Protein Powder During Pregnancy

by Maggie McCormick
A smoothie with protein powder added can be a healthy drink when you're pregnant.

A smoothie with protein powder added can be a healthy drink when you're pregnant.

When you're pregnant, you want to get as much nutrition as possible, so protein supplementation may seem like a good idea. Protein powders come in a variety of flavors and can add as much as 30 grams of protein instantly. Though your body does need protein to help the baby growing inside you, it may not need as much as you think. Protein powder may be unnecessary.

How Much Protein You Need

As you become pregnant, you need additional protein. WebMD suggests that a pregnant woman needs about 70 grams of protein daily. Even if you're a vegetarian, you probably eat close to this amount on a daily basis. Protein supplementation may not be necessary.

Consulting With Your Doctor

Before you add protein powder to your diet, ask your doctor what she thinks. MayoClinic.com suggests that pregnant women should not use whey protein due to a lack of sufficient scientific studies regarding potential side effects. However, there are other types of protein powders, such as soy protein.

Who Should Use Protein Powder

If you're afraid that you don't get much protein in your regular diet, you may want to supplement with protein powder. For example, a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist may have a hard time meeting the protein needs, depending on her food preferences. It may also be smart if you have strong carbohydrate cravings, since most protein powders are sweet, or if you're having a hard time keeping food down.

Using Protein Powder

You can mix the protein powder with milk, juice or water. Alternatively, add it to a smoothie. Your container should come with a pre-measured scoop that allows you to use the correct serving size.

Protein Powder and Morning Sickness

When you have a hard time eating foods due to morning sickness, protein powder may be a good solution for you. Look for a protein powder that includes essential vitamins along with the protein. Then, add it to a smoothie or water -- whatever you think you can stomach.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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