Are Premier Protein shakes safe during pregnancy?

Are Premier Protein shakes safe during pregnancy? I would not recommend drinking Premier protein shakes during pregnancy for several reasons. Keep reading to learn more.

Premier Protein is not pregnancy-safe. 

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is Premier Protein?

Premier Protein is a brand of protein supplements owned by Post Holdings, a massive consumer packaged goods company whose portfolio includes beloved brands such as Honey Bunches of Oats® and Peter Pan® peanut butter. It can be found nationwide in major retail chains such as Walmart, Costco, Target, Sam’s Club, and in grocery stores like Kroger, Safeway, and Publix. Its widespread distribution and low price point make it a popular choice among consumers.

Although many people swear by Premier Protein shakes, they are not the healthiest option on the market. In fact, they are arguably one of the least healthy protein supplements for reasons outlined below.


Are protein shakes good for pregnancy?

The food you eat while pregnant matters and can have an impact on your baby’s growth and development. Eating enough protein is particularly important as protein serves as the building block for muscles, skin, and bones. Protein also plays a vital role in the production of antibodies that safeguard against illness. Considering that protein needs increase with each trimester of pregnancy, it is imperative that you establish a plan to ensure your dietary protein intake is sufficient. Most registered dietitians recommend the following:

First trimester (week 1-12)

During the first trimester, protein needs are relatively consistent with normal needs, ranging from 46-56 grams per day.

Second trimester (week 13-26)

Protein requirements increase slightly in the second trimester, ranging from 71-86 grams per day. This increase accommodates the growing demands of the developing fetus.

Third trimester (week 27 through pregnancy)

The third trimester sees a further increase in protein needs, ranging from 71-100 grams per day. During this stage, the fetus undergoes rapid growth and protein becomes vital for the development of organs and muscles.

Just thinking about eating this much protein can be overwhelming, especially for pregnant mothers. Even if you were to eat a generous serving of protein with each meal, as outlined below, you could still fall short of meeting your protein requirements.

Breakfast: 2 eggs – 12g protein
Lunch: 4 oz chicken breast – 32g protein
Snack: ¼ cup almonds – 7g protein
Dinner: 4 oz salmon – 23g protein
Total: 74g protein

Additionally, pregnant women often encounter challenges with eating due to food aversions, decreased appetite, and morning sickness. This is where protein supplements can prove beneficial. Adding a protein shake to your diet is an easy way to ensure that you are eating enough protein for both you and your baby.

Research demonstrates that incorporating protein supplements into your diet during pregnancy improves embryonic survival and growth by stimulating placental angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), increasing blood flow, and promoting embryonic protein synthesis. It is important to note, however, that not all protein supplements are created equal.


Is Premier Protein safe for pregnancy?

Drinking Premier Protein shakes during pregnancy is not a good idea. Although Premier Protein shakes can certainly help you boost your protein intake, they contain a lot of additives that can cause painful side effects and long-term gut health problems. Specifically, the added ingredients in Premier Protein shakes have been shown to disrupt to the composition and function of the gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food.

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial during pregnancy as an imbalanced microbiome has been linked to complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and restricted fetal growth. Basically, research shows that the composition of the maternal gut microbiome can influence pregnancy outcomes, and the long-term health of the mother and child.

Here is a list of the food additives in a Premier Protein Vanilla Protein Shake:

High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Natural and Artificial flavors, Inulin, Cellulose Gel and Cellulose Gum, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Carrageenan, Tripotassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate

Note that two of these ingredients on this list – Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium – are artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are among the worst additives for your gut, causing side effects like bloating and diarrhea, widespread inflammation, and lasting damage to the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.

It is also worth noting that whereas food manufacturers are required to disclose their ingredients, flavor manufacturers are not. They can add synthetic solvents, preservatives, and carriers to a flavor that qualifies as “natural” under current regulations. The term “natural flavor” is therefore little more than a catch-all term for everything that a manufacturer would rather not spell out on the ingredient list.

So, are Premier Protein shakes safe during pregnancy? Given what we know about the dangers of regularly eating food additives, Premier Protein shakes are not a healthy choice for pregnant women.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

Our protein powders, unlike Premier Protein shakes, are not only additive-free, but also made with whole food protein sources.

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain

Nearly all other protein supplements, Premier Protein shakes included, are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. Protein sources like these undergo intensive mechanical and chemical processing, often with solvents like hexane . This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food.  

Your gut was meant to digest unprocessed or minimally-processed foods, not protein concentrates and isolates. This is why more and more research is finding that regularly eating refined ingredients like these can alter the composition of your gut microbiome, which is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy. 

Instead of relying on protein concentrates or isolates, we make pregnancy-safe protein powders with real foods like egg whites and almonds. These are minimally-processed and gut-friendly alternatives to protein concentrates and isolates.

For starters, whole foods like egg whites and almonds come pre-packaged with enzymes that aid in digestion and absorption. Almonds are also prebiotic, supporting the diversity of your gut microbiome. Egg whites, in addition to being low FODMAP, help balance the pH levels in your gut and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This explains why our customers experience fewer digestive issues with our egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement.

In summary, if you are looking to safely boost your protein intake during pregnancy, steer clear of Premier Protein and choose a protein supplement made with a short list of simple ingredients. Order samples to see if our pregnancy-safe protein powder is right for you. 


easy to digest

“I’m 4 months pregnant and this is the only protein powder that doesn’t make me nauseous. I use it everyday, sometimes twice a day. My husband uses it too!” – Emily

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.