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Ask any mother what the hardest things about pregnancy were, and you’ll almost always find a couple of things on the list – not having any energy, and not being able to consume caffeine to help with it all!
It doesn’t matter whether it’s an energy drink, coffee, or one of those handy 5 hour energy shots, unfortunately it’s recommended that you give these up when you discover that you’re pregnant. As difficult as this may be to accept, let’s quickly over a few reasons why any caffeine source – and especially energy drinks, are not recommended for pregnant mothers.
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Why Shouldn’t Pregnant Mothers Drink Energy Drinks?
While you’re pregnant, foods and beverages that you consume are passed on to your baby, and this includes the ingredients inside of energy drinks. Many of these have not been researched deeply enough to know the full range of effects that they may have on a developing fetus, which poses a concern due to the wide variety of energy drinks available on the market.
Note that energy drinks are not necessarily regulated by the FDA, as many manufacturers of energy drinks attempt to classify their products as ‘dietary supplements’ – which have less safety regulations tied to them than other classifications of products.
Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, which is linked to a number of concerns for pregnant mothers. For example, caffeine increases both blood pressure and heart rate, while also increasing the frequency of urination. Caffeine is also passed on to your baby, who cannot fully metabolize the caffeine as well as you can.
While a small amount of caffeine each day (under 200 mg) is unlikely to have any serious issues, it is best to consume as little of it as possible. If you have a dependency on caffeine prior to beginning pregnancy, you may wish to continue your morning cup of coffee or tea to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
What Should Be Done Instead To Boost Energy During Pregnancy?
Rather than sipping off a caffeinated beverage, it is recommended to make dietary changes to help improve energy and reduce fatigue during pregnancy.
Although an energy drink might seem like a quick fix on a difficult day, adding foods to your diet that are known to improve energy will provide more lasting results, making it easier to push forward and reducing the urge to reach for a caffeinated beverage.
Some of these foods include eggs, fish, nuts, oatmeal, and mangoes!
Energy Drinks And Pregnancy: A Quick FAQ
Taurine Is A Common Ingredient In Energy Drinks. Is It Safe For Pregnancy?
Fortunately, there is no evidence that taurine (also commonly called L-taurine) is unsafe for babies. In fact, taurine is a natural amino acid that is produced by our own bodies. However, extensive studies have not been conducted showing whether or not the extra taurine that energy drinks provide is safe during pregnancy. Therefore, we recommend erring on the side of caution, and avoiding it.
Can Drinking Energy Drinks Cause A Miscarriage?
Studies have not been conducted to test this specifically. However, we know that high levels of caffeine can mutate the DNA in animals, leading to miscarriage.
Due to the inconclusiveness of studies that have been done regarding consuming caffeine while pregnant, it is unclear whether there is a serious risk.
What About Sports Drinks? Are Sports Drinks Safe During Pregnancy?
Sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade are safe to consume while pregnant, and can be considered a healthy alternative to energy drinks.
Is There Any Trimester Where Energy Drinks Are Safe?
Unfortunately, energy drinks are not recommended regardless of whether you are in the 1st trimester, 2nd trimester, or 3rd trimester.
Can You Drink Energy Drinks While Breastfeeding?
Once your baby is born, drinking energy drinks and other beverages with caffeine content becomes much safer. However, you should still be careful to consume these only in moderation, especially if you are breastfeeding. Consult a doctor before making any dietary changes, as babies with certain conditions may be particularly prone to unwanted effects from these changes.
Caffeine and other ingredients inside energy drinks can be passed on to your baby while breastfeeding. As your baby ages, their body is better able to metabolize the caffeine.
Although it can be difficult to give up energy drinks when you become pregnant, it is worth holding off on your favorite Monster, Red Bull, or other beverage throughout your pregnancy. The risks are simply too high, and not enough is known about how these beverages affect your baby’s development.
While a small amount of caffeine should not cause any issues, it is recommended to replace energy drinks with healthy alternatives as quickly as possible.
We’d love to hear from you about your favorite tips to boost energy during pregnancy, as it will surely help other parents out as well. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment down below with your insight, or jump on into a discussion over on our forums!
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