A common question that many mothers-to-be have asked me is “Is it ok to drink coffee while I am pregnant?” and is there a difference between coffee and caffeine from Matcha during pregnancy? While it is recommended that expecting women not exceed more than 200 mg of caffeine per day there are definitely better sources of caffeine than others. Not only is coffee highly acidic but it also has been shown in studies to hinder the absorption of some very important minerals like calcium. It also takes on average up to 16 cups of pure filtered water to balance the acidity that 1 cup of coffee produces.
A a standard cup of coffee can range from 80 mg to over 145 mg. If you choose to have that morning espresso, then that number jumps up even more. The concern is that in North America today, caffeine is being over consumed: coffee, colas, and a variety of foods that have caffeine within their ingredients. If not carefully watched, your caffeine consumption could get easily out of hand, which eventually will take it’s toll on your adrenal glands. So my recommendation is getting your caffeine from Matcha during pregnancy, either Matcha green tea powder or Green tea.
First of all we need to understand that the caffeine in coffee and the caffeine found in green tea are not the same. Furthermore, the caffeine in Matcha is uniquely different in that the amino acid L-Theanine, works in synergy with the caffeine found in Matcha, to deliver you sustained energy over a 3 to 6 hour period. Coffee, on the other hand, gives you the ups and down and the caffeine crash.
The caffeine in coffee impacts the adrenal glands and causes spikes in adrenaline glucose and insulin levels, which causes the jitters, nervousness, sleeplessness and hunger pangs. Caffeine in Matcha forms bonds with numerous nutrients so that it enters the bloodstream in a time-release fashion, leading to a steady level energy over 3-6 hours, rather than a spike and crash within 1 hour. Furthermore, Matcha’s unique make-up means that the caffeine leaves your adrenal glands untouched while regulating insulin and glucose levels making it ideal for diabetics, and for combating those hunger pangs.
Although the caffeine in Matcha green tea is different to that found in coffee, it would still be still wise to limit your Matcha consumption, and all other sources of caffeine for that matter, while you are pregnant.
So, how much Matcha consumption is ok while pregnant?
Well lets take a look!
Well, a 1 gram serving of Matcha delivers 34mg of caffeine – less than an average cup of coffee – so consumption doesn’t necessarily need to be restricted too severely. Typically 1 gram is the same as ½ teaspoon, and 2 grams is the equivalent to 1 teaspoon. So, whether you get 34 mg of caffeine, or 68mg of caffeine depends upon how strong you drink your Matcha. Once again, bear in mind that the “caffeine” will be utilized over a 3 to 6 hour time span, so you are not dealing with the “typical” caffeine issue that is found with colas, coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
To be on the safe side, however, and to account for other foods or beverages you may take that containe caffeine during the day, we would recommend limiting your Matcha green tea consumption while pregnant to 2 cups a day.
Matcha has long been used in the east by monks, warriors and martial artists because of these seemingly contradictory qualities (Yin and yang). The time release of energy by the energy drivers, caffeine and theophylline is at a rate that your body can deal with naturally while the powerful amino acid effect of the L-theanine relaxes and focuses. Matcha helps you to focus, enhancing your mental acuity.
In the Zen traditions right before the time of meditation it is not uncommon to have a cup of Matcha or green tea to focus the mind while calming the body, promoting deeper states of meditation practice.
What about pregnant moms with high blood pressure?
Matcha is a natural blood thinner, with numerous studies showing that green tea consumption helps to relax the arterial walls and lower blood pressure. So Matcha is great for those wishing to lower their blood pressure.
Making the switch from coffee to Green tea or Matcha will not only be a far safer and healthier option while pregnant but your adrenal system will thank you for it as most women in north america today suffer from some form of adrenal fatigue.
Perhaps the greatest challenge for any pregnant mom looking to make the switch will be the change in flavour. But I guarantee you, once you acquire a taste for green tea and matcha it is very hard to go back to the acidic, bitter properties of coffee.