Drinking Soda while Pregnant: Effects & Alternatives
Keep this in mind when you are experiencing cravings. Even sugary cravings can be satisfied with healthy options; such as smoothies or homemade snacks. Here are some healthy & homemade snack ideas.
I can’t stress how important it is to consume healthy foods and drinks while you’re pregnant. Your baby relies on you so he/she can develop and grow.
How does drinking soda while pregnant affect you and your baby?
First, let’s look at what is actually in soda.
1) 4-MEL: “Most soda that has caramel coloring contains the probable human carcinogen 4-methylimidazole (4-MEL). And despite petitions to the FDA for setting limits on the amount of 4-MEL, the FDA believes it’s completely safe for consumption, no matter how much is in the product.” 
2) High Fructose Corn Syrup: You don’t have to look far to find out how unhealthy HFCS is. Do yourself, and your baby, a favor – just avoid it.
3) Phosphoric Acid: “It’s a corrosive acid and can form toxic fumes when it comes into contact with alcohols, ketones and other organic compounds. It’s used in fertilizers, livestock feed, soaps, polishes, dyes, polishing metals and in many other nonfood products. It’s added to soft drinks to provide a sharper, tangy taste and to help slow the growth of molds and bacteria in sugary formulas.” 
Click here to read more about phosphoric acid.
4) Sodium Benzoate: Sodium benzoate can trigger allergic reactions in some people. “According to the December 2007 issue of “Environmental Health Perspectives” it has also been implicated as a potential trigger for hyperactivity in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sodium benzoate does in itself not cause the disorder, and more research is needed to determine what role, if any, it plays in worsening hyperactivity.” 
5) Caffeine: While caffeine has many good uses (such as to treat headaches and improve alertness), it shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts. Too much caffeine can cause: irritability, upset stomach, muscle tremors, insomnia, and nervousness. It’s recommended that women who are pregnant consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine each day.
To see an infographic on how soda affects your body, click here.
While these ingredients are generally safe in small amounts, they add up quickly since they are found in many processed foods and drinks.
Now, how do these ingredients affect you and your baby?
Did you know that too much caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage?  Excessive amounts of caffeine may also contribute to sleep difficulty and dehydration.
Also, the carbonate acid found in canned soda, after going straight to your blood stream, will remove calcium from your bones. If this happens, you may find yourself struggling with back and/or joint pain, making it especially hard to support your growing belly.
Furthermore, for optimal development, your growing baby needs steady insulin levels. However, the amount of sugar, or aspartame, in soda causes a rollercoaster-like effect on your insulin levels, which isn’t beneficial to your baby’s growth and development.
And most soda containers contain BHA which is a probable carcinogen. The BHA makes its way into your body and that’s just not something you want when you’re trying to ensure your baby’s health.
Smoothies are extremely easy and quick to make. They’re also packed full of nutrients and vitamins that are essential to you and your baby.
Click here to see the recipe for a great smoothie recipe to try while you’re pregnant. It contains organic fruit, organic flax hemp blend, coconut oil, organic vegetables, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
And here are 15 other easy and healthy smoothie recipes.
Here is a blender I recommend:
I know, I know, how boring! But, drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day is super important to you and your developing baby!
Apart from keeping you hydrated, water contains minerals your body and your developing baby need. And water prevents constipation which many women experience during pregnancy.
You can also add fruit (e.g. strawberries, lemons, limes, blueberries, blackberries) or other flavors (e.g. cinnamon, mint) to your water for a change in taste!
Most milkshakes have extremely high amounts of sugar in them. But you can make them yourself which will provide relief from sugar cravings (if you’re having them) and give you a healthier alternative than soda or even milkshakes you purchase at a restaurant.
If your sugar craving is just not letting go, try this 5-star Healthy Cake Batter Milkshake!
Or if you want to make a milkshake with ingredients you probably already have around the kitchen, try this:
Juice, while a better alternative to soda, may still contain high amounts of sugar. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the back and compare it to soda. Here is an example:
|Simply Orange, Orange Juice|
= 23g Sugar/8oz
= 25.6g Sugar/8oz
|Motts 100% Apple Juice|
= 28g Sugar/8 oz.
= 26g Sugar/8 oz.
Try to find organic juice options or at least a brand with less sugar. However, less sugar but worse ingredients still isn’t a better option.
It’s all about balance and choices really. Making sure you have a balanced diet is going to be the best thing you can do for your growing baby.
Read these similar articles for more information:
And to read all the articles I have on pregnancy, click here.
Sources & References:
http://www.healthfaithstrength.com/how-does-soda-affect-your-body/  http://www.livestrong.com/article/468217-why-is-phosphoric-acid-bad-for-you/  http://www.livestrong.com/article/525531-facts-on-sodium-benzoate/  http://www.fertilityafter40.com/15-foods-to-avoid-when-trying-to-get-pregnant.html