What are the best energy drinks to be taken during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is without a doubt the most tiresome (but worth it) experience of a lifetime. That is to be expected from a human body producing a child using her resources. Even when you are lying down, your body will be at work, burning a lot of calories. Feeling fatigued is normal and modern lifestyle has trained us to reach for an energy drink and push through.
Energy drinks, however, promise a jolt of energy owing to the caffeine present in them. High consumption of such products during pregnancy is not good for the baby. Caffeine is a stimulant drug, it increases blood pressure, heart rate and may cause indigestion and disturb sleep cycle. Everything that goes into your body also makes its way to the baby. Though most research on the risk of using caffeine and pregnancy is not conclusive, it is better to be safe than sorry. Limiting caffeinated beverages to a minimum (up to 200mg of caffeine) is the best option while opting for safer energy drink alternatives.
Healthy, natural and homemade energy drinks are recommended during pregnancy as the additional intake compensates for the energy used up in the building of fetal tissues, and the calories burnt while resting (basal metabolism).
This goes without saying, but water is one of the most important beverages during this time as it prevents fatigue, the risk of urinary tract infection and helps in the formation of amniotic fluid, that cushions the embryo. 1–1.5ml of water has to be consumed for every calorie spent, which means there is a need for an increase in intake in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Hydration is a priority and can aide you through a lot of the pains that come with pregnancy.
This is simple to make with natural ingredients, ensures hydration and also replenishes the body’s electrolytes naturally. Chemical energy drinks are packed with electrolytes and lemonade is a good alternative for them. It is also high in vitamin C content, which helps the body absorb iron well for the formation of red blood cells. It also helps with morning sickness due to its alkalizing properties that neutralize stomach acids. It can be consumed with mint and ginger for enhanced relief.
3. Coconut water
Coconut water is a clear, sweet, natural isotonic drink. It is rich in essential electrolytes, potassium, chloride, and magnesium. It prevents dehydration and restores natural salts in the body. It is also a diuretic and helps in flushing out toxins from the body. It improves kidney functioning by clearing the urinary tract and prevents kidney stones and infections, thereby lowering the possibility of preterm labor. It can be drunk at any time but is best suited in the morning, as the electrolytes and nutrients can be easily absorbed when the stomach is empty. Coconut also provides loads of vitamin B and C. Many women suffer from heartburn, acidity, and constipation during pregnancy and can combat it using this.
4. Dairy drinks
Dairy products like milk and buttermilk are good for increasing your calcium levels. It is necessary for the bone development process and reduces the risk of hypertension. Adding bananas and strawberries to the milkshake will serve to make the experience more desirable. Buttermilk is a natural coolant and will keep you hydrated. It consists of probiotic bacteria that ease gastric problems that accompany pregnancy.
5. Chia Fresca
Soaking around 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in water till the seeds swell up (10 mins or so) is also a good alternative for caffeinated energy drinks. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and antioxidants. According to Live Strong in the early days of pregnancy, “One serving of chia seeds provide a pregnant woman with over 15 percent of her protein needs, over a third of her daily fiber needs and nearly all of her additional calorie needs for the first trimester.” Chia seeds have been deemed a ‘superfood’ of sorts when it comes to pregnancy ever since.
For tissue and bone development, a higher amount of protein and calcium is required. Owing to blood production, iron is also important during pregnancy. All these needs are met via these magical seeds.
6. Fresh juices
Freshly prepared fruit juice provides the required dietary fiber to the pregnant woman. Juice of vegetables like carrots (vitamin C and calcium for bone development), beetroot (provides vitamin A, good for combatting weakness), cucumber and spinach are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. These are energy boosters and can be a part of your regular diet.
7. Protein shakes
Protein is required by the body for the development of a strong and healthy placenta. Low protein intake throughout pregnancy is connected to low birth weight and heart problems later in life. Adding protein powder to your shakes is safe, just ensure to look through the ingredients carefully. Make sure that list does not include stimulants like caffeine, artificial sweeteners or other unidentifiable chemicals that haven’t been approved for pregnancy.