Most women enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer while pregnant, but how about Sprite? While there are no definitive answers to this question, it’s important to consider the risks and benefits of whether or not to drink Sprite while pregnant.
As a general rule, it is always best to err on caution when it comes to your health and that of your unborn baby. Keep reading to learn more.
Factors To Consider When Deciding on Whether to Drink Sprite or Not
If you’re pregnant, you probably have many questions about what you can and cannot eat or drink during pregnancy. And one of the most common questions is whether it’s safe to drink soda, specifically Sprite.
While we aren’t sure if drinking sprite during pregnancy is safe for your child, a few factors come into play. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Soda contains high amounts of sugar and calories — up to 240 calories in a 12-ounce can — which can lead to weight gain during pregnancy. During pregnancy, excessive weight gain has been linked to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), and delivery complications like shoulder dystocia (difficult birth).
In addition, some studies have found that consuming large amounts of sugar during pregnancy may increase the risk of childhood obesity, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
Yet the bottom line is to make sure you only consume diet soda with no sugar added instead of regular soda.
Carbonated water contains carbonic acid, produced when carbon dioxide dissolves in water. Carbonic acid can cause irritation of the stomach lining if consumed in large amounts over time.
It could also lead to stomach ulcers if consumed frequently over an extended period irritating the stomach lining. However, no evidence drinking carbonated water during your pregnancy will cause you harm — at least no more than any other type of soda would cause you harm — unless your doctor tells you otherwise because of a medical condition such as ulcers or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Caffeine Consumption Levels
Most soft drinks contain caffeine, especially colas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Caffeine can cause rapid heartbeat and insomnia — two conditions already common during pregnancy — so it’s best to avoid caffeinated drinks if possible.
However, these effects aren’t completely clear and may depend on how much caffeine is consumed and how often it’s consumed. Some studies have found no association between moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy and miscarriage or congenital disabilities.
Others have found an increased risk for miscarriage among women who drank more than 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day (about three cups of coffee) but not among those who drank less than 300 mg per day.
Frequency Of Consumption
Drinking too much soda regularly isn’t good for your health and could contribute to weight gain or other health issues like diabetes or heart disease. The same goes for when you’re pregnant — especially if you have gestational diabetes (GDM).
If you’re only going to drink one can of soda each month, it’s likely safe for your baby (assuming it’s a diet). But if you drink more than one can every week or two weeks, there’s a chance that Sprite could cause harm to your unborn child.
Your Doctor’s Opinion
Some doctors may recommend that you avoid any carbonated beverages during pregnancy. Others may say that it is safe to drink one or two servings of Sprite per day as long as you do not exceed the recommended daily intake of caffeine (200 mg).
Your Diet and Health History
If you have pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, it may be best to avoid carbonated beverages altogether.
The Stage of Your Pregnancy
In the first trimester, when morning sickness is common and nausea can be severe, it might be best not to drink any soda. Later in pregnancy, when your body has adjusted to the changes and morning sickness has passed, it may be fine to drink a little Sprite without causing harm to your baby or yourself.
What Drinks Can You Take While Pregnant?
While the list of drinks to avoid is long, some beverages are considered safe to drink while you’re expecting. Here’s a list of drinks to take or avoid when pregnant.
Water is the best thing you can drink while pregnant. It helps your body stay hydrated and flush out chemicals, toxins, and waste products.
- Fruit juices
Fruit juices are okay in moderation. They have vitamin C and other nutrients, but they also contain natural sugars that can affect your blood sugar levels. If you choose to drink fruit juice, limit yourself to 4 ounces per day.
- Soft drinks
Soft drinks contain large amounts of sugar (about ten teaspoons per 12-ounce serving) and artificial sweeteners — both of which are known to increase your risk for obesity, diabetes, and other health problems later in life. It’s best to avoid soft drinks altogether during pregnancy (and afterward).
Coffee has been shown to lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes in pregnant women. However, it is best to avoid drinking more than one cup per day because caffeine has been linked to miscarriage.
Tea contains caffeine, but it may also benefit your health while you are pregnant. Drinks such as green tea may help protect your baby from certain congenital disabilities such as cleft lip and palate
- Sparkling Water
Sparkling water has no calories or sugar, making it a great alternative to soft drinks while pregnant. If you prefer carbonated water with flavorings, check the label carefully and choose those that contain no artificial sweeteners or colors.
Ultimately, it’s hard to say what your child will be like if you drink Sprite while pregnant. There are a lot of variables that affect fetal development, and there haven’t been any conclusive studies linking sprite ingredients with congenital disabilities.