Energy Drinks While Pregnant - Is It Safe Or Not?

Energy Drinks While Pregnant – Is It Safe?

As a result of effective marketing campaigns, people worldwide are purchasing energy drinks. Among the numerous health benefits of energy drinks, their ability to improve physical performance, mental concentration, and alertness are significant.

Anemia associated with pregnancy can be caused by consuming energy drinks while pregnant, and these women frequently experience exhaustion and cannot perform at their highest levels. Excessive caffeine consumption has also been shown to be harmful to the fetus, and these are issues that a doctor should investigate. While energy drinks are generally considered safe to consume in pregnancy, pregnant women should avoid these beverages because they can cause weight gain.

While energy drinks may contain high levels of caffeine and other potentially harmful ingredients, they are not recommended for pregnant women. Caffeine is found in various over-the-counter cold and flu medications, in particular. According to the labels of the majority of energy drink brands, pregnant and lactating women should refrain from consuming energy drinks to avoid complications. Continue reading to find out more information about energy drinks during pregnancy.

Can You Drink Energy Drinks While Pregnant? 

Pregnant women should know the risks of consuming energy drinks containing potentially hazardous substances. Several issues are stating what happens if you drink energy drinks while pregnant. Likewise, too much sodium can cause swelling in the hands and feet; too much caffeine has been linked to growth restriction and a possible increase in certain conditions such as ADD or ADHD later in life; too much sugar can make you feel bad when it drops suddenly after digestion and contribute to weight gain, and too many calories or carbohydrates can contribute to excessive weight gain in children.

What Are the Components of Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks are popular beverages known for their stimulating effects, often consumed to enhance alertness and combat fatigue. While these beverages can provide a quick energy boost, it’s crucial to understand their components and potential health implications. Energy drinks typically contain the following components:

  • Caffeine: A central nervous system stimulant that enhances alertness and reduces fatigue.
  • Sugar: Provides a quick source of energy, but excessive consumption may have adverse health effects.
  • Taurine: An amino acid that is naturally found in the body and may play a role in energy metabolism.
  • B vitamins: Essential for various metabolic processes and energy production.
  • Amino acids: Some energy drinks may include amino acids like L-carnitine or L-arginine, which are involved in energy metabolism.
  • Herbal extracts: Certain energy drinks may contain extracts from herbs like ginseng or guarana, believed to have stimulant effects.

What Are the Risks of Having Energy Drinks When Pregnant? 

When it comes to consuming energy drinks while pregnant, many expectant mothers are concerned about the potential risks. Caffeine may be safe to consume during pregnancy; however, energy drinks containing foreign ingredients should be avoided during this time. Also, due to the high levels of caffeine in the beverage, it can have a negative impact on a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

While energy drinks may appear to be a quick fix when you’re in a rush to get out the door, they contain a significant amount of caffeine, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. Even though a single 24-ounce serving of these beverages can contain up to 500 milligrams of caffeine, they frequently contain significant amounts of sugar and other potentially harmful chemicals to an unborn child during pregnancy. The consumption of energy drinks while pregnant may also result in the delivery of a premature baby, so it is important to keep this in mind.

It is strongly advised that you avoid consuming energy drinks at all costs while you are expecting your child. When finished with more than two or three cups throughout the day, coffee may be harmful to your developing fetus, although one cup of coffee per day may not be harmful. Various factors are stating why can’t you drink energy drinks while pregnant.

Check out the hidden risks of having energy drinks when pregnant.

1. High in sugar content 

Even though they are called “energy drinks,” these beverages are high in sugar, and Coca-Cola contains less sugar per 12-ounce cup than a standard energy drink, with significantly more sugar. This may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and congenital disabilities in infants and children during pregnancy and childhood. These dangers are particularly concerning because most energy drinks do not specify their sugar content, making it impossible to know precisely how much sugar you are consuming on a given day.

2. Caffeine 

Caffeine serves as the primary active ingredient in energy drinks. A 24-ounce serving can contain up to 500 milligrams of caffeine, approximately the same as 5 cups of coffee on an average day. The caffeine content of these beverages can be extremely high, which can be harmful to the developing fetus. In addition to caffeine, energy drinks may contain other toxic substances, such as additives and coloring agents, which are not recommended for consumption during pregnancy.

3. Stimulant and diuretic properties 

Caffeine has stimulant and diuretic properties, among other things. Coffee is a stimulant; it raises your blood pressure and increases your heart rate, and thus is not recommended during pregnancy. Caffeine also has the additional effect of increasing the frequency of urination, causing your body fluid levels to drop and leading to dehydration.

4. Caffeine enters the unborn child’s system 

Caffeine crosses the placenta and enters the system of your unborn child. Your baby does not have the enzymes necessary to break down caffeine, even though the levels of caffeine you consume may be tolerable for you. In large doses, caffeine has the potential to cause changes to your unborn baby’s sleep pattern or typical movement pattern during the latter stages of pregnancy, especially if consumed in the first trimester. Remember that coffee is a stimulant and may cause both you and your baby to become restless due to its consumption.

5. Break-down of caffeine slows with age 

As pregnancy progresses, the adverse effects of caffeine become more apparent to you. The fact that your body’s ability to break down caffeine diminishes with age means that you end up with a higher concentration of caffeine in your bloodstream. To compensate for this, it takes nearly twice as long to eliminate caffeine from your system during your second trimester as it does when you are not pregnant. It takes approximately three times as long to complete the task during the third trimester of pregnancy. This means that more caffeine passes through the placenta and reaches your child, who is unable to digest properly.

6. Additional considerations 

There are other elements to consider. Several energy drinks contain B vitamins and herbs and plants, such as ginseng and guarana, frequently marketed as health-promoting nutritional supplements. However, these plants are best advised to be consumed “with extreme caution” to avoid any complications during pregnancy. Even though they are beneficial, taking a large number of B vitamins could have negative consequences.

Healthy and Safe Energy Drinks to Take in Pregnancy 

Pomegranate Juice

Pregnancy and energy drinks go hand in hand, and several alternatives are available to you. Energy drinks are widely consumed, and many contain potentially harmful ingredients to a developing baby. Caffeine, sugar, and sodium are all harmful to an unborn baby, and you should avoid them by all means. You should also keep the number of calories you consume in check, as consuming too many calories can result in excess weight gain and potential health problems. When consumed in moderation, all of these ingredients are completely safe. The following is a list of eight DIY energy drink recipes that are safe to consume while pregnant.

1. Lemon juice 

How to Make 

If you have some freshly squeezed lemons on hand, you can quickly and easily make lemon juice by pressing the fruit. While pregnant, you should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages or sugary energy drinks to keep you going throughout the day. Lemon juice contains a high concentration of vitamin C, which serves as a powerful energy source for the body. Pour the juice of two lemons into a glass of cold water and whisk it together until it is well mixed. Use sugar or honey or any other sweetener of your choice. If desired, sprinkle a pinch of salt.

2. Banana and Strawberry Smoothie 

How to Make 

If you make a banana and strawberry smoothie, it may serve as a healthy substitute for energy drinks, which are high in calories and may harm your child’s development. An estimated 230 additional calories per day are required by a baby, resulting in extra calories to be consumed by the mother. It would help thinly slice the bananas and strawberries to prevent browning from occurring. Blend them well in a food processor, adding up to a cup of milk as needed to keep them from sticking together. You can add sugar or honey to make it sweeter.

3. Pomegranate Juice 

How to Make 

Consuming pomegranate juice while you are pregnant is recommended for the growth of your unborn child. It is one of the best pregnancy health drinks and can be easily made at home. It contains a high concentration of nutrients and minerals and is thus a popular choice. Peel a pomegranate, put the seeds in a blender, and blend them well until the seeds break and release juice. Strain the juice using a strainer and the back of a spoon to squeeze the juice out.

4. Mango and Apple Juice

How to Make 

Making fresh mango and apple juice at home from fresh fruits or apple juice concentrate is one of the most effective strategies available for combating fatigue and ensuring your baby’s normal development. Peel the apples and mangoes, dice them into pieces with a knife, and blend them with a cup of milk. Add sugar or honey if you wish to make it sweeter.

5. Chia Fresca 

How to Make 

For those looking for caffeine – and stimulant-free alternative to coffee, this is a fantastic health drink that also serves as a great energy source. Chia Fresca is a traditional prenatal energy drink that is safe for pregnant women to consume in moderate amounts. It is necessary to soak and thoroughly mix the chia seeds before using them. Leave them in the water for about 10 minutes to soak in to remove the seeds. Improve the flavor by squeezing in some fresh lime juice.

6. Piping-hot Tea 

How to Make 

Tea is an energizing beverage you can consume while pregnant. Many people have been using tea as a mood enhancer and stress reliever for a very long time. For pregnant women, it’s a wonderful way to relax and unwind during their pregnancy. Iced teaherbal tea, and green tea are among the many options available to customers. Use a teabag or brew tea leaves in boiling water. Add any sweetener as desired.

7. Buttermilk 

How to Make 

This energy drink contains a significant amount of calcium. It is a fantastic beverage to consume with a healthy diet. From start to finish, it takes only a few minutes, making it the most straightforward DIY energy drink you’ll ever make. To reap the most benefits, blend yogurt with probiotic bacteria and water until smooth; serve immediately.

8. Coconut Water With Fresh Citrus

How to Make

Coconut water is not only hydrating but also rich in electrolytes, making it an excellent choice for maintaining energy levels. Mix fresh coconut water with a splash of citrus juice, such as orange or lime, for added flavor. Optionally, add a pinch of sea salt to enhance the electrolyte content. This drink is light, refreshing, and a healthy alternative to traditional energy drinks.

These additional options offer a variety of flavors and nutritional benefits while avoiding the potential drawbacks associated with caffeine and excess sugar consumption during pregnancy. As always, it’s essential for pregnant individuals to consult with healthcare professionals before introducing new beverages into their diet.

Eight ounces of a standard energy drink contain approximately 80 and 150 milligrams of caffeine. That’s the caffeine equivalent of five cups of coffee or two 12-ounce cans of caffeinated soda. Thus, these are the greatest DIY energy drink alternatives for pregnant women. Make your preferred drink based on your body’s nutritional requirements.

FAQs 

1. Can Energy Drinks Induce Labor? 

Many myths exist about pregnancy and labor, but one of the most common is that drinking coffee can cause labor to begin. These two products contain caffeine as an active ingredient; this substance causes rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, and anxiety, leading to preterm labor in some women. Keeping these beverages out of your system as much as possible is the most effective strategy for reducing this risk. If you are still unsure, you might want to talk to other pregnant women about their experiences to get their perspectives.

2. Are Sports Drinks Safe During Pregnancy? 

These ultimate hydrating drinks are available at any grocery shop or convenience store for purchase. They are, however, not recommended for consumption during pregnancy. They are high in sugar and other additives, and they are not the ideal option for pregnant women to consume. Even though sports drinks might be beneficial in certain situations, they are not suitable for pregnant women.

3. Can I Have Energy Drinks While Breastfeeding?

It is generally advisable to limit or avoid energy drinks while breastfeeding. The caffeine and other stimulants in these beverages can pass into breast milk and potentially affect the baby’s sleep patterns and overall well-being. Additionally, the high sugar content may contribute to unhealthy dietary habits. It’s recommended to prioritize water, herbal teas, or other caffeine-free and nutritious beverages while breastfeeding. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice based on your individual health and circumstances.

So, this was all about energy drinks and pregnancy. In conclusion, the safety of consuming energy drinks in pregnancy remains a topic of concern and caution. While some natural alternatives, such as homemade fruit juices and smoothies, can offer a refreshing and healthy energy boost, traditional energy drinks with high caffeine and sugar content may pose potential risks. Prioritizing a balanced and nutritious diet, consulting healthcare professionals, and opting for beverages that promote maternal and fetal well-being is crucial. The well-being of both mother and baby is of utmost importance, and making informed choices during pregnancy ensures a healthy start for the journey ahead.

References/Resources:

1. Procter. S, Campbell. C; Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome; Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; https://www.jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(14)00501-2/fulltext; June 2014

2. Al-Basher. G, Aljabal. H, Almeer. R, Allam. A; Perinatal exposure to energy drink induces oxidative damage in the liver, kidney and brain, and behavioral alterations in mice offspring (Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy); Science Direct; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0753332218300945?via%3Dihub; June 2018

3. Grasser. E, Miles-Chan. J, Charrière. N, Loonam. C, Dulloo. A, Montani. J; Energy Drinks and Their Impact on the Cardiovascular System: Potential Mechanisms (Advances in Nutrition); Science Direct; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2161831322007815?via%3Dihub; September 2016

4. Ali. F, Rehman. H, Babayan. Z, Stapleton. D, Joshi. D; Energy drinks and their adverse health effects: A systematic review of the current evidence (Postgraduate Medicine); Taylor & Francis Online; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00325481.2015.1001712; January 2015

5. Substances of Concern during Pregnancy; Brigham and Women’s Hospital; https://www.brighamandwomens.org/obgyn/brigham-obgyn-group/patient-education/substances-of-concern-during-pregnancy

6. Thorlton. J, Ahmed. A, Colby. D; Energy Drinks Implications for the Breastfeeding Mother; MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing; https://journals.lww.com/mcnjournal/abstract/2016/05000/energy_drinks__implications_for_the_breastfeeding.9.aspx

7. Maternal Diet; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html

Also Read:

Buttermilk when Pregnant
Drinking Cold Drinks in Pregnancy
Drinking Warm Water during Pregnancy
Is It Safe to Consume Soda while Pregnant?

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Rama is a proud Delhiite with three years of content writing experience in her pocket. She is a commerce graduate with an advanced degree in the German language, but writing feels like home to her. When she is not writing,, you can probably find her researching on environment sustainability, devouring a novel, or exploring hidden nooks for delicious food around the city.