Can you drink energy drinks while pregnant?
Well, it’s not really recommended, no.
Long story short, energy drinks are packed with things like caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients that are probably best not mixed with pregnancy.
In fact, even the makers of energy drinks suggest giving their products a miss during pregnancy.
Let’s find out why, with all you need to know about drinking energy drinks while pregnant.
In this article: 📝
- Can pregnant women drink energy drinks?
- What happens if you drink an energy drink while pregnant?
- Can energy drinks harm your baby?
- What can I drink for energy while pregnant?
Can pregnant women drink energy drinks?
Energy drinks — including Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, G Fuel, and others — aren’t recommended for pregnant women.
In fact, alongside alcohol, sushi, and other fun things, these guys belong firmly on the list of foods to avoid while pregnant.
Energy drinks are a weird type of product somewhere between a soft drink, a health supplement, and a performance-enhancing drug.
That means they’re not regulated by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
And that, in turn, means that they can include almost any ingredients — from super-high levels of caffeine to “herbal” ingredients like ginseng, guarana, and yerba mate.
The reality is, though, that we just don’t know what is in them half the time.
Can I drink Red Bull while pregnant?
As with other energy drinks, drinking Red Bull while pregnant isn’t recommended.
That’s because of the high levels of sugar and caffeine that the drink contains.
What happens if you drink an energy drink while pregnant?
It’s unlikely that anything bad will happen if you drink an energy drink while pregnant.
So, if you’ve just finished one, there’s no need to panic.
But, for next time, it is worth being aware of how energy drink ingredients can pose risks to you and your baby during pregnancy:
You may have asked whether you can drink coffee while pregnant” — and the answer is that yes, you can!
But it’s recommended that you keep the amount you drink to a “moderate” level, i.e. two cups or less a day.
That’s the equivalent of 200mg caffeine a day, which is the recommended amount while pregnant.
Caffeine should be used carefully when pregnant as it can raise your blood pressure, affect your sleep, make you irritable, and increase the chance of pregnancy loss (although studies suggest you’d have to drink a lot for that to be a risk).
While an 8oz cup of coffee contains 80 to 100mg of caffeine, an energy drink can contain a whopping 250mg.
That means one can is already over your daily recommended intake of caffeine.
Alongside caffeine, the “energy” in energy drinks comes mainly from sugar.
According to the American Heart Association, one 8oz energy drink has more sugar than your daily recommended allowance. That’s even more than a 12oz cola.
All this sugar isn’t great for you while pregnant. It can increase the chances of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and birth differences.
There’s also some concerning evidence that drinking too many artificially sweetened drinks (yep, energy drinks count) can raise the risk of preterm birth.
Energy drinks often contain other ingredients that may affect you and your child during pregnancy:
- Ginseng. Panax ginseng is an ingredient commonly found in energy drinks, including Monster. Studies say that the common health supplement should be used “with caution” when pregnant — particularly in the first trimester — and when breastfeeding.
- Guarana. There are claims that guarana can help with weight loss, arousal, and — you guessed it — energy levels. But guarana, a South American fruit that is often used in Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar, is really just another source of caffeine.
- B vitamins. Usually, B vitamins are great for your health — especially during pregnancy, when some studies have shown that they might even make pregnancy nausea easier to deal with. But there is evidence that too much of some B vitamins, including folate and thiamine, can be harmful to your growing babe.
Can energy drinks harm your baby?
We’re not here to scare you. And if you’ve just finished an energy drink, the chances of that causing any harm are really quite small.
But there is evidence that too many energy drinks can have an impact on your baby.
For example, one recent study found that pregnant women who regularly drank energy drinks were almost twice as likely to experience a stillbirth.
Another study concluded that drinking energy drinks “during pregnancy and lactation has a negative impact on the newborns and should be treated as a significant health problem that warrants attention”.
How much energy drink is safe during pregnancy?
Really, we can’t tell you that any amount of energy drink is safe during pregnancy.
We just don’t know for sure what’s in them.
And that means we’re definitely not in a position to recommend them, or to say what the best energy drink during pregnancy is.
But again, let’s put things in perspective.
If you’ve just finished an energy drink, you don’t need to worry, but it’s probably best not to drink any more for now.
What can I drink for energy while pregnant?
So, if energy drinks are a no-go, what can you drink during pregnancy for energy? Is there an energy drink for pregnant women?
Not exactly, but here are some helpful ways to keep your energy levels up during pregnancy:
- Stay hydrated. Simply drinking plenty of water can help you feel fresh, energized, and healthy.
- Try fruit juices. A natural source of nutrients and sugars, fruit juices are a great way to get some energy and fiber during pregnancy.
- Protein-rich foods. Low-fat milk — alongside foods like lean meats, fish, nuts, or beans — is a great source of energy-packed proteins.
- Tea. Mildly caffeinated or not caffeinated at all, teas (like chamomile) are a great pick-me-up. Just remember to keep caffeine below 200mg a day.
- Get active. Physical activity and exercise can help to lift your energy levels and your mood.
- Take vitamins. Natural vitamins like magnesium and vitamin C (both included in most prenatal vitamin supplements) can help to boost your energy.
➡️ Read more: What to Eat When Pregnant
So can you drink energy drinks while pregnant?
No, it’s not recommended.
High caffeine and sugar levels put energy drinks in the ‘no-go’ list of foods for pregnancy.
So you’ll have to get your energy fix elsewhere, mama-to-be!