Can You Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?

By : Winnie
February 27, 2021

Coffee is undoubtedly the world’s most popular beverage. It is a go-to drink that every person of any age enjoys drinking daily. Since it includes caffeine, coffee helps boost our energy and concentration and keeps us awake. Nevertheless, for pregnant women, regular coffee that contains a high amount of caffeine is not recommended. Due to health reasons, pregnant women need to reduce caffeine in the coffee they drink. Hence, decaf coffee is another good choice for pregnant ladies who can’t go on a day without coffee. Decaf coffee is actually not different from ordinary coffee, except for the fact that a big portion of caffeine has been eliminated to a very small amount. 

Despite the low amount of caffeine in decaf coffee, some people still question if it is safe to drink during pregnancy. To uncover your curiosity, read this article below and find out everything you need to know about decaf coffee and pregnancy.

Can You Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant? Introduction

What Is Decaf Coffee? 

What is Decaf Coffee?

Decaf coffee stands for Decaffeinated Coffee. It has 97% or more of the caffeine in Coffee Beans removed. Typically, a general cup of coffee has around 95 mg of caffeine. Meanwhile, a standard cup of decaffeinated coffee has around 2 mg of caffeine.

Decaf coffee, like standard coffee, starts out as green, unroasted beans. In order to extract the caffeine, the hard beans are warmed and immersed in liquid in one of four ways. It's by using water alone, a combination of water and solvents added directly or indirectly, or water and supercritical carbon dioxide.

To proceed, coffee beans are washed until the caffeine has been absorbed, then the solvent is removed. Using carbon dioxide or a charcoal filter, a technique known as the Swiss Water Method, caffeine may also be extracted. Before they're roasted and ground, the beans are decaffeinated. In addition to caffeine, the nutritional value of decaf coffee should be approximately the same as standard coffee.

Apart from these decaffeination processes, this coffee is different from the regular one in terms of taste and smell. Decaf coffee tastes flatter and has more watery. Furthermore, the color might also change based on the decaffeination method used. In fact, decaffeinated coffee is perceived by coffee lovers as unnatural. Normally, it tastes and smells a bit milder and lighter than ordinary coffee. So, to those who are prone to the bitter scent of regular coffee, they will find it more satisfying. 

How Much Caffeine Is In Decaf Coffee? 

 

Despite a huge portion of caffeine elimination, decaf coffee is not a totally caffeine-free type of coffee. Of course, a moderate amount of caffeine remains, and it does not mean that it is completely safe for some pregnant ladies to drink. 

On average, an 8-ounce (236-ml) cup of decaf coffee contains the caffeine up to 7 mg o. Whereas a cup of standard coffee contains 70-140 mg, and it varies in coffee type, cup size, and preparation method. Studies suggest that the amount of caffeine could increase in 1-2 cups of normal coffee by drinking 5-10 cups of decaf coffee.

On the other hand, it is worth remembering that there might be higher levels of caffeine in some commercial decaffeinated coffee.  One research reported that a commercial decaffeinated coffee contained up to nearly 14 mg of caffeine per 16-ounce (475-mL) serving. To understand more details, please visit here Coffee Truth About How Much Caffeine in Decaf Coffee. Nevertheless, be mindful of the amount of caffeine in certain coffee products and make sure to double-check it before you buy. 

Can I Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?

We all know what coffee is, but how much do you know about the caffeine in coffee? Most commonly present in tea, coffee, and cacao plants, caffeine is a natural stimulant. It works by helping you stay alert, stimulating the function of the nervous system, and delaying the occurrence of tiredness. Studies also show that caffeine has some significant benefits such as memory enhancement, focus improvement, and even risk reduction for diseases such as Alzheimer's and liver cancer. 

On the other hand, caffeine works differently when it comes to pregnancy. In pregnancy, it is broken down more slowly and it travels into the baby's placenta. During the second trimester of your pregnancy, it takes almost twice time remove caffeine from your body. Meanwhile consuming coffee during the third trimester of pregnancy, it takes almost three times to do so. Although the amount of caffeine you feed your body is able to manage, your baby may not. In the later stages of pregnancy, any amount of caffeine can also lead to changes in the sleep cycle or normal movement cycle of your fetus. 

There is still no clear explanation regarding the pregnancy complications caused by high caffeine intake. However, there are studies that have linked excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy with miscarriage, low birth weight, growth restriction, and obesity during childhood. In addition to these adverse impacts, high blood pressure, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are another bunch of harmful side effects of caffeine intake while you’re conceiving.

Can I Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?

Until this day, there is no exact evidence that can prove the relationship of caffeine to negative pregnancy consequences. Besides that, the effects of caffeine might also vary between individuals, therefore not everyone encounters the same side effects and impacts. 

The recent recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other experts suggest that consuming up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day is appropriate for expectant mothers. This amount of caffeine equals 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee or one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

According to ACOG, moderate intake of caffeine (just under 200 mg a day) seems not to be a key factor contributing to miscarriage or premature births. The majority of recommendations, therefore suggest restricting the average coffee consumption to about 2 cups (475 mL) each day. On top of that, there is another research claiming it is possibly safe to consume less than 300 mg of caffeine for pregnant women.

Is It Safe To Drink Decaf While Pregnant? 

There are no clear statements, proof, or official guidelines that show the exact relationship between decaf coffee and pregnancy. However, the fact that there is such a small amount of caffeine in decaf coffee, it is safe enough for expectant mothers to drink it in the most moderate amount. Despite being a safe coffee option for expectant women, decaf coffee’s safety for pregnancy is still in question. 

The brands, the process used, and the type of bean, the amount of caffeine remaining in decaf coffee can also vary significantly. Thus, it's not always possible to be completely sure how much you're consuming. A lot of studies still remain unresolved about decaf coffee in pregnancy and its link to miscarriage and restricted growth. In consequence, pregnant women should either avoid consuming it or drink it in moderation during pregnancy. 

Alexandra Chaston, head nutritionist at UAE-based hotel The Retreat, The Palm Dubai, has said that she would not suggest stopping cold turkey for those who are big coffee drinkers, as you are likely to get uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Instead, she would recommend slowly trying to wean yourself off the caffeine, reducing a cup per day, and replacing a decaf or herbal tea or hot water with honey and lemon for your coffee in order to gradually come off caffeine in around weeks.

Why Pregnant Women Should Choose Decaf Coffee Over Regular Coffee?

When it comes to coffee lovers who are also soon-to-be mothers, quitting coffee is indeed a big and difficult challenge. But then again, who says ladies definitely cannot drink coffee while pregnant? Needless to say, drinking decaffeinated coffee when pregnant is the number one best choice for our expectant women out there. 

No, we are not promoting decaf coffee as the best and the healthiest drink for pregnant women. What we want is to encourage everyone, especially our soon-to-be mums to feel less concerned about their coffee choice. While they are conceiving, they do not need to stop consuming anything that they once enjoy. The main thing here is to motivate pregnant ladies to cut down on their coffee consumption. Say no to regular or strong coffee, but yes to consuming decaf coffee instead. 

Women should really limit the amount of caffeine they drink to 200 milligrams (mg) a day if they are pregnant, according to the NHS and ACOG, which is the equivalent of one cup of regular coffee or 2 cups of brewed coffee. 

To put it simply, during pregnancy, drinking coffee with more than 200 mg of caffeine is absolutely not safe at all. Keep at the most moderate level so that both you and your developing fetus will not encounter potential risks in the future. Decaf coffee is better than regular coffee during pregnancy, but it is worth noting that not all products are the same. 

According to a study conducted by the national nonprofit organization Clean Label Project, some brands come with methylene chloride, a toxic chemical substance that is extremely harmful to pregnant women and the fetus. In order to know which brand of decaf coffee is toxic or non-toxic, go to this website and check out the results:

Below are the 4 types of Best Decaf Coffee For Pregnancy that are the safest options for expectant mothers: 

1. Decaf Ground Coffee

Decaf Ground Coffee

2. Decaf Instant Coffee

Decaf Instant Coffee

3. Decaf K-Cup Coffee

Decaf K-Cup Coffee

4. Decaf Whole Bean Coffee

Decaf Whole Coffee Bean

Key Takeaways

We understand how hard it is to stop your coffee craving, especially if you are a heavy coffee drinker. You cannot go on a day without your favorite coffee brand or flavor. 

However, a little one is fighting to survive in your tummy! Take this as a school summer break because, after your successful delivery, you can drink as much as you desire. Therefore, decaf coffee is the best substitute for regular coffee you’ve got so far.

To reduce the risk of miscarriage, child obesity, low birth weight, and growth restriction, pregnant ladies should not consume over 200 mg of caffeine per day. Actually, there is no official guideline of caffeine limitation for pregnant women. However, under 200 mg of caffeine intake, each day will most likely cause them little to no health risks. 

Key Takeaways

Most importantly, always keep in mind that not all decaf coffee chemical is completely toxic-free . Some certain brands contain methylene chloride which is very hazardous to pregnant women and their fetuses’ heath. So, always check the amount of caffeine and the other ingredients in coffee to avoid potential health in the future. 

Last but not least, the idea of going caffeine-free during pregnancy is very good healthy. However, do not stop your coffee consumption too quickly. Instead, do it slowly by cutting down the amount of caffeine intake every day. Another effective method is to drink herbal tea or hot water with honey and lemon. You can try one of these methods daily to see the results in several weeks without encountering withdrawal symptoms. 

Now, let's go one step above iced decaf coffee, how about Dalgona Coffee in Decaf Version?

References

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