Of course, I recognize that pregnant or not, when my body is thirsty, it wants water. However, I’ve become accustomed to a soda or two, and when it was time to lose weight, I switched to diet. Once I was pregnant, however, I started to wonder if diet soda was the best thing for me-were artificial sweeteners alright for the baby, or was the sugar in soda a better choice? Is it safe to drink diet soda during pregnancy?
What is diet soda?
Diet soda is a carbonated, flavored, sweetened beverage that may or may not include caffeine. According to Yahoo! Health’s David Zinczenko, diet soda has no nutritional value. It’s like drinking a sugary drink without the sugar, and instead is sweetened with an artificial sweetener like aspartame. Diet soda is often consumed by those who want the flavor of soda without the extra calories.
What are the risks of diet soda during pregnancy?
There are several reasons that women and their doctors are sometimes concerned about diet soda during pregnancy. Like regular soda, it does contain caffeine, which doctors suggest cutting back on, especially in early pregnancy. If you are looking to limit your caffeine intake, you may want to consider caffeine-free soda or diet soda.
In addition, diet soda contains artificial sweeteners. American Pregnancy notes that artificial sweeteners are considered to be safe during pregnancy unless otherwise noted by your doctor, but that you might want to limit your intake. They also note that artificial sweeteners, like those used in diet soda, are have no nutritional value and that during pregnancy, you may want to get your calories elsewhere.
The September American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between pre-term labor and diet soda consumption. It does note that just because there appears to be a relationship between the two, there’s not enough evidence at this point that the diet soda causes the preterm labor.
Are there any benefits of diet soda during pregnancy?
There are no known benefits to drinking diet soda during pregnancy. However, many women will consume diet soda in lieu of regular soda to avoid putting on extra weight while pregnant. In addition, because soda generally has less caffeine than coffee, you may choose to drink soda or diet soda to get a small caffeine kick during pregnancy.
What’s the bottom line?
Ultimately, it appears that when consumed in moderation by otherwise healthy women during pregnancy, there are minimal adverse reactions or increased risks associated with diet soda consumption. However, it’s important to remember to consume diet soda in moderation during pregnancy, and to notify your healthcare provider if you have any other questions or concerns.
WebMD; Study: Diet Sodas May Raise Risk of Preterm Delivery; http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20100820/study-diet-sodas-may-raise-risk-preterm-delivery
Yahoo! Health; The Truth about Diet Soda; http://health.yahoo.net/experts/eatthis/truth-about-diet-soda
American Pregnancy; Using Artificial Sweetener during Pregnancy; http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/artificialsweetner.htm