When it comes to trends, food trends are especially overwhelming. For a while there, you couldn't turn a corner without seeing some kind of recipe that used bacon and now it seems like everything is in the shape of a doughnut or includes matcha. The green tea has literally taken over entire bakeries (and mugs), but what about if you're expecting? Can you drink matcha green tea while pregnant, or is this one food trend you'll have to avoid? (Like the sushi burrito.)
Does matcha have caffeine?
The thing about tea — any kind — during pregnancy is the caffeine content. Matcha green tea is often considered a healthy option for someone who wants a cup of tea, but does that also apply to those who are pregnant? The truth is, it really depends on how much tea you're going to drink. Dr. Neha Singh Rathod says that you should limit your matcha consumption to one to two cups per day because — yes, it does have caffeine. Rathod says that sticking to the recommended amounts of caffeine for pregnant people — around 200 milligrams per day — is the best way to enjoy matcha.
But it can also ease your mind to know that, in general, green teas contain around 40 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per cup. If you follow the 200 milligrams rule, you could likely enjoy more than two cups of matcha tea per day if you wanted — or mix in other caffeinated beverages.
How does drinking matcha green tea while pregnant affect the baby?
If you’re worried about the affects of matcha on your baby, don’t be. Again, it’s really just the caffeine content that experts want you to be aware of when enjoying matcha during pregnancy. Whether it’s matcha green tea or matcha powder in a dessert, as long as you practice moderation, you should be able to enjoy your treat. Matcha is also full of antioxidants and micronutrients, so you may reap some benefits of having a cup or two each day.
Too much caffeine is frowned upon and several studies have found that drinking caffeine in excess during pregnancy (an amount you should talk to your doctor about) could potentially affect your baby in different ways. But again — it’s all a possibility. There’s also the study that found caffeine can help reduce a pregnant person’s risk of gestational diabetes. Take all of the precautions with a grain of salt — and maybe a cup of matcha — and talk to your doctor if you have any questions. In general, as long as you aren’t downing 10 cups of matcha per day, you and your baby should be just fine.
Dr. Neha Singh Rathod, OB-GYN
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