Drinking Soft Drinks during Pregnancy – Is It Harmful?

Drinking Soft Drinks during Pregnancy - Is It Harmful?

Most women are aware of the fact that alcohol is detrimental to the baby’s growth and hence satiate their cravings by replacing it with flavoured drinks, soda, diet soda, plain soda or even a cold drink during pregnancy.

Is it Safe to Drink Soft or Carbonated Drinks during Pregnancy?

Ideally, pregnant women should consume milk, fruit juices, milkshakes etc. and avoid all forms of soda, cold drinks, caffeinated drinks and energy drinks during this phase. It is safe when ingested in moderation though it may not be the best option. For women wondering “Can I drink soft or cold drinks during pregnancy,” here’s why you should not.

Harmful Effects of Drinking Soft and Fizzy Drinks In Pregnancy?

Here are some of the harmful effects of drinking soft drinks regularly during pregnancy.

1. Side effects of caffeine

Most cokes and colas contain caffeine, which is addictive and has multiple detrimental side effects. Caffeine uptake in the blood is fast and reaches the baby quickly through the placenta. The caffeine affects your central nervous system and the adrenal gland while remaining in your circulatory system for about 11 hours, and the unborn baby struggles to break down this toxic substance. Caffeine is a diuretic and causes dehydration too.

The absolute top-recommended limits for pregnant women should not exceed 200mg of caffeine per day. Besides affecting your rest and sleep an intake exceeding 300mg of caffeine can lead to a miscarriage. Over 500mg of caffeine, a day leads to chronic high heartbeat and breathing levels and heartburn in the baby. It is hence advisable to avoid cokes, coffees, chocolates, brownies and anything containing caffeine.

2. Side effects of artificial sweeteners and preservatives

Colouring agents, preservatives, sweeteners and flavours are unhealthy and more so in pregnancy. Here’s what they can do. Sugar intake can increase your weight and complications may occur in the pregnancy and also affect your baby’s growth. Colouring agents contain a dye which could cause allergies in the baby. The presence of the banned saccharin in soft drinks can pass through to the baby and accumulate in the bladder.

3. Side effects of ice-cold beverages

A pregnant woman’s stomach is temperature-sensitive. Having iced and chilled drinks may lead to the stomach and blood vessels shrinking all of a sudden can’t be good for the baby, right? Side effects of this could be reduced appetite, indigestion, stomach spasms and early miscarriage besides lowering the unborn baby’s food supply and growth leading to congenital disabilities.

Side Effects of Ice-cold Beverages

4. Side effects of sweeteners and added calories

When you are pregnant you are eating for two and so should take extra food, nutrition and care. Reduce the intake of soft drinks that add calories and no nutritional value to the baby’s growth. The added calories could lead to overweight babies.

5. Side effects of carbonated water

Colas and soft drinks have carbon-dioxide bubbles. Towards the end of pregnancy, you are extremely sensitive, and carbonic acid may give you severe heartburn and indigestion increasing the acidic levels for close to an hour. Added to this caffeine makes the heartburn in you and the baby worse.

6. Side effects of Flavouring

Flavouring contains Phosphoric Acid, which leads to calcium leaching from the bones. The lack of calcium makes the bones brittle, which is undesirable, especially in pregnancy.

7. Side effects on Baby’s Brain

Study shows that when a mom-to-be had more sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, their babies tend to have the poorer problem-solving ability and verbal memory. Drinking it during pregnancy was linked to poorer fine motor, visual, spatial and visual-motor abilities in early childhood.

Alternatives to Soft or Fizzy Drinks During Pregnancy?

Yes, of course! Your cravings during pregnancy for cool drinks can be satiated with healthy alternatives that are additive and caffeine-free, have less sugar and lots of nutrient value.

Just remember that water is always the best base and helps with some symptoms like constipation, itching belly, feeling tired, headaches etc. You need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, which makes a daunting task. To satiate the craving for cold drinks with a blend of water in the following healthy recipes. A single serving of a fizzy cold drink is okay though not the safest and best alternative. Here are a few ways to help those erratic urges and cravings. Drink a glass of milk, fresh fruit juice, lassi or coconut water instead. Exercise and try these recipes.

1. Buttermilk recipes

Buttermilk Recipes

Use buttermilk with a dash of ginger, onion, coriander and salt to form an excellent health drink. You can experiment by blending it into smoothies or as a standalone. Careful not to drink too much.

2. Homemade Smoothie Mocktails

Homemade Smoothie Mocktails

Use fruits like apples, bananas, chickoo, musk-melon, watermelon, grapes, and whichever fruits you desire. Blend in half a cup of water or milk to make a delicious smoothie.

3. Fruit-Veggie Combos

Fruit-Veggie Combos

Use a juicer to blend fruit and a vegetable and avoid sweeteners. Try combining carrots with apples, oranges, pineapples etc.

4. Lemon based cool drinks

Lemon Based Cool Drinks

Make limeade with lemon slices in plain water, or lime juice, water and any other fresh fruit juice to flavour. Lemon and limes are known for their limiting of morning sickness and nausea. Besides, they provide beneficial minerals and vitamins.

5. Fruit cup in mineral water

Fresh Fruit Cup in Mineral Water

Make yourself a fruit cup with slices of fruits of your choice like watermelon, lemon, orange, pear, kiwi, litchis, passion fruit, mangoes, cherries or bananas. Pour mineral water over it and dig in.

There are several flavoursome drinks that you can try in place of soft drinks that not only keep you refreshed during pregnancy but also offer you a host of nutrients and benefits.

Also Read: 

Healthy and Refreshing Drinks during Pregnancy
Fruits That You Should Not Eat During Pregnancy