Can I Have Energy Drinks While Breastfeeding?
Motherhood is one of the most fulfilling roles a woman can ever take on. However, it can also be the most exhausting one. You would need as much energy as possible to carry out all your responsibilities—household chores, baby care, and work.
As we all know, doing all these things can be quite tiring, and it is not all the time that we have the energy to finish them all. That’s why many mommies rely on energy drinks to give them the boost that they need. But what if you are breastfeeding? Are energy drinks safe for your baby?
In this article, we will answer the most commonly asked question - Can I have energy drinks while breastfeeding? So read on to find out!
What’s in An Energy Drink?
To determine how safe energy drinks are for babies, we first need to know what’s inside of it. So, what are the ingredients that you would commonly find in an energy drink?
The most common ingredient that you can find in energy drinks is no other than caffeine. This is the same substance that you can find in coffee. However, since the caffeine content in energy drinks are not regulated by the FDA, most energy drinks contain twice or even thrice the amount that you may found in coffee drinks.
When consumed by a nursing or pregnant woman, this substance can mix with breastmilk (or enter the placenta) and can be passed on to the baby. The digestive system of infants takes longer time to clear out this substance in their system, increasing its chances of triggering caffeine stimulation in babies which manifests as fussiness, insomnia, and rapid heart rate.
In addition to caffeine, energy drinks also contain other ingredients that may pose some problems for your baby. These substances include artificial sweeteners (which are known to have side effects in the long run), high amounts of B vitamins (which may cause liver toxicity, blurred vision, and increased uric acid).
Last but not the least, energy drinks also contain different herbs like Guarana, Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba which may cause palpitations, dehydration, insomnia and high blood pressure.
Can I Have Energy Drinks While Breastfeeding?
Now that you know what are the common ingredients of energy drinks, let us now discover the answer to this most pressing question - can I have energy drinks while breastfeeding?
According to HealthyChildren.org, drinking no more than three cups of coffee (or 285 mg of caffeine) spread all throughout the day is considered to be safe for breastfeeding and pregnant women. But keep in mind that caffeine sensitivity may vary from one infant to the other, so you still need to watch out for side effects.
In addition to that, please be reminded that energy drinks contain higher amounts of caffeine as compared to coffee, so you need to look at the label to ensure that you will be drinking amount of caffeine that is within the maximum recommendation.
However, there are some instances when taking energy drinks are highly discouraged. If your baby has pre-existing arrhythmias, gastroesophageal reflux or increased QT interval, you should avoid drinking coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages at all cost as caffeine may exacerbate these conditions.
The Healthier Energy Drink Alternatives
For the safety of your baby, it is best that you avoid drinking energy drinks while breastfeeding. But where will you get the energy that you need? Lucky for you, there are some alternatives that are considered to be a lot healthier than energy drinks. These are as follows:
Green Smoothies and Juices
Dark green leafy vegetables like parsley, spinach, and kale which provides the body the vitamin B that it needs for a faster metabolism. The faster and higher the metabolism is, the higher the energy your body will have.
One of the most common causes of fatigue is a lack of protein. With the help of protein shakes, you can provide your body the protein it needs to produce energy. Do not forget to add a quinoa, wheat germ or fruits into the mix for longer lasting energy.
All the metabolic reactions inside our body rely on the amount of water inside our body. If we are dehydrated, these reactions will slow down, and you will experience a drop in your energy. That’s why you should try to drink at least eight glasses of water in a day for optimum energy.
As mothers, we need as much energy as we can have to fulfill our tasks and responsibilities. Sadly, it is not all the time that our body has the energy we need to go through all the motions. Because of this, you might be tempted to rely on energy drinks to provide you the boost you need.But the biggest question is - can I have energy drinks while breastfeeding? Is it safe? Energy drinks contain substances that may cause some serious side effects on babies. These substances include caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and herbal stimulants.
- Yes, you can have energy drinks while breastfeeding, but you need to keep some precautions in mind. For one, you should make sure that you will not consume more than 285 mg of caffeine in a day.
- Second, while small consumption of caffeine is considered to be safe, there are still some infants that may have high sensitivity to it, so it is important to watch out for side effects like insomnia, restlessness and rapid heart rate.
- Third, you should avoid energy drinks or any other caffeinated beverages at all cost if your child has a history of arrhythmias, GERD or increased QT interval. As much as you can, try to avoid drinking energy drinks and opt for other healthy alternatives instead. These may include water, smoothies, and protein shakes.
Do you have any other questions? If you do, please ask them in the comments section. I will talk to you there!