Pregnancy

Benefits of drinking green tea during pregnancy

Ambili S Kartha
Pregnancy

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Benefits of drinking green tea during pregnancy

Now a days, most women take good care of their health. Along with exercises, green tea has also become a part of the urban daily routine as green tea is thought to have several health benefits compared to other beverages. However, when it comes to pregnancy, the expecting mothers may probably worry about the effect of the food and drinks they consumed have on the unborn baby. They might also worry about the consequences of continuing their habit of having green tea during pregnancy. Read on to learn more about green tea and the pros and cons of its consumption during pregnancy.

Is Green Tea Safe During Pregnancy?

There is no authorised information that forbids drinking green tea during pregnancy. You can, therefore, enjoy a cup or sometimes even two of your favorite drink without much worry.

However, there are some factors to consider while drinking green tea during pregnancy.

  1. First of all, consumption should be limited to a cup or two per day. This is because green tea is not devoid of caffeine even though the quantity is comparatively less than normal tea and coffee. One cup of green tea has 35 mg to 45 mg of caffeine in it. Therefore, drinking moderately brewed 3 to 4 cups of green tea itself has 200 mg of caffeine in it. Drinking more green tea increases the caffeine intake substantially
  2. Another factor that should be taken into consideration is how strongly you brewed the green tea. Stronger the brewing, greater will be the amount of caffeine. Therefore, it is safer to drink lightly brewed the green tea during pregnancy

Green Tea Caffeine Content

A 230 ml cup of green tea, which is 8 ounces, contains about 24 to 45 milligrams (mg)of caffeine. The caffeine content varies as it depends on the time for how long it has been brewed. Having said that, the same cup of coffee has about 100 to 200 mg of caffeine in it. So, though green tea has lesser caffeine compared to coffee, yet, the intake should be limited so stay safe from the adverse affects of caffeine during pregnancy.

When Can I Drink Green Tea During Pregnancy?

If you are wondering when to have your cup of green tea, there are some important aspects to consider.

  • Never drink green tea on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning). This is mainly because green tea contains tannins, which can cause acidity, thereby leading to stomach ache, nausea, constipation etc.
  • Never pair your cup of green tea along meals as well. This is because it can dilute gastric juices resulting in improper digestion
  • You can drink green tea in between the meals, preferably around 2 hours before or after meals. It is better not to have more than two cups per day

Does Drinking Green Tea During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?

As already mentioned green tea contains caffeine, though in lesser amounts than our standard cups of coffee or tea. The caffeine intake should be restricted to 200 mg per day. This includes caffeine content of all food and drinks consumed per day. Caffeine is not restricted to tea and coffee only. Cocoa is a good source of caffeine. Therefore, all chocolate or chocolate flavored products have a considerable amount of caffeine in it. The same is applicable to frozen treats like yogurt and soft drinks. All this should be considered when you calculate your caffeine conception.

How Does Too Much Caffeine Affect The Pregnancy?

The caffeine intake is restricted during pregnancy because too much caffeine can get through the placenta and cause several health issues to the unborn child. If the caffeine intake crosses the limit, it can:

  • Increase the fetal heart rate
  • Result in low birth weight
  • Increase the chances of preterm delivery
  • Over consumption of green tea can also leaad to miscarriage, also,
  • Drinking lots of green tea during the early weeks of conception can increase the chances of the baby to develop neural tube defects such as spina bifida

green-tea-during-pregnancy

What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea During Pregnancy?

Green tea has its own advantages over normal tea and other beverages. It is always good to drink green tea instead of coffee and normal tea during pregnancy. Green tea is manufactured through a procedure which ensures the leaves do not lose their antioxidants.

Here are some of the benefits of drinking green tea during pregnancy.

  1. Protects teeth and gums: During pregnancy, teeth and gums require special care as expecting mothers are prone to oral issues like gingivitis, cavities, etc. Antioxidant catechin that is present in green tea helps in destroying the bacteria and virus which causes dental issues
  2. Regulates blood pressure: Green tea contains powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. This gives green tea an ability to regulate blood pressure. Therefore, drinking green tea is beneficial for women experiencing preeclampsia
  3. Regulates blood sugar level: Green tea helps to regulate glucose levels by slowing down the advancing sugar level. Therefore, green tea is beneficial for expecting mothers who are experiencing gestational diabetes
  4. Resolves skin issues: Skin issues like acne is common during pregnancy. The anti-inflammatory property of the green tea together with lots of antioxidants helps to resolve skin issues that appear during pregnancy
  5. Controls mood swings: Green tea, with all its antioxidants, increase the metabolism rate. Also, green tea contains a compound called Theanine, which is an amino acid that has relaxing property. Thus, green tea helps in alleviating the mood swings which come hand in hand with pregnancy
  6. Boost immune system: Certain ingredients in green tea are able to increase the T cells in the body, which plays an important role in increasing immunity. As the immunity is repressed during pregnancy, drinking green tea helps keep common and mild infections at bay

Are There Any Side Effects Of Drinking Green Tea During Pregnancy?

Even though there are several benefits of drinking green tea in the course of pregnancy, over consumption of green tea has its hitches as well.

  • As the pregnancy progresses the body's capacity to break down the caffeine in green tea eventually decreases. This can result in inadequate sleep and creates heart burn. Hence, drinking lots of green tea during the third trimester, thus, can create issues
  • Over consumption of green tea can hinder the process of absorption of folic acid. Folic acid is an essential vitamin that the pregnant women should take particularly during the first trimester of pregnancy. Adequate amount of folic acid intake during the first trimester is essential to prevent neural tube defects in babies
  • Drinking more green tea also inhibits the absorption of iron. This can lead to gestational anemia. Once the mother is anemic, the amount of oxygen and nutrient reaching the baby through placenta will be decreased
  • Caffeine is known to have diuretic properties. Therefore, over consumption of green tea can result in increased urination. If not, enough water is taken to compensate it, we can say it can lead to dehydration

Can I Use Green Tea Extract During Pregnancy?

Green tea extract, also known as GTE is highest concentrated form of green tea in a capsule. Green tea can be either in powdered form or in highly concentrated liquid form inside the capsule. During pregnancy, even strongly brewed green tea is not recommended because when strongly brewed the level of caffeine will be high. In GTE, not only caffeine but all other components also will be in highly concentrated form. Therefore, GTE is potentially dangerous to use during pregnancy.

Can I Drink Decaf Green Tea During Pregnancy?

Switching to decaffeinated green tea from regular green tea could be slightly difficult, especially if you have caffeine dependency. To start with, take it slow and gradual, and mix decaf green tea with your regular cup, increasing the amount of decaf green tea slowly. As you get used to the decaf green tea version, your caffeine dependency will decrease. Also, it should be noted that suddenly withdrawing from caffeine can cause headache, irritability, lethargy and leave you feeling weak. Take the gradual approach to switch to decaffeinated green tea version to reduce these symtoms. Again, do not go beyond a few cups of green tea when pregnant.

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Shikha Batra

| Sep 08, 2017

very useful blog! thanks for sharing!

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