With the rising popularity of matcha, many women are wondering if it’s safe to drink it with a bun in the oven.
Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but unlike other types of green tea, matcha is made from whole tea leaves. This provides more concentrated amounts of nutrients, antioxidants, chlorophyll, and caffeine.
So, should pregnant women avoid matcha altogether, or is a cup of matcha here and there allowed?
When consumed in moderation,matcha may provide some benefits for moms-to-be, like stress-relief, increased focus, and a strengthened immune system.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea that has been a part of the ancient tea drinking cultures of Asia for hundreds of years. Also known as jade leaf tea, matcha is unique in its vibrant green color, earthy flavor, and exceptionally high nutritional profile.
This is due to the meticulous, centuries-old cultivation and processing methods. Thetea leaves are grown in the shade in order to enhance flavor and increase the concentration of nutrients. After harvest, matcha tea leaves are ground to a fine powder. This step is super-important, as it releases all the bioactive goodies and increases the benefits.
As an integral part of Japanese tea tradition, matcha has remained a staple beverage in Japan for over 900 years. This country consumes over 70,000 tons of matcha annually. We’re pretty sure even the lovely Japanese ladies consumematcha green tea while expecting.
But why isdrinking matcha during pregnancy allowed if we know it contains highamounts of caffeine?
Before we answer this question, we’ve outlined the major perks ofdrinking matcha green tea, so take a look.
Can IDrink Matcha if I’m Pregnant?
When consumed in moderation, matcha is perfectly safe for pregnant women. In fact, matcha tea may be a healthier alternative to regular coffeeconsumption during pregnancy.
All the medical experts seem to agree on two things:
- Matcha issafe to drink in moderation during pregnancy because of the plethora of health benefits it offers.
- The biggest concern aboutdrinking matcha during pregnancy arises from the fact that matcha is rich in caffeine—even more so than coffee.
The topic of consuming caffeine during pregnancy is still controversial. Many pregnant women refuse to give up caffeine, opting to decrease their intake instead. Others give it up altogether and count the days until they can take it up again.
Is Caffeine Safe During Pregnancy?
Caffeine is a stimulant with the potential to give you nervous energy when consumed in excessive amounts. It is also the source of the side effects typically associated with matcha: jitteriness, headaches, diarrhea, and insomnia.Excessivecaffeine consumptioncan be harmful for both pregnant and non-pregnant women.
While research on the effects of matcha on pregnant women is still limited, we looked at some medical studies that investigated the effects of caffeine during pregnancy. A highcaffeine content might impact different stages of pregnancy, like fetal development, implantation, and placental function, leading to complications.
According to a 2021 study, “highercaffeine consumption during pregnancy has been associated with lower birth weight.”
An observational study confirmed this and found that for every 100 mg increase inmaternal caffeine intake per day, newborns had an average weight reduction of 28 g at full term. Babies born small or with low birth weight face higher risks for health complications after delivery.
Caffeine consumption during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restrictions and this association continued throughout pregnancy. Sensible advice would be to reduce caffeine intake before conception and throughout pregnancy.
People react to caffeine differently, mainly due to genetics, epigenetics (the regulation of genes), and environmental factors. A 2019 study found that exposure to caffeine in the womb can lead to heart and metabolic problems not only in the immediate offspring but also in subsequent generations.
However, this study was conducted on rodents, and more research is needed to fully understand the long-term and multi-generational effects of caffeine on humans.
How Much Caffeine Is in Matcha?
Matcha is a natural source of caffeine. According to research, matcha contains more caffeine than other types of green tea and coffee.
Matcha has a relatively high caffeine content compared to other green teas, which gives it a unique aroma and flavour. The content of caffeine in green teas was found to fall within the range of 11.3–24.67 mg/g, while in matcha it amounted to between 18.9 and 44.4 mg/g. For the sake of comparison, most coffee beans will contain 10.0–12.0 mg caffeine/g of beans.
This means that an averagecup of matcha contains anywhere from 38 to 176mg of caffeine, while an average cup of coffee packs around 100 mg, depending on the brew. Since matcha contains more caffeine than coffee, drinking too much matcha may have some side effects for expecting mothers and their infants.
Because of its richcaffeine content, it is better todrink matchaearlier in the day—in the morning or early afternoon—and take advantage of its invigorating properties. Pregnant or not, matcha will make you feel energized and focused.
The best thing about it is that it will not produce any of those caffeine-induced jitters or crashes, even 4–6 hours after consumption. Matcha’s unique chemical composition and the presence of the soothing amino acid L-theanine counteract the potentially jittery effects of caffeine and bring relaxation to the body and mind.
Isn’t that exactly what everyexpecting motherneeds?
Benefits of Matcha During Pregnancy
Expecting a baby? Hold the coffee and say hello to matcha.
With its nourishing nutrients and zen-inducing superpowers, this green elixir provides some serious perks for moms-to-be. So brew yourself a comforting cup and discover the many reasons why matcha is the ultimate maternity drink.
The Antioxidant Protection
Matcha is overflowing with potent antioxidants. One of the major antioxidants found in matcha is epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. This catechin has been shown to have incredible free radical scavenging abilities.
Free radicals are harmful compounds that cause oxidative stress and damage to cells through oxidation. During pregnancy, high levels of free radicals can be especially dangerous, potentially leading to cell mutations and pregnancy complications. According to research, “...epigallocatechin gallate is the most effective antioxidant polyphenol against hydrogen peroxide and radical-scavenging activity.” (He, et. al.)
The antioxidants in matcha also boost the body's natural defenses against oxidative stress. This provides vital protection for both mother and baby during the gestation period.
Supermom Immune Boost
Pregnancy causes some suppression of the immune system, making expectant mothers more vulnerable to infections and viruses. Luckily, matcha has powerful immune-boosting properties. With its antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, matcha helps strengthen the body's defenses.
The EGCG in matcha demonstrates antimicrobial effects that prevent the growth of dangerous microorganisms that lead to illness. Research suggests that EGCG has a considerable impact on T cell function. T cells are an important group of white blood cells that serve important functions such as activation, proliferation, differentiation, and cytokine generation.
Matcha also reduces inflammation in the body, which allows the immune system to function optimally.
One of the most common complaints during pregnancy is feeling tired and rundown. It just happens so that matcha provides a natural lift in energy levels. The energizing effects of matcha green tea help pregnant women power through their day while avoiding the exhaustion associated with pregnancy.
The caffeine in matcha helps counter the fatigue and exhaustion many women experience, especially in early pregnancy. Unlike coffee, matcha releases its caffeine more slowly and steadily, which helps avoid spikes and crashes in energy.
Outsmart Pregnancy Brain with Matcha
Many pregnant women experience "mom brain": forgetfulness, mental fog, and lapses in concentration. Matcha boosts cognition and helps combat these effects.
Matcha is a natural nootropic. Nootropics are the so-called “brain–boosting drugs” that enhance cognitive performance. Recent studies have shown that natural nootropics, like matcha, can reduce neuroinflammation and protect our brain from toxins.
L-theanine in matcha stimulates brain waves, inducing a state of calm alertness and focus. Matcha may also prevent declines in memory and concentration that can occur during pregnancy due to "mom brain."
Matcha Prevents Pregnancy Sugar Surges
The hormonal shifts of pregnancy can cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall dramatically. This leads to energy crashes and even gestational diabetes if left uncontrolled. Luckily, matcha contains powerful antioxidants that help stabilize blood glucose levels.
Research shows that polyphenolic antioxidants may help diabetics lower their blood sugar levels and help the body make better use of insulin. By lowering cells’ resistance to insulin, matcha helps prevent dangerous spikes in blood glucose. The catechins also limit the release of stored glucose into the bloodstream. This smooths out glucose fluctuations.
With regular and moderate matcha consumption, pregnant women can avoid drastic highs and lows in their blood sugar. Steady glucose equals steady energy for mama and baby.
Melting Away Pregnancy Stress
Pregnancy can be an anxiety-provoking time full of worries and fears about labor, delivery, and raising a child. This stress takes a major toll on both mom's and baby's health. It’s a good thing matcha has a centuries-long history of being used to facilitate meditation and promote a zen state of mind.
The fact that L-theanine increases alpha brain waves to boost cognition also helps you induce a calm yet focused state. This alpha state results in lower blood pressure and cortisol, the stress hormone. By decreasing cortisol, matcha relieves tension throughout the body.
Sipping matcha is an easy way for expecting mothers to stay relaxed.
Is It Okay to Drink Matcha While Breastfeeding?
We mentioned matcha’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-boosting, and anti-fatigue properties that help pregnant women stay vital. Matcha tea is not only a safer and healthier alternative to coffee while pregnant, but it is also a cleaner energy source for breastfeeding mothers as long as you stick to lower amounts.
If you drink matcha while breastfeeding, its caffeine content can get into a mother's breast milk, but usually only in a very small amount. Moderate amounts of caffeine usually don't harm the baby.
Although caffeine is transferred to breast milk, the amount of caffeine transferred to breast milk is generally less than 1% of the amount consumed by the mother, and modest caffeine use does not negatively affect infants. Because no caffeine has been detected in an infant's urine with maternal consumption of up to three cups of coffee a day, it is unlikely that infants experience measurable exposure to caffeine. (Jeong, et. al.)
A 2012 research article suggested that breastfeeding mothers should try not to exceed 300 mg of caffeine daily.
Matcha also has a mild diuretic effect. Breastfeeding already demands extra hydration from moms, so it is particularly important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
The Recommended Daily Intake During Pregnancy
You can totally enjoy a nice cup of matcha now and then if you’re pregnant. Just remember that moderation is key. The general guideline is to limit matcha intake to a maximum of 2 cups per day. Each 8 oz cup contains between 38 and 176mg of caffeine, which falls well below the recommended 200 mg limit forexpecting mothers.
Drinking only 1 cup or less per day may be ideal during the first trimester, whenfetal development is most sensitive. As pregnancy progresses, increase to 2 cups maximum, as long as mom is tolerating matcha well.
Pay attention to any side effects, like jitteriness or insomnia, as signs to cut back, and try to drink your last cup of matcha before or during lunch.
Don’t forget that our invigorating yet wonderfully soothing mushroom matcha blend also contains Cordyceps militaris. These medicinal fungi complement matcha’s anti-stress and immune-boosting properties. At moderate amounts, cordyceps has mild health benefits for preggers, so pairing these two powerful superfoods is a super-awesome, healthy match.
Couldn’t agree more! All you need is a functional yet stylish whisk to prepare your tea with ease and, well, style. You can purchase our special magic wand right here.
How to Enjoy Matcha While Pregnant
About to sip this green goddess elixir for the first time during your pregnancy? Or are you already a matcha lover looking to keep enjoying it safely while expecting? Don't worry, drinking matcha while pregnant is totally achievable with our advice.
- Choose quality, organic matcha to ensure purity and safety. Ceremonial grade is best as it contains more nutrients and less added fillers or sugar.
- Introduce matcha gradually if you are new to it. Begin with 1/2 cup daily and slowly increase towards the 2 cup maximum as tolerated. Remember that the recommended daily intake for pregnant women is 200 mg of caffeine or less, so don’t overdo it.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after matcha since it has diuretic properties. Proper hydration is especially important while pregnant.
- Avoid add-ons like sweeteners, milk, or flavorings. They can make you overload on calories and sugar, and for a healthy pregnancy, that’s something you certainly want to avoid.
- Time it right. Enjoy matcha in the morning or early afternoon for an energy boost, but not near bedtime so the caffeine doesn't disrupt sleep. You’re growing a human inside you; you need a lot of quality, uninterrupted sleep.
- If you have any concerns or questions, discuss matcha supplements with your healthcare provider, especially if you have high risk pregnancy factors.
- Listen to your body. Any side effects like jitteriness, restlessness, or insomnia are signs to reduce matcha intake.
Hone’s Mushroom Matcha
To enjoy matcha safely, always choose Japanese-grown, organic matcha for purity. Our ceremonial grade matcha comes straight from Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan, an area of the country touted for its traditional matcha production and exceptional quality standards.
But we've made our matcha even better by blending it with powerful cordyceps mushrooms. This magical mushroom matcha tea is specially designed as the ultimate elixir for expecting moms.
Join the pregnancy matcha movement today.
Is it OK to drink matcha tea while pregnant?
If you consider the nutrients your body needs during pregnancy, you’ll see that matcha offers a wide range of potential health benefits. It can be a great alternative to coffee during pregnancy. However, matcha, like other sources of caffeine, can affect pregnancy outcomes if consumed excessively.
Moderate caffeine intake is generally considered safe during pregnancy, with many experts recommending that pregnant individuals limit their daily caffeine intake to around 200 milligrams. Approximately one teaspoon of matcha powder contains about 65–88 milligrams of caffeine.
While matcha contains antioxidants and may offer some health advantages, it's important to ensure you're getting enough essential nutrients like folic acid and iron. Excessive tea consumption, including matcha, might interfere with the absorption of these crucial nutrients, so maintaining a balanced and varied diet is key.
How much matcha can you drink in a day while pregnant?
You can drink up to 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy, or around one to two cups of matcha tea. On average, a teaspoon of matcha powder contains approximately 80 milligrams of caffeine.
Don’t forget to account for other sources of caffeine in your diet, such as coffee and regular tea. Keeping track of your overall caffeine intake and adjusting your matcha consumption accordingly will help ensure a healthy and balanced pregnancy.
Is it safe to drink green tea in the first trimester of pregnancy?
The first trimester is a critical period of fetal development, and factors like caffeine intake can influence pregnancy outcomes. While small to moderate amounts of caffeine, including that found in green tea, are generally considered safe during pregnancy, be aware of your consumption and stay within recommended limits.
Some studies suggest that excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy might have adverse effects on fetal development. Green tea contains caffeine, and although its levels are lower compared to coffee, it's important to account for other sources of caffeine in your diet.
To err on the side of caution, consider limiting your green tea consumption and opting for decaffeinated versions if you're particularly concerned about caffeine intake during the first trimester.
Can I drink green tea at 4 weeks pregnant?
At 4 weeks pregnant, it's a good time to start being mindful of your dietary choices, including your tea consumption. Green tea, like other caffeinated beverages, contains caffeine, which can affect pregnancy outcomes if consumed excessively.
While some experts suggest that moderate caffeine intake (around 200 milligrams per day) is generally safe during pregnancy, it's essential to consider your overall caffeine intake from various sources. As your pregnancy progresses, discussing your dietary choices with your healthcare provider can help ensure a healthy pregnancy journey.
Is matcha better than coffee during pregnancy?
Comparing matcha and coffee during pregnancy involves considering their caffeine content and potential benefits. Matcha is known for its antioxidants and nutrients, while coffee is a common source of caffeine. During pregnancy, moderate caffeine intake is generally considered safe, with experts recommending a limit of around 200 milligrams per day.
Ultimately, the choice between matcha and coffee during pregnancy depends on your preferences and how well you're managing your overall caffeine consumption. Consult your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your individual health and pregnancy circumstances.
What teas are not safe during pregnancy?
While many herbal teas are considered safe during pregnancy, some should be consumed with caution or avoided altogether due to potential risks. Teas containing herbs like chamomile, sage, and rosemary, for example, may have compounds that could potentially affect pregnancy outcomes. It's best to err on the side of caution and avoid herbal teas that haven't been well-researched in the context of pregnancy.
Caffeine-containing teas, including black, green, and white tea, should be consumed in moderation to stay within the recommended caffeine limits. Herbal teas made from ingredients like ginger, peppermint, and lemon balm are generally considered safe and might even offer benefits during pregnancy.
When in doubt, consult your healthcare provider before introducing new teas into your pregnancy diet.
Can I drink matcha after giving birth?
After giving birth, consuming matcha can be an enjoyable way to continue incorporating its potential health benefits into your diet. However, it's important to be mindful of caffeine consumption, especially if you're breastfeeding.
While matcha's caffeine content is lower than that of coffee, it's still present and can affect both you and your baby if you're breastfeeding. The caffeine you consume can pass into breast milk and potentially impact your baby's sleep and behavior.
A teaspoon of matcha powder contains up to 88 milligrams of caffeine. To strike a balance, you can enjoy matcha in moderation, considering your overall caffeine intake from various sources. If you're concerned about caffeine affecting your baby, choose decaffeinated matcha or consume smaller servings.
Is too much matcha bad for you?
Consuming matcha in moderation is generally safe and can offer potential health benefits. However, like many things, excessive consumption of matcha or any food/beverage can have drawbacks.
Too much matcha could potentially lead to excessive caffeine intake, which might disrupt sleep patterns, increase heart rate, or cause jitteriness. Additionally, consuming large amounts of matcha could contribute to an imbalance in your nutrient intake or interact with certain medications.
It's important to enjoy matcha as part of a balanced diet and be mindful of your overall caffeine and nutrient intake.
Is matcha OK before bed?
Matcha contains caffeine, which can affect sleep if consumed close to bedtime. Caffeine is known to interfere with sleep quality and can make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you're sensitive to caffeine, it's advisable to avoid consuming matcha or any other caffeinated beverages, in the evening. Opt for decaffeinated matcha or consume it earlier in the day to prevent sleep disturbances.
Is 4 teaspoons of matcha too much?
Four teaspoons of matcha would likely result in a relatively high caffeine intake. Each teaspoon of matcha powder contains around 80 milligrams of caffeine. Consuming four teaspoons would provide more than 300 milligrams of caffeine, which is more than the recommended daily caffeine intake for pregnant women.
While matcha can be a healthy addition to your diet, it's important to stay within recommended caffeine limits and consider other sources of caffeine you may be consuming.
Is it OK to drink matcha on an empty stomach?
Generally speaking, drinking matcha tea on an empty stomach is safe for most people. Some people might experience gastrointestinal discomfort or jitters due to the caffeine content. If you're particularly sensitive to caffeine or experience stomach upset, you might prefer to consume matcha with a small meal. This can help reduce the risk of any adverse effects while still allowing you to enjoy the potential health benefits of matcha.
Is matcha better than coffee for anxiety?
Matcha and coffee both contain caffeine, which can provide an energy boost and affect moods, including anxiety levels. Some people find that matcha provides a more gradual and sustained energy boost compared to the rapid jolt and potential crash associated with coffee.
Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that may have calming effects and counteract some of the jitteriness caused by caffeine. If you're seeking a beverage that might have a milder impact on anxiety, matcha could be a preferable option for you.
Is it OK to drink matcha every day?
In moderation, drinking matcha every day can be part of a healthy diet. Matcha is rich in antioxidants and offers potential health benefits. However, it's important to be mindful of your caffeine intake, especially if you're pregnant or sensitive to caffeine. To enjoy matcha regularly, consider limiting your daily consumption to a moderate amount and factoring in other sources of caffeine in your diet.
While matcha is generally considered safe during pregnancy, it's always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet, especially during pregnancy.
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