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Caffeine While Trying to Conceive- Is It That Bad for Us?

Uncategorized Dec 02, 2020

Creating ritual with the sounds, smells and tastes of breakfast. I love, love breakfast and often for many of us that involves a cup of coffee or tea. Having a good routine is especially important for our ability to start the day on a positive note and start our metabolism off too.

Almost every single woman who is trying to conceive has asked me about caffeine intake  and here is my best advice- cut back to one single cup of good organic coffee if you are in the preconception journey and working to improve your chances of conception. But if during your journey you have been struggling with trying to conceive, it maybe time to cut out the coffee all together.

And here is why- Caffeine can increase stress levels and anxiety. One study shows that the risk of spontaneous abortions can increase. Caffeine can also affect implantation and increases clotting in the blood as well. Research shows that caffeine constricts blood vessels to the placenta which means that it can affect the baby’s nutritional intake and reduce birth weights.

 In Chinese medicine we believe that caffeine is damp heat and because it adds more heat to the body it can adversely affect cervical mucus as well as your pH to a more acidic environment which is not helpful when trying to conceive.

If you are not ready to cut your cup of joe out completely you may ask, So what is a safe amount of caffeine?  The consensus is that between 200 to 300mg of caffeine a day is considered safe for those who are pregnant or trying to conceive. This is 2 to 3 cups of coffee. I always recommend starting with a smaller goal of cutting back and with just one cup of coffee you are well under the safety guidelines of intake with just 100mg.  

Another thing people might do to reduce their intake of caffeine is to cut out regular coffee and switch to decaffeinated coffee. This isn’t recommended as decaf also contains caffeine too but more importantly, the chemical process of decaffeination is not safe. There are also studies that indicate decaf can increase your rate of spontaneous abortion up to 25% more. So please avoid decaf altogether.

Cutting back or cutting coffee out of your routine is challenging for sure. I know that many of us turn to caffeine as a pick me up in the afternoon or start the day. If this is the case for you there are several things you can try.

  1. Switch to black or green tea which contain antioxidants and contain significantly less caffeine but will still give you a little energy.
  2. Get more rest at night. Caffeine is false energy and taxes your adrenals so restoring resources such as good sleep, eating well and staying hydrated all help build you back up again.
  3. Stay hydrated with water, tea or kombucha but avoid too much sparkling waters which can zap your bodies calcium stores and contain salt.
  4. Exercise to fatigue or moderately meaning that you get a boost of endorphins when you are done but don’t feel exhausted …thus storing more energy for later.
  5. Get acupuncture to support side effects of caffeine withdrawal and to support your kidneys. Keeping your energy strong will help you cut back on caffeine too.
  6. Talk to your acupuncturist/herbalist about herbs to support energy like American Ginseng or Astragalus.
  7. Create a new healthier ritual with either tea or hot lemon water to quench your need for something warm. Kombucha though not warm is a healthy alternative too.
  8. Try my favorite tea Ashitaba which is an adaptogen which supports healthy hormones and boosts you naturally.

If you are still looking for a more coffee like taste but are ready to try something a bit healthier there are a couple of alternative coffee products I have tried and like. I am currently drinking in the afternoons MUDwtr, which is super tasty and has the feeling of chai/coffee but super good for you ( I recommend your favorite milk and a bit of honey.) I also like RAJA’s cup and one my husband is loving is this super mushroom chai tea .

As always when you are shifting into healthier habits, do one new thing at a time. Be gentle with yourself and practice makes better! Creating a new ritual with the above suggestions will allow for new flavors to fill your morning with stamina and strength for your future bun in the oven!

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