Drinking Sodas While Pregnant – Side Effects + Healthy Alternatives

Drinking soda (caffeinated or not) while pregnant is not a good idea. Actually, drinking sodas is not a good idea for anyone.

Bellow, we will present a few ingredients you may find in the top soda brands worldwide:

Coca-Cola Classic – sugar, phosphoric acid, carbonated water, color (caramel E150d), caffeine, and natural flavorings.

Caffeine-Free Coke Zero – aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, carbonated water, potassium benzoate (to protect taste), natural flavors, caramel color, and acesulfame potassium.

Pepsi – high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, carbonated water, phosphoric acid, citric acid, sugar, natural flavors, and caramel color.

Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi – potassium benzoate (to preserve taste), natural flavor, caramel color, carbonated water, sucralose, phosphoric acid, acesulfame potassium, and citric acid.

Mountain Dew – citrus pectin, concentrated orange juice, carbonated water, potassium citrate, citric acid, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), natural flavor, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), aspartame, gum arabic, acesulfame potassium, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), sucralose, and brominated vegetable oil.

Now, let’s analyze some of these ingredients:


Caffeine is a potent stimulant which increases the heart rate and blood pressure, both of which are not recommended during pregnancy. Also, when you drink a cup of coffee (or eat chocolate), caffeine crosses the placenta into the amniotic fluid and the baby’s bloodstream.

In addition, pregnant women who intake more than 200 mg of caffeine per day had 200 percent increased risk of miscarriage compared with pregnant women who avoided this stimulant, according to a study done at Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Division of Research.

More importantly, some studies have concluded that the offspring of pregnant animals given this stimulant displayed a higher incidence of malformations.

Phosphoric Acid

It is usually added to soft drinks to provide a sharper, tangy taste as well as to help slow the growth of bacteria and molds. However, consuming too much phosphorus (found in phosphoric acid) can reduce the amount of calcium in the human body, leading to bone loss, and ultimately, to osteoporosis.

Additionally, drinks containing phosphoric acid can also impair the body’s capacity to use other essential minerals, like – zinc, iron, and magnesium.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Consuming foods and drinks with high fructose corn syrup during pregnancy can affect the fetus, as per a study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Moreover, it can put the baby at a higher risk for metabolic health issues later in life.

This sweetener also contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a 2007 research reported by the American Chemical Society.


It is one of the most used artificial sweeteners that you may find in processed foods and soft drinks. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, are calorie-free food additives that are used in beverages and foods to make them taste sweet.

Out of more than 100 documented symptoms reported to the FDA, the most common include:

  • dizziness;
  • headaches;
  • slurred speech;
  • mental confusion;
  • nausea;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • numbness.

Potassium Benzoate

It is one of the worst foods additives used in a variety of drinks and foods. For instance, in combination with ascorbic acid (the synthetic form of vitamin C), it may form benzene, a strong carcinogen.

Heat and shelf life can affect the rate at which this carcinogen is formed. Other side effects of consuming foods and beverages containing potassium benzoate include – dizziness, hyperactivity, trouble sleeping, light-headedness, and damage to the DNA.

Bottom Line – Drinking Sodas While Pregnant – Dangerous or Not?

Definitely dangerous, and should be avoided by all future moms.

Healthier Alternatives To Soft Drinks

Coconut Water

It can be your best alternative to sodas, as it will not only refresh you but it also contains numerous nutrients.

For example, coconut water is rich in chlorides, magnesium, potassium, and has a moderate amount of natural sugar and protein. Also, it contains fiber, calcium, manganese, vitamin C, and riboflavin.

Note – there are many different coconut water brands on the market, however, purchase only unflavoured and unsweetened variety or buy whole young coconuts.

Herbal Teas

Drinking teas during pregnancy is a good choice when compared with soft drinks. Safe teas to drink during pregnancy include – nettle tea, ginger tea, dandelion leaf tea, raspberry leaf tea, peppermint tea, and rooibos tea.

Fresh Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice offers a quick and healthy way to get all the benefits of veggies. You can try a juice from cucumber, avocado, celery, and lime. It is excellent for memory boost and heart health.

Lemon Water

The aroma and refreshing taste of lemon is known to relieve nausea and morning sickness, that is quite welcomed during pregnancy. Lemon water is also fresh and tasty and far gentler on the body and the teeth than soft drinks.


It is much better at hydrating you than a can of soda. According to the Institute of Medicine, pregnant women should drink around 10 8-ounce cups of water per day.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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