Is Matcha Safe During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you suddenly have to abide by the most random-seeming dietary restrictions. Undercooked shellfish and soft cheeses are off the table, along with some of your favorite drinks. But what about matcha tea?

Matcha is packed with nutrients that can help you to stay healthy during pregnancy. And those nutrients help to support your baby’s healthy growth as well. However, there are some warnings that you should consider:

Caffeine Levels

The most common worry from drinking matcha tea during pregnancy is that it can provide excess levels of caffeine. Caffeine’s stimulating effects can lead to heightened heart rate and blood pressure, neither of which are good for you during pregnancy. Caffeine can also be absorbed by your developing baby, who is not yet able to metabolize it properly.

That being said, it takes a significant amount of caffeine to cause problems. In order to be safe, doctors recommend that pregnant women limit their daily caffeine intake to under 200 mg. Since a cup of matcha tea has approximately 70 mg, one or two cups of matcha tea each day should still be fine. However, each person has different health challenges during pregnancy, so consult with your doctor about it first.

Folate Absorption

There’s another reason that matcha tea may not be recommended for those who are pregnant. One of the most important nutrients during the first few months of a baby’s development is folic acid. Prenatal vitamins, along with a variety of food sources, provide your baby with the folic acid it needs. However, some studies have shown that green tea and matcha tea might inhibit the body’s ability to absorb folic acid. Some doctors say that this isn’t a problem unless you drink matcha right before or after taking your prenatal vitamin. Others recommend that expectant mothers steer clear of matcha entirely during the first trimester.

Talk with Your Doctor for Specifics

Every mother is different, and so is every pregnancy. Matcha is an amazing health food for most people. However, when a baby’s well-being is in question, we always prefer to err on the side of caution. For this reason, we recommend that expectant mothers avoid matcha during the first trimester of pregnancy, and limit matcha intake to one cup per day afterwards. However, we aren’t your doctor! We don’t understand your specific pregnancy concerns, and so only a physician can truly tell you what dietary guidelines you should adhere to.