Drinking Diet Cola During Pregnancy

QUESTION

Dear Fitness Expert,
Before getting pregnant I was drinking a lot of diet colas. Now I am concerned about the effect on the baby -- both about the carbonated beverage and about the caffeine. Should I worry if I drink a couple a day?

ANSWER

The FFA no longer allows pilots to drink diet drinks while they are flying. I would say that was a signal to the rest of us that perhaps drinking a diet drink (particularly while pregnant) is not a great idea.

You are right. It is best to stay away from carbonated sodas during pregnancy. The high sodium can cause more (water) weight gain and physicians have called for the restriction of caffeine during pregnancy. Caffeine depletes the body of calcium -- something you in great need of during pregnancy.

However, if you truly need your morning pick-me-up or suffer from rebound headaches, try tea. If you absolutely must have a soda, I would suggest the real thing. Nothing diet. Dr. Kevin Hackett from the nation's first All-Female Wellness Center in Columbus, Ohio suggest no more than two 8 ounce colas a day.

As your baby grows, try to cut back a little more every other day.It is important to look down the road as babies breastfed by mothers who consume caffeine can be effected. Studies from a London-based research firm showed that those babies were restless or agitated after nursing with mothers who consumed 32 ounces or more of caffeinated drinks.

Good luck. For me, my savior was decaffeinated teas and coffees!

-- Alex

Alexandra Allred

Alexandra Allred is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, models, actresses, trainers, doctors, and health/fitness experts as she sought to find answers to her own questions about working out while pregnant, arranging breast-feeding around a training schedule, diet when pregnant and breastfeeding, and encouraging her whole family.

Alex is the author of ten books, including Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone: Balancing Self, Health & Family. We're excited to have her on board!