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Can pregnant ladies drink energy drinks
Caffeine in pregnancy
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We don’t know a lot about the effects of caffeine during pregnancy on you and your baby. So it’s best to limit the amount you get each day.
If you’re pregnant, limit caffeine to 200 milligrams each day. This is about the amount in 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee or one 12-ounce cup of coffee.
If you’re breastfeeding, limit caffeine to no more than two cups of coffee a day.
Caffeine is a drug found in things like coffee, tea, soda, chocolate and some energy drinks and medicines. It’s a stimulant, which means it can keep you awake.
How does caffeine affect you and your baby during pregnancy?
Caffeine slightly increases your blood pressure and heart rate and the amount of urine your body makes. Caffeine may cause you to feel jittery, have indigestion or have trouble sleeping. During pregnancy, you may be especially sensitive to caffeine because it may take you longer to clear it from your body than if you weren’t pregnant. It may also make you feel nauseous or lightheaded.
When you have caffeine during pregnancy, it passes through the placenta to your baby. The placenta grows in your uterus (womb) and supplies the baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord.
You may have heard that too much caffeine can cause miscarriage (when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy), preterm birth (birth that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy is completed) or low birth weight (when your baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces). Some studies say this is true, and others don’t.
Until we know more about how caffeine can affect pregnancy, it’s best to limit the amount you get to 200 milligrams each day. This is about the amount in 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee or one 12-ounce cup of coffee. Be sure to check the size of your cup to know how much caffeine you’re getting.
What foods and drinks contain caffeine?
Caffeine is found in:
Coffee and coffee-flavored products, like yogurt and ice cream
Some soft drinks
Chocolate and chocolate products, like chocolate syrup and hot cocoa
The amount of caffeine in foods and drinks varies a lot. For coffee and tea, the amount of caffeine depends on:
How it’s prepared
The type of beans or leaves used
The way it’s served (for example, as espresso or latte)
The size of the cup. Not all coffee cups are the same size, even though you think of them as a cup. Check to see how many ounces your cup has, especially if you’re buying a cup of coffee or tea. If you’re making coffee or tea at home, measure to check the size of the cup.
Some energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine. For example, a 24-ounce energy drink may have up to 500 milligrams of caffeine. Energy drinks may have a lot of sugar, too, and they may contain ingredients that may be harmful to your baby during pregnancy. Because we don’t know a lot about all the ingredients in energy drinks, it’s best not to have them when you’re pregnant.
The amount of caffeine you get from food and drinks throughout the day adds up. So if you have a cup of coffee in the morning, you may want to limit or give up having other food and drinks during the day that have caffeine.
The list below shows the amount of caffeine in common food and drinks. The caffeine amounts are averages, so they may change depending on the brand or how the food or drink is made. Check the package label on food and drinks to know how much caffeine they contain.
What medicines contain caffeine?
Some medicines used for pain relief, migraine headaches, colds and to help keep you awake contain caffeine. The Food and Drug Administration (also called FDA) requires that labels on medicine list the amount of caffeine in the medicine.
If you’re pregnant, talk to your health care provider before taking any medicine that contains caffeine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicine. A prescription is an order for medicine given by a health care provider. You can buy over-the-counter medicine, like pain relievers and cold medicine, without a prescription.
Some herbal products contain caffeine. These include guarana, yerba mate, kola nut and green tea extract. Herbal products are made from herbs, which are plants that are used in cooking and for medicine. The FDA does not require that herbal products have a label saying how much caffeine they contain. If you’re pregnant, don’t use herbal products because we don’t know how much caffeine they contain.
Is caffeine safe during breastfeeding?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says it’s safe for breastfeeding moms to have caffeine. A small amount of caffeine does get into breast milk, so limit caffeine if you’re breastfeeding. Breastfed babies of women who drink more than 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day may become fussy or have trouble sleeping. You may want to drink less caffeine if your baby was born preterm or newborn because she may digest caffeine more slowly.
Last reviewed: April 2020
Nutrition, weight & fitness
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Can I Drink Energy Drinks While Pregnant? Is It Safe?
Last Updated on December 16, 2021
Many women feel tired during pregnancy, and exhaustion is particularly common during the first trimester. You might have wondered if it’s safe to reach for your favorite energy drink during this time, or if it carries risks for you or your baby.
Energy drinks are not recommended for pregnant women, as they usually contain very high amounts of caffeine, sugar, and other additives. Caffeine can be harmful during pregnancy in very high doses, and consuming too much sugar during pregnancy may cause other health conditions such as diabetes.
In many countries, energy drinks carry warnings that they’re not suitable for pregnant women or those sensitive to caffeine.
In this article, I break down the reasons why you should avoid energy drinks when pregnant, and what you could do to boost your energy levels instead.
Covered in this Article:
What Are The Risks of Drinking Energy Drinks When Pregnant?
The main reason that pregnant women are told to avoid energy drinks is that they are usually classed as dietary or sports supplements, and they contain a variety of ingredients that aren’t recommended during pregnancy.
The biggest concern about drinking energy drinks during pregnancy is the high amount of caffeine that they contain. Pregnant women should reduce their caffeine consumption to 200mg-300mg a day, depending on individual government guidelines (source: WHO).
Depending on the brand, some energy drinks can contain up to 300 milligrams of caffeine per single serving, taking you up to or above the maximum recommended caffeine level in just one drink (source: Center for Science).
Caffeine overdose caused by energy drinks is one of the most prevalent problems seen in Emergency rooms in the USA (source: Journal of Public Health). People are often unaware of just how much caffeine these drinks contain.
If you really want an energy drink, you could check the food label and stick to lower caffeine options. However, it’s better to avoid them altogether, as they also have other ingredients that could also be harmful in high amounts, like sugar, covered below:
Sugar and Sweeteners
Another reason to avoid energy drinks when you’re pregnant is that they’re usually high in sugar or artificial sweeteners. Even a drink labeled ‘sugar-free’ or ‘zero-calorie’ is likely to contain sweeteners.
An Irish study found that some energy drinks can contain up to 17 teaspoons (69g) sugar in a single 500ml can, and contain as much caffeine as two espresso shots (source: SafeFood EU).
Excess sugar or sweeteners should be avoided during pregnancy, particularly if you have any risk of diabetes (including gestational diabetes) or have any insulin resistance (source: APA).
Even if you don’t have diabetes, the sugar content in energy drinks can add up to many calories – and excessive weight gain during pregnancy can cause many complications (source: Mayo Clinic).
Other Ingredients and Regulation
In many countries, energy drinks aren’t regulated in the same way as normal food or beverages, and it’s left down to the manufacturers to accurately state the ingredients on the nutrition label.
Many energy drinks contain added ingredients such as herbal or fruit extracts, or amino acids such as taurine. Scientific studies are limited on the pregnancy safety of many of these additives.
What’s more confusing is that some brands DO get classed as beverages rather than supplements, and some don’t. For example, in the USA, Monster Energy is classed as a regular beverage, yet other similar drinks are classed as dietary supplements (source: FIDJ Law).
The law across the European Union is more strict, and any energy drink containing high levels of caffeine not only has to state the caffeine content on the food label, but also print a warning that the drink is “not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women” (source: UNESDA).
This warning often appears on drinks produced in the USA and elsewhere, too.
To summarize, it’s best to avoid energy drinks during pregnancy. The two common ingredients – caffeine and sugar/sweeteners, aren’t beneficial to you or your baby and could be harmful in large amounts.
If you have had an energy drink before realizing, there’s no need to panic as no single ingredient has been found to be directly harmful in moderation. However, it’s best to limit or stop drinking energy drinks for the duration of your pregnancy.
Energy Drink Brands During Pregnancy
I know that when you’re pregnant it’s good to have specifics, so here are a few of the most popular energy drink brands, and how much caffeine and sugar they contain.
Bear in mind that none of these are recommended during pregnancy, and there is no ‘best energy drink’ for pregnant women because it’s safer to get an energy boost in other ways – some ideas and tips for this are given later in this article.
Energy Drink Brand
Monster Energy (Original) 500ml can
Red Bull (Original) 8.4 fl oz can (250ml)
VPX Bang! (Star Blast) 16 fl oz (473ml) can
None, but contains the sweetener sucralose
V8 Energy 8 fl oz can
Rockstar Energy Original 16 fl oz can (473ml)
5 Hour Energy Shot 1. 93 fl oz (57ml)
Not stated. Estimated to be around 215mgNone, but contains sweetener sucralose
Sources: Monster, Red Bull, V8, Bang, Rockstar, Forbes
What To Drink For Energy When Pregnant
After reading this article, you might be understandably disappointed that it’s not recommended to battle pregnancy fatigue by having energy drinks.
When you’re feeling exhausted and listless during pregnancy, there are other ways of getting an energy boost that is much better for you and your baby.
Other good advice applies, like taking more naps or practicing better sleep hygiene, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll focus on drinks that can give you an energy boost – since you probably arrived here looking to see if energy drinks were okay.
Hydrate more – but it doesn’t have to be boring water.
Dehydration can sap your energy and leave you feeling tired (source: WebMD). Your fluid needs increase during pregnancy, so one of the first steps you can take to combat fatigue. For inspiration, check my article on ten drinks you can enjoy when pregnant, besides water.
Try to eat (or drink) protein and complex carbs – this will minimize any blood sugar spikes that can give you a ‘crash’ later and result in more tiredness (source: WebMD).
Good options during pregnancy include milk or smoothies that contain blitzed nuts or seeds, or other sources like peanut butter (source: Harvard Nutrition).
Choose lower sugar juices – if you want to drink juice to hydrate during pregnancy, opt for lower sugar options made from veg, include tomato or carrot juice. Check the label for added sugar or sweeteners, or make your own. Try to include the pulp to increase the fiber content, too.
Remember that extreme fatigue can be a sign of another problem during pregnancy, such as anemia (low iron levels). If you’re experiencing extreme tiredness often, or if it’s severe, it’s wise to check in with your health provider to make sure there are no underlying problems (source: NHS).
Can Energy Drinks Affect A Pregnancy Test?
None of the ingredients commonly found in energy drinks can directly affect a pregnancy test.
However, pregnancy tests rely on a sufficient concentration of a hormone called HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin).
This hormone is produced when the embryo implantation has occurred and can be detected in urine about 12-14 days after conception. Most at-home pregnancy tests give a positive result after the hormone level reaches around above 25 mIU/mL (source: APA).
So, what has this got to do with energy drinks and pregnancy tests? The only way an energy drink can affect a pregnancy test is if you drank a large can (e.g. one of the bigger 500ml servings). Caffeine is a diuretic and makes you pee more (source: PubMed). This might alter the concentration of HCG in your urine.
However, on the whole, if you follow the test instructions correctly (usually involving taking the pregnancy test in the morning, when HCG is typically more concentrated in your urine), then there’s little chance that energy drinks can interfere with a test.
If you suspect you may be pregnant, but keep getting negative tests, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Can Energy Drinks Induce Labor?
Drinking too much caffeine during pregnancy may increase the risk of pre-term birth (source: APA). For this reason, caffeine – such as that found in energy drinks – has been touted as one of the methods to induce labor, though there is no scientific evidence that caffeine or energy drinks can induce labor.
There are various myths and techniques floating around the internet, from simply drinking caffeine (like in energy drinks) or squatting over a hot cup of coffee to get the labor process going – but none of these are recommended as a way to induce labor, and may do more harm than good.
Trying to induce labor is best left to your doctor or midwife. If you have any concerns, it’s wise to speak to them before trying any untested or home remedies to induce labor.
You might also be interested in:
The ultimate pregnancy guide to decaf coffee and tea
The caffeine levels in chocolate – how much chocolate can you eat when you’re pregnant? Find out here.
Ten drinks you can enjoy when pregnant, besides water
This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.
Energy drinks - why energy drinks are harmful: the effect on the body of men and pregnant girls
№1. What are energy sources made of?
Caffeine is the main component that belongs to the group of stimulants. It replaces substances important for the nervous system (neurotransmitters) that conduct nerve impulses. So, the more caffeine, the more active the nervous system works. Hence the surge of vivacity, and increased physical and brain activity. Taurine is an amino acid accumulated in muscle tissue. It is generally accepted that taurine has a positive effect on the functioning of the heart. However, there is no scientific study that proves this for sure. L-carnitine is an amino acid that the body can produce on its own. It really helps to reduce fatigue and increase stamina. But in ordinary energy it is so small that its effect is difficult to feel. Glucose and carbon dioxide - i.e., in fact, a classic soda.
No. 2. Energy drinks contain vitamins and natural extracts of exotic herbs. This is true?
True. As a rule, energy drinks contain vitamin C and almost the entire range of B vitamins. Vitamins are a useful thing, but not in such a chemical company. Vitamin B in large quantities causes tremors, heart palpitations and allergic reactions. Vitamin C reacts with preservatives and flavors - as a result, carcinogenic substances are produced.
Also, energy drinks often contain herbal extracts: guarana, mate or ginseng. It may seem that they add benefits to the drink, but in fact they are just an additional source of stimulants, the name of which looks beautiful on the package.
Do power engineers “charge”?
No. In short - "forced." As it became clear from the composition, the action of energy drinks is aimed at the nervous system. The brain, under the influence of caffeine, decides to activate the “emergency reserves” of the body, which it has in store for a “rainy day”. Those. an energy drink in itself does not contain any energy, but simply deceives the body, makes it actively spend the stored forces quickly and right now. The effect of cheerfulness lasts 3-4 hours. Then a decline follows and the person's condition becomes even worse than before use. There is fatigue, irritability - up to depression.
Energy - is it harmful?
It's like with fast food: if rarely and wisely, then the use of energy drinks is safe for health. Nothing good, but nothing bad either. Drink no more than two jars at a time and be sure to let your body recover: eat healthy food, drink more water and get enough sleep. If you drink energy drinks regularly, then you will experience nervous and physical exhaustion, which, in turn, can become the basis for a number of diseases. And the increased content of carbon dioxide and sugar leads to exactly the same consequences for the stomach as the consumption of ordinary soda.
Is it true that energy drinks are addictive?
True. As we said earlier, caffeine replaces neurotransmitters. If our body sees that they are constantly coming from outside, and in larger quantities than it is used to, then it gradually ceases to produce them on its own - there is no need to waste internal resources. And when after a long consumption of energy drinks you stop drinking them, your condition will worsen significantly: drowsiness, decreased efficiency, bad mood and, of course, an acute desire to use a new “dose” of energy drinks. In addition, the "dose" must be constantly increased to achieve the same effect. In other words, a real addiction.
If it's all about caffeine, maybe just drink coffee?
Drinking coffee is less harmful to health. In one jar, the energy of caffeine is like in four cups of strong coffee. And several other types of stimulating ingredients. Therefore, the energy drink has a stronger effect on the body: the heart rate changes, blood pressure increases significantly. But on the other hand, the effect of vivacity from coffee lasts 1-2 hours, and from the energy drink - 4 or more.
It is customary among young people to mix energy drinks with alcohol. How harmful is it?
This is the most negative scenario for using energy drinks. The fact is that the energy drink belongs to the group of stimulants, and alcohol belongs to the depressants. In fact, they are antagonists and their confrontation is the strongest load on the body. The cardiovascular system suffers the most - the pressure rises to extreme levels. Fatal outcomes from such "cocktails" are not uncommon. Therefore, if you have heart problems, in no case do not use energy drinks with alcohol. In addition, the state of intoxication under energy drinks comes on more slowly, so it is difficult to control the measure.
Who should refrain from consuming energy drinks?
It is highly undesirable to drink energy drinks for children and adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, people who have problems with the gastrointestinal tract, heart, blood vessels and pressure, as well as with increased excitability, nervousness, sleep disturbances and sensitivity to caffeine.
Energy is freely available in Kazakhstan. And how are things in the world?
Energy drinks are easily available in 170 countries, but with some caveats:
In December 2010, caffeine-containing alcoholic energy drinks were completely withdrawn from sale throughout the United States based on the authorities' conclusions about their harm to health;
Lithuania introduced a ban on the sale of energy drinks to minors;
In France, Denmark and Norway, energy drinks can only be bought in pharmacies.
Coffee and energy drinks during pregnancy - is it possible or not?
Drinking coffee and energy drinks has become a habit for many, so many women are worried about whether they can continue to drink during pregnancy?
One of the main components of coffee and energy drinks is caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system and causes cheerfulness in the body. For this reason, coffee or energy drinks are usually drunk to focus on important work or stay awake. However, excess caffeine in the body can lead to disorders such as hypertension, heart palpitations, nervousness, dizziness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
How do energy drinks and coffee affect children, what are the risks, whether they can use them - we have already written.
First, let's figure out what additional risks caffeine creates for pregnant women. Firstly, the body of a pregnant woman digests it 2-3 times slower than a normal body. Secondly, part of the caffeine passes into the placenta and enters the bloodstream of the embryo.
American gynecologists Xiaoping Weng, Roxana Odouli and De Koon-Lee investigated the effects of caffeine on pregnancy in 2008. They concluded that the maximum allowable dose is 200 mg per day, which is about the same as 1 cup of coffee. Regular excess of this dose creates the risk of miscarriage, premature birth or the birth of a child with insufficient weight.
Of course, it is worth remembering the general dangers of caffeine overdose, the symptoms of which can occur not only in pregnant women.
Which foods contain caffeine?
Caffeine is found in: coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, chocolate and some medications. The table below shows their caffeine content per standard serving. Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine and Hyde Extreme contains 400 mg.
For caffeinated medications, these include certain cold, migraine and pain medications. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor about which of these medicines they can take. Of course, the presence of caffeine in medications means that you will have to cut the amount of it in the diet.
It's not just the caffeine
Avoiding caffeine completely is not a good idea: Some foods and drinks contain vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential substances that offset the harmful effects of caffeine. These products include primarily various herbal teas and dark chocolate (however, it has more caffeine than milk chocolate).
Referring to the table, we will understand that the lowest risk of overdose is created by decaffeinated coffee, tea, cocoa, milk chocolate and chocolate milk, and the highest is energy drinks. By the way, there are no substances in energy drinks that could compensate for the harm of caffeine (or rather, they are there, but in too small quantities to bring real benefits). Conclusion: pregnant women should not drink energy drinks .