Most would say, breastfeeding moms can’t have their usual drink energy drinks. But what if I can could convince you that they actually can?
This article uncovers what’s in energy drinks and what is suitable and appropriate for breastfeeding moms to enjoy without compromising the baby’s or mummy’s health.
The main reason behind why breastfeeding moms are not “allowed” to drink energy drinks is because of the caffeine content in energy drinks.
Whatever the moms consume indirectly gets consumed by the babies too. Which is why certain food and drinks are a complete no-no for breastfeeding moms, like “gassy foods” and certain medication.
BUT, by exercising caution, and being mindful of what you’re drinking, breastfeeding moms can still enjoy their favorite energy drinks.
Moms should also monitor their babies reaction and stop consuming anything that their babies are reacting negatively to.
Do note that most energy drinks also warn against pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding to consume their drinks due to medical advice. That’s the legal standpoint that all energy drink companies take. Therefore, exercise caution if you are breastfeeding and would still like your energy drinks.
Common ingredients in energy drinks
Energy drinks provide you energy from caffeine, which is why caffeine is the main ingredient in them. Certain energy drinks are packed with caffeine, with up to 300mg, while others have more sensible amounts, like 50-100mg per serve.
The recommended daily caffeine dosage for an adult is 400mg, so try not to overdose on caffeine, even if you’re not breastfeeding. If this is one of your concerns, you may want to check out my other blog post on caffeine overdosing which covers that topic in a lot of detail.
Caffeine is generally healthy in moderate amounts and will help you with the energy boost it provides, given that you consume it in moderate amounts. Excessive amounts of caffeine can potentially cause side effects and lead to health risks.
Energy drinks also provide you with energy from sugar, which is why sugar is the second main ingredient in many of them. Sugar, however, isn’t healthy and you should reduce your sugar intake to avoid a sugar-crash later on.
More energy drinks nowadays have little to no sugar in them, which is a good sign for energy drink lovers!
But, usually sugar-free energy drinks come with artificial sweeteners that provides the sweet taste. Artificial sweeteners should also only be consumed in moderate amounts.
3. B Vitamins
The common B vitamins present in energy drinks are usually:
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Riboflavin helps with the process of breaking down fats, proteins, carbohydrates and also in maintaining our body’s energy storage. It also helps to convert carbohydrates into energy for our body’s needs.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin or Niacinamide) – important for the process of production and repairing the DNA cells of our body. It’s also an antioxidant which protects your body cells from harmful substances.
- Vitamin B12 – part of our body’s creation process for DNA. B12 is also important for your body to maintain healthy blood and nerve cells.
Taurine is usually manufactured synthetically in a lab and actually has many health benefits. Taurine can help lower your risk of disease and improve your athletic performances.
It’s also needed by your body to regulate the antioxidant function and your body’s immune system health and also to support the overall function of your central nervous system.
Creatine is naturally present in living tissues and is also a compound that’s formed in protein metabolism.
It’s usually consumed to help increase lean muscle mass, improve strength and for the muscle recovery process.
6. Preservatives (Sorbic Acid, Benzoic Acid)
As with preservatives in many food and drinks, they are also in energy drinks to prolong shelf life.
Does caffeine decrease milk supply?
No it shouldn’t. There is not substantial evidence that caffeine decreases milk supply.
However, if your baby is fussy and jittery from traces of caffeine, your baby might not nurse well, thus could decrease the moms’ milk supply, due to a decrease in feeding not directly linked to the moms’ caffeine intake.
How much caffeine can I drink while breastfeeding?
It is safe to consume caffeine while breastfeeding, limit your intake to about 300mg of caffeine, which is also equivalent to about 3 cups of coffee a day.
There’s evidence to support that as an upper limit, but I suggest being much more conservative than that to err on the safe side. After all, energy drinks will still be around in a few months time after you’ve stopped breast feeding. At that time you can get back to your regular daily consumption habits, but I recommend greatly reducing your caffeine consumption while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Most importantly, it boils down to the moms’ or babies’ tolerance to the caffeine. If side-effect symptoms like irritability and difficulty sleeping are showing, either reduce or cut off caffeine completely.
Caffeine too can be found in many other beverages, not only in energy drinks. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee and tea. Caffeine can also be found in sodas and coffee-flavoured items, like ice-cream and yogurt. It’s also present in another of mom’s favorite treats – chocolate.
Therefore, energy drinks should not be the only food or beverage penalized by breastfeeding moms. Moms can still choose to enjoy their favorite beverages by being mindful of the contents, consuming them in moderation and being ready to reduce the amount that they consume if any negative effects are observed.
How long does caffeine stay in your system?
In adults, caffeine stays in our system for 3-7 hours. However in babies, caffeine can stay in their system for 65-130 hours due to their not fully developed liver and kidneys.
Which is why, even the tiniest amount of caffeine that passes through breast milk can build up in babies over a prolonged time causing a range of potential issues.
How long after drinking caffeine can I breastfeed again?
The body tends to metabolize most of the caffeine content in food or drink items consumed by the moms before it reaches the baby, thus the baby won’t be affected much.
Caffeine levels in breast milk peak at 1-2 hours after consuming coffee, tea or energy drinks. So it’s safe to drink caffeine at least a few hours before you breastfeed your child.
Other than that, only about 1% of the caffeine a woman consumes gets into her breast milk, and this tiny amount is not enough to harm most infants. Current research supports the theory that breastfeeding moms can safely consume up to 300mg of caffeine per day, but I recommend consuming much less than that just to be on the safe side.
Creatine and breastfeeding
Creatine is naturally present in human milk. Some studies say that moms who consume extra creatine might help avoid creatine deficiency syndromes. However, that is still unproven and moms should exercise caution.
Taurine and breastfeeding
Taurine is also naturally present in breast milk, thus it is not advisable for breastfeeding moms to consume extra taurine supplements.
Do energy drinks affect breast milk?
No, the ingredients in energy drinks do not directly affect breast milk.
However, due to medical precautions, ingredients in energy drinks might be present in quantities that are not suitable for babies, which might cause toxicity to a certain level.
Energy drinks have evolved from being heavily loaded with sugar and caffeine to now having healthier options, so if the mother chooses appropriate energy drinks and monitors the baby and herself well, drinking energy drinks should not pose a threat to mom or the baby.
How long after breastfeeding to drink energy drinks again?
Once you are no longer breastfeeding your baby, you are pretty free to consume any food or drinks as per usual.
However, if you have not been drinking caffeinated beverages or energy drinks prior, slowly build up your tolerance to give your body time to adjust to the caffeine levels of energy drinks.
It would be wise to choose an energy drink that has a moderate amount of caffeine and little to no sugar, which is also a good choice health wise.
Are there long term effects of drinking energy drinks?
No, I think there are no long term negative effects of consuming energy drinks.
If you’re a healthy adult, drinking an energy drink every day won’t cause you any health issues in my opinion. However, there are outlier cases where someone had a pre-existing health condition. But, in the vast majority of cases, drinking an energy drink a day won’t cause you any harm.
Of course with that said, it is wise to monitor yourself while drinking energy drinks on a daily basis, be it after pregnancy, breastfeeding or not.
And with that it is wiser to choose energy drinks that are healthier and more affordable. There is definitely a vast market of energy drinks out there and not all of them are created equal. If you’re open to trying new things you can find some great value energy drinks that also have a great mix of ingredients.
Best energy drinks for breastfeeding
Here are some things to consider when choosing energy drinks while breastfeeding or after you’re done nursing:
Choosing the healthier choice
Obviously, for the sake of your good health and wellbeing, you should always try to reduce your sugar consumption. So, be on the look out for energy drinks that have zero-sugar labels.
As a mother with a newborn, you will most likely need all the energy you can get. Choose an energy drink that provides a gentle energy boost with a moderate amount of caffeine.
In theory, you could either choose one that provides 300mg of caffeine and only have 1 serving a day. Or you could choose one with around 50-100mg of caffeine and have 2 to 3 servings a day.
However, I don’t suggest you do either of those things. Instead, I suggest choosing an energy drink that has only 50-100mg of caffeine and having no more than one a day, immediately after breastfeeding.
Of course, you should also monitor yourself and your baby and if you notice any adverse affects you should immediately reduce or discontinue consuming any more caffeine until you’ve spoken to your doctor.
Once again, after giving birth, getting back in shape might be number one on your list of priorities, which means cutting calories. I would like to let you know that there are plenty of energy drinks on the market with very low or zero calories!
I’ve previously written about the healthiest options for energy drinks. If you’re at all health conscious, you really should check that article out. You’ll certainly learn a thing or two.
Choosing affordable energy drinks
Your budget might be tight around the house now you’ve got a baby, but you can definitely still squeeze in a few energy drinks here and there.
If you’re serious about getting the best bang for your buck, I suggest you take a look at my complete guide to energy drinks which covers everything you could ever want to know, including where to find the best value.
Buy your energy drinks online
Nobody has time for anything nowadays – but thanks to the internet, we have online shopping to save time that we might have wasted going to the store.
This also makes the buying process easier for moms, as they can quickly scroll and add to cart their favorite energy drinks, as most energy drinks are sold online, either on their own websites or platforms like Amazon.
Like I’ve already mentioned, the energy drink industry has evolved to creating drinks that are not only healthier, but also created especially for your daily needs.
Whether it be for someone that hits the gym regularly, or someone that needs to drive for a long distance, or a student that needs to pull an all-nighter, there’s an energy drink out there that’s just perfect for you.
There’s one for everyone!
REIZE Energy Drink
Based on the hefty discussion above, I think I have the perfect energy drink for you. It’s definitely my favorite and I hope it’ll be yours soon too.
If you’re looking for something that tastes absolutely amazing and contains a sensible amount of caffeine, zero sugar and is low in calories – REIZE might be the energy drink for you.
REIZE contains a very reasonable 50mg of caffeine per serve. It’s also very convenient for two reasons:
- It ships right to your door, and
- Because it’s a powdered energy drink, you can mix it with almost any drink that you like (water is my preferred choice)
Not to mention, REIZE ships right to your door for about $1 per drink including shipping. Now, that’s AMAZING value.
Just to reiterate, although studies and science suggest that it’s perfectly safe to drink caffeine (and therefore energy drinks) in moderation while pregnant or nursing, I recommend that you skip caffeine completely, or at least greatly reduce your consumption until after your baby has stopped breastfeeding. That’s definitely the safest course of action.
Energy drinks will still be there waiting for you in a few months time. That’s when you can safely get back to enjoying your daily energy drink of choice.
Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that it quickly becomes your go-to daily energy drink.