Pregnancy & Supplements: What’s Safe & What’s Not

by CamilaGriffin 1186 views Supplements

Pregnancy & Supplements: What’s Safe & What’s Not

If you are thinking about it or are pregnant, you are likely to get bombarded with advice and information from EVERYONE you know (and quite possibly strangers on the street!).

You will hear anything from what you can and can’t eat or drink to what you should and shouldn’t do. Yes, I do know what it’s like because last year I was pregnant. Let me tell you, from my own experience, you will get overwhelmed with advice and information that many well-meaning people share with you.

You will hear about it, and a lot of it is what supplements you can and can’t take. I went through all that, and the information out there is not the best! First, because there aren’t many scientific studies available, which is fair enough, you can’t test a theory on a tiny human life. So, how do you know what’s safe and what’s not?

Protein and Pregnancy

Let’s talk about protein powders and pregnancy. Currently, no scientific studies are indicating any concerns about the consumption of protein powder during pregnancy. However, you should always ask your doctor before taking any kind of supplement.

While I was pregnant, I was still exercising (after consulting with my doctor if it was ok). I found that adding that extra protein in a smoothie form was the easiest. So, that’s where I incorporated protein powder into my diet (also after consulting with my doctor if it was ok to still take protein.)

So, what’s the myth that pregnant women shouldn’t take protein powder?


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The biggest issue I found around protein powders were the hidden ingredients. When you are pregnant, there are many ingredients, herbs and vitamins that you should avoid. And that’s where I found it challenging to find the right supplement without any “hidden” ingredient.

So my take when it comes to adding a protein powder when you are pregnant is: do your research, read the ingredients list, find out if the manufacturer recommends it to pregnant women, and most importantly, ask your doctor!

I personally found that natural/vegan protein powders were the best, but you can find whey protein that is pretty “clean” out there. You just need to do your research and see what works best for you.

What’s Not Safe

Now with the not so safe supplements to take when pregnant or even breastfeeding. Pre-workouts or any supplement that contains high amounts of caffeine.

lemon water

One thing we know, any supplement that contains caffeine is a no go for pregnant women. Simply because of the amount of caffeine in it, which can put your unborn baby at risk.

It’s safe to say that consuming up to 200mg of caffeine a day is safe for you and your baby. A shot of espresso coffee has 100mg of caffeine while a pre-workout contains 300mg per serve!

Final thoughts

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you should always talk to your doctor about what’s best for you and your baby. Adding a supplement to your diet can help if you are deficient. Generally, you can meet your dietary requirements through a healthy and balanced diet.

So, if you are not sure what to do or what to take, talk to your healthcare professional. It’s important to eat healthily even if you are taking a supplement. Remember that a supplement is a supplement and not a replacement!




Health & Fitness Writer

I am a journalist/writer who loves the health and fitness industry. I graduated from the University of Queensland in 2008, and I have been involved in the fitness and health industry for many years. I have taught Body Pump in the past and competed at WBFF. I love writing and researching about nutrition and supplements. In my spare time, you'll find me at the beach.

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