Nutrition during pregnancy is one of the most important topics for an expectant mother. Now more than ever: You are what you eat and that doubly 🙂 Because as you have already learned in previous articles, the right diet for you and your little one brings many benefits. And also on the subject of protein in pregnancy there are some (half) truths, tips and tricks …
Proteins – much more than just muscle building
You and your child need a lot of protein, because it is responsible for cell formation in the human body. And cells are the basis for everything in your and your baby’s body! So proteins don’t just help you build muscle. They are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the human body, forming bones, skin, and major organs.
Proteins can also help you avoid gaining excess weight. Because they are more likely to help build muscle, rather than being put directly into fat, they also reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
Since proteins form the cells that transport oxygen and iron through the bloodstream, this reduces the risk of pregnant women developing anemia or suffering from dizziness and fatigue.
Medical studies have proven that protein intake is directly related to birth weight! Translated, this means that if you eat enough, it should help your baby have a rather healthier and slightly higher birth weight. Again, this is positive because if your baby is very thin at birth, he or she is often also much weaker and more susceptible to illness!
How many grams of protein per day?
The German Nutrition Society recommends 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight as a guideline for non-athletes. The requirement increases for pregnant women and mothers who are active in sports. You often read that a pregnant woman has a protein requirement of 80-100g per day. I find this a bit vague, as it can vary depending on your own weight and your sporting activity. If you therefore rather assume a requirement of 1.2g per kilogram of body weight, you are somewhat better positioned with the calculation.
And now it gets a bit complicated: Proteins in combination with other proteins and in combination with good carbohydrates can increase their effect. That is, you eat a lower number of grams of protein and still achieve the same effect as if you were to eat a higher number of grams of one and the same protein.
Think of it like this: the amino building blocks contained in the protein have a positive influence on each other and thus increase the effect on your body!
You don’t have to start writing down exactly how much you ate. It is important that it comes approximately! Watch out for signs like cravings and special cravings, these are usually signs from your body!
My top protein tip: Combine plant and animal protein sources! This way you increase their biological value and your body converts more protein into the body’s own protein.
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How does my body get the right proteins?
Quite simply – through the right diet! But even here there are a few tricks to harness the full power of protein for your body and your baby.
Here’s another little idea list of high protein products:
- Meat and fish
- Cheese – be sure to check out our blog article on cheese during pregnancy to find out which types you can, should, or shouldn’t eat!
If you like to take a protein shake as an athlete, then you can of course continue to do so during pregnancy. It is even partially advised to an increased protein intake as a means against morning sickness or general nausea especially in the 1st pregnancy trimester.
However, I recommend that you use a multi-component protein instead of the simple (whey) protein powder from the discount store.
By the way, even for vegans, there are now many good vegan protein sources, even if I personally advise against a purely vegan diet during pregnancy.
My dish tip: Try homemade Chili Con Carne with good beef, combined with kidney beans and corn – a perfect protein energy source! Vegetarian versions with lentils or vegetarian ground beef are also an absolute blast! The combination between proteins and carbohydrates is very well balanced here.
Combine your mommy training plan with the right nutrition and you will directly feel how much fitter you feel!
And for the athletes among you, it is now clear at the latest, also and especially during pregnancy, a sufficient protein intake is essential.
With this in mind, bon appétit and
Keep it Moving,
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