Is it Safe to Drink Black Tea During Pregnancy

Is it Safe to Drink Black Tea During Pregnancy

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As a nation, India is famous for its consumption of tea! After China, India is the largest producer of the condiment. Tea is also one of the most consumed beverages in the country. Many people need their daily dose of black tea to feed rejuvenated. However, when it comes to pregnant women, their craving for tea ranges from sweet to sour to spicy and to simply aromatic teas. The to-be-moms usually face suggestions and restrictions as their pregnancy progresses, and one of the many restrictions is black tea. Yes, pregnant women are often told to avoid black tea. But, should they avoid it? Or, is it just a myth? Let’s find out!

Can You Drink Black Tea During Pregnancy?

When thinking about drinking black tea, one of the things a pregnant woman should keep in mind is the amount of caffeine she consumes during the day. Apart from tea, it’s important to keep track of other foods, like chocolates, soft drinks, and coffee, that you may consume as they also contain caffeine. Primarily, you should keep a close eye on how much caffeine you can have per day, and track it as it helps you be more conscious of the caffeine in your system.

Why Is Black Tea Consumed?

Black tea is a stimulant which is easily absorbed in the bloodstream. It wakes up the brain and induces a feeling of rejuvenation in the body. Pregnant women tend to get tired pretty soon, and beverages like black tea, provide them with instant relief. The fragrance is said to have a relaxing effect on the body; it can calm the nerves and help get rid of stress. Black tea also has antioxidants and antibacterial properties that are known to slow down the body’s ageing process and can help boost immunity.

Every food item has some amount of nutrition, which is the case with black tea too. However, what’s more important is to consider which nutrients a mother-to-be will be gaining from the food. We already know that black tea has caffeine in it. Let’s take a look at the overall nutritional value of black tea and whether it is safe for pregnant women to consume it.

Nutritional Information of Black Tea

If having black tea on a regular basis is a vice of yours, then rather than cutting it out of your daily routine out of fear, let’s bust a few myths and get to know the nutritional information for you to decide if it is worth drinking black tea during pregnancy.

Nutrients Amount (Per 1 Cup or 237 gms)
Carbohydrates 0.7 grams
Folate 11.9 mcg
Magnesium 7.1 mg
Phosphorus 2.4 mg
Potassium 87.7 mg
Fluoride 884 mcg
Sodium 7.1 mg
Caffeine 47.4 mg
Theobromine 4.7 mg

Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beverages/3967/2

Now, let’s take a look at some more questions you may have about black tea and its consumption during pregnancy.

How Much Caffeine Is Present in a Cup of Black Tea?

A woman drinking black tea

Black tea is more oxidised compared to the other kind of teas and is stronger in flavour. But, it even contains  caffeine, which needs to be monitored by mommies, as too much of it can cause issues during pregnancy. However, pregnant women need not worry as there is a solution to this as well. You will be happy to know that a cup of black tea, which is approximately 8 ounce, contains 47.4 mg of caffeine.

How Much Black Tea Can You Consume During Pregnancy?

When you have cravings during pregnancy, it is hard to let go of that urge. But, everything should be consumed in moderation. The easiest way to control this urge is to make sure you satisfy the craving at the earliest while keeping in mind the amount you can consume. Controlling the portion size of each caffeinated food/beverage is thus very important. The safest bet is to have up to 200 mg of caffeine per day, which is a maximum of 2 cups (100 ml each) of your favourite delicious warm black tea.

So, now you know that you can have approximately 200 mg of caffeine every day if you are not consuming other caffeinated foods/drinks.  But, there are some reasons why you should avoid drinking the beverage in excess during pregnancy. Read on to know more.

Why You Should Avoid Drinking Black Tea in Excess During Pregnancy

With every great thing, there is always at least one major drawback! You have to weigh the pros and cons of everything you eat as your little one is sharing it all with you! Pregnant women are always advised against drinking black tea. But, that is not the case! You can have a cup or two of this beverage every day if you do not experience any side effects. In that case, however, it is also important that you do not consume it in excess. Anything in excess is a bad thing, and the same goes for black tea! If you don’t keep track of the amount of caffeine you consume, it could lead to severe complications during pregnancy, potentially putting yourself and your baby at risk. Here are the reasons why you should avoid excessive consumption of black tea:

  1. Excess consumption of black tea increases the risk of miscarriages or congenital disabilities.
  2. You may experience increased urination frequency.
  3. Black tea increases the risk of anaemia during pregnancy.
  4. Risk of hypertension.
  5. Excess consumption of black tea could lead to insomnia.

If you want to cut down on the caffeine intake but not the black tea, you are probably wondering if there is a decaf version of black tea available. Let’s find out if there is.

Is a Decaf Version of Black Tea Available?

Pregnant woman drinking decaf black tea

Mommies who still cannot go without black tea can opt for a caffeine-free version of this tea! While many herbal teas contain less amount of caffeine, it does not satisfy the strong aroma and flavour of an excellent black tea. But, think about your baby, and then you won’t drink it. Or, you can opt for decaf black tea! The easiest way to remove most of the caffeine content in black tea is by the steeping method.

This is how you can steep your tea. If you’re using tea leaves, then add just enough water to cover a few leaves in the vessel. Keep it on the stovetop and let the water boil. Once it has boiled completely, strain the water out and put the leaves back in the vessel. These leaves can be reused, and all you have to do is add more water to it and boil. Now, in the cup that you’ve strained the first concoction in, add some plain warm/hot water and enjoy it.

If you’re using a teabag, then dip it in a cup of hot water, and let it steep for approximately 30 seconds. Later, dispose of the water, and use the same teabag to make yourself a cup of decaffeinated black tea by adding some more hot water!

If you love your black tea but are unsure if it is safe for you and your baby, you can go for diluted/decaffeinated versions of black tea and limit your consumption to 1 to 2 cups per day. Sometimes, it is better not to overthink the simple pleasures in life. Everything done in the right proportion can be enjoyed and is safe during the magical nine months of your life!

References:

Also Read: Drinking Coffee during Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

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