Pregnancy health

Is matcha safe during pregnancy? A dietitian weighs in

Matcha is a good alternative to coffee during pregnancy. We'll sip to that!

By Vanessa Grant
Is matcha safe during pregnancy? A dietitian weighs in

Love a creamy latte but looking for coffee alternatives during pregnancy? A matcha latte could be just the thing. This green tea, which is used in traditional ceremonies in Japan, has become a popular energizing drink around the world.

The difference between matcha and regular green tea? While most green tea comes in bags or is loose leaf, matcha is a powder ground from green tea leaves, so even without milk, it has a creamier consistency—perfect for pairing with lactation cookies. It's a great, lower caffeine alternative for pregnant women and expecting mothers.

Is matcha safe during pregnancy?

"Matcha is definitely safe during pregnancy, but it's important to remember that it also contains caffeine," says Registered dietitian and family nutritionist Nishta Saxena. While a cup of regular green tea has about 30 mg of caffeine, as Saxena points out, matcha is naturally more concentrated and different brands and baristas may also use different concentrations.

So the amount of caffeine in a serving of matcha could be between 30 and 80 miligrams.

Beautiful pregnant black mother holding her pregnant belly at home and drinking coffee while sitting on the sofa.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, those who are pregnant should keep their caffeine intake to less than 300 mg a day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests keeping it below 200 mg a day. That's why it's important to read labels, ask questions and consider your serving size. Are you ordering a tall or a venti?

There have been reports that drinking green tea can affect your ability to absorb folic acid, which is an important vitamin for fetal development, especially in the early months. According to a study of almost 7,000 women across North America done by Boston University, as long as you keep your matcha intake to fewer than three cups a day, you should be safe.

Saxena also adds that while green tea, like matcha, has many health benefits, it's important to look at how you're consuming it.

"Are you getting it with whipped cream or flavored syrups? In that case, it's dessert. And there's nothing wrong with dessert," she says, "but it's something to consider for those watching their blood sugar or dealing with gestational diabetes."

Benefits of matcha during pregnancy

If you're going to consume caffeine, green tea products are a pretty good way to do it. Green tea leaves are naturally loaded with antioxidants that can decrease inflammation—think of those swollen ankles.

And this frothy tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that not only promotes relaxation but helps you feel more alert without the startling effects of caffeine that plague coffee drinkers. So it might be worth keeping that matcha habit after birth to deal with the brain fog that comes with having a newborn.

The verdict

Green tea is safe for pregnancy in moderation. It still contains a moderate amount of caffeine, so you'll need to stick to one or two cups a day and steer clear of sugary additions. While it's certainly safe for most pregnant women to drink matcha tea, you should always consult with your doctor before making dietary changes.

Our favorite pregnancy-safe matcha teas to try now

DrinkMatcha - Matcha Green Tea Powder

Pregnancy-save matcha (Drink Matcha -1 LB Matcha Green Tea Powder) Merchant

This organic whole green tea powder is affordable—a ceremonial-quality tea can cost a pretty penny—and reviewers say that it has a nice, mild taste. You can get around 100 cups out of this tin. It's also great for adding to smoothies or smoothie bowls if you want try other ways to drink green tea.

To make a great cup of matcha, add a teaspoon of tea powder to half a cup of hot water and whisk vigorously or use a milk frother. You can then pour that frothy mixture over your favorite milk or add more hot water to taste.

Bloom Nutrition Matcha Green Tea Powder

Pregnancy-safe matcha (Bloom Mari's Matcha Nutrition Matcha Green Tea Powder) Merchant

Another great option, this organic, ceremonial-grade matcha offers just the right amount of energy, according to Amazon reviewers. Plus, Amazon verified shopper Monica says, "This is the perfect matcha! Such a creamy and smooth taste, been drinking it every day and I love it!"


Rishi Tea Matcha Green Herbal Tea Powder To-Go Travel Sticks

Pregnancy-safe matcha (Rishi Tea Matcha Green Herbal Tea Powder To-Go Travel Sticks) Merchant

Perfect for your purse, gym bag or diaper bag, these individual packets of organic matcha tea are super convenient. Simply add one packet to a 16oz bottle water bottle and shake. If your bottle is insulated, this works for hot or cold tea.

It shakes nicely on its own, or you can use a bamboo whisk for a more authentic effect.

Organic Traditions Matcha Latte with Probiotics

Pregnancy-safe matcha (Organic Traditions Matcha Latte with Probiotics) Merchant

This pre-mixed powder with coconut milk, probiotics and matcha powder is perfect for latte lovers. Just add water—or your favorite milk. It's slightly sweetened with coconut sugar and for a barista-worthy matcha latte at home.

We love the rich, creamy flavor with gut-healthy ingredients. The subtle mix of heart-healthy fat and green tea promises a slow and steady caffeine release that keeps you lightly powered for hours at a time.

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This article was originally published on Apr 14, 2023

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