Protein Shakes During Pregnancy, Are They Safe?

Protein shakes are an efficient way to increase the supply of these nutrients during pregnancy. Learn more in the following article.
Protein Shakes During Pregnancy, Are They Safe?

Last update: 21 January, 2022

The consumption of protein shakes has become quite popular in recent years. These products are capable of providing quality nutrients, which are necessary for the formation and recovery of the lean portion of the body. However, there’s a lot of doubt regarding whether or not they’re suitable within the diet of pregnant women.

The first thing to be clear about is that, for the most part, protein shakes are products derived from milk. They don’t usually contain additives, besides a sweetener. In fact, they’re considered safe enough for the health of those who consume them.

The benefits of protein shakes

Banana, blueberries, and protein powder in a blender jug.

Protein shakes are normally consumed in the context of physical exercise in order to enhance recovery. Administration in healthy people has been shown to delay the loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia). This is evidenced by a study published in the journal Nutrients.

For this reason, we can say that protein supplementation is capable of improving body composition, especially when the diet doesn’t meet the daily requirements of this nutrient. In fact, myths have been dismantled that linked the intake of these protein shakes with the possibility of developing kidney or liver damage in the medium term.

As a general rule, protein shakes are considered safe products for the entire population. But it’s best to ensure that this nutritional supplement contains a seal certifying that it’s free of psychoactive substances.

Protein shakes in pregnancy

As we discussed earlier, protein shakes don’t contain any particular substances that could be dangerous to the mother or the fetus. Although it’s always best to avoid those that contain artificial sweeteners inside them, as these compounds could alter the intestinal microbiota of women.

In general terms, these products are safe and effective when it comes to improving protein intake in the diet, something very necessary for the correct development of the fetus.

There are no specific trials evaluating the benefits of protein shakes in pregnant women. However, at present, we have sufficient scientific evidence to assert that the nutritional requirements at this stage of life are increased. This is stated in the article also published in the journal Nutrients.

Therefore, the administration of these shakes during pregnancy is an effective measure to cover the recommended daily amount of the nutrient, avoiding deficits that negatively affect the development of the fetus.

Just the same, before opting for the introduction of these supplements in your diet, consult a nutritionist.

It’s best to achieve a sufficient intake of protein through food, as this will achieve a more complete intake of nutrients. But in cases where this isn’t possible or when you show signs of malnutrition, protein shakes could be really helpful.

Types of protein shakes

Almond and banana smoothies.

There are many different types of protein shakes on the market. The most common are those made from buttermilk. They’re also the cheapest. These are differentiated into two types: Isolated and concentrated. The former don’t contain lactose, while the latter do.

In parallel, you can opt for a casein-type protein shake. These are a good option for nighttime administration, before sleeping. That’s because it’s a slowly digesting nutrient capable of increasing the production of proteins during rest hours.

There are also protein shakes that don’t come from milk. This is the case of those made from eggs, meat, or vegetable sources. This last option is valid for vegan women, although they’re not entirely recommended during pregnancy.

It’s possible to consume protein shakes during pregnancy

As you’ve seen, consuming these shakes during pregnancy isn’t only positive, but it’s completely safe. Even so, it’s not a necessary strategy in all cases. Above all, it must be implemented when a woman’s nutrient requirements aren’t met through her diet or when signs of malnutrition are detected.

And, as we already mentioned, before introducing protein shakes into your diet, we recommend consulting with a nutritionist. They’ll be able to advise you on the product that best suits your needs and the appropriate doses for you. This way, you’ll avoid incurring in those potential risks derived from choosing the wrong supplement or from an excessive contribution of proteins in your daily intake.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.