It can be tough to get in a workout when you’re a mom. You’re probably exhausted from sleepless nights.
You have one more obstacle to overcome now that you’re doing your cardio while pushing a stroller.
It’s normal to want an added energy boost to help you power through an intense training session. But before taking a pre-workout supplement, you should consider how that extra caffeine might affect your baby through breast milk.
The best pre-workout for breastfeeding is the one with just the right amount of caffeine to give you the energy you need, but not so much that it could negatively affect your little one.
Many supplements contain over 300 milligrams of caffeine per serving (more than 3 cups of coffee!). Caffeine consumed by nursing mothers passes to their infants through breast milk.
If you’re a new mom wondering about your options for pre-workout, or if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, read on to find out!
Can I take a pre-workout while breastfeeding?
Most of the ingredients in pre-workout supplements are safe to take while breastfeeding. You should, however, avoid products that contain the stimulant DMAA (dimethylamylamine).
Most pre-workout powders and pills don’t have this ingredient since the FDA banned it in 2013.
Caffeine is a safe supplement for many people, including breastfeeding mothers, when consumed in moderation. However, you should be aware of your body’s reactions to caffeine and drink caffeinated beverages cautiously.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that consuming up to 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day is considered safe while breastfeeding. Although caffeine passes into breast milk, there’s little scientific evidence to suggest that moderate amounts of caffeine have any adverse effect on nursing infants.
However, some pre-workout supplements contain more than 300 mg of caffeine per serving.
Suppose you’re sensitive to caffeine or just want to play it safe. In that case, it’s best to avoid pre-workouts with caffeine.
Components of best Pre-workout for Breastfeeding
Of course, there are a lot of pre-workout supplements out there that claim they are the best for breastfeeding moms. But don’t be swayed by marketing campaigns aimed at nursing women.
So which one should you choose?
We will break down the different types of products on the market right now so you can make an informed decision. Some things to consider when selecting your product:
- Natural Ingredients
If possible, avoid ingredients that could affect your milk supply or your baby’s health. Such elements include ALL artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.
- Organic Ingredients
The American Dietetic Association recommends organic foods for infants and children under six years old because it reduces their exposure to harmful pesticides and chemicals. Organic foods tend to be of higher quality than non-organic, so look for organic pre-workout options.
Look for products specifically designed for athletes or breastfeeding moms. You will want something tailored to your needs rather than just generic pre-workouts with no specific target audience.
- Money-Back Guarantee
Make sure any company selling these pre-workouts offers a guarantee. If there ever comes a time when it doesn’t work out well for whatever reason, they’ll refund your money without hesitation.
- Serving Size
Another essential factor to consider when choosing a pre-workout for breastfeeding moms.
You should always choose a product with an appropriate serving size for your body weight to not exceed the recommended daily dosage. Remember that overconsumption can lead to side effects such as nausea, restlessness, and even dehydration.
- The duration of breastfeeding
If you’re still in the early months of breastfeeding, you must take extra caution when using caffeine supplements.
Too much can cause severe complications for your baby, like irritability and poor feeding pattern. Always consult your doctor before trying a new supplement.
How long after pre-workout can I breastfeed?
Most pre-workout supplements will have ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, and sugar alcohols. You will also find a combination of vitamins and minerals.
Caffeine passes through breast milk to a nursing baby – probably with minimal effects. To prevent any unnecessary impact on your baby, aim to wait at least 1 to 2 hours after taking a pre-workout before breastfeeding.
If you experience any side effects from your baby ingesting too much caffeine through breast milk, consult a doctor before continuing to take pre-workout while breastfeeding.
However, athletes who want to enhance their performance with pre-workout should only do so after entirely weaning from breastfeeding.
This decision will allow them to get the full effects of their workout and avoid any possible complications of taking pre-workout while breastfeeding.
Ingredients to avoid in a pre-workout when breastfeeding
When you’re breastfeeding, you have to be extra careful about the ingredients in your pre-workout.
Many of the ingredients found in pre-workouts can pass from your bloodstream into your breast milk. They can eventually find their way into your baby’s bloodstream.
But not all ingredients are harmful. Some are perfectly safe to consume while breastfeeding.
You should beware of the following ingredients:
- Artificial flavors
Most times, artificial sweeteners, colors, or other flavors are part of pre-workout powder mixes. These are just empty calories and chemicals with no nutritional benefit whatsoever.
This amino acid is found naturally in meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. Beta-alanine can cause tingling and prickly sensations under your skin in high doses, called paresthesia. Paresthesia isn’t harmful, but it may be uncomfortable for you and possibly even painful for your baby.
Breastfeeding mothers should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 300 mg per day, about two cups of coffee or four cans of soda. Too much caffeine can make your baby irritable, interfere with sleep patterns, and cause diarrhea.
- Alpha GPC
Alpha GPC is suitable for cognitive function. It helps your body produce more human growth hormones for muscle building. However, be careful because the stimulant form of Alpha GPC can interfere with breastfeeding.
- Yohimbine/Yohimbe extract
Yohimbine is a West African herb known for its aphrodisiac properties. Although it’s safe when healthy, you should avoid yohimbine if pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Bitter orange
Bitter orange is another weight-loss ingredient that you should avoid if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant. Bitter orange contains synephrine, which is similar to Ephedrine and can be dangerous for your baby’s health and can even cause death in some cases.
Taurine is an amino acid found in tissue and skeletal muscle.
While taurine is safe for most, some believe that taurine could cause dehydration in a newborn baby. Taurine can also increase hunger and cause diarrhea and stomach cramps. Avoid any supplements with high taurine levels.
Sugar in pre-workouts can come in sucrose, maltose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, and dextrose.
Sugar in moderation is good, but anything over 10g per serving is inappropriate for nursing mothers since it will spike insulin levels. The high sugar content can also result in hyperactivity and mood swings in your baby which will be no fun.
Healthy pre-workout for nursing moms
While there are plenty of pre-workout supplements that might not be safe for breastfeeding women, there are options that can safely give you the boost you need to get through your workout.
Look for ones that don’t have artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors, caffeine, creatine, or other stimulants.
Also, make sure to steer clear of any supplements with ephedra alkaloids and avoid products with DMAA as it can negatively impact milk supply.
Stick with pre-workout supplements with natural ingredients such as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals found in fruits and leafy greens like kale and spinach. Crazy Nutrition Pre Workout is a typical one with a unique blend of 19 natural ingredients safe for nursing women and all athletes.
Other sources of energy include coconut milk powder and matcha green tea powder.
The latter is considered a “superfood” thanks to its high levels of antioxidants. Many moms also enjoy pairing stevia leaf extract with their protein powder as a natural way to add sweetness without spiking blood sugar levels.
All in all, pre-workout supplementation is safe while breastfeeding- as long as you stick to natural products that won’t affect your milk supply.
What to look for in a pre-workout when breastfeeding?
Always look out for the ingredients. Keep in mind that certain pre-workouts can exacerbate common breastfeeding issues such as heartburn, insomnia, and trouble calming your baby.
Make sure you’re using only pre-workout products explicitly recommended for breastfeeding. Some pre-workouts contain ingredients that can pass into breast milk, so it’s not just about what goes into your body—it’s also about what goes into your baby’s.
In addition to that, look for products that have been tested for purity by a third party (and make sure they don’t include artificial sweeteners or flavors.
If you’re using an all-natural product, the best way to know if it’s safe for you and your baby is to consult with your doctor or midwife.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding and working out?
There are many great benefits to breastfeeding and working out, but combining the two can yield even more benefits!
If you’re looking to lose weight, breastfeeding can help in conjunction with a workout regimen. You burn about 800 calories per day by just breastfeeding, and with the proper diet, you can quickly lose your pregnancy weight.
If you’re looking to get into shape after giving birth, consider adding light exercise to your routine.
Exercising when you are breastfeeding has its benefits.
Working out can stabilize blood sugar levels and blood pressure for breastfeeding moms. It also helps reduce stress and tension, which can help with post-partum anxiety or depression.
But make sure you take it easy at first—you don’t want to overdo it.
What to eat before a workout when breastfeeding?
Many moms like to drink a smoothie with whey protein and some fruit before heading out the door, while others go for a granola bar. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too – breastfeeding can be dehydrating, so you’ll want to make sure you have water handy before, during, and after your workout.
Remember that it’s okay if you don’t feel like eating anything. Getting in shape is hard enough without adding the pressure of having to eat a bunch of healthy food.
It’s normal for your appetite to change after pregnancy, so just do what feels right.
If you don’t feel hungry, that’s okay—you won’t lose any more weight by forcing yourself to eat something you don’t want (and might even gain a few pounds).
Can breastfeeding moms take creatine?
You can take creatine while breastfeeding, but you want to ensure it’s high quality and does not affect your baby.
When shopping for creatine, you want to ensure it contains NO artificial sweeteners, food colorings, or fillers. Pre-workout powders are generally considered safe for breastfeeding moms and babies.
The only thing we need to worry about is making sure there are no ingredients that can negatively impact your baby’s health.
With supplements and pre-workout powders, make sure to speak with your doctor before taking anything new.
Can breastfeeding moms drink coffee?
Yes, but it’s best to keep your caffeine intake to less than 300 mg a day.
Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, soda, and over-the-counter medicines. If you’re breastfeeding and wondering about caffeine, you need to consider the amount of caffeine in everything.
The amount of caffeine that makes its way into breast milk is relatively small.
But suppose your baby consumes too much caffeine from breast milk or other sources (including formula). In that case, they can experience sleep problems or be fussy or irritable.
Also read: Does Pre-workout Affect Birth Control pills?
If you are breastfeeding and looking for a pre-workout drink, consider the Crazy Nutrition Pre-workout. It will give you energy and help keep your milk supply up.
Be sure to always consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement or diet plan.
What is your favorite pre-workout drink while breastfeeding?