Q &A Sheet
by:Danielle Gotha RN, MS, CPT, PES
Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist
(Disclosure: I am not a nutritionist. I am a High Risk L&D RN, and Exercise Physiologist with a specialty in Pre/PostNatal Fitness. I have 100% experience with drinking Shakeology Before, During, and after Pregnancy & while nursing. I have consulted multiple OB doctors, Perinatologits, and CNMs to verify benefit and risks. I have worked with many women who have started Shakeology at various stages and these are my recommendations.
1.) Can I drink Shakeology when I am trying to get pregnant?
YES! Shakeology is a great way to balance your nutrition and get on the right track before you even become pregnant. Although it does have the daily vitamins we all need, it also has Superfoods with even more benefit that a regular daily vitamin cannot provide. Consider looking into 21 Day Fix and The Ultimate Reset if you are struggling to get pregnant and need to get nutrition on track.
2.) Are there any other vitamins I should add or avoid in addition to Shakeology?
YES! (Please Note you DO NOT need to take a prenatal vitamin as Shakeology has all the same vitamin levels if not better) No matter how nutritious and delicious Shakeology might be it does not have enough Folic Acid. This is necessary before getting pregnant and during pregnancy to prevent any neural tube defects during fetal development. It is also very typical to add Folic Acid (400-800mcg) to daily vitamin as well for those not drinking Shakeology. Also adding Omega3/Fish Oil can be beneficial for brain development. Always refer to your doctor or midwife for specific needs related to you and your pregnancy as every pregnancy is different. The level of Vitamin A is the daily value but is higher than most vitamin supplements so in the First Trimester you will want to be aware of how much Vitamin A enriched foods you are consuming. These include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, butternut squash, dried herbs, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, oatmeal & paprika, red pepper, cayenne, chili powder. Just eat these in moderation and limit yourself. There are MANY things shared and posted in a Negative way about Vitamin A levels. They are SAFE levels HOWEVER if you eat a lot of Vitamin A enriched foods during the FIRST trimester where neural tube defects occurs THAT IS WHEN THERE IS A CONCERN. I typically recommend NEW Shakeology users who are pregnant to WAIT until 12 weeks gestation. (Disclaimer – I am not a doctor. I have worked with many women who love and benefit from Shakeology. If you are concerned simply wait till you clear your first trimester)
3.) Should I recommend Shakeology during pregnancy?
Yes & No. Here is why……Yes for those who have been drinking Shakeology prior to pregnancy. The body is used to it and comfortable with the effects and benefits of Shakeology. Why Not?……No matter how healthy it may be, adding new supplements and vitamins in pregnancy can be a little tricky. We already have something new and foreign growing and changing inside of us so putting something else foreign into the body can confuse us and make us less aware of what our body is reacting to if we do have a reaction. If someone really wants to start Shakeology during their pregnancy I highly recommend waiting until they reach the second trimester, starting with half a shake daily for at least one week before increasing to a full shake, and using it as your 300 extra added calories needed. Any pregnancy woman only needs to increase their calories 350-500 additional in the late 2nd and 3rd trimester. We are NEVER eating for two. This is a nutrient dense meal replacement not a diet.
4.) Is Shakeology safe during pregnancy?
As Shakeology is a newer meal replacement supplement it has yet to be formally tested in pregnancy. From my own experience and background I am and was comfortable drinking Shakeology as a meal replacement through the first trimester and then transitioning it to be added calories in the second and third trimester. Within all of the ingredients of Shakeology there are only a couple of things that are “unknown” because they are newer superfoods. If you compare Shakeology ingredients with that of most fast foods and processed foods pregnant women eat on a daily basis we have a general consensus from multiple docs and midwives that Shakeology is by far the better choice!
5.) Will my Doctor say it is OK to drink Shakeology?
Most doctors and midwives will give the OK on Shakeology while a rare few are concerned with pregnancy because it has not been tested so the risks are unknown. We can only go off of the individual ingredients. We are currently working on putting together a more structured and backed ingredients and superfoods sheet for your reference. If you bring in a packet of Shakeology to your doctor they can review it and give their opinion. Most of our providers have said “I can’t see anything bad about it but I do not know all of the ingredients effects in relation to pregnancy. You can choose to drink it, I will support you in that choice, I will not stop you. It looks really good” There will be doctors that will say “NO” because they all have to cover their own butt :0) I am a Labor & Delivery nurse….I know!
6.) What are the BENEFITS of drinking Shakeology during pregnancy?
There are quite a few great benefits of Shakeology during your pregnancy! One of the biggest is prevention of constipation. Just like when you are not pregnant, Shakeology helps with regularity and healthy bowel movements. A big problem and concern for many women is constipation in relation to inadequate nutrients and water in their daily meal plan and the intestines and other organs getting “squished” as the baby continues to grow and take up more space. It also continues to have the effect of increased energy which is very important throughout pregnancy as the body naturally prepares for fetal growth, labor, delivery, and an infants schedule post delivery. For myself I used Shakeology instead of taking my Prenatal Vitamin and my midwife was fine with that. Many women tend to get nausea after taking their prenatals and decide not to take them at all which is more of a concern. Overall if this is healthy for you and makes you feel GREAT then why wouldn’t it be good for your growing and developing baby. Shakeology is also a great way to not over stuff your self. It is very easy to feel full in that 3rd trimester and I found drinking the shake made me feel more refreshed.
7.) What is the difference between Vegan & Original Shakeology? Which should I drink during my pregnancy?
The biggest difference that will have a positive effect during pregnancy is that Vegan has no milk products. They are starting to find more people are intolerant to milk so decreasing intake during pregnancy is not a bad idea. I would not only recommend Vegan but I myself switched from original to Vegan and have heard similar testimonials from friends and fellow coaches who drink Shakeology. This will also have a positive effect with breastfeeding. Many people who bottle feed have issues with a fussy baby and have to switch to “sensitive” so I guess you can look at Vegan as the “sensitive” version of Shakeology. This comes down to personal preference. Like I mentioned I started out with regular. I enjoy changing up the flavors as well. Listen to your body and change things up if they are not working for you. Another benefit is that the Vitamin A is lower in the Vegan Shakeology.
8.) If I am allergic to Gluten can I drink Shakeology?
Another great thing about Shakeology is that it is Gluten free! This is a big factor in who is able to drink it and benefit in a healthy way. As gluten allergies and intolerance as well as celiacs disease is becoming more common every day. It does not specify certified gluten free as the certification process is timely and costly and Team Beachbody has opted to keep costs low on the product they are continuously maintaining as the Healthiest Meal of the Day!
9.) I have Gestational Diabetes, do I have to stop drinking Shakeology?
Of course NOT! Shakeology is Low on the Glycemic Index. This means that your body can break it down adequately and not be significantly affected by the sugar content. What a great way to get a sweet treat and still be eating healthy and according to your adjusted meal plan! Because gestational diabetes can cause excess weight gain for you and as well for you baby it is very important to eat right, stay on track and gain the recommended weight. Be in the know about your pregnancy and what your body and baby can tolerate.
10.) What are the ingredients and are they natural or artificial chemicals?
There are so many ingredients/superfoods in Shakeology so I can see where it gets overwhelming and a confusing. These are natural ingredients that help the body in many different ways. Because there are so many ingredients we are going to do a separate sheet with each ingredient listed so you know where it comes from and what it does for you and your baby! In the mean time you can search the website as well for ingredient info. www.MyShakeology.com/YOUR_Beachbody_ScreenName
11.) Can I use the 21 Day Fix program while I am pregnant?
I am so excited to have this program at my fingertips for my Prenatal Clients. Eating during pregnancy is not only tricky but one of the biggest concerns women have. As well as, one of the biggest changes they decide to make while pregnant. Many women are inspired to eat healthier so let’s teach them HOW to do that BEFORE baby comes along!
NOTE: You Need the 21 Day Fix Food Guide to understand in detail information below
1st Trimester they will calculate Personal Caloric Need ~ If they are working out then they need to add their Fix Calorie Burn. The difference in pregnancy is that they WILL NOT deduct Caloric Deficit
2nd Trimester they will calculate Personal Caloric Need ~ If they are working out then they need to add their Fix Calorie Burn ~ This is when calories increase so they will add an additional 350 to know which container category they fall into. This calorie add in the second trimester is optional and can be after 20 weeks gestation.
3rd Trimester they will calculate Personal Caloric Need ~ If they are working out then they need to add their Fix Calorie Burn ~ This is when calories increase again so they will add an additional 350-500 to know which container category they fall into.
***This calorie add is a MUST to supply adequate nutrition to mom and baby. We are never working to lose weight while pregnant. Some women who are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese during pregnancy who choose a healthy lifestyle while pregnant may see weight loss. Please be in good communication with your OB doctor AND have a Prenatal Coach / Trainer / or Nutritionist following you along your pregnancy as well.
12.) How do I know if I can drink Shakeology while I am breastfeeding?
If you were drinking it all through your pregnancy then you can certainly drink it after you deliver your baby. What we eat in pregnancy becomes the norm for our baby as well. The only difference is instead of getting nutrients through the umbilical cord via your blood, now the baby gets nutrients through your breast milk. If you did not drink Shakeology during pregnancy I recommend waiting 8-12 weeks before starting Shakeology post partum and only starting with half serving for 1-2 weeks. You may see some “gassiness” with the baby at first but if you gradually introduce it then you should not have a problem. Again, you should drink Vegan as this will be better as whey free/dairy free. Flavor options available. Also consider waiting so you know what foods you eat the baby may be affected by. As well as the babies typical response to breastfeeding. Here is a resource I enjoy reading http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/qa/are-babies-sensitive-to-what-mom-is-eating
13.) What are the benefits of drinking Shakeology while breastfeeding?
The weight loss benefit certainly comes into play here because we all want to get back to pre-baby weight or even better if we can. From first hand experience it is very difficult to eat right and stay healthy and nutritious so Shakeology is a great way to have at least one healthiest meal of the day! The benefits for pregnancy tie in here as well. The fact that it is quick grab & go also helps a lot. You will find yourself multitasking and eating while the baby is eating so Shakeology in a shaker cup is just what you will need. Having the proper nutrients also plays a big part in your milk supply and production. I can tell you I had over supply and nursed until my daughter was 17 months old and I was the one who decided to stop, not my supply. There were days I practically bowed to my shake (no joke) because otherwise I may have eaten nothing at all or ordered food. Just putting it out there.
14.) What should I do if my baby doesn’t like Shakeology or reacts to it?
If your baby has an allergic reaction such as rash, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, then you will need to stop drinking it. It is not worth putting the baby at risk. If your baby seems to be fussy/gassy then you will want to gradually introduce it. Drink half a serving for 1-2 weeks, then introduce a full serving every other day for 1-2 weeks, then a full serving every day should be fine. Learn how your baby responds. My daughter always gets “fussy” about an hour into her sleep when I put her down at night. I do not bother her when she winces or moans and she usually goes right back to sleep in less than 30 secs. If she is crying and awake I will tend to her but give them time to pass gas because that may be all they need.
Sometimes interrupting them can be worse and may wake them up when they were still asleep. Also, most babies have gas or discomfort as they are pooping. This is not a normal feeling for them yet so fussiness is normal. A good Booty Burp as I like to call it can help them to pass the gas and is a rhythmic sensation to relax them as well. Excessive gas is not always normal so play with some baby leg range of motions and center of foot massage! Works wonders!. Relate it to sleep time, poop times, etc. Give Shakeology at least 30 days before calling it quits and please utilize me as a resource.
15.) I do not want to lose weight too rapidly and affect the nutrients going to my baby. Should I be concerned if I lose too much weight?
This question has been more common recently. I want to share that Shakeology will not be the cause of lacking nutrients or losing weight rapidly because of that alone. You need to eat throughout the day and sometimes even snack at night. I remember being hungry at 2am while nursing and going and grabbing a snack. Hydrate well, eat throughout the day, and always have snacks available. Take advantage of this frequent nursing time frame because once it spaces out or you are finished nursing all together the natural weight loss ability changes up. Remember, the body put this weight on for the pregnancy only. After you deliver your body is prepared to lose the weight. Take advantage as many of us have healthier and more fit bodies POST baby!! It is possible to keep a positive mindset and support system as soon as possible. ALSO….look into the 21 Day Fix. Please refer to Question #11 and follow the 3rd trimester rules. Once you wean then drop down to 2ndtrimester rules. Finally once you finish nursing Calculate by using the recommended Caloric Deficit as well.
16.) Am I supposed to have any concerns about change in bowel movements?
Are you feeling any digestive discomfort since starting Shakeology®? Try using ½ scoop, twice daily—then slowly work up to 1 full scoop per serving. OR Are you having trouble “going”? Make sure you drink lots of water. Plus, consider using avocado, raw nuts, olives, or flaxseeds to provide healthy fats and fiber. They’ll help keep things moving! Stick with it! A survey from May 2013 shows that if you drink Shakeology every day, your digestion (82%) and regularity(91%) may improve. Give it 30 days! Your body needs the time to adjust and clean out a bit.
17) Can I do a Cleanse, 3 Day Refresh or the Ultimate Reset While Breastfeeding?
Absolutely NOT! This is not the time to cleanse. You do not need to lose weight that badly my friends. People know you just had a baby. Focus on eating smart and healthy. Focus on getting in workouts. Once you are done nursing THEN you can cleanse. That will be the perfect time to help reduce supply as well as start fresh POST baby. Just so you are away, it takes the female body up to 2 years to FULLY recover from pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Many women have a second child in that time frame. Please be kind to the one body you have. The more you focus on healthy lifestyle changes and avoid quick fixes, the longer you will be around for you family. The better you will be for them as well.
Every person is different. Every pregnancy is unique. Every baby has its likes and dislikes. The key is not to rule things out on the first few attempts. Unless you have an allergic reaction you should be giving a few days/weeks to see the benefits and work through Shakeology cleaning your body out and balancing out the nutrients the body truly needs.
by:Danielle Gotha RN, MS, CPT, PES
Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist (L&D RN)