Definitely, one of the essentials you and your baby can’t do without is protein. It provides you with energy and your baby with the amino acids they need to grow. During pregnancy, the daily requirement for protein increases by about 0.3 g per kilogram of body weight.
Not only the amount but also the type of protein supplied is essential. 60% of total protein should be provided from animal products and 40% from plant products.
Supplying the developing child with amino acids necessary for proper growth also provides the energy required for good development and functioning.
The best way to achieve your goal is to eat a varied, balanced, that meets the nutritional needs of women during their period of pregnancy. The most appropriate is always to follow your doctor’s recommendations after pregnancy or midwife.
Because they are the ones who can arrange the right diet plan according to your needs because every woman, everybody, and every pregnancy are entirely different.
Impact of protein powder and pregnancy
According to the general rule, women during pregnancy and lactation should not use medical products and foodstuffs for particular purposes, except those that are absolutely necessary for some reason but are offered by the manufacturer specifically as products intended for dietary supplementation of women during pregnancy and lactation.
Studies in recent years have proven that protein deficiency during pregnancy can result in serious health problems in the offspring in the postnatal period and in adulthood. Naturally, during pregnancy, the body’s demand for protein increases dramatically.
This requirement is estimated to be about 1.3 g per kilogram of body weight of a pregnant woman, which is more or less the same as the body requirement of an endurance athlete. This is understandable since a growing baby comprises almost half protein (not counting water, of course). Protein is, therefore, an essential nutrient in the diet of a pregnant woman.
The fact is that the protein requirement of 1.3 g per kilogram of body weight is not easy to meet through the consumption of everyday food alone. It is, of course, obligatory for a pregnant woman to include in her diet foods that are sources of complete animal protein, such as top-quality meats and fish, eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, kefir, milk, dairy drinks, etc.
However, the problem may actually be the quality of such products. It would be best to go for certified organic products, of course. But is this realistic in practice? Fish, for example, may contain mercury. In contrast, meat may contain residues of feed additives that are added to the food of farmed animals to increase their slaughter weight.
In this case, high-protein supplements for athletes may actually be a sensible solution to help meet the increased protein requirements of a pregnant woman.
Natural protein supplement
If you are tempted to do so, I suggest you look for a natural protein supplement, an ideal solution if you don’t have much time to eat.
The diet for pregnant women must change to accommodate all needs. Nowadays, there are many ways to supplement certain nutritional deficiencies. Foods rich in protein are among the most consumed supplements because protein is an essential nutrient for building the bones and muscles of the future child.
For this reason, in many cases, it is recommended to consume a dietary supplement to make up for certain deficiencies. If this is the case for you and you are thinking about protein powders.
First of all, you should consult your doctor if you really need to increase the intake of this nutrient. Otherwise, the excess can hurt the development of pregnancy. Right now, in most cases, protein shakes in pregnancy are an excellent supplement to a pregnant woman’s feeding.
Protein shakes provide high-quality nutrients derived from milk derivatives and not just some kind of sweetener; they do not contain substances that can be dangerous to anyone who consumes them. This shouldn’t pose a risk during pregnancy unless you have any previous pathology, in which case it’s up to your doctor, midwife, or your specialist to give you guidelines on what your diet should look like during this period of your life.
Diet during pregnancy
A protein-rich diet is one of the recommended dietary guidelines for pregnant women. The doubled demand of mother’s and child’s organisms for protein and calcium requires consuming other food containing these minerals. Therefore, a pregnant woman’s diet cannot do without protein, which regulates the baby’s expected growth, and calcium, which determines the stability of the baby’s skeletal system.
Maintaining a proper diet during pregnancy is essential for developing correctly. A pregnant woman’s diet should include essential nutrients such as proteins, minerals, vitamins, or amino acids. However, all nutrients in food are crucial.
Protein shakes are (predominantly) healthy and harmless drinks for pregnant women. They provide essential nutrients for fetal development, such as high-quality protein, which in many cases can be challenging to consume due to pregnancy discomfort. And while there is no solid evidence for this, there is enough knowledge in the field to conclude that it is a good product.
Stomach and gastrointestinal tract functions are very complicated during pregnancy. Between nausea, rejection of certain foods, and poor digestion, possible deficiencies need to be supplemented with supplements such as protein shakes. The most correct thing, in any case, is to follow a good diet with foods from all groups, eating several meals a day and choosing very well-consumed foods.
So, in brief, we can say that protein shakes are a good option. Only if you want to improve this nutrient during pregnancy. But suppose you have difficulty taking other foods. In that case, they are ideal because they are in the form of shakes, they are easier to digest, and you can take them with you everywhere. In addition, they are excellent and make you feel great at all times.
However, you should keep in mind that people react with allergies to milk and milk products. This equals the risk of an allergy in the unborn child – allergenic proteins can penetrate the fetus even through the placental barrier. An excellent source of protein is cheeses, especially Parmesan cheese, which contains up to 40% protein.
Nuts contain a lot of protein, but their consumption is not popular enough among pregnant women. The diet of a pregnant woman should also focus on cereals. However, this component is relatively poor (8-14%). They are full of sulfur amino acids but do not have lysine, which determines the growth of infants and children.
Protein in pregnancy – pros and cons
Protein in pregnancy has several essential functions. First, it provides the developing baby with the amino acids necessary for proper growth. Additionally, it sustains the energy of both mom and baby. Hence the need to take care of what to eat during pregnancy and in what quantities.
With the onset of pregnancy, you should increasingly reach for products rich in protein. Always remember that the most necessary is a complete protein, which contains all 8 essential amino acids in the right proportion. Such proteins are slowly absorbed in the body and effectively used.
Proteins of animal origin are also characterized by a higher biological value than plant proteins, consisting of more amino acids. Suppose the mother-to-be is a vegetarian or vegan. In that case, dairy products should be combined to complete the meals (for example, a combination of rice and beans, cereal and milk, soy and corn).
At the same time, it should be known that a high intake of protein during pregnancy leads to a more significant loss of calcium, hence the recommendation to supplement the diet with products that provide calcium.
Protein excess during pregnancy can overload the liver and kidneys and lead to kidney stones. In turn, since complete protein is always found in combination with animal fat, blood cholesterol levels may also rise.
On the other hand, it is essential to know that protein deficiency in pregnancy leads to malnutrition causes inhibition of the child’s development process, muscle growth, accumulation of energy reserves. It also disrupts the work of the intestines and increases the risk of infectious diseases and allergies.
Because food during pregnancy plays an essential role in the baby’s development. To make sure that you can include this product in your diet, consult your doctor. And if you get approval, look for a product that does not contain sweeteners or other substances that can be harmful to your future baby.
It may be detrimental to your future baby. Follow a healthy, complete, and varied diet. Ensure you are getting alla the nutrients you need for your baby’s health.
What can protein deficiency lead to?
Protein deficiency in pregnancy can lead to malnutrition, inhibition of the baby’s developmental process, muscle growth. Intestinal disorders may also occur. In protein deficiency, the risk of infectious diseases and allergies also increases.
What can excess protein in the body lead to?
High protein intake during pregnancy leads to increased calcium loss, hence the recommendation to supplement the diet with calcium products. Excess protein in pregnancy can overload the liver and kidneys and lead to kidney stones.
Since complete protein is always found in combination with animal fat, there is also a risk of raising cholesterol levels if a protein is consumed excessively.