The pregnancy period can be all shades of amazing. You are happy and patiently waiting for the arrival of your baby. That is not to say that there are no days when you’ll be down. During pregnancy, you may have work piled up for you and your baby just wants you to rest. On days like this, energy drinks may be one of the options on your mind.
First, What Are Energy Drinks?
Energy drinks contain stimulants such as caffeine that can keep you going all day. They help you stay awake and active. Now that you are pregnant, energy drinks should no longer be your go-to drink for “energy.”
Why is this so? What are the risks associated with taking energy drinks during pregnancy? Can energy drinks affect your pregnancy test results? Will energy drinks affect your baby?
You will find answers to these questions as you continue reading this article.
What is contained in energy drinks?
Energy drinks are so called because they contain substances that can stimulate the body. They have the capacity to increase energy, maintain mental alertness and also increase physical performance.
Substances contained in energy drinks include:
- Carbonated water
- Artificial sweetener
- Certain herbs
Caffeine is a stimulant that can be addictive. Some energy drinks contain these ingredients in excess amounts. This can have a detrimental effect on you and your baby during pregnancy.
Risks associated with taking energy drinks during pregnancy
It is advisable to avoid energy drinks during pregnancy. This is due to the high amount of caffeine and other ingredients used to make the drink. Are you wondering how this impacts your health and that of your baby?
Most of the time, you’re taking energy drinks to stay awake and to boost your energy level. Sadly, excess caffeine in your body has the potential to raise your blood pressure and your heart rate. When taken in excess, caffeine can cause psychosis, seizures, and irregular heartbeat. It can also make you irritable, nervous, and sleepless.
You can also read this post about healthy Starbucks drinks for pregnant women.
Caffeine during pregnancy does not affect you alone, it affects your baby too. The excess amount of caffeine content in energy drinks can result in preterm delivery and other pregnancy complications.
Caffeine has stimulant and diuretic properties. Hence, it can increase the frequency at which you urinate. This causes the fluid level in your body to drop and can lead to dehydration. Take a moment to understand the causes of increased urination during pregnancy.
Furthermore, caffeine also has the capacity to cross the placenta and get to the system of your developing baby. At this stage, your baby does not have the necessary enzymes needed to break down caffeine. Even if the amount of caffeine you consume is tolerable for you, it may not be for your baby.
In large doses, caffeine can disrupt your baby’s sleep pattern. This can make both of you restless. It can also affect the typical movement of your baby in the third trimester.
Apart from caffeine, energy drinks also contain high amounts of sugar. This high amount of sugar can put you at risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It can also affect your baby’s health by causing some congenital disabilities. Sadly, most energy drinks do not specify the amount of sugar contained in each drink. The fact is simple: you may not know the exact amount of sugar you are consuming daily.
Energy drinks also contain some herbs which are said to be health-promoting supplements. These herbs are advised to be taken with caution during pregnancy. This is because even though they may be helpful to the body, too many of them can have adverse effects on the body during pregnancy.
Can energy drinks affect pregnancy test results?
The ingredients contained in energy drinks cannot directly affect your pregnancy test result. However, they have an indirect effect on the test result.
A pregnancy test result is determined by the concentration of the hormone, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). HCG is produced following the implantation of your developing baby into the wall of the uterus. It can be detected in the urine about two weeks after conception has taken place.
Energy drinks can slightly affect your pregnancy test result when you consume them in large amounts. Usually, a pregnancy test is done in the morning when the concentration of hCG is expected to be high. However, the caffeine contained in the drink makes you urinate more since it is a diuretic, thereby affecting the concentration of hCG in the urine, and producing an inaccurate result.
However, if you think you may be pregnant and the test keeps giving you a negative result, it is good for you to check with your healthcare provider.
Which energy drinks are good for pregnancy?
Now that we’ve struck off energy drinks as a safe energy source during pregnancy, does this mean there’s no reliable way to boost energy levels during pregnancy?
Safer options to consider include:
1. Go for Drinks Rich In Protein and Complex Carbohydrates
It is good for you to stay hydrated during pregnancy, but it does not have to always be water. Simple carbohydrates cause an early rise in blood sugar level after eating, As time goes on and digestion progresses, this blood sugar level crashes.
On the other hand, complex carbs and proteins do not do this. They break down slowly, ensuring you have a good supply of energy until your next meal. Some of the proteins you can go for include smoothies, milk, nuts, or seeds.
2. Go For Low Sugar Juices
Thankfully, with the right juice blend, you can stay hydrated and boost energy levels during pregnancy. All you’ve got to do is ensure that the sugar content is very low. To increase your fiber intake, you can add the pulp of these fruits (like oranges) to the juice.
3. Whole Fruit Juices
Another reliable option to try during pregnancy is whole fruit juices. This is because they contain the right blend of vitamins, minerals, and sugar you need to meet the ever-changing energy demands during pregnancy.
It is very important to reduce fatigue and tiredness during pregnancy. Asides from taking these energy drinks, you can also cultivate healthy living habits by having enough rest. Take a nap and sleep well at night. This will help you stay healthy and active during the day.
If you are usually tired and fatigued, it may be a sign of anemia. You would do well to see your health care provider for an appropriate check-up.
We are always here to lend a helping hand.