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What You Need To Know About Protein Powders For Pregnancy

Should Pregnant Women Avoid Protein Supplements?

If you’re reading this because you’re pregnant (or your partner is), congratulations!

Or if you’re simply interested in finding out a bit more about a woman’s nutritional needs during pregnancy, you’ve come to the right place.

Today we’re taking a deep dive into a bit of a controversial topic, is protein powder safe for pregnant women to consume?

How Much Protein Do You Need During Pregnancy?

The amount of protein you need while pregnant will depend on your body weight and stage of pregnancy. However, most pregnant women need to consume at least 70 to 100 grams a day.

There are plenty of ways you can include protein in every meal:

  • Add protein powder to a fruit-based smoothie
  • Try one of our delicious and nutritious recipes for protein-packed baked goods
  • Make a protein shake in your favourite flavour
  • Add a protein source like lean meat, chickpeas, tofu or nuts to your meals

If you struggle to naturally increase protein content in your diet, it’s best to plan your meals ahead of time.

Being prepared will make it much easier to hit your protein goals, especially when you’re pregnant.

Are Protein Powders Safe During Pregnancy?

Protein powders are an easy and safe way to meet protein requirements, however in Australia the Food Standards Code requires all products sold as supplements need to include a warning that the product is not suitable during pregnancy. This warning is not actually related directly to protein powders, but to stimulants, pre workouts and other products that may include ingredients that are not safe or recommended during pregnancy.

So, it’s important to consult your GP before adding any type of extra supplementation to your diet while pregnant.

If your doctor deems it appropriate to incorporate a supplement in your diet, you can start looking for protein powders that suit your needs.

Raw protein powders are simply dried whey (the part of milk left over after cheese manufacture) or plants (such as pea, rice and soy). So if you can eat dairy, or those plants, a protein powder version is also fine.

Flavoured varieties are also generally fine, as long as they are not a 'fat burning' or thermogenic type. We offer both naturally sweetened and flavoured WPI and WPC, as well as the standard WPI and WPC.

Finding the right protein powder has never been easier!

Eat the rainbow! Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure nutrient needs are met and promoted in the unborn baby.
Eat the rainbow! Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure nutrient needs are met and promoted in the unborn baby

The Best Pregnancy-Friendly Protein Powders in Australia

The first trimester of pregnancy often comes with waves of nausea. Many pregnant women find it difficult to digest meat or fish at this time, which can make it tricky to meet protein requirements. That’s where protein powder comes in.

When it comes to selecting pregnancy-safe protein powders, the golden rule is to avoid supplements that are high in caffeine or contain adaptogenic herbs. These ingredients can limit foetal growth and cause low birth weight.

So, what protein powders are generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy?

Fermented vegan proteins are a great pregnancy-friendly supplement that will help you reach your macronutrient needs.

These protein powders are plant-based, naturally sourced and readily bioavailable. They’re also dairy and gluten-free to ensure easy digestion.

Earth Protein is a Bulk Nutrients staple. It’s a non-GMO, soy-free, plant-based protein that comes in all-natural and utterly delicious flavours.

This vegan protein powder is made with 100% natural ingredients, which is beneficial for those who are sensitive to lactose and dairy.

A serving of this supplement contains 23.5 grams of vegan protein. This means one serving a day could be all you need to reach your daily macronutrient goals.

Our 100% organic Brown Rice Protein powder is another plant-based supplement that works to support general health.

This vegan protein powder is gentle on the digestive system and aims to help you reach your protein targets during pregnancy.

Risks To Consider When Consuming Protein Powders During Pregnancy

Avoid Toxic Ingredients

It’s absolutely crucial to source protein powders from reputable brands that use quality ingredients.

At Bulk Nutrients, the safety of our customers is our top priority, which is why we're all about selling only quality supplements. You can check out our lab tests on out products pages to be sure of the quality and safety.

Overconsumption of Protein

The overconsumption of protein during pregnancy poses a variety of risks.

Research shows that pregnant women who consume too much protein increase their chances of developing gestational diabetes.

Greater intakes of protein can also jeopardise the growth of the baby. That’s why high protein, low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets are not recommended for pregnant women.

Maintaining a balanced diet is the key to optimising nutrition during pregnancy. To ensure the correct macronutrient split is met, include an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats in your daily diet.

Consuming Excess Sugar

According to the Australian Health Association, it is recommended that pregnant women should keep their sugar intake under 30 grams per day.

Some protein powders can be formulated with added sugars which can make it difficult to limit the intake. The overconsumption of sugar can cause significant weight gain and spike blood sugar levels. This increases the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Thankfully, at Bulk Nutrients, we offer a range of protein powders with no added sugar!

Adequate protein intake is vital during pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby.
Adequate protein intake is vital during pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby.

Other Sources of Pregnancy-Friendly Protein

The best way to meet your nutritional needs is to source protein from natural, unprocessed foods. A good rule of thumb is to include a protein portion, approximately the size of your hand, at every meal.

Lean and nutritious meats such as chicken, turkey and low-mercury fish are perfectly safe for pregnant women to consume.

It’s recommended that you eat plenty of plant-based protein sources such as legumes, lentils, whole grains and oatmeal. You can also get one-third of your daily protein intake from a chicken breast or a serving of red meat.

However, there are a variety of protein sources that should be limited or avoided completely during pregnancy.

While red meat is a pregnancy-friendly protein, it’s also high in cholesterol and fats which can affect cardiovascular health if consumed regularly.

Seafood such as mackerel, swordfish and tilefish can also contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to pregnant women. In addition, raw meats and undercooked seafood should be avoided at all costs.

Eating just one serving of red meat or a chicken breast can help you meet a third of your daily protein requirements.
Eating just one serving of red meat or a chicken breast can help you meet a third of your daily protein requirements.

The Take-Home Message

Pregnancy-safe protein powders are a great way for you to optimise nutrition during your pregnancy. However, it’s important to consult your obstetrician or GP before adding any supplement to your diet when you're pregnant.

Once you’ve been given the all-clear, browse through our range of all-natural protein powders to find the supplement that suits you best.

One thing that sets our brand apart is that we love to talk to our customers!

If you need nutrition advice or product recommendations, get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team.

Founder and Owner of Bulk Nutrients Ben Crowley

Ben Crowley

Ben Crowley, founder of Australia's top sports supplement brand, Bulk Nutrients, combines two decades of industry experience with a commitment to employee work-life balance and career growth.

A firm believer in quality, Ben founded Bulk Nutrients to provide affordable, high-quality products, even amid global challenges.

Apart from business, he enjoys family time, outdoor activities, and adrenaline-charged car projects.

More about Ben Crowley

References:

  1. Blumfield, M. and Collins, C. (2014). High-protein diets during pregnancy: healthful or harmful for offspring?. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(4), pp.993-995.
  2. Farabi, S. and Hernandez, T. (2019). Low-Carbohydrate Diets for Gestational Diabetes. Nutrients, 11(8), p.1737.

Featured Products

Bulk Nutrients' Earth Protein our most popular plant based protein available in eight great flavours
2260 reviews
$38.00
Bulk Nutrients' 100% Organic Brown Rice Protein offers a balanced spread of amino acids and goes easy on your digestive system
287 reviews
$33.00
group of product images for proteins
group of product images for proteins

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