Pregnancy / Pregnancy Nutrition

Can You Drink Coke While Pregnant?

Don’t eat sushi. Stay away from unpasteurized cheeses or undercooked eggs. Avoid drinking alcohol. As expecting mamas, we all try our best to follow the accepted do’s and don’ts during our pregnancy journey, but some rules don’t seem so clear cut. Could something as seemingly innocent as drinking soda potentially be harmful to a developing fetus?

Drinking Coke During Pregnancy

Can I drink coke while pregnant is a frequently asked question by moms-to-be. While technically the short answer is yes, the consumption of coke is safe during pregnancy, it does come with a host of considerations and restrictions.

Generally, doctors recommend avoidance of coke because as pregnancy continues, the body starts taking longer period for digestion. Therefore, caffeine particles are slow in breaking down and it leads to exposure of fetus to caffeine ill effects. Coke does not have any nutritional value and even the calories are not of any real value, so its consumption is not a good option because a pregnant woman needs a balanced and nutritious diet for growth and development of its baby.

So, if you drinking coke on regular basis, this can hurt the baby and the mother by increasing the chances of gestational diabetes because too much sugar is detrimental to metabolism. Then with diet drinks, such as diet Coke or diet Pepsi, there is aspartame, which while the FDA has deemed it as safe, there are concerns that it could affect the developing brain of the infant. Aspartame is full of unnatural chemicals and to be safe it is probably wise to give up diet drinks altogether for the pregnancy.

Caffeine Contents in Coke

According to Coco-Cola’s website, a 12oz. can of regular Coke contains 34 mg of caffeine. A Diet Coke has 46 mg. When trying to decide if you should give in to your soda craving, it’s important to keep in mind that caffeine can also be found in a variety of other foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. Keeping track of your caffeine intake during pregnancy can help you avoid going over the recommended amount.

Side Effects of Drinking Excess Coke During Pregnancy

Caffeine contents that are in indigestible form travels from a pregnant body through placenta to unborn baby, which completely absorbs it. A fetus retains caffeine contents for a minimum of one hundred hours because they are at a developing stage and are unable to break down and detoxify the contents quickly. Drinking coke while pregnant is not advisable as it causes following side effects to an expectant mother:

  • Insomnia
  • Allows a pregnant body to lose water content quickly
  • Reduced fertility
  • In some cases, can lead to miscarriage
  • Higher rate of metabolism
  • Tightening of muscles
  • Insulin discharge from liver to bloodstream
  • Higher levels of blood pressure
  • Increase levels of heart beat
  • Dilated pupils
  • Opened bronchial tubes

Must Read: How Much Caffeine is Safe During Pregnancy

Drinking more than the recommended amount of coke while pregnant can

Some potential side effects of drinking more than the recommended amount of coke while pregnant on the fetus can include:

  • Lower weight at the time of birth
  • Premature delivery
  • Birth defects

Is it safe to drink coke while pregnant is now up to one’s own choice and discretion. It is not an easy habit to break and only alternative is reducing it gradually with lots of patience. Some simple steps in this direction are as follows-

  • Cut the intake of caffeine gradually because it is not possible to leave it at one go.
  • Try to find alternative options like Decaf Coffee
  • Exercising helps to fight withdrawal symptoms
  • Drinking lots of fresh and healthy fluids and water keeps caffeine cravings in check

NEW Willow Generation 3 - Meet the Future of Pumping

Best Alternative Drinks to Soda During Pregnancy

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you’re stuck drinking plain water for 9 months. Here’s a list of some healthy alternative drinks to soda that can be enjoyed during pregnancy:

Caffeine-Free Herbal Teas
Herbal teas come from non-tea plants such as flowers, roots, seeds and spices. They can be enjoyed hot or chilled and are naturally caffeine-free. Certain types of herbal teas are considered generally safe during pregnancy, however, according to the American Pregnancy Association, teas with high concentrations of herbs can potentially be toxic. It is best to stick with commercially available brands such as Celestial Seasonings or pregnancy labeled teas such as Earth Mama’s 100% Organic Peaceful Mama Tea or Pink Stork’s Morning Sickness Ginger Peach Tea.

Coconut Water
Coconut water is a great way to stay hydrated during pregnancy thanks to its high mineral and potassium content, especially for those suffering from severe morning sickness. Many women also swear by coconut water for its ability to soothe pregnancy-related acid reflux (but be sure to stay away from the ones that contain citric acid in the ingredients as that can make acid reflux worse) and it’s even been praised for its blood pressure-lowering capabilities. Our favorite is Amy & Brian’s Non-GMO, Gluten Free 100% Coconut Water.

Decaf Coffee
If you’re like most people, the day doesn’t officially begin until you’ve had your morning cup of coffee. Since caffeine can be found in many foods, making the switch to decaf coffee during pregnancy can help keep your daily caffeine intake under the recommended 200 milligrams a day. Mommee Coffee was specifically crafted with moms-to-be in mind. It’s organic, fair trade certified and has half the amount of caffeine than a regular cup of joe. Its low acid content means that it can also be enjoyed by those more prone to acid-reflux.

Fresh Smoothies
Creating your own smoothies can be a delicious way to get in your daily nutritional needs. While there’s no shortage of awesome smoothie recipes on Pinterest, Bumpin Blends has found a way to make the process even easier. Created by a registered dietician and mother, Bumpin Blends are pre-blended frozen cubes – just toss in some water, blend and you have yourself a 16oz smoothie. Each blend is designed to ease specific pregnancy symptoms and the website makes it easy to filter your choices by symptoms. The packs come in a variety of tasty blends including peanut butter cup, strawberry superwoman, watermelon in paradise, cookie dough and green mango. Click here to get $15 off of your first order!

Final Thoughts

While drinking coke or caffeinated soda is not generally frowned upon during pregnancy, it’s important to be mindful of your intake. Cutting down to one coke every couple of days or swapping it for one of the healthier alternatives above can greatly reduce any potential harm to your developing baby.



This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

NOTE: Some of the links in this post might be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, we’ll receive a small commission – at no extra cost for you, which helps us cover the costs for the blog.

Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.