The first trimester of pregnancy can be challenging and just plain awkward in so many different ways. The sense of taste can become distorted very easily and often many women, who are suffering with morning sickness, will turn to protein powder for the nutritional benefits.
Eventually, pregnancy nutrition supplements become almost an imperative when you are on a strict schedule. But back then, I often enjoyed the simple pleasures of having frozen yogurt with Ben & Jerry’s or going out for pizza and beer with my husband.
A lot of OBGYN’s and midwives will not have a problem with this and will find it totally understandable when the only thing that you can keep down is the protein shake because it’s the only thing that won’t come back up. Even though I do see their point, why take the risk?
However, there’s much about protein powders that is misunderstood and once you know the facts you may think differently next time you’re looking for an easy nutritious meal option.
One can come up with many different ways to categorize what protein powders are made from, but providing a breakdown by the most common types is usually sufficient and quite straightforward. Some examples of different base ingredients include whey protein, soy protein, casein protein, egg white protein, hemp, pea and rice proteins.
Now, all protein structures are different and contain different kinds of amino acids. So the baby powder you choose to rub all over your body better be able to provide a whole bunch of those amino acids we mentioned, ’cause otherwise you’ve just got a jar of itchy salt.
Protein powders are not necessarily 100% wholefoods. Especially those that are produced using the process of dehydration and extraction, which unfortunately is a heavy process, so much so that it renders the substance – in this case protein powder – completely unrecognisable to the human body. In fact any level of processing and manufacturing will denatate a food by altering its chemical structure. The heavier the refining process, the more denatured a food can become.
Whey protein has to be kept at low temperatures because it’s a powder and its structure is fragile. But we now purchase whey protein from drying out skim milk at extremely high temperatures, which can make it difficult for the human body to digest and absorb. Most whey proteins are massed produced and packaged as dietary supplements, often as ingredients in food bars and shakes marketed towards body builders.
Soy protein begins with a lot of phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, and isoflavanones (the latter two reducing the ability of the body to absorb essential nutrients). These undesireable properties are removed through processing at extreme temperatures. However, more toxins tend to form during high-temperature chemical processing, including nitrates, lysine and free glutamate as well as certain proteins that are so denatured that they impinge on the antioxidant capacity of your body (eg. interfering with its ability to produce new cells).
So what’s left at the end (in a protein powder) is a highly refined and processed substance that is so far removed from its natural state that your body cannot recognize it as food.
Although protein powders do have some nice health benefits to them, I’d frankly rather forgo the powder in favor of a healthier alternative. And the best part is that anyone who wants to try it can afford to! That’s because the ingredients used to make it are all entirely natural ones which means they not only help you stay healthy, they also happen to be less poisonous and more affordable than a protein powder of questionable origin.
Your body will actually divert some fat to store toxins. As well as getting fatter, you are also retaining tons of water because your body dilutes the toxins to a point where they’re no longer a threat. As you’ll be storing fat and retaining water, it’s obvious that your skin bloating problem will become even worse. Not only will this make you even more frustrated with yourself but your stressed partner is not going to be too thrilled either – especially when you say things like: “My feet look huge in these shoes.”
You still thinking protein powders are a good idea?
So you see protein powders are not the best option when pregnant. They don’t do what they say on the tin, that being provide enough protein to supplement your pregnancy diet. If you’re looking for something similar, maybe you’d be better off eating a Big Mac instead!
The best sources of protein for pregnant women (as well as any person in general) are wholesome natural foods, ideally organic animal proteins or vegetable proteins. A protein shake is not preferable to a nutritious soup made with legumes and pulses and served in broth!