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Caffeine: Can I Drink Matcha During Pregnancy?

By Eric Gower Sep 10, 2015

Caffeine: Can I Drink Matcha During Pregnancy?

We get this question all the time.

Dr. David Elmer, an OBGYN at Nantucket Cottage Hospital in Nantucket, Massachusetts, puts it this way:

“There’s been a shift in paradigm, where we don’t go on conventional wisdom and practice evidence-based medicine. And the overwhelming evidence does not support much, if any, damage in having caffeine.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Mayo Clinic, Britain’s National Health Service, The March of Dimes, and many OBGYNs throughout the world generally agree that pregnant women can safely consume up to about 200mg of caffeine per day.

Recall that a normally brewed cup of coffee has somewhere between 100mg and 200mg of caffeine. Starbucks’s 16-oz house coffee has about 330.

Also recall that a serving (1 gram) of matcha contains roughly 25mg of caffeine. Which means that you can have seven or eight servings of matcha per day and still be under the recommended limit. Most people, that is to say most not-pregnant people, don’t drink anywhere near that much matcha.

Other than watching caffeine levels, it’s hard to imagine something that gives your body/system so many phytonutrients isn’t also beneficial to a fetus.

Naturally, this does not constitute medical advice — always check with you doctor first.

Also remember that it isn’t JUST the nutrients and caffeine — it’s really about the OVERALL health of the mama that matters most. And if a cup or two of matcha makes mama happy, I have to believe that a happy, humming mama makes for the happiest, humming baby. Moreover, because the baby does indeed absorb so much of your nutritional intake, pregnant women have to be extra mindful of getting optimal nutrition.

Eric is the founder and chief matcha evangelist at Breakaway Matcha. He's also an author, ghostwriter, editor, cooking instructor, and private chef. For 16 years, he lived and worked in Japan, where he took deep dives into all things matcha, food, literature, arts, and culture. Eric is the author of three cookbooks: The Breakaway Cook, The breakaway Japanese Kitchen, and Eric's Kitchen. He lives and works in Marin County, CA.