5 Energy-Boosting Recipes For When Pregnancy Is Zapping Your Strength

May 15, 2023

While pregnancy is a natural and beautiful experience, it’s also draining! There are so many changes happening in your body to support the growth of your baby. Extreme tiredness in early pregnancy is completely normal due to hormone fluctuations, increased blood volume, and anemia. However, you can have more energy in early pregnancy by adding a few key ingredients to your diet.

“Pregnancy fatigue is primarily due to ramped-up production of the hormone progesterone, which supports your pregnancy and increases [the] production of milk glands required for breastfeeding later on,” says What To Expect. Not only this, your body needs to create and pump extra blood to get nutrients and oxygen to your baby.

This is energy-zapping work. Luckily, there are pregnancy power foods to increase your energy. 

Here are five pregnancy nutrition recipes you can keep on rotation to support your body and create natural energy:

Morning Sickness-Friendly Chicken Barley Soup

This energy-boosting soup is also the perfect natural treatment for morning sickness during early pregnancy. 

Packed with chicken, herbs, and veggies, this soup will help increase your hydration levels and is gluten-free and heartburn-free

Chicken is an amazing source of protein for pregnant women, as it is a natural source of iron, zinc, and choline, the latter being a nutrient that is important for a baby’s brain and spine development. 

This super easy-to-cook protein choice is also rich in B vitamins (such as niacin also known as B3; B6, and B12) which play crucial roles in energy production.

This recipe calls for chicken broth, a glycine-rich ingredient. While this amino acid is naturally made in the body, during pregnancy, the demand for glycine increases due to its role in building and maintaining healthy tissue in both mama and baby.

The other main ingredient in this recipe, barley, is rich in magnesium, an essential mineral for energy production.

Get the full recipe here

Tip: It’s essential to stay hydrated to keep your energy up during pregnancy. Make sure you’re drinking enough water and download our free How To Stay Hydrated Guide.

How to Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy

Hydration Tips While Pregnant

Get the Guide

Staying hydrated isn’t just about drinking water, it’s about eating the right foods, too! This guide gives you a full list of all the hydrating foods and liquids you can add to your diet to fight constipation, increase maternal blood volume, and keep you hydrated!

A peek inside:

  • The most hydrating fruits: citrus, melons, berries
  • The best veggies and leafy greens for pregnancy hydration
  • Pregnancy-safe herbal teas
  • Plus a list of liquids to sip on all day long

Sail Away Mediterranean Salmon Bowl

A fresh salad bowl perfect for warm days, this recipe includes a pregnancy superfood: Salmon. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat eight to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish each week – and salmon is considered to be low in mercury. 

“Compared with other sources of protein, fish is often higher in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. DHA plays an especially important role during pregnancy by contributing to fetal brain development, and it has been linked to better infant and child development,” explains Healthline

Salmon is also an amazing source of protein, B vitamins, and magnesium, which are all essential for energy production. 

This bowl also includes quinoa, another must-have ingredient to add to your pantry for energy. This grain is rich in fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. 

Filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and garlicky yogurt, this is a filling, refreshing bowl for lunch or dinner. 

Get the full recipe here

Triplet Chili with Black Beans, Pinto Beans, and Kidney Beans

This chili includes three of the best vegetarian sources of natural energy! All three beans – black, pinto, and kidney – are rich in magnesium, protein, and folate. Folate is important to include on your pregnancy nutrition checklist for its role in the production of red blood cells and can help prevent anemia; anemia can be energy-zapping during pregnancy. 

Topping this chili with avocados and cheddar cheese is an ideal way to finish off this dish not only for the taste, but also for the energy-boosting benefits. Vitamin B6 (found in avocados) and zinc (found in cheddar cheese) both play crucial roles in converting food into energy.

Tip: This is a great recipe to batch cook and freeze for the future. 

Get the full recipe here.

Easy Enchiladas with Turkey, Refried Beans, and Monterey Jack

This dish is the perfect choice to satisfy your salty and spicy cravings. Plus, as the name suggests, it’s simple to make! With just 10 ingredients and 45 minutes in the oven, you’ll have a dinner that is not only delicious and filling, but will also boost your energy

Refried beans are a great energy-boosting legume for pregnancy, while turkey is not only a fantastic source of protein and rich in vitamin B6, it also has iodine, a key component in the regulation of the metabolism and energy production.

This healthy enchilada casserole also calls for a can of tomato sauce, an easy way to get tomatoes into your diet! As tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, they help boost your immune system and reduce the risk of iron-deficiency anaemia that can develop during pregnancy.

Get the full recipe here

Cesarian Caesar

A perfect no-cook side or light lunch, our take on the classic Caesar salad is full of kale, a leafy green that can help support energy production and overall vitality. “Although a cup of cooked kale contains a mere 36 calories, it’s not light on nutrients. That amount delivers 3 grams of fiber, as well as 10 percent of your daily requirement of bone-building calcium. A cup of kale also delivers more than all of the vitamins A and C you need in a day,” advises Parents

Anchovies are another key ingredient in this energy-boosting salad. Rich in calcium, niacin, omega-3, protein, and zinc, this easy-to-find fish is a great addition to your diet. 

Get the full recipe here

We have a free guide to the best energy-boosting ingredients to add to your diet! Click here to get your copy. 

The Best Energy-Boosting Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

A List of Nutrient-Rich Foods for Expecting Moms

Get the Guide

It’s not uncommon to feel exhausted or sleep-deprived during your pregnancy and postpartum period (also known as the fourth trimester). So, if you’re ready to add some energy-boosting ingredients to your daily meals, you’ll find this guide has exactly what you’ve been craving.

A peek inside:

  • Energy-boosting fruits
  • Vivacious vegetables
  • Packed proteins: meat, seafood, dairy
  • Supercharged seeds and nuts
  • Life-giving leafy greens, legumes, and grains
  • A few tips for other ways to naturally boost your energy that don’t include caffeine
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
Kendra Aronson

Hi Mama, I’m Kendra!

Founder of Pregnant and Hungry, and a mama on a mission to provide other mamas with delicious, nutritious, and easy recipes for pregnancy and motherhood. If that’s what you’re craving, make sure to dig into the blog or learn more about the Pregnant and Hungry subscription.
See Subscription Details

Hungry for more?
Take a bite of these guides:

Our recipes are developed under the caring guidance of an RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) in addition to a Licensed Midwife in good standing with the California Medical Board who’s also a Certified Professional Midwife as granted by the North American Registry of Midwives and a professional Lactation Consultant as certified by the IBCLC (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners). While we refer to trusted sources from peer-reviewed medical journals to information from highly regarded worldwide health institutions, this website is not intended to replace medical advice. Consult your personal midwife, doctor, or nutritionist with health questions related to your pregnancy and postpartum journey.

I'm so happy you're here, Mama!


Before getting pregnant with my daughter, I spent a ton of time scouring the internet for easy, pregnancy-safe recipes and nutrition advice tailored to my taste preferences, unique dietary needs, and anticipated ailments—only to realize that no such resource existed. I knew I wasn’t the only one who could benefit from this information, so I set out to create this site from scratch for all of us mamas-to-be!

Today, Pregnant and Hungry is not only the sole searchable collection of pregnancy-friendly recipes on the internet, but our website is packed full of helpful resources and free information for any mama who finds herself asking the same questions I was: what do I need to know about nutrition and pregnancy, and where can I find the answers and recipes?

If you’re looking for free resources, dig into the blog, and if you want unlimited access to hundreds of recipes, check out the Pregnant and Hungry subscription. 

Subscribe Today

Pregnancy Eating Resources

Whether you’re looking for answers about what to eat when you’re pregnant, the best cures for pregnancy ailments (we’re talking about you, constipation, heartburn, and morning sickness!), or ways to handle trickier topics like asking for help with meals or handling gestational diabetes, we’ve put all of our best (and free!) resources in one place so you can find exactly what you’re searching for. You’ve got this, Mama!

Resource Library

Track your baby's size and growth week-by-week!

Download the full collection of illustrations!

Subscribe to Pregnant and Hungry

Access unlimited pregnancy-safe recipes, save favorites to your personal dashboard, create custom weekly meal plans, and get complete grocery lists. Our easy RDN-approved recipes ensure you are getting optimal prenatal nutrition for you and your baby.

Pregnant and Hungry

Monthly Subscription

$9 / Month Charged Monthly
Subscribe Monthly Cancel anytime.

Hungry for Savings?

You and your baby are worth it!
Unlock savings now.

Pregnant and Hungry

3-Month Subscription

$27 $24 one-time fee Save $3
Buy 3-Month Access Perfect for one trimester: first, second, third, or fourth (postpartum!)
Most Popular

Pregnant and Hungry

6-Month Subscription

$54 $45 one-time fee Save $9
Buy 6-Month Access Support for 2 trimesters

Pregnant and Hungry

9-Month Subscription

$81 $63 one-time fee Save $18
Buy 9-Month Access For the mama who wants to be nourished through her whole pregnancy
Best Value

Pregnant and Hungry

12-Month Subscription

$108 $78 one-time fee Save $30
Buy 12-Month Access For the mama who values her postpartum healing journey as much as her pregnancy

Looking to give Pregnant and Hungry as a gift?

Site Design by Shoppe Theory
Site Development by Alchemy+Aim

This is a subscription feature. Please subscribe or log in to your account.