Are protein and build-up shakes safe when pregnant?

Nutritionist Dr Rana Conway explains the risks of drinking protein milkshakes during pregnancy

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In a nutshell

They are safe, but not recommended.

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The expert view

Public Health England told us that protein shakes are “not advised in pregnancy”, primarily because of the fact that in the UK, average protein intakes are already well above recommended limits.

The average amount of protein recommended each day for pregnant women is 51g, whereas, on average, women actually consume 65g each day.

Eating protein as part of a meal means that other nutrient needs are also met, explains nutritionist Dr Rana Conway.

She says: “It’s best to get your protein from a wide range of foods, then you’ll get all the other nutrients you need too. For example, meat and fish are good sources of protein, but also provide iron and zinc. Milk products provide calcium as well as protein and vegetarian protein foods, such as beans and lentils, also provide a range of nutrients including selenium and fibre. Try to avoid processed meats however, as they tend to be high in saturated fat and salt.”

Mums on our forum say

“I am literally using what my DH had which is called Elite rich chocolate. It is a whey protein and tastes just about bearable. He really rates it compared to others but says the vanilla flavour is better.” – Princess-DebbieC

Read more about pregnancy safety:

What are the recommendations on Herbalife shakes in pregnancy?

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Could it be harmful to try a low-carb diet when I’m pregnant?

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