Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coca Cola and Pregnancy

I love Coca Cola. I love drinking my one coke a day. I know it can do awful things to grease stains and metal and probably my guts, but I really love it. It is the best drink to have with pizza or popcorn. A fountain coke, though more expensive than buying it from the grocery store to have at home, is incomparable. So when I was thinking about my Eating Like I'm Pregnant Diet, I began to get worried that I might not be able to have my beloved Coke. 

So I googled "Coca Cola while pregnant" to find out what the deal is with caffeine products and pregnancy. I had heard you should limit your intake, but I wasn't sure if it was dangerous or just not the best idea (like surviving on donuts the whole time, for instance. Well, that might actually be more than a bad idea). 

Before I get to the "real" answers to this important question, I want to share some funny responses I found.

Q: So i've heard different things about drinking coca cola as well as other beverages with caffeine in it.  I will be 28 weeks on tomorrow (Monday), is it ok to drink a cup of coke a day?
A: It's the only thin I drank during my both pregnancy[sic]!!

Yahoo Answers:
Q: Is drinking coca cola safe for a pregnant woman?
A: I'm not to sure that it is safe for anybody to drink.

Q: Is Coca Cola ok when pregnant?
A: NO it can cause baby's head to drop off 

The last one is my favorite. I laughed pretty hard at that. Its also sad, though, because someone is going to read that and really believe it. Good grief!

On to the real stuff...

rom The American Pregnancy Association:

Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are not recommended during pregnancy. Caffeine also increases the frequency of urination. This causes reduction in your body fluid levels and can lead to dehydration.

Caffeine crosses the placenta to your baby. Although you may be able to handle the amounts of caffeine you feed your body, your baby cannot. Your baby's metabolism is still maturing and cannot fully metabolize the caffeine. Any amount of caffeine can also cause changes in your baby's sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy. Remember, caffeine is a stimulant and can keep both you and your baby awake.
Caffeine is found in more than just coffee. Caffeine is not only found in coffee but also in tea, soda, chocolate, and even some over-the-counter medications that relieve headaches. Be aware of what you consume.
Experts have stated that moderate levels of caffeine have not been found to have a negative effect on pregnancy. The definition of moderate varies anywhere from 150 mg - 300 mg a day.

How much caffeine is in your favorite drinks and snacks?

  • Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz) 400 mg
  • Starbucks House Blend Coffee (16 oz) 259 mg
  • Dr. Pepper (12 oz) 37 mg
  • 7 Eleven Big Gulp Diet Coke (32 oz) 124 mg
  • 7 Eleven Big Gulp Coca-Cola (32 oz) 92 mg
  • Ben & Jerry's Coffee Buzz Ice Cream (8 oz) 72 mg
  • Baker's chocolate (1 oz) 26 mg
  • Green tea (6 oz) 40 mg
  • Black tea (6 oz) 45 mg
  • Excedrin (per capsule) 65mg
Avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest course of action. If you must get your fix, it is best to discuss this with your health care provider to make the healthiest choice for you and your baby.

It seems to be that a little bit every now and then is probably fine. Pregnant women don't usually avoid a bit of chocolate or tea, so the caffeine in one can of coke per day may end up at a similar level.

A further issue with coke, however, is that it probably wouldn't be considered part of a "Real Food" diet, seeing as it is full of unhealthy chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. Darn it! 


  1. For those of us who never consume more than 150-300 mg/day of caffeine, pregnant or not, I think it's more stressful than helpful to worry about it while pregnant.

    I have always had a very small cup of coffee in the morning, and chocolate now and then. Definitely more mg than a coke per day! But I kept on as normal while pregnant (except during the first trimester when I couldn't stomach the IDEA of anything caffeinated...or anything, for that matter), and I was perfectly healthy, as was my baby. And I have had coffee nearly every day since my daughter was born - and I've been breastfeeding her for more than 2 yrs. She's a fabulous sleeper, with no health issues at all.

    I think pregnant and nursing mothers will be a lot better off if they just worry less!

  2. Yeah one caffeinated drink a day seems completely fine!

    I may have to cut it out for a month if I do my self-imposed Real Food challenge, though...

  3. thank you quazydellasue! I agree with you!!! ;)

  4. Hmmm... This isn't great news at all :s I am totally addicted to coke. & now that I am pregnant, moreso.... Today alone, I had about 3 bottles & I am craving one as I type. I shall however, try my very best to slack off of it for the sake of the baby :) Thanks much

  5. thank you so much for this info!! realized my coca cola and headache tablets are probably the reason my unborn baby is so hyper!!!


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