Knowing what to eat and drink while you’re pregnant can be a bit of a minefield. You might find that you’re suddenly turned off food you’ve always loved, or that you’re having the strangest cravings at the most unusual times (pickles for breakfast, anyone?). You’ve also probably been warned to avoid certain foods while your little one is inside. But what about soda? Is it safe to drink soda while you’re pregnant?
Let’s answer some pop-ular questions about sodas and pregnancy.
In this article: 📝
- What should you know about caffeine in sodas during pregnancy?
- Is it better to drink diet sodas while pregnant?
- Is Sprite safe during pregnancy?
- What can you drink instead of drinking sodas while pregnant?
What should you know about caffeine in sodas during pregnancy?
As always, what you put in your body while you’re pregnant is up to you.
But it’s good to be armed with the info so that you can make the decision that’s right for you and your baby.
Many sodas, including Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and some root beers, contain caffeine.
While having caffeine while you’re pregnant isn’t a total no-no, it’s a good idea to limit how much you have. (Not easy if you need it to get going in the morning, we know!)
Caffeine crosses the placenta, though, which means that it enters your baby’s bloodstream.
Research into the effects of this isn’t cut and dry. Some studies have found that higher levels of caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage, while others disagree. There are also conflicting results about whether caffeine stunts babies’ growth.
To stay on the safe side, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that you stick to less than 200mg of caffeine a day.
An ordinary coffee has just less than this, while a Coke contains about 34mg. Remember that you’ve got to tally everything – don’t forget that tea and chocolate have caffeine in them, too.
Is it better to drink diet sodas while pregnant?
Good question! The sugar in soda often gets quite a lot of flak, but, unfortunately, not without reason.
A 12oz can of Mountain Dew boasts 46g of sugar – that’s almost the whole daily FDA sugar recommendation in a single serving.
Full-sugar sodas contain heaps of calories but no nutrients at all. They can also contribute to gestational diabetes, which can affect both you and your baby’s health.
Diet sodas might be a little bit better, but probably not much. And there isn’t a lot of research about how artificial sweeteners affect the development of your little peanut.
If you do opt for a soda that contains sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, you still need to be careful about how much you drink.
In 2010, a study of 60,000 pregnant women found that those who drank just one artificially sweetened soda a day were 38% more likely to have their baby early, before the 37-week mark.
This risk was more than doubled for those who drank four sodas a day.
Is Sprite safe during pregnancy?
Some mamas looking to satisfy their soda craving turn to Sprite, probably because it doesn’t have any caffeine.
While this is a plus, Sprite still has quite a lot of sugar in it (about 31g in a 12 oz can) and loads of empty calories.
Its caffeine-free status might make it tempting, but Sprite is pretty much the same as any other soda.
This doesn’t mean that it’s off the table completely, just that it probably shouldn’t be your go-to drink every day.
What can you drink instead of drinking sodas while pregnant?
At the end of the day, enjoying the occasional soda is fine, but it’s better to stay hydrated by drinking loads of water (spruce it up with cucumber, lemon, and mint for flavor if you like).
If you’re looking for something with bubbles, try plain sparkling water instead. Smoothies, milk, and teas are also good, but don’t forget to keep that 200mg daily caffeine limit in mind when you’re drinking tea.
Moving some of your favorite foods from the “things I love to eat and drink” list to the “things I probably shouldn’t eat and drink” list takes a little practice.
Be patient with yourself, enjoy them in moderation, and keep some of the more important guidelines in mind (less caffeine and less sugar is the way to go). You got this, mama!
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