During Pregnancy, it is advisable to pay more attention to lifestyle and nutrition, including drinks that may contain caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. In this regard, a doubt that arises in pregnant women is whether they can drink Coca-Cola without risking this drink jeopardizing the health of the pregnant woman and her baby. As always, in addition to common sense, it is good to refer to the medical-scientific evidence that examines the correlation between some risks and substances common to certain drinks considered unhealthy par excellence and potentially more harmful for pregnant women.
However, the conclusions reached by these studies are only sometimes so clear-cut or defined. Furthermore, scientific progress evolves, and therefore, discoveries can arise and undermine previous theories. What can be helpful, in a context that still needs to be fully clarified, is maintaining moderation and following the prescriptions of the doctor who takes care of the individual.
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Coca-Cola In Pregnancy, The Effects Of Caffeine
A frequent question that arises is whether you can drink coffee during Pregnancy or whether the caffeine contained in some drinks, such as Coca-Cola, is safe. Therefore, before going into the merits of scientific research and their investigations, it is possible to state that caffeine is an exciting, stimulating substance, the effect of which can be to increase blood pressure and heart rate.
As your Pregnancy progresses, your body may not be able to break down caffeine as quickly as usual, which may affect the quality of your sleep, cause heartburn, or make you nervous. If these symptoms appear, it is best to avoid caffeine. An alternative could be Coca-Cola without caffeine during Pregnancy, but this solution is not necessarily less harmful.
What Science Says About Caffeine
Let’s see what science says about the possible side effects of caffeine. Most studies conducted in this area show that moderate amounts of caffeine (less than 200 milligrams per day) do not cause problems during Pregnancy. However, these harmless effects have yet to be wholly confirmed due to some shortcomings and discrepancies found in the analyses conducted.
Many studies on the association between caffeine and risks, including miscarriage, are not structured enough to confirm a possible relationship—other data conflict with each other. For example, this 2008 study found no link between caffeine consumption and miscarriage, regardless of the amount consumed. Another study from the same year, however, found an increased risk of miscarriage linked to greater caffeine consumption (200 mg per day or even more).
With respect to preterm birth, several studies, including this one from 2007, found no relationship between moderate caffeine intake and the risk of preterm birth. Furthermore, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), there is no conclusive evidence that caffeine decreases uterine blood flow, fetal oxygen, or birth weight, as has been assumed. Although, it must be considered that the research is still ongoing and that, therefore, the findings can always change.
A subsequent 2020 analysis, in fact, rearranges the cards by finding that caffeine consumption could increase the risk of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, low birth weight of the fetus, or acute childhood leukemia. Considering, however, that these are still reviews of the medical-scientific literature, sources of data that do not ensure definitive conclusions.
Therefore, as stated, if it is true that moderation is advisable, it is equally valid that small quantities of caffeine (less than 200 mg) now and then are not fatal. However, it is good to remember that other sources of caffeine should be taken in moderation, such as green tea and chocolate.
Is The Sugar In Coca-Cola Safe During Pregnancy?
It is now known that sugar-containing drinks contain only calories and substances without any nutritional value. But in addition to this fact, it is best to avoid consumption in particular conditions during Pregnancy. For example, if you have gestational diabetes or if there is a risk of developing it.
Gestational diabetes increases the risk of hypertension during Pregnancy and also the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after giving birth. Other research also suggests that high amounts of sugar, especially sugary drinks, can affect pregnancy and baby growth, even after birth. A 2012 study found that sugary drinks could increase the risk of preterm birth.
At the same time, 2018 research suggests that their consumption could generate verbal memory problems in children. The results of this 2017 study, however, show a relationship between sugary drinks during Pregnancy and increased risks of asthma in children. Finally, this other study suggests the risk of developing body fat during childhood.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe During Pregnancy?
Most artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, acesulfame-K, and sucralose, are considered safe during Pregnancy if taken in moderation. At the same time, there is no evidence on the effects of saccharin to attest to the absence of risks to the health of the fetus. A 2018 study suggests that diet sodas can affect children’s motor, visual, and spatial skills in early childhood and their verbal skills in later years. At the same time, this other study highlighted the relationship between artificial sweeteners and the risk of being overweight from the first year of age.
What Are The Effects Of Caffeine-Free Drinks?
Dietary and caffeine-free drinks may seem healthier, but it is good to know that they actually contain some chemicals that are best avoided during Pregnancy, especially since their harmfulness has not yet been ruled out. Phosphoric and citric acid, for example, are two chemicals that have been shown to erode tooth enamel.
What To Drink During Pregnancy To Avoid Problems
During Pregnancy, it is essential to maintain a good level of hydration. Among the drinks that can be drunk without any risk, here are some of the healthiest.
In general, it is recommended to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day, although the amount may vary based on individual needs. It is important to remember that drinking too much sodium-rich mineral water could cause bloating. Therefore, if you drink mineral water, it is better to opt for one with low sodium content.
Naturally Flavored Water
Flavored waters with added lemon, cucumber, ginger, or mint are very healthy options.
Seltzer or Carbonated Water These drinks are safe during Pregnancy, and the bubbles can help reduce nausea, which can occur in the first three months.
Smoothies are healthy, nutrient-dense options. Without adding too much sugar, you can include some Greek yogurt to relieve any heartburn.
Cow’s Milk Or Vegetable Milk
Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamins, but it is not only that of animal origin. In case of intolerance, vegetable alternatives can be considered, such as soy milk or almond milk, oat milk, etc., preferably enriched with calcium.