Can I Drink Green Tea While Pregnant?

Photo illustration of pregnant woman drinking tea

Verywell / Photo illustration by Michela Buttignol / Getty Images

When it comes to good-for-you drinks, green tea is at the top of the list. Delicious served hot or iced, it is a heartwarming or refreshing drink that delivers health perks without any calories or artificial add-ins. For many parents-to-be, sipping green tea while pregnant may seem like the perfect way to stay hydrated while escaping the monotony of plain water. As long as you are keeping tabs on how much you’re drinking, it can be a safe alternative!

“Green tea is perfectly safe during pregnancy,” says Yaffi Lvova, RDN, owner of Baby Bloom Nutrition. “Hydration during pregnancy is essential and green tea can contribute to overall hydration, as long as you are staying within the caffeine guidelines for pregnancy.” Here, everything you need to know to continue to sip your favorite brew while your baby grows.

Drinking Green Tea During Pregnancy

Generally speaking, green tea gets the green light to drink during pregnancy. “I have no reason to recommend women stop drinking green tea at any point during their pregnancy,” says Nathan Fox, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in New York City, and host of the Healthful Woman Podcast.

The only factor you need to keep in mind is how it contributes to your overall caffeine intake. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends you keep caffeine consumption to under 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy.

Green tea contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup, so you can feel free to enjoy a few cups each day—as long as you are not also drinking more than one cup of coffee.

What’s more, green tea has been shown to contain a variety of plant compounds, including antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These nutrients deliver healthy perks for pregnancy and beyond.

Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about drinking green tea while pregnant.

Is It Safe for Baby?

Green tea is safe for your baby throughout pregnancy, as long as you are not going over the recommended daily caffeine intake, which poses risks such as low birth weight.

Benefits of Green Tea During Pregnancy

In addition to hydration and the energy boost that comes with caffeine, the plant compounds in green tea can improve your health before, during, and after pregnancy. “Catechins, a medically important compound of green tea, have been studied with great interest over the past few decades,” says Lvova.

She adds that these catechins have been shown to block the formation of tumors, support the immune system and reduce blood pressure, which is critical to avoiding pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia.

One of the most powerful of these catechins, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been shown to promote heart health, curb inflammation, and lower cholesterol to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Studies have also found EGCG to be effective at curbing blood sugar levels and even reducing levels of dangerous fatty tissue, both of which can help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prevent the buildup of excess body fat.

In addition, green tea has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, thanks to the amino acid L-theanine. This can be especially beneficial for first-time parents or those experiencing a difficult pregnancy. “If you find green tea to be helpful for relaxation, or blood pressure, or nausea, certainly you can continue drinking it in pregnancy," says Dr. Fox.

Safety Precautions

The primary risk to be aware of with green tea is if it is contributing to excessive caffeine intake. Fortunately, green tea does not have nearly as much caffeine as coffee. “Green tea has about 25% of the caffeine as a cup of coffee," says Dr. Fox. "So you would have to be drinking more than 10 cups a day of green tea for me to even consider recommending you cut back."

Even so, Lvova suggests monitoring your body’s sensitivity to caffeine, which may change during pregnancy. “Sensitivity to caffeine is very personal and will look different from one person to the next, and from one pregnancy to the next,” she says.

If you find your body reacting poorly to caffeine but still want to sip green tea, Lvova recommends steeping your tea for 30 seconds, discarding the water, then refilling your cup with hot water, resteeping, and enjoying that. “Discarding the first steep can drastically reduce the amount of caffeine and you can still enjoy many of the health benefits green tea has to offer,” Lvova adds.

A Word From Verywell

It is safe to drink green tea while you are pregnant. If it is your only source of caffeine, you can safely drink up to eight to 10 cups per day. If you also consume other sources of caffeine, such as coffee, black tea, or soft drinks, you will need to make sure your total caffeine intake stays under 200 milligrams per day. For more personalized advice on your pregnancy, talk to your OB/GYN, midwife, or healthcare provider.

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4 Sources
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