You've probably noticed your social media feeds filled with photos of friends and their Shakeology shakes, but what is it exactly? Shakeology is a meal-replacement system that is a sub-component of Beachbody fitness programs (like Insanity, 21 Day Fix, P90X) and its efficacy is debated. Most of these shakes are said to just have placebo effects (and, as it turns out, if you're not eating proper meals, you could lose weight — eating less works almost every time), but how healthy are they? They sound like an easy way to get nutrients, so can you drink Shakeology while pregnant?
Shakeology shakes are touted as nutrient-dense, vitamin-loaded meal replacement supplements said to promote weight loss and fight off junk food and hunger cravings (sounds perfect, right?). The shakes are whey-based, are low-fat and high in fiber and protein, but also have many herbal additives. Unfortunately, the safety of those additives has yet to be proven for daily use or pregnancy use.
According to Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, OB-GYN, there is also always a concern for an excess intake of vitamins and minerals when adding nutritional supplements to prenatal vitamins. "As long as the total amount of each vitamin or mineral does not exceed 100 percent of the daily recommended dose," Richardson says to Romper, "pregnant women should be safe to take their prenatal vitamins and Shakeology."
But, these shakes should hardly take place of nutritious meals for pregnant women. "When you are pregnant, it is even more important that you get enough calories because you are growing another human inside of you," Chicago-based Registered Dietitian, Sebastian Zorn, tells Romper. "It’s one of the worst times to be in calorie deficit by not eating enough, because both you and your child need all of those nutrients."
"Shakeology protein shakes appear to be safe in pregnancy," Richardson adds, "but, there is not enough scientific data or research to truly comment on the long-term effects of Shakeology protein shakes on the baby. Based on the label, it appears that Shakeology contains vitamins and whey protein that are safe in pregnancy," she notes. "But, I would recommend that pregnant women not use any supplements during pregnancy that contain excess minerals, caffeine, or weight loss additives."
Making positive lifestyle changes consistently is a much more effective and sustainable way to both feel great and reach your personal health goals, even when pregnant, Zorn mentions. "Practice drinking more water, eating more whole foods and less processed foods, and finding the time to move every day — all are important to feel good and live a healthful lifestyle."
If you're considering any supplements or are concerned about healthy eating when pregnant, it's always a good idea that you speak with your doctor or other health professional to get recommendations best suited for your own body and baby.
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