This is a question we are asked frequently by concerned pregnant and nursing woman. Let's face it, you can't blame them, you need to know what is the healthiest diet and nutrition for you and your baby!
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.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO YOU NEED
Pregnant women: about 70 grams (g) of protein per day
Non-pregnant women: about 45 g
You don't have to get the recommended amount of protein every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week. Experts recommend women who are pregnant and nursing to take a minimum of an extra 25 grams of protein a day. This means that during pregnancy, more protein-rich products must be consumed to help you and the growing baby.
SWEETENERS TO AVOID
There many different types of sweeter around and most of them used in protein supplements are artificial such as Sucralose and Aspartame. These bad guys are commenly used in a varity of protein shakes but can be damaging to your health when taken on a daily basis.
- Aspartame - One of the most studied artificial sweeteners and has been accused of causing everything from weight gain to cancer.
- Sucralose - Better known by its brand name, Splenda, but sold under other generic labels as well, may originate with sugar, but the end product is anything but natural. It's processed using chlorine, and researchers are finding that the artificial sweetener is passing through our bodies and winding up in wastewater treatment plants, where it can't be broken down.
SWEETENERS TO CHOOSE
Now you know the bad guys, let's take a look at the good guys!
- Stevia - We need to be off of sugar, but we need good alternatives, and stevia is the safest sweetener there is, period. All types of stevia are extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant, but some forms taste better than others and that's why here at AnyProtein we have choosen the safest best tasting sweetner for our entire range, Crystalline Stevia!
- Sugar Alcohols - Popular sugar alcohol sweeteners include xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol, natural sweeteners made through a fermentation process of corn or sugar cane. They contain fewer calories than sweeteners like pure sugar and honey and we have made good use of Xylitol in our Flava range!
Whey protein is a complete high quality protein and should be an acceptable protein source for healthy pregnant women and children, provided they are not allergic to dairy proteins. It’s actually really cool, because the second most abundant component in whey protein is alpha-lactalbumin which is one of the main whey proteins in human breast milk. Infant formulas often contain whey protein, including special formulas for premature infants.
Diet shakes are intended to replace all or some portion of meals, with the goal of reducing calories. They may make for a good "snack" during pregnancy, but they should not replace a well-balanced diet. The fetus needs a full supply of calories and nutrients for normal development. A balanced diet that allows for a total weight gain of about 30 to 35 pounds is usually sufficient for this.
Our diet whey protein Anywhey Slim is safe, but not if you're using it to "diet." It can be used as an occasional meal or snack on the go, but don't rely on them every day. When you're pregnant, you want to make sure you're eating a variety of foods from all of the food groups.
If your looking for some added protein to your diet while pregnant or breastfeeding then we recommend using AnyProtein as our 100% natural protein shakes are a great healthy choice!