During pregnancy, you need more fluids because of your growing baby and up to 50% more blood in your body. This makes it easy to get dehydrated. While water is the top choice, drinks like milk and coconut water are also great. Aim for 8-12 cups daily, but watch out for caffeine and avoid alcohol.
Pregnant moms will attest to feeling thirsty more often than before their pregnancy, and they naturally drink more fluids. Yet this seems like a pointless exercise because trips to the loo become more frequent.
This can be confusing, and many pregnant moms may logically want to drink less fluids.
By drinking fewer fluids, dehydration can easily occur and may lead to complications such as preterm labor, low amniotic fluid levels, and neural tube defects, to mention a few.
Drinking more fluids during pregnancy is part of this life-changing experience.
There are both good and bad fluids that we indulge in daily. So, what is the best hydrating drink for pregnant moms?
Table of Contents
- 1 Hydration during pregnancy
- 2 The importance of water during pregnancy
- 3 Milk – A healthy option
- 4 Fruit juices and smoothies
- 5 Herbal teas for pregnancy
- 6 Coconut water (and its benefits)
- 7 Electrolyte drinks for pregnancy
- 8 Kefir and other probiotic drinks
- 9 Vegetables and fiber
- 10 Caffeine intake during pregnancy
- 11 Foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy
- 12 The impact of hydration on pregnancy symptoms
- 13 FAQs
- 14 References
Hydration during pregnancy
It stands to reason that during your pregnancy, you will naturally drink more fluids to support the growth and development of your baby.
🤰🏽 Pregnancy triggers an increase in blood volume by almost 50% to nourish the growing fetus. This expanded volume requires additional fluid intake.
When dehydration occurs, blood can become more viscous, reducing its efficiency in transporting oxygen and nutrients to the placenta and potentially leading to complications.
Drink enough fluids to ensure that your urine is colorless or light yellow. Pure water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay hydrated during pregnancy.
The importance of water during pregnancy
Water is an essential building block for life. Staying hydrated is crucial, and water is the best hydrating drink during your pregnancy.
Some benefits of water include:
- Helps to regulate your body temperature.
- Helps your body absorb essential nutrients from food.
- Promotes your baby’s blood circulation and helps to form amniotic fluid in your womb.
- Helps waste and toxins leave your body.
- Help to prevent constipation.
- Helps to prevent urinary tract infections.
- Helps to alleviate swelling.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that you drink 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces or 1.9 to 2.8 liters) of water every day while you are pregnant.
If you are active or live in a hot climate, you may need to drink even more water to stay hydrated.
You should aim to reach this daily target; however, your water intake may vary depending on your activity level and other factors.
Although pure water is the best drink to keep you hydrated during pregnancy, you should be wary of tap water, especially if you travel often.
Bottled water is a safer option, especially if you are not sure about the tap water in your area.
It is important to practice moderation in your drink choices. While water is the best option for staying hydrated, it’s perfectly acceptable to mix things up and include other healthy beverages in your diet.
Milk – A healthy option
Milk is packed with essential nutrients that are important for the growth and development of your baby.
Most experts recommend cow’s milk as the healthiest kind of milk. Benefits of milk include:
- Contains a broad selection of vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.
- Contains vitamin D.
- Calcium is an essential mineral for the development of your baby’s bones and teeth. One cup of milk provides about 30% of the recommended daily intake of calcium.
- Rich in protein, which helps build and repair tissues in your body. One cup of milk contains about 8 grams of protein or about 1 gram of protein per ounce.
Regardless of whether you choose fat-free, low-fat, lactose-free, or whole milk, the protein content remains the same.
Each cup of milk will provide all the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own.
You should only drink pasteurized milk during pregnancy. Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria that can be present in raw milk, which can increase your risk of foodborne illness.
Fruit juices and smoothies
Fruit juices and smoothies are a great way to stay hydrated while also getting essential vitamins and minerals. Look for 100% fruit juice without any added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Ideally, you should look for juices that are high in vitamin C, such as orange juice or grapefruit juice, as well as juices that are high in potassium, such as tomato juice.
Smoothies can be made with a variety of fruits and vegetables and can be customized to fit your taste preferences.
Herbal teas for pregnancy
Herbal teas are a popular choice for pregnant women who want a hydrating drink packed with nutrients; however, not all herbal teas are safe to drink during pregnancy.
Ginger tea is safe and is one of the most popular herbal teas for pregnant women, as it is known to help with nausea and vomiting.
Ginger tea contains gingerol, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which is also a natural pain reliever and can help with menstrual cramps and headaches.
Green tea is another herbal tea that is safe to drink in moderation. It is high in antioxidants and can help boost your immune system.
Green tea does contain caffeine, and it is recommended to limit your caffeine intake during pregnancy to no more than 200 milligrams per day.
When choosing herbal teas during pregnancy, you should avoid certain herbs that can be harmful to you and your baby.
Some herbs can cause contractions, while others can lead to miscarriage or premature birth. Avoid teas made from herbs like chamomile, dandelion, and nettle.
Coconut water (and its benefits)
Coconut water is a clear liquid found inside young green coconuts and is a natural source of hydration.
Coconut water is rich in potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure, balance fluids in the body, and support healthy nerve and muscle function.
Coconut water is also a great source of electrolytes, which are minerals that help to regulate fluid balance in the body.
In addition, it also contains other important nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C.
Magnesium is important for healthy bone development, while calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth.
Vitamin C is important for immune system function and can help to protect against infections and illnesses.
Electrolyte drinks for pregnancy
Electrolyte drinks contain minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which can be an excellent way to replenish fluids and minerals lost through sweat and other bodily functions.
Pregnant women need more electrolytes due to their increased blood volume and the needs of their developing baby.
When choosing an electrolyte drink, look for options that are low in sugar and free of artificial colors and flavors.
A natural electrolyte drink like coconut water or an oral rehydration solution is ideal as they contain the perfect balance of electrolytes and glucose to help rehydrate the body quickly.
Although sodium is a crucial electrolyte during pregnancy, you should not overindulge.
The recommended amount of sodium is 1.5 grams per day, but some doctors may recommend restricting sodium intake for moms with certain health concerns.
Kefir and other probiotic drinks
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is packed with probiotics. These are beneficial bacteria that can help improve your digestive health.
Kefir is also a good source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Kefir is a good option if you’re lactose intolerant.
Probiotic drinks help to support your gut health. These drinks can help improve digestion, boost your immune system, and reduce inflammation.
Look for drinks that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, or other strains of beneficial bacteria.
Vegetables and fiber
Vegetables are packed with water and essential nutrients, which can help you stay hydrated.
Some of the best vegetables to include in your diet are cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and carrots, as they are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Fiber is important during pregnancy as it helps to prevent constipation, bloating, and indigestion, which are common problems during pregnancy.
Some of the best sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Ideally, you should aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day. You can easily achieve this by including foods like brown rice, quinoa, lentils, beans, and nuts in your diet.
Caffeine intake during pregnancy
Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in a variety of drinks and foods, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and some sodas.
While it can provide a temporary boost of energy, an excess can have negative effects on the body.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that pregnant women consume no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, and this includes food with caffeine, too. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy
During your pregnancy, be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking. Some foods and beverages can be harmful to you and your growing baby.
Here are some foods and drinks to avoid:
- Alcohol: Avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy. Alcohol can affect your baby’s development and can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Soda and energy drinks: Soda and energy drinks are high in added sugar and caffeine, which can cause dehydration and affect your baby’s development, as well as cause weight gain and increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
- Added Sugar: Avoid foods and drinks with high amounts of added sugar, such as candy, soda, and sweetened beverages, which can lead to excessive weight gain and increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
- Raw or Undercooked Meat, Fish, and Eggs: Raw or undercooked meat, fish, and eggs can contain harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria, which can cause food poisoning.
The impact of hydration on pregnancy symptoms
Staying hydrated during pregnancy can help alleviate some common pregnancy symptoms, such as:
- Muscle cramps
- Urinary tract infections
Besides ensuring that your baby is getting the essential nutrients needed for healthy development, staying hydrated also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Finally, rest and eating healthy are also important in maintaining hydration levels.
Getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support your body’s fluid balance and overall health.
What are some safe and hydrating drinks for pregnant women?
Water is the safest and most hydrating drink for pregnant women. Other safe hydrating drinks include milk, coconut water, herbal tea, and fresh fruit juice without added sugar.
What drinks should pregnant women avoid?
Pregnant women should avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, and added sugars.
Alcohol should be avoided altogether during pregnancy. Added sugars can be consumed in moderation but should best be avoided.
What are some alternative hot drinks for pregnant women?
As an alternative to coffee or tea, try hot water with lemon or ginger. These drinks can help with digestion and nausea.
What are the best drinks for relieving pregnancy nausea?
Ginger tea or ginger ale can help relieve nausea during pregnancy. Drinking small sips of water or clear fluids, such as broth or apple juice, can also help.
Can pregnant women drink hydration drinks?
Hydration drinks, such as Pedialyte or Gatorade, can be consumed by pregnant women in moderation. However, it’s important to check the label and avoid drinks that contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Is Gatorade safe for pregnant women to drink?
Gatorade can be consumed by pregnant women in moderation, but it’s important to check the label and avoid drinks that contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners.