Pregnancy is a beautiful yet tiring journey. Having your body go through drastic changes while simultaneously keeping up with your everyday tasks can be exhausting, to say the least.
Women have the strength to go through all that for the sake of their baby, but there can be days when you feel like having an energy boost to help you get through.
When you think of a quick and easy fix for your low energy levels, you usually land on energy drinks, but is it an option while you are pregnant?
Well, it’s hard to answer with a simple yes or no. Multiple elements come into play, but one of the major factors to consider is the high caffeine content of energy drinks.
The effects of caffeine on pregnancy have been under study, and there are two opinions on it.
One is that you can have a limited amount of caffeine while pregnant, but others say pregnant women should avoid consuming any amount of caffeine.
Let’s discuss this in more detail ahead.
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Main Ingredients in an Energy Drink
To understand whether or not energy drinks are suitable for pregnant women, you must know what mainly goes in an energy drink.
There are various components like synthetic energy boosters, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors that make up an energy drink. Depending on the brand, their quantity and quality can vary.
However, some ingredients are common in most energy drinks which I have discussed below.
Caffeine forms the basis of the energy drink formula. The impact of caffeine on mental and physical performance makes it a popular ingredient in the energy drink industry.
If you’re not a morning person, caffeine will help you feel active and energized within an hour or half after its consumption.
However, energy drinks often face criticism due to their high caffeine content. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to various side effects like:
- Severe headache
- High blood pressure
To avoid experiencing these side effects, limit your daily caffeine intake to 400mg as recommended by FDA.
Sugar is another ingredient found in excess in energy drinks. It provides you with an instant energy boost by increasing your blood glucose levels.
But consumption of sugar is far more harmful to your health than it is beneficial.
Sugar consumption has been linked to excessive weight gain, which in turn leads to various other health problems.
It also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and various heart and kidney conditions.
Cutting sugar completely from your diet is quite difficult as it is found in various processed food and drinks. Therefore, the American Health Association (AHA) recommends a daily sugar limit of 24 and 36g for women and men, respectively.
Guarana is a natural energy booster found in most energy drinks due to its stimulating properties. It is comprised of various antioxidants and stimulants, including caffeine.
Since caffeine is a major part of guarana extract, its effects are quite similar to caffeine.
Guarana improves mental performance and improves attention span. It also has a significant impact on your physical strength and stamina.
Most energy drinks contain a significant amount of taurine as it helps improve athletic performance and delays fatigue.
Taurine is an amino acid naturally found in meat and fish. It plays a varied role in the body, regulating various body functions. However, its effect on mental and physical strength is what makes it a popular ingredient in energy drinks.
Essential vitamins are added to an energy drink to provide you with that extra layer of physical strength and stamina.
The addition of vitamins helps your body nourish and perform at its best. Most energy drinks contain B-vitamins as they improve energy production.
Is It Okay To Drink Energy Drinks While Pregnant?
Since energy drinks have a high amount of caffeine and sugar along with other active ingredients, it is better to avoid consuming energy drinks while pregnant.
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes in order to adjust to its new normal, therefore what you put into it becomes extremely important.
Even if you can handle caffeine well, during pregnancy your body is likely to experience an increase in blood pressure, indigestion, and restlessness due to the stimulating properties of caffeine.
Since guarana also contains a good amount of caffeine, its intake during pregnancy can hinder the health and wellbeing of you and your baby.
Another major component of energy drinks is sugar. Whether you are pregnant or not, regular sugar intake leads to excess weight gain. This can cause an additional problem to your already changing body.
The effects of active ingredients like taurine and BCAAs on pregnant women lack research, but any ingredient whose effects on the body are unknown is best to be avoided.
Can Caffeine Cause Miscarriage?
Caffeine isn’t directly a cause of miscarriage, but it can become a contributing factor.
Various researches have shown that caffeine consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirths, low birth weight, and miscarriage.
When you consume caffeine while pregnant, the baby is exposed to its effects. This can impact its health and development.
Recent studies suggest that eliminating caffeine from your diet while pregnant is far safer than consuming it in limited amounts.
Can You Drink Sugar-Free Energy Drinks While Pregnant?
No, since sugar-free drinks contain caffeine and other active ingredients, you should not drink them while pregnant.
Even though sugar-free energy drinks are relatively better than regular energy drinks, they still contain caffeine. Since pregnant women are prone to experiencing nausea, anxiety, and stress, which in turn can impact the baby’s health, it is best to avoid sugar-free energy drinks.
Can You Have Red Bull While Pregnant?
Drinking Red Bull while pregnant can lead to various health issues and complications.
Even though the drink is packed with essential vitamins, it still contains a significant amount of caffeine and taurine. Based on my research, consuming anything caffeine-related should be avoided to minimize any potential risk factors during pregnancy.
But if you can’t resist drinking Red Bull, make sure you consult your doctor before it.
What Happens If You Drink Red Bull While Pregnant?
Since Red Bull contains caffeine, it can result in high blood pressure, restlessness, irregular sleeping pattern, and anxiety.
While you are pregnant, whatever you consume has a direct impact on the baby’s wellbeing. Therefore it is better to consume products that contain natural and nutritional ingredients.
Energy drinks like Red Bull can contain ingredients that are synthetic and powerful. These ingredients can be easily broken down by our body but they can be toxic to the baby’s health.
Will One Energy Drink Hurt Your Baby?
No, one energy drink has fewer chances of hurting your baby.
One energy drink is less likely to impact your baby’s health, but it’s better to consult your doctor to know for sure.
Based on some studies, 150-200mg of caffeine in a day isn’t dangerous during pregnancy. This shows that there is room for consuming some caffeine content without putting your and your baby’s health at risk.
Best Energy Drinks for Pregnancy
An energy boost can be very essential during pregnancy, however, since all energy drinks contain caffeine, I would recommend not drinking any energy drink at all.
Most energy drinks come with a warning label that states that they are not suitable for women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways you can get the required energy boost.
I have put together a list of natural energy-boosting drinks that you can enjoy without any risks.
Natural Energy Drinks for Pregnancy
Coconut water is a natural energy booster. It contains various minerals and electrolytes that will replenish your energy elves and make you feel active.
It also keeps you hydrated and regulates blood pressure levels.
Lemon juice is a rich source of vitamin C that will help your body feel refreshed and active. It can help with digestion and it keeps your blood glucose level in control.
Smoothies and Shakes
Smoothies and shakes are the best way to get all your daily nutrients and minerals deliciously.
When it comes to smoothies and shakes, the choices are endless. You can use any of your favorite fruit or vegetable and prepare yourself with an all-natural and healthy energy booster.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, apples, and various green vegetables are a great source of energy and essential vitamins.
They will help fight fatigue and ensure a healthy and thriving body.
Energy drinks are comprised of various ingredients. The impact of each ingredient on pregnancy is hard to examine. Therefore based on its major ingredients like caffeine and sugar, it can be concluded that energy drinks aren’t a suitable energy source for pregnant women.
But there are various options that can help you get your body energized while pregnant. Regular exercise and consuming natural drinks can help you stay fit and active.