Can You Drink Diet Coke When Pregnant?

Can You Drink Diet Coke When Pregnant?

Sipping on a sweet sugar-free soda can feel like the perfect pregnancy treat.

While it might be a great way to quench your craving, are there any risks that you should be aware of?

Is Diet Coke when pregnant a good idea—or should you wait until after your baby has arrived to drink this (artificially) sweet nectar?

Let’s take a look.

In this article: 📝

  • Is Diet Coke OK in pregnancy?
  • Is caffeine safe during pregnancy?
  • Is aspartame safe during pregnancy?
  • How much Diet Coke can I drink when pregnant?
  • The last word on drinking Diet Coke during pregnancy

Is Diet Coke OK in pregnancy?

The truth is, it’s complicated.

To discuss whether Diet Coke and pregnancy are a good match, it’s best to break the topic down into Diet Coke’s two most controversial ingredients: caffeine and artificial sweeteners.

Is caffeine safe during pregnancy?

Pregnancy and high amounts of caffeine do not mix well. Caffeine is a stimulant and leads to an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure.

It’s also a diuretic, meaning you may have to pee more often than usual.

Sometimes, this can lead to dehydration. All of this is not good for you while you go about the job of baby-building.

Added to this, caffeine can reach your baby through the placenta—and they do not have the tools to deal with this substance yet. It can influence both their sleep and movement patterns in the womb.

There is also some evidence that links caffeine to miscarriages and low birth weights—but there is also contradictory evidence that exists on the other side of the fence, so it’s hard to say for sure.

It can be confusing, so to play it safe, it’s likely best to moderate your intake.

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it’s a good idea to limit your caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.

There are 46 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-oz can of diet Coke, so you would have to drink four cans to meet your limit.

But hold on, before you line up your four cans for the day, let’s look at another key ingredient in Diet Coke: aspartame.

Is aspartame safe during pregnancy?

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in a range of different products, from breakfast cereals to chewing gum to ice cream. And yes, it’s an ingredient in Diet Coke.

This review of current research suggests that it’s okay to consume aspartame in moderate amounts during pregnancy, as it doesn’t seem to pose a significant risk to you or your baby.

So what does “moderate” mean as far as aspartame? About 200 mg per day.

A 12-oz can of Diet Coke contains 125 mg of aspartame, meaning you’ll want to stick to one can per day to stay within the recommended limit.

Wondering about sweeteners in other diet sodas? Not all diet sodas contain aspartame.

Here’s the lowdown on some other common artificial sweeteners:

How much Diet Coke can I drink when pregnant?

To stay within the recommendations for both caffeine and aspartame, you’ll want to keep your Diet Coke consumption to one can per day.

You’ll also want to be mindful of your caffeine consumption for the day.

For example, one tall Pike Place Roast coffee from Starbucks contains 235 mg of caffeine, which already exceeds your 200 mg caffeine limit for the day.

So if you went to Starbucks for breakfast, it would be a good idea to skip the Diet Coke that afternoon in favor of a caffeine-free beverage.

The last word on drinking Diet Coke during pregnancy

While it’s important to get your fluids up when you’re pregnant, if you can, stick to water (ideally about eight to 12 cups of it).

But if an insatiable craving hits and Diet Coke is the only way to appease it, try to limit your intake as much as you can.

There will soon be a time when you don’t have to think before you drink as much as you do now. Sigh


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