Can I Drink Protein Shake While Pregnant? - An Expert's Perspective

Pregnancy is a special time for mothers and their babies. Learn about the benefits of drinking protein shakes while pregnant and alternatives if you don't want to have one.

Can I Drink Protein Shake While Pregnant? - An Expert's Perspective

Pregnancy is a special time for mothers and their babies, and it's important to make sure that you're getting the right nutrition for both of you. One of the most common questions asked by pregnant women is whether it's safe to drink protein shakes during this time. The answer is that it depends on your individual needs and the type of protein shake you choose. If you already consume a lot of protein in your diet, you don't need to drink protein shakes. Research shows that eating too much protein during pregnancy can slow your baby's growth and increase your own risk of gestational diabetes.

Whatever the reason, consuming protein powder and drinking protein shakes are common during pregnancy, and the question of whether it's safe for mother and baby during this precious time is a common concern.

What Are the Benefits of Protein Shakes During Pregnancy?

Some studies suggest that the best way to add protein supplements to the prenatal diet is with a balanced supplement that contains up to 20% of calories from protein. The lactose content of whey protein isolate can vary, but is generally much lower than that of standard dairy products. If you choose a whey protein powder, opting for a grass-fed option will provide the mother with some anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. That equates to about 105 grams of protein per day for a person who weighs 155 pounds sometime in the second trimester, compared to their needs of 51 grams of protein if they weighed 140 pounds before pregnancy. They can be added to baked goods or used in high-protein shake recipes to help you meet your protein needs without relying on a supplement.

Do You Need a Protein Supplement During Pregnancy?

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggests that Americans may already be getting all the protein they need from regular dietary sources.

Let's review the science behind whether you can continue to drink protein shakes during pregnancy and what factors are behind some of the best protein powders for pregnancy. Typical sources of protein powders are whey (from dairy products), casein (also from dairy products), egg whites, hemp, peas, brown rice, and soy. Protein shakes can be an easy way to make sure you meet your protein needs, especially if you're struggling to eat enough because of morning sickness. Research shows that many pregnant women struggle to meet their high prenatal protein needs, especially during the second and third trimester, when between 13 and 67% of pregnant people may not consume enough protein. Taking a protein-rich supplement if your diet already includes enough protein can even cause negative results for your baby, such as low birth weight, premature birth and growth problems.

Alternatives to Protein Shakes During Pregnancy

Protein shakes can be useful when you're pregnant if you need them and ideally not as a primary source of protein.

If you need extra protein and don't want to have a protein shake during pregnancy, there are plenty of protein-rich foods you can add to your diet. These include lean meats such as chicken or turkey, fish such as salmon or tuna, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes such as beans or lentils, dairy products such as yogurt or cheese, and whole grains such as quinoa or oats. In addition to providing essential nutrients for both mother and baby, these foods also provide important vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy development. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will ensure that both mother and baby get all the nutrients they need.


In conclusion, drinking protein shakes while pregnant can be beneficial if done in moderation. It's important to make sure that you're getting enough protein in your diet without overdoing it.

If you do decide to use a supplement, make sure it's balanced with other essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Finally, make sure to talk with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

Ashley Wools
Ashley Wools

Infuriatingly humble food advocate. Friendly bacon specialist. Friendly beer scholar. Total tvaholic. Award-winning tv junkie. Extreme twitter trailblazer.