Pregnant women need a lot more protein than others. The easiest way to get protein is, of course, meat, fish, and eggs, but if you are a strict vegetarian or a vegan, then the best option for you, other than lentils and the suchlike, would be protein shakes. Ideally, the recommended amount of protein is 71 grams per day. There is technically no harm in having a bit of protein shake while pregnant to up your protein intake, but, like everything else, you need to be careful and drink in moderation. There are also a few other considerations that you need to take into account, and you will be fine.
Why drink protein shakes?
Getting protein into your system is important because protein is the building block of the entire system. A sufficient protein intake is not just good for the mother, but for the baby as well. Ample protein intake ensures that the baby is growing healthily and well, and that the mother’s immunity is not compromised. It also ensures that there is less chance of complications arising in the pregnancy. Delivery will be easier as well, and post delivery recuperation will also be faster and smoother, thanks to the protein that will help your tissues heal faster.
Check for herb and drugs
Now that you know why protein is important for you, it’s time to look at the precautions. First of all, you need to look at the labels carefully before deciding on a protein shake. Many of the proteins shakes available in stores are aimed at athletes and body builders, so they will contain muscle enhancing drugs or herbs. Not all herbs will necessarily be harmful for you, but you should still check out the content with your doctor and get them cleared. You especially need to check if there are certain herbs contained in the protein shake that are harmful to pregnancy, such as ginger, licorice root, sage, chamomile, rosemary, and anise. Some of these herbs could negatively affect the baby’s hormones. Besides, if the shake is designed for sportspersons, there is a possibility that they will contain lead, arsenic, or cadmium, all of which are extremely harmful at any period, but especially during pregnancy.
Check for sweeteners
You also need to ensure that the protein shake that you are consuming does not contain any sweeteners. Many proteins shakes contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners, so check the ingredient list carefully for that as well. Sugar is not good for pregnancy, and artificial sweeteners are best avoided. If the store bought sugarless protein shake seems too bland, tweak it a bit by blending some fruits into the mix.
Check for allergies
Carefully check the ingredients list of the protein shake. Before that, make sure you go for an allergy test, so that you definitely know which foods you should not eat at all. Many people are allergic to nuts, so if you are one of them, and the protein shake contains any kind of nuts, avoid it at all costs. You will also get soy and whey varieties of protein shake, and while neither is harmful, you are advised to stick with the soy protein shake.
Make your own
It would be a good idea to make your own protein shakes instead of buying a pre-packaged one. Choose a bunch of protein rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, peanut butter, and various lentils and legumes, and you will have a very healthy protein shake that you cannot go wrong with. Add some milk if you are not allergic, or add some soy or almond milk if that suits you or you are vegan.