As an expecting mother, you may have heard conflicting information about the safety of drinking kombucha while pregnant. While some sources suggest it’s a healthy beverage for pregnant women, others caution against it due to the potential for alcohol, caffeine, and other ingredients. It can be confusing to sort through the different sources and make a decision about whether or not kombucha is a suitable beverage for pregnant women. In this blog post, we will explore the safety of drinking kombucha while pregnant, including a look at the benefits, risks, and what the experts have to say. We hope that by the end of this post, you will have a clearer understanding of whether or not kombucha is safe for pregnant women to consume.
Could Become Contaminated With Harmful Bacteria
Although it happens more frequently in home-brewed kombucha than in commercially produced drinks, kombucha can get contaminated with dangerous pathogens.
Unfortunately, harmful pathogens and bacteria enjoy growing in the same environment that is required to produce the beneficial and friendly probiotics in kombucha (17, 18).
This is why it’s crucial to make kombucha in sanitary conditions and with proper handling.
Since black or green tea is typically used to make kombucha, it does contain caffeine. The stimulant caffeine can easily cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of an unborn child.
Due to this, pregnant and nursing women are advised to limit their daily caffeine intake to 200 mg (25)
Most studies show that drinking caffeine during pregnancy in moderation is safe and has no harmful effect on your fetus (26).
Probiotic-rich fermented beverage kombucha has some health advantages.
However, there are some significant risks to take into account when consuming kombucha while pregnant or nursing.
Due to its low alcohol content, high caffeine content, and lack of pasteurization, kombucha may be best avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding even though there are no extensive studies on its effects.
In the end, the microbiological composition of this fermented tea is rather complex, and additional study is required to fully comprehend its advantages and security.
If you want to include probiotic foods in your diet while you are pregnant or nursing, try kefir made from pasteurized milk, yogurt with live active cultures, or fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Safe and Healthy Kombucha Alternatives for Pregnant People
Between curbing your caffeine intake, ditching alcohol and eliminating several other favorite foods from your diet, it can be frustrating to add yet another thing to the “do not consume while pregnant” list. However, theres never been a better time to be a temporary teetotaler as there has been so much innovation in non-alcoholic cocktails, spirits and more. There has also been a surge of prebiotic sodas, like Poppi and Olipop, that are sweetened with stevia and potentially offer some gut-health benefits.
When you have a craving for something fizzy and flavorful, King advises finding a sparkling water brand you like and stocking up. And while she encourages limiting sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, finding 100% real fruit juices and soda alternatives that you love can be great options If you want to make an occasion more special or just spice up your Tuesday afternoon, check out our crowd-pleasing non-alcoholic drink recipes.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises drinking 8 to 12 cups of water per day to stay adequately hydrated while pregnant. It might be beneficial to keep your beverage intake simple and keep some seltzer on hand. Additionally, flavoring water with fruit and herbs like mint or basil will increase consumption and make it more enjoyable.
Concerns About Drinking Kombucha While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Even though kombucha has many health advantages, there are a few things to consider before drinking it while expecting or nursing.
Kombucha sold commercially as a “non-alcoholic” beverage still contains very small amounts of alcohol, but can contain no more than 0.5% according to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations (8).
A 0. 5% alcohol content is not a lot, and is the same amount found in most non-alcoholic beers
However, federal agencies continue to recommend completely restricting alcohol consumption during all trimesters of pregnancy. The CDC also states that all types of alcohol can be equally harmful (9).
Alcohol can pass into breast milk if consumed by the breastfeeding mother (11).
In general, it takes 1–2 hours for your body to metabolize one serving of alcohol (12-ounce beer, 5-ounce wine or 1.5-ounce spirit) (12).
As babies metabolize alcohol at a much slower rate than adults, even though the amount of alcohol in kombucha is much less than one serving, it should still be taken into account (13).
In light of this, it might not be a bad idea to delay breastfeeding after consuming kombucha.
It is still unknown what effects very small amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy or nursing will have. However, with uncertainty, there is always a risk.
Pasteurization is a technique for heating up food and drinks to kill dangerous bacteria like salmonella and listeria.
In its most natural state, kombucha is unpasteurized.
The FDA advises against consuming unpasteurized foods while pregnant because they may contain dangerous bacteria, such as milk, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized juices (14, 15).
Is it OK to drink kombucha when pregnant?
According to the NHS, up to 200mg of caffeine a day is absolutely fine during pregnancy, meaning drinking kombucha poses almost no risk from this perspective.
Are fermented foods safe during pregnancy?
Who should not drink kombucha?