Can you Drink Matcha Tea During Pregnancy?
If you love Matcha Green Tea (or coffee) and regularly consume it during the day and you are pregnant, then you may ask the question whether you should stop to consume it.
Let`s look at caffeine first. Caffeine can harm the unborn baby if you consume too much of it. However, how much caffeine is too much if you are pregnant? Or should you completely stop consuming any caffeine?
Risk for miscarriage increases
Too much caffeine during pregnancy can have negative consequences for the baby. It has been highlighted that caffeine can disturb the baby`s growth. It can also influence the baby`s weight. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE - Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Ernaehrung) and also the WHO, the risk of a miscarriage increases when consuming more than 300mg of coffee.
German Nutrition Society allows 7 cups of Matcha Tea
However, you do not entirely need to stop consuming caffeine if you are pregnant. According to the DGE, 200mg of caffeine per day are safe to consume if you are pregnant. This means, if you like Matcha Green Tea, you can consume approximately 7 cups per day! 7 cups is quite a lot and you may not want to max it out when you are pregnant, but it shows that the occasional cup of Matcha Tea is safe when you are pregnant. The WHO does not define a "safe" amount of caffeine per day, but the WHO recommends that pregnant women consume less than 300mg of caffeine per day
There are also a few other studies that are a bit more critical towards the consumption of caffeine during pregnancy, like this one. However, we personally tend to listen to the advice given by official institutions, such as the WHO or the DGE.
Negative Effects on Folate
However, there is more to this than just the caffeine. Studies have demonstrated that catechin, which is a healthy antioxidant found in tea, can reduce the bioavailability of folate. Because periconceptional folic acid intake has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of spina bifida, Matcha Green Tea consumption may put pregnant women and the baby at risk because of its possible antifolate properties.
While there is some concern about the caffeine intake when you are pregnant, it seems that small quantities are safe. This has been confirmed by the DGE and the WHO. However, while there are studies about the potential negative effects of green tea on the bioavailability of folate, there is no official guidance. We personally think the occasional Matcha Tea will be okay when you are pregnant, but you should be careful and consider to take supplements.