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Staying fit and healthy is something many new moms care about. It is not all about getting back into their pre-pregnancy wardrobe, for many moms staying healthy, fit and strong helps them to have more energy to look after their baby whilst being deprived of sleep and rest.
Some moms reach for a triple espresso for that energy boost, while others swap their cappuccino for a superfood shake like Shakeology. But is Shakeology safe for breastfeeding moms?
It is widely acknowledged that caffeine should be limited during nursing, but what about superfood drinks that are nutrient-dense and claim to be good for you – can you drink these if you are breastfeeding?
What is Shakeology?
Shakeology is a nutrient-dense protein shake, created and sold by Beachbody LLC. Shakeology is not a meal replacement drink and is recommend to be consumed alongside a healthy and balanced diet.
However, Shakeology does suppress hunger and helps drinkers to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Shakeology is loaded with protein, fiber, and wholesome ingredients. The shakes are available in several different flavors.
Shakeology is often sold by MLMs (multi-level marketers) and its craving-busting and energy-boosting powers are just two reasons why Shakeology is so attractive to tired moms.
Especially at a time in their lives when they are exhausted and looking to lose weight and get more physically fit. It is also no surprise that nursing moms are considering fitness programs like Beachbody and drinking protein shakes like Shakeology.
But is it actually safe to drink Shakeology while nursing? The protein shakes may be nutrient-dense, full of superfoods, and have the ability to stave off cravings for junk food, but that does not necessarily mean they can be consumed risk-free by nursing moms.
Can I Drink Shakeology While Nursing?
Shakeology is healthy, right? It is full of protein, fiber, superfoods, antioxidants, probiotics and so many more ingredients that are proven to improve overall health and fitness.
However, whilst the ingredients in Shakeology may be the perfect mix for the majority of the population, this does not necessarily mean Shakeology is safe to drink while nursing.
This is what Beachbody had to say about Shakeology and breastfeeding on the FAQ section of their website:
Shakeology should only be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers under the direction of their physicians. As with all of our supplements, we recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
This answer is vague and doesn’t pinpoint the reasons why Shakeology may not be safe for a nursing mom to drink.
The best thing you can do if you are concerned about the safety of Shakeology while nursing is to get a list of the ingredients and speak to your doctor or seek further specialist advice from a dietician specializing in moms and babies.
There are certain foods, vitamins, and other ingredients that can slow milk production and it is important to check there are none of these in Shakeology before you decide to start drinking it.
It is also important to be aware of any ingredients that may cause your baby to be unwell when passed through to your breastmilk. Again, a pediatrician or infant dietician should be able to help you understand what ingredients are safe for your baby to consume via your breastmilk.
The La Leche League of Virginia and West Virginia suggests that Shakeology is not safe for nursing mothers after a study was done into the ingredients used to make the protein shakes. Dr. James Abbey of Infant Risk gave the following explanation of the risks of Shakeology while breastfeeding:
Herbal products are not regulated by the FDA and there can be significant variations in the potency and purity between different products or even between different lots of the same product. Herbs can also interact with each other and with prescription medications, so we tend to advise not taking them at all. As a general rule, breastfeeding is a time for simplicity. Focus on eating a balanced, nutritious diet and minimizing your use of extraneous stuff.
The same study from La Leche League of Virginia and West Virginia found that the amounts of chromium, biotin, and vitamins A, B1, B12, and C in Shakeology exceeded the recommended quantities for breastfeeding mothers.
The study also states that not enough of the ingredients had been researched thoroughly enough to know if they are safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume or not.
Nursing and Shakeology – The Important Things To Remember!
Breastfeeding is not a time in a woman’s life to be focussing solely on weight loss.
However, it is understandable that new moms want to spend the postpartum period losing the weight they gained during pregnancy but is it important to note that nursing moms need to consume extra calories to help maintain their milk supply.
In the early weeks and months of motherhood, moms need to be eating a healthy and balanced diet to ensure they are providing themselves and their baby with enough important nutrients and calories.
The early days with a newborn are not the ideal time to be switching meals for protein shakes.
If you are not eating enough you are going to feel more tired, you need to eat enough calories to stay strong and energized while your body is busy creating enough milk to keep your baby full, happy and healthy.
Nursing moms can use gentle exercise and a balanced diet to slowly and safely shed the extra pounds they gained during their pregnancy.
There are also other options for these kinds of shakes but again you would need to consult a doctor to ensure that they are safe to consume while nursing.
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The Final Thought
However, if you want to drink Shakeology while nursing alongside the Beachbody program or just as a daily nutrient-dense shake, then be sure to discuss it with your physician beforehand.
The internet is full of stories from nursing moms who have had a great experience drinking Shakeology while nursing and many mothers claim to have not seen any adverse effects on the health of their baby.
The online mommy forums are a good place to find real-life stories of drinking Shakeology while breastfeeding, there are positive and negative reviews for you to weigh up, but for a better understanding of the safety of Shakeology while nursing it is best to speak to a health professional first.