Is Shakeology safe to drink for breastfeeding moms? - Evidence Based Babies
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is shakeology safe while breastfeeding

Is Shakeology safe to drink for breastfeeding moms?

You may be a new mother who’s on the path to lose some of that extra baby weight after giving birth, or you may simply want another option to add additional calories and nutrients to your diet. It’s hard to cook nutritious meals daily after giving birth, you’re already exhausted and have your hands full with a newborn baby. Self-care is hard after giving birth, but it’s the best thing you can do for both you and your baby.

In most cases, moms just want the peace of mind that their body is receiving all the necessary nutrients to produce an abundant and healthy milk supply for their baby.

You may have been recommended Shakeology or another supplemental shake and you may be wondering whether it’s safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume it and whether it can affect their milk supply or their babies.

What is Shakeology?

Shakeology is a nutrient-dense protein shake, created and sold by Beachbody LLC.  It’s a brand of protein shakes designed to support various aspects of health, including weight loss, muscle growth, and improved digestion.

Each serving combines proteins, vitamins, digestive enzymes, and antioxidants from natural sources. These shakes offer a blend of whey or plant-based proteins, aiming to fill nutritional gaps and support a healthy diet.

For new moms, especially breastfeeding moms, the question of what it offers them and whether it’s safe is often asked.

Shakeology is often marketed as an easy way to consume essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may support milk production and overall health during the postpartum period. But is it true? Or is this just another marketing tactic? Is it even safe for breastfeeding moms to begin with?

Many breastfeeding moms are drawn to Shakeology and other protein meal replacement shakes for several reasons. Pregnancy and breastfeeding often increases a woman’s nutritional needs. Fulfilling these needs can be challenging with a new baby. Being exhausted and having your hands full the entire time makes it hard to prepare meals, never mind healthy and nutritious meals.

Shakeology promises a quick and nutritious solution, potentially easing the pressure of ensuring a balanced diet in a much easier to prepare way.

The emphasis they claim on digestive enzymes and probiotics may appeal to mothers experiencing postpartum digestive issues even more.

The fact that it can potentially aid postpartum weight loss while actually providing you with enough calories and nutrients for both you and your baby makes Shakeology a popular option for many breastfeeding moms.

What are the ingredients of Shakeology?

Shakeology ingredients are marketed as a nutrient-dense protein shake to support a healthy lifestyle. It includes many different ingredients. There are no artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

Some of the ingredients include:

  • Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, chaga and maitake.
  • Superfruits and antioxidants include pomegranate, rose hips and cocoa.
  • Prebiotics and prebiotics such as yacon root, pea fiber and digestive enzymes.
  • Proteins such as flex, rice protein, quinoa, pea protein and whey.

Is Shakeology safe to use for breastfeeding mothers?

Some of the ingredients are safe and healthy for breastfeeding mothers to consume, but there are unfortunately also ingredients in Shakeology that may affect some babies negatively. One of its ingredients may also potentially reduce the breastmilk supply.

Ashwagandha

There isn’t enough research to know the safety of the use of Ashwagandha for breastfeeding mothers. But based on the available research that we do have; it is believed to be safe for breastfeeding mothers and breastfed babies.

There are some studies and reported cases of Ashwagandha in high doses causing miscarriage in animals and humans and is therefore not recommended for use in pregnant women.

Matcha green tea

Matcha green tea is overall safe for use in breastfeeding mothers, but it’s important to note that it does contain caffeine. And although caffeine is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers, it is recommended to keep to a limit of around 300mg of caffeine per day as caffeine does pass through breastmilk in small amounts and it can affect some babies negatively.

Maca root

Maca is considered to be safe for use in breastfeeding mothers and their babies. But there is very little research on its effects and safety.

Maca root can stimulate increased estrogen production in some people and should be used cautiously, as this may potentially reduce the breast milk supply.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Pregnancy Association (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a balanced and nutrient-rich diet for breastfeeding mothers as meal replacement shakes does not offer all the necessary nutrients that a breastfeeding mom need.

Alternatives to Shakeology

As mentioned above, balanced and nutritious meals are recommended for breastfeeding mothers, but sometimes, you may wish to add in those extra easy meals, be it for nutrition or for additional calories.

A healthy and nutritious diet

A healthy and nutritious diet is always the best option when possible. As a new and exhausted mom with her hands full, this can be difficult to achieve sometimes.

Do try and meal prep or cook in batches to freeze, especially before your baby’s birth. This will make it so much easier to continue eating healthy meals without all the time and effort.

Small snacks and meals such as stir fry’s and salads are a great way to ensure healthy meals. Remember to add enough protein to your meals.

Healthy snacks

We all love to snack, especially breastfeeding mothers. Snacking can be a great way to easily add additional calories and nutrients into your diet.

Healthy snacks can include fruits, raw vegetables, salads, nuts, yogurt and snacks made from oats such as overnight oats and oats bars.

Prenatal vitamins

Continue to take your prenatal vitamin after the birth of your baby can help fill some nutritional gaps, especially critical nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin A, and iron. But it’s only a small part of the bigger picture and shouldn’t be regarded as the only way for you to consume/receive your needed nutrients.

Protein shakes

Opting for protein shakes that are low in artificial sweeteners and high in natural ingredients can be an option for some, especially if you’re really struggling and need some additional protein. Whey protein powders or plant-based protein powders enriched with amino acids can be great for maintaining an adequate protein intake.

Homemade nutritional shakes

Making your own shakes with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and a protein source allows for complete control over your nutritional intake. Add ingredients high in omega-3s, fiber, and antioxidants to support a healthy lifestyle.

Homemade juices/smoothies are a quick and healthy option and should be considered before any supplemental shakes as it offers so much more fresh and healthy ingredients and nutrients.

Additional weight loss and healthy eating tips

Reduce your fast food intake

Greatly reduce or cut out junk food. It will be beneficial to your health, to your weight loss journey and to your breastmilk composition.

In the long-term, eating junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. heart-related problems (such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol) overweight and obesity.

The research tells us that mom’s diet does not affect the average amount of fat or calories in the mother’s milk. However, mom can change the types of fat in her milk by altering the types of fats that she eats.

Reduce your sugar intake

Everyone knows that sugar is unhealthy and is best avoided. What is also true is that sugar is very high in calories and also high in simple carbohydrates which basically means that you’re going to feel hungry more often and when you eat a lot of high in sugar foods, you will be consuming excessive amounts of calories a day and thus leading to weight gain.

It’s better to reduce sugar as much as possible and eat healthy foods and snacks high in complex carbohydrates. this will not only be helpful for better health, but it will also help you stay full for longer and thus eating less which can help with weight loss.

Start exercising

Start exercising, even if it’s just walking with your baby. It’s a start. I get it. it’s hard with children, even more so with a newborn breastfed baby, but you don’t have to go to the gym for an hour every single day for it to count as exercise.

You can go for some aqua swimming classes, go for a run or even just for a walk with the stroller. The fresh air will do you and your baby really good, and as a bonus, you’re getting some exercise in too.

Always remember that you grew a little human for 9 months, please never feel pressured to lose all the baby weight as soon as possible. Give your body the rest it deserves and take it slow, and always remember, you don’t need to lose weight unless you want to for you.

You should wait before you start exercising until your healthcare provider gives you medical clearance after birth. This is usually 6 weeks for vaginal births and 12 weeks for cesarean sections.

Stay hydrated

Adequate intake of water can help with weight loss in a variety of ways. It may suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and make exercise easier and more efficient. Being well hydrated also helps maintain a healthy milk supply for your baby. Becoming dehydrated can cause a decrease in milk production.

Up your protein intake

Protein plays an essential role in weight loss by improving your satiety after a meal and increasing energy expenditure. By better maintaining your energy levels, protein prevents you from feeling like you have to snack all day to keep yourself going.

Breastfeeding mothers need 65–71 grams of protein per day, or an additional 17 grams of protein.

Breastfeed exclusively and frequently

If you’re breastfeeding, your body will burn more calories than it usually does. If you’re following a healthy diet and lifestyle, you may lose some, most or even all of your pregnancy weight while doing absolutely nothing at all. Breastfeeding may help some women lose weight, but it’s important to remember that this is not a guarantee, some women may not lose any weight because of breastfeeding itself, especially if you’re taking in more calories than what you’re burning.

Important notes

Shakeology is not FDA approved. This means that it’s not tested or strictly regulated to ensure the best quality ingredients or the safety of its use for its consumers.

Breastfeeding requires an additional 300-700 calories per day, per baby. The average breastfeeding mom needs at least 1800 calories per day. Inadequate caloric intake may result in a decreased milk supply.

The recommendation is to drink to thirst and to eat to hunger. Listen to your body and what it needs.

If you’re worried about your nutritional status, or if you’d like to lose weight, the best thing you can do is to consult with a registered dietician who can assist with an appropriate eating plan to suit your individual needs while taking the fact that you’re breastfeeding into account.

If you ever need any evidence-based information or support related to anything breastfeeding, do not hesitate to consult with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

If you’re ever worried about your or your baby’s health or wellbeing, it’s always a good idea to consult with your medical provider for assessment, diagnoses and treatment as necessary.

Resources to check the safety of herbs and medications for breastfeeding mothers and their babies:

E-Lactancia

Hales meds

Infant risk center

Drugs and lactation database (Lactmed)

Additional information and resources:

Ashwagandha/Withania

Caffeine and breastfeeding

Infant risk center – Breastfeeding and Shakeology (Beachbody)

Effects of maternal caffeine consumption on the breastfed child: a systematic review

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Please take note that all of the information provided on this website is for educational purposes only.

We take every effort to ensure that we stay up to date with the latest research and that we only provide you with the best possible evidence based information available.

Online information will never be a substitute for individual support by a qualified healthcare professional.

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