Dear Fitness Expert,
How much caffeinated coffee can I drink daily while pregnant without harming the baby? I have heard one to two cups is acceptable but I don't have any legit resources to back it up.
You are right. The answer is one to two cups of coffee are acceptable. This is based from studies conducted on laboratory rats in which acceptable levels of caffeine during pregnancy were measured. Those numbers were reconfigured and calculated into the average sized woman.
For researchers who still argue against the ill-effects of caffeine, two questions are always asked: What is the "average" woman and how does this those who do not fit the average bill? And, who wants to base safety guides from laboratory rats? It is something to consider. For many women, the risks are not worth it and they give up caffeine completely while pregnant.
However, there are other factors. If you are accustomed (okay, I'll say it... addicted to) several cups of coffee a day, to suddenly stop may be more stressful than you want or need. Rebound headaches, irritability and stress are legitimate concerns. If you are a two-cups-a-day drinker, try drinking one cup regular, one cup decaf. Everyone is happy and safe.
For soda drinkers, you might want to try the same approach. One coke and one decaf. But for soda drinkers, you have something else to consider. As you travel along the wonderful journey of pregnancy, your body is going into primal mode -- storing as much fat as it can and with heavy soda drinkers, the tummy seems to be the center spot for fat storage.
Remember that the more water you drink, the healthier and happier everyone will be during and after pregnancy.
Finally, diet sodas don't count! Consider this -- serious research being conducted on the effects of Nutrasweet™. People with asthma, migraines and sinus suffers are urged not to consume it. Pain patients (head) are advised not to take the product as it is "suspected" to trigger headaches. People with asthma, migraines and sinus suffers are urged not to consume it.
As you are trying to grow the most perfect, healthy little baby in the world, think carefully before you consume. Juice, milk and water is always best and will help you lose weight more quickly after the baby comes.
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!