Adding Collagen Peptides in Pregnancy Shakes
Written by: Jamie Johnson, RDN
You may or may not have already hopped on the collagen craze, probably for its touted cosmetic benefits, but did you know it might have some benefits for pregnancy, too? So what is collagen anyway? Collagen is a type of protein responsible for making connective tissue strong and resilient. It’s the most abundant protein in the body and is found in connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones and cartilage. Unfortunately, as we age, collagen production declines, becomes fragmented, and the structural integrity declines (i.e. why we get wrinkles).
In regards to pregnancy, collagen is rich in amino acids, including glycine, which is needed for a growing uterus and fetal development, and proline, which is the most abundant amino acid found in breast milk.
Benefits of including collagen peptides in a smoothie for pregnancy
Including collagen peptides in a smoothie for pregnancy may have multiple benefits.
- May Support Skin Health: As a baby grows, so does mama’s belly and breasts, which can lead to unwanted stretch marks. A recent study suggests oral collagen and vitamin supplementation can increase skin elasticity, which could help prevent stretch marks and may improve skin regeneration. The same study showed a protective effect on joints and reduced joint pain, a common problem in pregnancy when joints are getting used to carrying the weight of a growing human.
- May Support Gut and Joint Health: Collagen may positively support the gut lining, as well as support your joints! Collagen is found in connective tissue – and provides a boost that may support your overall joint comfort.
- Source of Protein: Many people experience food aversions to high protein sources like meat and fish while pregnant, so adding collagen peptides to a smoothie can be a great way to have your protein and drink it, too.
Collagen recommendations during pregnancy
While there are no official collagen specific recommendations in pregnancy, protein needs during pregnancy do increase in each trimester. Here are a few findings:
- The current recommendations are:
- 8 grams of protein per kilogram of pre-pregnancy bodyweight during the 1st trimester (to determine your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2)
- 1 gram of protein per kilogram of pre-pregnancy bodyweight after the 1st trimester
- However, a 2016 study has suggested that a protein intake of:
- 2 grams per kilogram in early gestation (~16 weeks) and 1.52 grams per kilogram in late gestation (~36 weeks) is more beneficial to the mother and baby.
Based on a study to determine how much collagen peptides can be incorporated into the diet, the takeaway from the researchers was that up to 36% of total daily protein can be supplemented with collagen peptides in the general population. It is important to note that this study was not done on pregnant participants; however there is no evidence to support this amount would be harmful. Still, always check with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement.
Adding collagen peptides to a smoothie can be a great way to help meet protein needs, however, collagen is considered an incomplete protein (meaning it does not contain all of the essential amino acids you need to get from food), so just make sure it’s not your only source of protein.
Takeaways from the nutrition experts at Lēto Foods, a frozen smoothie delivery company
Not only can collagen peptides be beneficial during pregnancy, but those benefits likely carry over to the breastfeeding phase as well. Breastfeeding is a time when many hormone changes take place, which can lead to hair loss, more stretch marks, and a temporary loss of bone mass, all of which collagen may help to improve.
When buying collagen supplements, opt for hydrolyzed collagen, which will be better absorbed. Ideally, if it’s a bovine collagen source, it should be pasture raised and grass fed, and if it’s a marine collagen source, it should be wild caught for the highest quality. Look for those that are 3rd party tested, to ensure they contain what they actually claim on the package.
One brand we like that checks all these boxes? needed Collagen Protein – a brand committed to producing a clean hydrolyzed collagen protein. They engaged in thorough 3rd party testing for quality and looked to source/manufacture responsibly. Plus, its collagen is sourced for the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free bovines from farms committed to ethical practices.
As with most supplements for pregnant people, research is limited on collagen peptides; however, there are no known adverse side effects to taking it, and it may help to improve some common pregnancy problems. Though there is little known risk to taking it, it’s still always recommended to consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for medical advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provider related to medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.
About the Author
This article was written by Jamie Johnson. Jamie is a registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance health writer, recipe developer and mom with a passion for prenatal and pediatric nutrition. You can learn more about Jamie at www.ingrainingnutrition.com or follow her on Instagram at @ingrainingnutrition.
Recently had my first child and wanted to be prepared with a freezer of meals and snacks. These smoothies have been the perfect addition to my supply. Smoothies taste fantastic. Portions are pretty big and very satisfying. I have been very impressed with customer service as well. They worked with me on shipping issue. I never write reviews, but this team deserves to know they are appreciated and smoothies are delicious. Thank you!!
What an incredible thing to offer to pregnant and postpartum moms. It is so important to nourish our bodies during these vital times and Leto has really closed the gap on offering not only delicious smoothies, but organic and well thought out ingredients to help with absorption. They are delicious and my very favorite thing is the 100 mg of added choline to help with baby's brain development!!
I have been having the worst 'morning sickness' that lasts 24/7. These smoothies not only taste delicious, but are they only thing keeping my stomach happy. Plus they are so healthy for me and baby #2. Customer service is great too. Thanks for everything. I am a loyal customer forever!!
I am 8 weeks pregnant, cannot keep anything down and a good friend of mine brought over some of her ginger smoothies for me to try. They are absolutely amazing, and I am obsessed with all of the good ways to get vitamins in with these. I am so happy she shared them with me. It was an instant purchase and I cannot wait to try more
I absolutely love these smoothies. The ingredients are super clean & filling, and they're incredibly easy to make. Plus, you can add in your own protein powder to make it heartier if needed. I'm not pregnant but I would recommend them to anyone - pregnant or not!
YUM! You don't have to be a preggers or a mama to enjoy these smoothies. Was intrigued by the ingredients and ease but totally sold on the taste. Click add to cart!
These smoothies make it so easy to get the nutrition you need when pregnant. I love that I can just pull out a pack and blend it and have a great healthy breakfast or snack in minutes. No one wants to fuss with food prep when they’re pregnant! The peanut butter is my favorite but the greens is a close second. And did I say how easy it was?! Totally worth it!
When I was pregnant and I got hungry, I did NOT want to scrounge around looking for ingredients to make myself something healthy. So I usually just ate junk to get the calories in before I passed out. With everything prepped and portioned, Leto's smoothies solve this problem perfectly. Smoothies always feel like a treat but these are so easy and amazingly so nutritious. And with a bunch of different flavors it doesn't have to get boring to keep making smoothies.
Such a special treat! So many nutritious and energizing ingredients plus superior taste, what's more can you ask for? You've got to try for yourself!
You know that feeling when you are hungry and running late and not feeling great and wanting to eat healthy but also not having any fresh fruits and veggies in your fridge? That is me, almost every day and Leto smoothies have been a god send. I blend one in the morning to kick start my day.
Alright y'all, not only are these smoothies swoon worthy, but they taste delicious! I love that these smoothies are fortified with vitamins and nutrients relevant to my health needs. The greens smoothie reinvigorated my existence today. It's amazing how you can taste the quality of the ingredients and feel a difference.
It's so hard to find a frozen smoothie product that fulfills my daily nutrition needs, is great for everyone in the family, and has a taste that keeps me coming back. Leto Foods "Greens" checks all of these boxes and makes it easy for me and my family to stay healthy and sharp during the week! Love this brand!
I'm not pregnant, nor do I have kids, but these are literally the best make at home smoothies. The Greens Smoothie is so delicious and I can still taste all the healthy whole foods and greens in the smoothie. It revilatizes me, and it's the perfect thing to start off my day with nutrition and peace of mind!
Wow- these smoothies are not only delicious, but they're so good for you!!! It makes me feel so good knowing that they're nutritionist approved and shown to improve the health for pregnancy and postpartum life. A lot of smoothies claim to be healthy but are loaded with sugars-- not LETO foods!! They are honest, good for you, delicious, and enjoyable whether you're pregnant or not! I highly highly recommend.
I was gifted these smoothies from a friend as soon as she found out I was pregnant and let me tell you -- THESE ARE A GAME CHANGER. I had a relatively smooth first trimester compared to some of my girlfriends, but my food aversions/nausea were next level. Tough break for a foodie. I felt like I was barely getting any nutrients to my little fetus (just bagels). I had one of these smoothies every single day and just placed an order for 14 more. Also -- the CHOLINE!! I learned before I was pregnant the importance of choline (commonly found in eggs), but when you can't eat eggs what do you do? I was thrilled to find out I was getting enough Choline each day. HUGE in the first trimester!! Seriously love love love these smoothies. Truly helped me feel at ease about getting one nutrient dense meal per day. Also a plus -- they are easy on your tummy!! If you are pregnant BUY THESE and if you know someone who is pregnant this is the best gift you can give them. 10 stars!!!!!