey protein powder. The cows or goats need to be pasture-raised, and not fed any grains or hormones. It offers the highest amount of protein at 22 grams of protein per 2 scoops,
There are so many protein powders on the market now, that it is a good idea to read through the nutrition labels and think about what you really want in a powder. Are you looking for a protein powder to complete many of your nutritional needs? Or, do you just want a simple protein powder to throw in a smoothie? There are so many types of protein powders, but my top choice is usually plant-based when it comes to pregnancy. I find that plant-based protein powders offer additional, real food ingredients, as well as nutrients. New moms can make wonderful smoothies with a good protein powder that includes, even more, protein-rich foods.
Top protein-rich foods to add to your prenatal protein shake:
- Peanut Butter
- Cottage Cheese
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Low Fat Milk
These foods can help make your protein smoothie super creamy and filling, while also adding even more protein. Protein has so many benefits during pregnancy, it is really a great way to manage many different issues like morning sickness, fatigue, and weight gain. The bottom line is that a great protein powder is safe and beneficial during pregnancy.
Which protein powder should I use when pregnant?
It really depends on your individual dietary restrictions, needs, and budget. This list is meant to provide some great choices. Talk to your doctor if you still have questions about which one is right for you.
How do I use protein powder?
The best way is to add it to a smoothie. You can go as simple as a scoop of protein powder mixed with water, or you can add frozen fruit, greens, and other mix-ins to help add flavour and nutrition.
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