Dear Fitness Expert,
I am about five weeks pregnant and have given up caffeine. I have been drinking decaffeinated green tea every now and then. I have read about other herbal teas not being safe but have not seen any articles regarding green tea.
Is it considered unsafe during pregnancy, even if it's decaffeinated?
As the doctor loves to say... everything in moderation.
In answer to your question, if you consume decaffeinated green tea "every now and then" there are no known problems. You may have trouble finding any recent information regarding green tea consumption and pregnancy simply because there is very little data. What we do know is that many of the "herbal" remedies are not recommended during pregnancy. Bitter orange, ginseng...all big time no-no's. Any herbal that is used to repress your appetite are specifically identified as potential trouble for pregnant women.
The benefits of green tea, however, are believed to be good for pregnant women who are under stress, not sleeping well or have upset tummies. Again, because there is no hard research on this herbal tea, we recommend occasional use.
Good for you for giving up the caffeine. That is the hardest thing to overcome and, by simply giving up the caffeine, we hope you will be less restless and stressed. In fact, studies show that by eliminating caffeine from your diet, your stomach is less likely to be upset -- all benefits you hopes to achieve by consuming green tea.
Our best advice is this: If you have a question about something or feel a bit apprehensive before you do it/consume it, don't. Your best diet will come from this motto: eat what is most basic to the earth -- veggies and fruits free of pesticides (check your local free-range/green grocery store or farmer's market) and free-range meats free of chemicals or tampered grain-feeding. Eat whole wheat flour rather than white and try to avoid fast foods. We won't say any more than that because we understand that as you move through your pregnancy, you may wake in the middle of the night in desperate need of pickles and ice cream -- just chose kosher and all-natural ice cream over processed.