Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of every cell in the human body. It is therefore essential for the growth of the baby and the placenta, as well as many biological processes that will keep mum happy and healthy throughout pregnancy.
Protein helps to:
- Promote healthy growth of the baby
- Promote healthy growth of uterine and breast tissue
- Increase blood volume
- Regulate blood sugar levels and manage sugar cravings
- Reduce morning sickness
- Fight fatigue
- Repair tissue post-birth
It’s recommended that you ensure each snack and meal that you eat throughout pregnancy should include a quality source of protein such as eggs, lean meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts or highly digestible protein powder.
A really quick and simple way to increase your protein is through daily smoothies with added protein powder, nuts and seeds.
As a general rule, most women require 1 gram of protein/kg of body weight but during pregnancy this increases to 1.5 grams of protein/kg in the third trimester.
Let’s take a 70kg women for example. In her third trimester she will require approximately 105g of protein per day. (70kg x 1.5g/kg)
Bare in mind that we are only able to absorb a maximum of 30g of protein at a time and therefore this 105g must be spread out throughout the day and not attempted to be consumed in just a couple of large meals. Hence why it’s important to ensure that every meal and snack you eat throughout the day includes some form of quality protein.
See below this excellent graphic from Julianne Taylor which displays how much protein is required to get 30 grams.
You might be surprised by the amount of calories that comes with various forms of protein and how much of them you need to eat to fulfil your protein requirements!
This graphic suggests that animal protein might be the easiest way to meet your protein requirements but there is one form of protein that is not included here and that’s our Clean Lean Protein. Here’s how much Clean Lean Protein you need to get 30 grams of highly digestible protein:
3 scoops Clean Lean Protein = 30g of protein, 1.5g of fat, 1.5g of carbs, 0.9g of fibre, 138 calories
This makes Clean Lean Protein such a quick, convenient and delicious way to ensure you are meeting the daily requirements for you and your baby without taking on too many extra calories or taking up too much of your precious energy.