The Best Protein Shakes for Diabetics and Gestational Diabetics

vanilla protein shake for diabetic on a wood platter with two bananas and almonds next to it

Managing diabetes in pregnancy is not for the weak. During pregnancy, you may experience food aversions, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and just plain discomfort. All these things can impact our nutrition and make it challenging to follow your gestational diabetes meal plan. This is where protein shakes for diabetics are an easy solution.

Liquid foods are easier to digest and can be less upsetting to your stomach. With the right protein shake, you can easily boost your prenatal nutrition and get the protein and healthy fats you need to balance your blood sugar.

In this blog, I will share some of my favorite diabetes protein shakes as a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, including premade gestational diabetes protein shakes, favorite protein powders, and recipes to make at home.

The Best Pre Made Protein Shakes for Diabetics

These diabetic-friendly protein shakes are delicious and will help give you the prenatal nutrition you need and balanced blood sugar to help you grow a healthy baby.

  1. Premier Protein Drink
    • This is the most popular protein drink loved by my clients. The price point is lower than most other drinks and gives you a whopping 30g of protein.
  2. Ripple Plant-Based Protein Drink
    • This is my personal favorite as a dairy-intolerant and sugar-substitute-intolerant individual. These protein drinks provide 20g of protein 13 g of carbohydrates, and are sweetened with a small amount of real cane sugar.
  3. OWYN Plant-Based Protein Drink
    • This is another amazing gestational diabetes protein drink. OWYN is plant-based and free of 9 major food allergens. It’s sweetened with a bit of cane sugar. This diabetes-friendly protein drink has 20g of protein and only 8g of carbohydrates.
  4. Orgain Organic Protein Drink
    • Orgain is an excellent option for plant-based and whey protein. Orgain carries a variety of different protein drinks with different amounts of protein. For a gestational diabetes protein drink, I recommend drinks that contain 20g or 26g of protein.
  5. Fairlife Core Power
    • This drink tastes like chocolate milk, and my clients love this protein drink. Fairlife Core Power has two high-protein drinks. One contains 26g g of protein drink, and the other contains 46g of protein drink. Both drinks are made of high-quality protein from dairy and have less than 10g of carbohydrates, making them excellent protein drinks for diabetics.

The Best Protein Powders for Gestational Diabetics

diabetic shaking a shaker bottle for a protein shake for diabetics
  1. Designer Whey
    • Designer Whey has an incredible 20g of high-quality protein in 1 scoop and only 6 grams of carbs. Designer Wellness is known for using high-quality ingredients and no fake additives. 
  2. Vital Protein Collagen Unflavored
    • What I love about Vital Proteins Collagen Unflavored is that it is just pure amino acids, nothing else added. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, so this powder is just pure protein! Two scoops will give you about 18g of protein. This is an excellent option if you hate flavored protein powder. It’s easy to hide in foods and drinks. I have been known to add it to both my coffee and Spindrift sparkling water.
  3. Vega Plant Based Protein Powder 
    • Vega is a favorite among my clients for a plant-based protein powder with 15-25g of high-quality protein and no weird additives.

Gestational Diabetes Protein Shake Recipes

  1. Berry Bliss Diabetes Protein Smoothie
    • Ingredients
      • ½ cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, cherries)
      • 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
      • tablespoon of chia seeds
      • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
    • Instructions
      • Place all ingredients in a blender.
      • Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
  2. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
    • Ingredients
      • ½ greenish banana
      • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter or PB2
      • 1 cup Fairlife ultra filter milk or non-dairy milk like coconut, almond, or flaxseed milk
      • 1 tbsp 100% dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
    • Instructions
      • Place all ingredients in a blender.
      • Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
  3. Green Goddess Power Protein Smoothie
    • Ingredients
      • 1 cup spinach leaves
      • ½ avocado
      • ½ cup mango
      • 1 scoop protein powder
    • Instructions
      • Place all ingredients in a blender.
      • Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
  4. Cinnamon Almond Morning Latte Protein Shake
    •  Ingredients
      • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
      • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 2 tablespoons almond butter
      • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    • Instructions
      • Heat almond milk on the stovetop or in the microwave ( do, not boil)
      • Add the heated milk to a blender with all the ingredients.
      • Blend until frothy
      • Pour into a mug and sprinkle cinnamon on top
      • Enjoy!
  5. Chocolate Pudding Protein Smoothie
    • Ingredients
      • 1 avocado
      • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
      • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
      • 1 greenish banana
      • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or flaxseed milk 
    • Instructions
      • Place all ingredients in a blender.
      • Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Bottomline

Gestational Diabetes Protein drinks, whether homemade or premade, are an excellent way to boost your nutrition during pregnancy and keep blood sugars within a normal range. 

Learn about all my product recommendations and holistic approaches to gestational diabetes in my Mastering Gestational Diabetes Course here!

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Ginger Cochran is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Care Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist, and owner of Nutritious Ginger, an integrative and functional nutrition practice focusing on full body self-care and nourishment. Ginger’s primary specialty is women’s health, with a special emphasis on gestational diabetes, weight management, infertility, digestive wellness, and overall health + happiness.
Ginger serves on the board of director for the Nutrition Care Manual by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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