Your pregnancy can evoke all sorts of cravings. It can be food that’s been your guilty pleasure for a while or it can even be something you’ve never eaten before. Craving Coca-Cola during pregnancy can be one of those things you’re worried about. Is Coke bad for your baby? Or should you give in and allow yourself to have some?
Maybe you never really drank Coke because there was nothing tasty about it. Plus, you always knew that it was full of sugar and caffeine which is something you tried to avoid as much as possible.
But during your pregnancy, you started to feel this weird thirst for Coca-Cola. No matter how much you try not to think about it, you can’t do anything to get it out of your mind.
Maybe you allowed yourself a glass of it a couple of times, and oh man, it tasted amazing. There’s something about it that satisfies your cravings like no other drink.
But now you’re worried because you’re not sure if you’re allowed to drink Coke during pregnancy. Is it bad for your baby, or are you okay with drinking it from time to time? Here are all the answers you’re looking for.
Why are you craving Coca-Cola during pregnancy?
Even though there’s no scientific reason behind it, many women experience this craving. It’s nothing unusual when you’ve been an avid Coke drinker your whole life. But if you never even tasted it and now your body keeps asking for it all the time, things start to feel weird.
You instantly get worried that you’re lacking certain nutrients, but you can’t figure out what would that be. Coke isn’t the healthiest drink out there and it can’t satisfy your need for any of the vitamins and minerals. So, why do you keep craving it all the time?
Well, pregnancy comes with a lot of changes and some of them include changes in your appetite. You’ve probably realized that certain foods are a no-go at this point in your life even though you used to be obsessed with it. On the other hand, items you never really liked are now the only thing you eat.
This all happens due to the changes in hormones. Your taste buds become different so your food preferences also evolve and adjust, especially if you’re still experiencing morning sickness (a.k.a. you feel like throwing up all day long).
During pregnancy, many women experience an intense need for salty or sugary food. So, it looks like the same is happening to you. Maybe you don’t feel like eating a whole bar of chocolate in one sitting but you could definitely gulp down a whole bottle of Coke, right?
So, don’t worry, it’s just your hormones and there’s nothing to be concerned about.
Is it okay to drink Coca-Cola during pregnancy?
Now, you don’t need me to tell you that Coke isn’t the healthiest drink in the world. It’s full of sugar and caffeine, the two ingredients you should be careful with, especially during your pregnancy.
When it comes to sugar, there’s a lot of it in Coca-Cola. Even if you opt for a diet Coke, you should know it’s filled with artificial sweeteners. Considering the fact that you shouldn’t consume more than 30 g of simple sugars a day, you’ll need to limit yourself to one glass of Coke.
When it comes to caffeine, a can of Coca-Cola doesn’t surpass your daily levels of it. During pregnancy, you’re allowed to drink just under 200 mg of caffeine a day. So, it’s good to know that one can of this drink contains only 32 mg.
So, if you’re craving Coke and you can’t control yourself, then you shouldn’t feel bad for giving in and drinking a glass (or a can) a day. Just make sure that you have a healthy and balanced diet and that you’re not eating too many sweets since they also contain a lot of sugar.
Include fruits in your meals because even though they’re sweet, we’re talking about natural sugars that are good for you.
What to drink instead of Coca-Cola?
Even though it’s okay to drink small amounts of Coke during pregnancy, it’s always better to look for a healthier alternative. Maybe your need for Coca-Cola stems from the fact that you’re not taking enough liquids so your body is craving for literally anything to satisfy its thirst.
You should try including the following drinks in your diet and see how your body reacts to them. If you feel like any of them can replace your need for Coke, then opt for a healthier alternative that is better for both you and your baby.
1. Plain water
I’m aware that water doesn’t taste anything like Coke, but as I already mentioned, maybe you’re just dehydrated and that’s why your body is craving something sugary to bring your energy levels up.
No matter what, water is always a good choice and you can make it tastier by adding certain fruits and herbs to it. For example, add some strawberries and mint and you’ll get fruit-infused water which can be more appealing to your new taste buds.
Even if you end up drinking Coke during pregnancy, you shouldn’t stop drinking water. Sugary drinks can’t hydrate you the same way plane water can so there’s really nothing that can replace it.
Don’t think that your body is getting enough liquids because you’re drinking soda and make sure you carry your water bottle with you everywhere you go. This can motivate you to stay hydrated and remind you to drink some water when you forget about it completely.
2. Sparkling water
Some women may crave Coca-Cola because it’s carbonated. So, a good way to satisfy your body with something healthier is to opt for sparkling water.
This way, you’re avoiding any added sugars, and the same with plain water, you can always add some fruits to it and play with the flavor.
Again, I know that it’s not going to taste anything like Coke but it’s a good alternative for you to try. Maybe you’ll realize that it provides you with the same satisfaction because it’s carbonated so you may switch over to it whenever you’re craving Coca-Cola during pregnancy.
That way, you would keep your body hydrated without ingesting any additional calories.
3. Pasteurized juices
100% fruit juices are always a good and healthy choice, especially during your pregnancy. This way, you know that you’re not consuming any added sugars and that all the sweetness comes from the fruit.
However, it’s important to pay attention that you’re buying pasteurized juices from the store. This way, you can be sure that they don’t contain any bacteria since they have been killed through the process of pasteurization.
Freshly squeezed juices are something you should avoid during your pregnancy since there’s always a risk of cross-contamination and bacteria. It’s better to be safe than sorry. So, avoid exposing yourself and the baby to the risk of food poisoning.
Teas are always a good choice, especially if you’re going to drink them without adding any sugar. This makes them a healthy option and a great way to hydrate yourself.
Now, during your pregnancy, you can’t drink all of the teas that you once could. The reason for that is the fact that many of them contain caffeine. Another thing to be aware of is that some herbal teas may not be allowed during this time of your life since their intake comes with certain consequences.
So, before you make yourself a warm cup of tea and snug on your sofa, you should first get educated on what teas get a green flag during pregnancy.
Avoid chamomile, fennel, sage, and thyme since they can lead to preterm labor or even miscarriage.
Instead, opt for peppermint, ginger, and raspberry leaf tea. These are all safe to drink during pregnancy and shouldn’t cause any consequences.
Of course, even though we’re talking about tea, make sure you’re not crossing the line and drinking way too much of it. Balance is the key to everything you take into your body, especially now that you’re growing life inside of you.
Should you control your cravings and skip on the Coke during pregnancy?
I’m sure you’re worried about your baby’s health which is the main reason why you keep stressing about drinking Coke. But as long as you’re not overdoing it, everything should be fine. If that’s the only way to satisfy your cravings, then go for it.
However, don’t think that you can drink a whole bottle just because your body keeps asking for more. You already know what’s good for you and what’s not, and you should always act accordingly.
Sit down and truly enjoy that one glass of Coca-Cola. Make sure you indulge in every little bit of taste and satisfaction it gives you. And once you drink it, don’t reach for another glass. Don’t try to convince yourself that nothing will happen.
The next day, two glasses will turn into three and just like that, you’ll end up in a vicious circle out of which is hard to get out.