what not to drink while pregnant

What to not drink during pregnancy

Drinks to avoid while pregnant

Hydration is extremely important during pregnancy. However there are a lot of things we drink all of the time that are not healthy for you to be drinking during pregnancy (if they are ever.) There are 6 main types of drinks that you should not drink during pregnancy. This post will detail exactly what not to drink while pregnant.

what not to drink while pregnant

What you are drinking during pregnancy matters.

Of course water is the recommended drink for most of your liquids, but doesn’t that get old? Learn what the best drinks are for a healthy pregnancy here!

In addition, if you are anything like me, often during pregnancy water doesn’t even sound good. With hormones fluctuating and nausea being present more often than not, sometimes it really is difficult to consume that much water while pregnant.

If that is the case, what is safe to drink instead? Are there other ideal drinks that are recommended during pregnancy? Are there drinks that you need to avoid to have a more healthy pregnancy?

I’m happy to inform you that there are a number of wonderful choices that you can consume in addition to water to be sure you remain hydrated, that are packed with nutrition, and can actually benefit your baby’s health! Learn all about the 11 amazing drinks you should be drinking in addition to water during your pregnancy!


Why you need to know what drinks to avoid during pregnancy

What you eat and drink and even what you put on your body is vitally important during pregnancy. Your body absorbs and utilizes everything that is on and in it and sends most of that right through the placenta to the baby. That’s why it’s important to learn how to best avoid toxins while pregnant.

Sure, you know that drinking too much alcohol can have permanent negative effects on your baby, but did you know that lots of other foods and drinks can too?

Through a newer branch of science called epigenetics, every year we learn in more detail about how what you consume during pregnancy effects gene expression in your baby.

But what does that even mean?

It means that having “bad genes” that you might pass on to your child is a misnomer. Sure, some genetic traits are strong and move through the generations no matter what you do. But a lot don’t have to.

By knowing what to eat and drink throughout your pregnancy you can actually effect which genes are expressed in your baby.

Your diet can alter their propensity to get heart disease as an adult, their cognitive function as a child, and how their metabolism functions. Directly by your diet! (Activity level during pregnancy directly plays a role in these as well.)

how to eat and exercise during pregnancy


Why You Need to Drink so Much During Pregnancy

Every day your body is gaining fluids, creating blood, and building a multitude of tiny components of a brand new body inside it, most of which is composed of water.

There is a good chance that you will feel extremely thirsty throughout pregnancy. Even if that is not the case, you need to remember to stay hydrated regardless.

The amount of water that you need to drink per day during pregnancy is a bit higher than the regular recommendation and sits at around 10 glasses. Drinking that much water a day can get monotonous and sometimes stomaching water is just hard during pregnancy! So before you reach for some ginger ale:

Let’s clarify what does not constitute a recommended pregnancy drink:


What Not to Drink During Pregnancy

1. Alcohol.

I’m sure you already know drinking alcohol is a no-no. Any alcohol consumption is not recommended during pregnancy because there is no line clearly defined about how much alcohol it takes to cause fetal alcohol syndrome or even to be minimally damaging to a fetus.


2. Regular Soda.

The first ingredient in sodas after carbonated water is sugar. A single can of soda has about 40 grams of sugar. Too much sugar has numerous negative effects not only on the mother as well as on a baby in utero.

The negative effects for mom: sugar can cause excessive pregnancy weight gain, gestational diabetes, lower your immune system, and cause you to crave even more sugar.

Negative effects for baby: too much sugar consumption can increase their birth weight; beyond a healthy level. Typically increased birth weight is seen as a positive, but too much sugar can make baby gain too much weight. Over consumption of sugar while pregnant can also increase the likelihood that your baby will have decreased memory and comprehension skills as well as attention and hyperactivity disorders, a slower metabolism, and a higher chance of juvenile obesity.

RELATED: The Best Protein Powders to Have a Healthier Pregnancy


3. Diet Soda.

You may think that if soda is off limits during pregnancy, then it may be a good time to switch to diet soda. Unfortunately that’s just as bad. While diet sodas lack sugar and calories they are full of artificial sweeteners. For many years it was believed that diet soda was a more healthy alternative to sugar-filled regular sodas. But now that they have been in existence long enough to complete years of testing on the effects of artificial sweeteners, it has been discovered that they are equally as bad for you as sugar is. 

Negative effects: The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas have now been shown to actually cause a propensity toward increased weight, more blood sugar problems, and can actually kill off your healthy gut flora, which compromises your immune system. 


prenatal nutrition and fitness


4. Caffeine Drinks like Coffee

Fortunately, this is one nutritional aspect of pregnancy that has been thoroughly tested on humans as it isn’t seen as unethical, unfortunately results are quite mixed.

However, it is scientifically proven that caffeine does cross the placenta and the baby’s caffeine level is virtually parallel to that of the mother. A couple decades ago there were tests that revealed a correlation between excessive caffeine consumption with limiting fetal growth and development and increased risk of miscarriage.

More recently it has been shown that excessive caffeine consumption can limit the blood flow to the fetus, that would directly affect the amount of nutrients that you are supplying to the baby!

So in this case it is best to air on the side of caution and limit caffeine intake to no more than the recommended 200 mg per day (If you want to consume any at all.) That is equivalent to a strong cup of coffee or 2 weaker cups of coffee.

Keep in mind that chocolate and some teas have caffeine as well. Personally, during pregnancy I just switch to decaf coffee and save my caffeine for healthy chocolate desserts.


5. Fruit Juice.

This is probably not what you expected to see on this list. But fruit juice, while it does contain many vitamins and minerals, is not nutritionally dense. Which means there is not enough nutrients in it to balance the high levels of calories and sugars.

In short, it’s really not worth wasting your precious calories on juice when your pregnant and your nutritional needs are sky high but your caloric needs barely increase at all (about 100 to 300 calories depending on your trimester).

Fruit juice is loaded with as much sugar as soda and is high in carbohydrates. It’s a misnomer that only women with gestational diabetes or a propensity toward it need to be aware of foods that cause a sharp rise in blood sugar.

Every pregnant woman should be cognizant of high-sugar and high-carbohydrate foods, and that includes fruit juices. While fruits themselves (especially berries and avocados) are filling and loaded with prebiotic fiber that your body needs, those components have been removed in fruit juices.

In multiple studies performed by Stanford as well as other entities, elevated prenatal blood sugar levels and insulin levels have shown links to increased risks of congenital heart defects and neural tube defects.

So skip on the juice, or if you’re craving it, at least water it down. Your tastes will adjust to appreciating the lower concentration of juice with time.


6. Some Teas.

Unfortunately the two most common teas, black and green are both typically high in fluoride, which is known to cross the placenta. Many studies have been done about children who were exposed to heavy levels of fluoride in utero. They all point to lower IQs and overall lower testing on all cognitive tests as well as conclusive evidence that fluoride deposits into baby’s bone and brain tissues.

Oolong and white tea are also typically high in fluoride as all 4 teas are derived from the same plant. Typically the lower quality of the tea, you know the cheap ones you buy in a giant box at Walmart, have the highest concentrations of fluoride.

Since our water already contains fluoride (unless you install a special filter, something you may want to consider if it is financially feasible for you), it’s a good idea to stop using all other things known to contain fluoride during your pregnancy to reduce the amount in your and your growing baby’s bodies.


Wrapping Up What Not to Drink During Pregnancy

By mostly avoiding these drinks during your pregnancy you are making huge leaps to growing a more healthy baby. Your prenatal nutrition is important, and sometimes it can be hard.

Your body may be telling you it wants something or telling you it hates something and those things change week to week, if not day to day. Do your best to make healthy choices when planning your pregnancy drinks and give yourself grace when you don’t.

Learn ways to replace your favorite unhealthy drinks with healthier alternatives: like a virgin mixed drink so you don’t feel like you’re always missing out, infused water for fruit juice, or seltzer water for sodas… or even a zevia for a treat on occassion.

Now check out which drinks you want to guzzle down during pregnancy!


prenatal nutrition and fitness


More Prenatal Nutrition Tips

5 Foods You Want to Be Eating Every Day During Pregnancy

The Best Protein Powders for Pregnant Moms

5 Foods to Completely Avoid While Pregnant


Drinks to Avoid While Pregnant

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