By Amy Packham
If you’re expecting a baby, you don’t have to completely cut out tea and coffee out of your diet (can you imagine?!), but there are recommended limitations.
Since 2008 the Food Safety Authority (FSA) has recommended that pregnant women keep their caffeine intake to under 200mg a day. Caffeine is found in tea and coffee, cola, other soft beverages such as energy drinks and chocolate. It is also found in cold and flue remedies and other soft drinks including cola.
Studies have shown that women who have more than the recommended 200 milligrams of caffeine per day had a significantly increased risk of delivering prematurely or having a low-birthweight baby. Tommy’s pregnancy charity has also previously warned that too much caffeine increases a risk of miscarriage.
Tommy’s has an online caffeine calculator for pregnant women to check their consumption.
The NHS gives guidance on how much caffeine is found in some common food and drinks:
:: 1 mug of instant coffee: 100mg
:: 1 mug of filter coffee: 140mg
:: 1 mug of tea: 75mg
:: 1 can of cola: 40mg
:: 1 can (250ml) of energy drink: up to 80mg – larger cans may contain up to 160mg
:: 1 bar (50g) of plain chocolate: most products on the UK market contain less than 25mg
:: 1 bar (50g) of milk chocolate: most products on the UK market contain less than 10mg
So in a day, you will almost reach your 200mg caffeine limit if you have two mugs of tea and one can of cola; or one mug of instant coffee and one 250ml can of energy drinks.
“If you occasionally exceed the recommended limit, don’t worry,” the NHS advises. “The risks are quite small.”