One of the most common questions I get asked is, “do I really need to stop coffee and caffeine when I’m trying to get pregnant?”
Here’s the deal. Research has shown that having more than 200 mg of caffeine per day can double the risk of miscarriage (1). This might be equivalent to two cups of regular coffee or five twelve-ounce cans of caffeinated soda.
The problem is that it’s difficult to know for sure how much caffeine you are actually drinking. Different products have different caffeine levels. In fact, there was a study that found twenty different commercial espresso coffees exceeding the maximum safety limit in just one cup (they contained from 200 to 322 mg per shot)(2).
Although there is no conclusive evidence that caffeine impacts sperm negatively, the Department of Urology at Cornell Medical College recommends one to two cups per day. From a Traditional Chinese medicine perspective, we believe it is important to do things in moderation.
As a health practitioner, it’s easy for me to say, “Be safe and stay away from caffeine altogether.” This might be easy if you are a casual coffee drinker. You can find other warm drinks in the morning such as organic Rooibos herbal tea or hot water and lemon.
But if you are a coffee lover and your “life is not worth living” if you give up coffee, then consider cutting back instead of stopping altogether. Buy organic, pesticide-free coffee. Indulge in half a cup per day or have it as a treat once or twice a week. And when you drink, sip slowly, enjoy, and make it a guilt-free soulful experience.
The reality is that if you drink it in moderation, it will not cause harm.
At the end of the day, choose without regret, minimize your stress and enjoy your life.
(1). Weng X, Odouli R, and Li D-K. Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a prospective cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008;198:279.e1-279.e8.
(2)T. Crozier, A. Stalmach, M. Lean, A. Crozier. Espresso coffees, caffeine and chlorogenic acid intake: Potential health implications (Article) Food and Function (2012; 3(1):30-33