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The 20 Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy (Better Nutrition While Pregnant)

by  Katie -  Last updated on December 16, 2020
Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy

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It’s no secret that mothers-to-be need extra nutrition.

Besides essential prenatal vitamin, this includes plenty of protein.

Unfortunately, morning sickness can make it hard to eat enough.

The solution could be taking protein powder while you’re pregnant.

And that leads us to the question of which protein powder is safe during pregnancy.

We’ll explore the answer in our reviews of the best protein powders for pregnancy today.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.

Top Protein Powders for Pregnancy In 2021

1. NAKED WHEY 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder

The advantage of NAKED WHEY protein powder is that it has only one ingredient: whey derived from small dairy farms in California. It’s non-GMO and free of growth hormones.

Moreover, the unflavored prenatal protein powder has no additives or preservatives.

What is plain whey anyway?

It’s a by-product of cheese production and will kep you away from morning sickeness.

Fortunately, lactose-intolerant people can still enjoy whey protein. It also shouldn’t trigger soy or egg allergies. We feel this is one of the best protein powders out there.

Naked Whey provides 25 g of protein, 3 g of carbs, and 120 calories per serving.

2. Whey Fantastic 100% Pure Grass Fed Whey Protein

Whey Fantastic promotes their blend of whey protein isolate, hydrolysate, and concentrate as perfect for managing weight and enhancing muscle growth. But it’s also handy for pregnant women who want to boost protein in their diet.

Each serving contains 25 g of protein with only 1 g of fat and 1 g of carbs. We feel this is one of the best protein powders out there. Add this to your daily protein shake and consume it.

The whey comes from grass-fed cows, which are hormone-free. There are no artificial sweeteners or flavoring.

3. Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein, Unflavored

Jarrow Formulas also offers vanilla and chocolate besides this one which has no artificial sweeteners or additives. We feel this is one of the best protein powders out there.

The whey is uncontaminated by rBST (hormones). It’s ultra-filtered to reduce fat, carbohydrates, and lactose. But it’s high in essential amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

The only other ingredient is soy lecithin. Add this to your daily protein shake and consume it.

But what is lecithin?

It’s an emulsifier found in all sorts of processed foods. It simplifies mixing this powder with liquids so that the combination is smooth and creamy, not lumpy.

Since there has been some controversy over the effects of large amounts of soy lecithin on animals, some manufacturers have moved on to sunflower lecithin.

4. Tera’s Whey Protein, Plain Unsweetened

Tera’s Whey Protein has 22 g per serving with all nine essential amino acids, too.

Feel free to add it to protein shakes, smoothies, dips, pasta, and even baked goods. We feel this is one of the best protein powders out there.

It’s certified to be free of antibiotics, GMO ingredients, hormones, and gluten. It’s Kosher, and it comes from family farms in Wisconsin. Add this to your daily protein shake and consume it with whole foods.

Besides the whey protein itself, it has Vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and sunflower lecithin.

5. TGS All Natural 100% Whey Protein Powder

The TGS protein powder is also sourced from and manufactured in the USA. The unsweetened and unflavored product is packaged in a resealable bag.

Each serving has 25 g of protein, and each bag contains 30 servings. We feel this is one of the best protein powders out there.

In case you’re wondering what unflavored whey protein concentrate tastes like, it may remind you of cottage cheese. It’s very mild, but not tasteless. There are various types of protein powder out there, but this is the best protein powder out there.

The powder is soy-free, gluten, and hormones. There are no other ingredients besides sunflower and lecithin.

6. Raw Organic Whey Grass-Fed

Raw Organic Whey doesn’t have lecithin or any other additives at all. It’s non-GMO and free from hormones and heavy metals. It comes from grass-fed cows raised on small farms in the USA. We feel this is one of the best protein powders out there.

Also, the whey protein is processed at low temperatures so that it retains antioxidants and nutrients. You can also consume protein through other food sources, but this is the easiest option.

7. Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel Chocolate Coconut Whey Protein Powder

Not everyone appreciates unflavored powder. And it’s perfectly acceptable for pregnant women to eat chocolate.

That’s why we included the Primal Kitchen Chocolate Coconut powder.

The powder is also compatible with the Paleo diet. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

It has no added sugar, and it’s low in carbohydrates – only 6 g per serving.

It’s flavored with cocoa powder and Stevia among other natural ingredients.

If you’ve been concerned about artificial sweeteners, you’ll appreciate Stevia as it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. There’s no reason to believe that it’s cancer-causing, either. Out of the many protein powders out there we feel this is the best for a healthy pregnancy.

It’s been approved as a sweetener in food since 2008 in the USA and 2011 in the European Union. Japan, meanwhile, has been enjoying it for decades.

8. Levels Nutrition 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein, Pure Chocolate

Levels Nutrition also sells a chocolate-flavored protein powder. It’s sweetened with both Stevia and monk fruit and has sunflower lecithin.

Monk fruit also comes from plants, and it’s hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Some studies show that it has potent antioxidants that slow damage to cells. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

9. Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder, Unflavored Protein Smoothie Mix by BlendItUp

Don’t you hate it when your smoothie is gritty? Then choose this powder as it blends well and won’t alter the flavor of your drink.

It contains whey protein isolate, vitamins, soy lecithin, Stevia, and organic grains like millet and quinoa. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

Each serving provides 24 g of protein and no growth hormones, pesticides, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or added sugar.

10. VINTAGE BRAWN Protein Powder by Old School Labs

Get the richest of all animal proteins in one Vintage Brawn powder. It combines milk, egg, and beef protein. The milk protein includes casein and whey isolates.

There are no artificial additives or preservatives. If you choose the chocolate flavor, it has Dutch chocolate powder and Stevia.

11. Naked Casein – 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder from US Farms by NAKED Nutrition

Casein is a milk protein that’s a by-product of making cheese just like whey is. But casein is the solid substance or the curds.

Micellar casein releases protein slowly while whey releases it quickly. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

Naked Nutrition’s powder digests slowly, which makes it excellent for drinking at bedtime. It’s made without artificial dyes and sweeteners and offers 26 grams of protein per serving.

12. Double Bonded Protein by Mt. Capra | Whole Goat Milk Protein, Dark Chocolate Flavor

Mt. Capra combines casein and whey protein from goat milk and flavors it with organic cocoa and Stevia.

Please take note that it also has Xanthan gum which should not be given to premature infants. The label also lists guar gum which could trigger soy allergies for some people. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

On the bright side, this product has 20 grams of protein per serving and comes from grass-fed goats.

13. PaleoPro – Paleo Protein Powder

PaleoPro packs 25 g of protein per serving in their powder. It’s not based on whey or soy. Instead, it comes from easy-to-digest animal protein.

The beef comes from cows raised in pastures that were fed grass as well as free-range chickens. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

It’s non-GMO and has no added hormones or antibiotics. There are no preservatives or artificial sweeteners, either.

14. Paleo Thin Protein Egg White Powder

Paleo Thin offers egg white powder as an alternative to whey, casein, and beef protein. It mixes easily with water or almond milk and has 25 g of protein per scoop with only one gram of carbohydrates. We feel this is one of the finest protein powders out there.

This is a high-quality pregnancy-safe protein powder and these protein powders contain the exact amount of protein you need.

15. NOW Sports Nutrition, Egg White Protein, Unflavored Powder

NOW packages this egg white protein in the USA according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). If you were a college athlete, you’d be interested to know that it’s been tested for banned substances.

Enjoy it in 12 ounces of milk or water, or add it to a recipe in the place of egg whites. Each serving is packed with amino acids. This is the finest protein powder for pregnancy. Although it doesn’t provide as much protein as some vegan powders do, it has certified organic and non-GMO ingredients.

16. NAKED EGG –Non-GMO Egg White Protein Powder from US Farms

NAKED Nutrition recommends egg protein powder for the Paleo diet. Provides 25 grams of protein per serving, 2 g of carbs, and 110 calories. Make sure you drink protein shakes to meet your protein needs.

Since this is just pure egg white powder, it has no added flavoring or coloring.

17. Vegan Fantastic! Plant-Based Protein Powder

If you’d prefer to avoid eating animal protein, check out the Vegan Fantastic plant-based protein powder. It’s a blend of chickpea, rice, and pea protein plus vegan BCAAs and sunflower lecithin, and make sure you drink protein shakes to meet your protein needs.

BCAAs are branched-chain amino acids and also floic acid that are essential for a healthy body. This is the finest protein powder for pregnancy.

Every serving has 125 calories with 23 grams of protein, 4 g of fiber, and under a gram of sugar.

There are no fillers or sweeteners. This is a high-quality pregnancy-safe protein powder and these protein powders contain the exact amount of protein you need and are the best pregnancy protein powder available to help you meet your protein requirements.

18. Nuzest Clean Lean Protein – Premium Vegan Protein Powder

Nuzest’s vegan powder provides 21 grams of protein with only one gram of carbs. It’s soy and GMO-free with no added sugar. But it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Interestingly, it’s sweetened with West African Katemfe fruit which is rich in protein as well, and make sure you drink protein shakes to meet your protein needs.

19. Organic Vegan Protein Powder – Plant-Based Unflavored Smoothie Mix by BlendItUp

BlendItUp makes their vegan protein powder from organic soybeans, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, chia, vitamins, and Stevia. Each serving has 120 calories with 35 calories from fat, 14 grams of protein, 3 g of fiber, and 8 g of carbohydrates.

Although it doesn’t provide as much protein as some vegan powders do, it has certified organic and non-GMO ingredients.

20. NOW Sports Nutrition, Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder, Unflavored

NOW ensures that those with food allergies can enjoy protein powder, too. This one is made from sprouted brown rice with no other ingredients. It’s manufactured free from gluten, wheat, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.

Many women might prefer a gluten-free protein source, so this might be their best choice.

One level tablespoon offers 15 calories with 4 g of protein and can be added to your daily protein shakes and is the best pregnancy protein powder to help you meet your protein requirements.

The Benefits of Protein Powder During Pregnancy

First off, we have to tell you that you really should discuss your diet with your OBGYN. That includes protein shakes for pregnant mothers.

Even if you have experience supplementing with whey or other types of protein, please speak to your doctor about your needs while you’re expecting and nursing.

With that said, you should also be aware of the recommended daily allowance of protein. That’s because eating too much or too little protein while you’re pregnant can cause harm to your baby.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You need protein, but overdosing on protein is just as bad as not getting enough to eat.

But if you’re having trouble maintaining an adequate diet, or you’ve chosen to avoid eating meat, it’s convenient to take protein powder.

You can blend it in smoothies, make protein shakes, add it to soup, or stir it into an herbal tea.

Plus, you can purchase it with or without flavoring, sweeteners, or additives.

And you can choose whey, casein, egg, or plant protein powder. There is even brown rice powder for those with food allergies.

How Much Protein Is Needed During Pregnancy?

The USA, Canada, and Europe recommend that between 10 to 35% of your diet comes from protein while you’re pregnant.

Mothers who consume less protein than that tend to have smaller children with low birth weight. Some of these babies were more likely to have insulin resistance.

But how do you decide how much protein you actually need?

Like we suggested, it’s best to speak to your doctor. But here are some ballpark figures.

A healthy mom can expect to gain up to 25 pounds during pregnancy. She’ll be eating about 1800 calories a day during the first three months.

This amount rises to 2200 calories during the second trimester and 2400 calories during the third trimester.

The total calorie amount includes protein. To figure out the amount of protein you need while pregnant, you need to know your weight.

Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to discover your weight in kilograms. For example, someone who weighs 140 pounds would weigh about 64 kg.

Now multiply your weight in kilograms by the recommended amount of protein. This ranges from 0.88 to 1.1 grams per kilogram of weight.

So, 64 multiplied by 0.88 is 56 grams per day. Or you can go up to a maximum of 70 g per day. Some studies recommend a little more than this, so please check with your OBGYN.

But what does 56 g of protein look like?

Well, you could eat 8 ounces of chicken breast. Or in the case of protein powder, it’s just over two scoops.

Imagine how convenient it would be to skip cooking for one meal and just drink your protein instead and is good for weight loss as well.

Conclusion

As you saw today, there are many protein powders for pregnancy available without harmful additives and artificial ingredients.

If you take the time to determine what your needs are, I’m sure you’ll find one to supplement your diet.

We wish you the best of health for you and your baby, keep in mind you need protein and amino acid that are pregnancy-safe.

If you have a moment, let us know in the comments below which powder you’re enjoying.

Resources:

1. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/4/993/4576606 by Michelle L. Blumfield and Clare E. Collins,

2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm

3. https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/protein-and-pregnancy-everything-you-need-to-know.html by Mandy Wray,

4. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/145/1/73/4585822 by Trina V. Stephens et al.,

5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey_protein

6. https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-whey-protein

7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lecithin

8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306103.php by Honor Whiteman,

9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322769.php by Jon Johnson,

10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthan_gum

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