Can You Drink Hot Chocolate While Pregnant? Know The Effects

Most pregnant women feel cravings for different foods during pregnancy. You may start to face cravings during the first trimester. Apart from cravings, you may also feel like having foods that might not be appropriate during your pregnancy. 

 

Now, as it’s better to be safe than sorry- you need to know what you are having and if the food is going to affect your pregnancy or not. So, as a concern to that, can you drink hot chocolate while pregnant? Well, we found the answer for you. 

To conclude, it’s better to avoid it as it contains little caffeine. But if you are craving it, having a cup or two in a day won’t be a big deal, even if you are pregnant. 

 

So, how to know the right amount? And from what other caffeine-containing beverages do you need to stay away? Keep on reading because we have figured it all out for you! 

 

Can You Drink Hot Chocolate While Pregnant?

Health care professionals suggest pregnant women be highly concerned before taking any caffeine-containing beverages as these can be harmful to the baby. Also, too much caffeine puts you at a greater risk of having a miscarriage. 

 

During pregnancy, health care professionals advise limiting caffeine to 200 milligrams every day. So, you can have at max 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee. However, if you intake high doses of caffeine, no matter what kind of beverage you are having, it can put you at a risk of miscarriage. 

 

But if you are craving hot chocolate- which is normal during the first trimester of your pregnancy, you can drink a cup or two in a day. This is because it contains a meager amount of caffeine. 

You will consume around 5 mg of caffeine once you drink a cup of hot chocolate which is not too much. But consuming more than 2 cups a day while drinking coffee, tea, or other soft drinks containing caffeine can be dangerous for your unborn baby during pregnancy. 

So you can make drinking hot chocolate safe during pregnancy if you keep it limited to a maximum of 2 cups in a day.

 

Examining The Ingredients – Why Is Too Much Hot Chocolate Bad During Pregnancy? 

A cup of warm hot chocolate can lessen all your stress, but it can be harmful if you don’t limit the consumption while you are pregnant. 

So if you are wondering, what can be so dangerous about it, we have examined the ingredients for you. We will only focus on the ingredients that can be unhealthy for you as a pregnant woman. 

  • Sugar

We all know too much added sugar is bad for our health. Especially during pregnancy, you need to be extra careful in your sugar intake. 

Too much sugar consumption can cause gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy; you can also face excess weight gain and an increase in blood sugar.

100g of hot chocolate can deliver about 9.66g of sugar to you. A pregnant woman’s daily intake shouldn’t be more than 30g of sugar in a day. So now you do the rest of the calculation on how much you should consume to avoid consuming too much sugar. 

  • Saturated fat

As a pregnant woman, it is medically reviewed that your daily intake limit of taking saturated fat is 20g. 100g of hot chocolate contains 1.431g saturated fat, which is not that much. 

  • Calcium

100g of a hot chocolate drink provides 114mg calcium. Calcium is good nutrition for your baby’s bones and baby’s growth- but too much of it can be harmful too. However, you should consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day when you are expecting.

  • Potassium

Potassium is a mineral with multi-functional effects that help during pregnancy. It affects cellular function, fluid balance, regulates high blood pressure and your nerve-muscle functionality. 

The medically reviewed suggestion is to take 4000mg of potassium a day for a pregnant female. 100g of hot chocolate can provide you 197mg of potassium which is considered safe to have. 

  • Caffeine

Here comes the main culprit. The main reason you shouldn’t have too much hot chocolate while pregnant is this ingredient. A cup of this drink can give you 5mg of caffeine which can be too much if you drink three or more cups a day. 

Ingredients  Quantity in per 100 g 
Sugar  9.66 g
Saturated fat  1.431 g
Calcium  114 mg
Potassium  197 mg
Caffeine  2 mg

Is It Okay To Drink Hot Chocolate While Pregnant?

So after our dissection, we should answer the question in the affirmative.  So, yes, you can. But the limit is one-two cups a day. 

And about safety, it’s safe as long as you are taking it in the right amount. So, of course, you need to make sure that the caffeine consumption is within the limit when you drink other caffeine-containing beverages daily. 

As we stated before, excessive caffeine can harm your pregnancy. Hot chocolate is harmful if you drink more than 2 cups a day. But when you keep it on a limit, moderate caffeine consumption through hot chocolate has some good health benefits. You can also try homemade hot chocolate mix and make a healthy hot chocolate while taking care of caffeine consumption.

 

Is Eating Chocolate Good While Being Pregnant?

Craving for a milk chocolate bar during your pregnancy? Women who are expecting have such cravings during the third trimester. But as all the chocolates contain caffeine, you should not have much chocolate during your pregnancy. 

A pregnant woman’s daily caffeine intake should be under 200mg a day. So if you keep count of how much caffeine you are taking, you can have a bite or two from a chocolate bar while you are craving it.  

Also, look for the amount of caffeine in the chocolate that you will have to keep it safe. 

Eating too much chocolate while pregnant is very risky as too much caffeine can damage your baby’s liver. But in a moderate amount, eating dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate, which we will discuss later. 

 

What Are The Benefits Of Chocolate During Pregnancy?

Eating chocolate during pregnancy can benefit you if you keep the amount in check. As all the chocolates contain caffeine, you need to count your daily chocolate consumption for your safety. However, chocolate can have some sound effects during your pregnancy in a moderate amount. Let’s look at some of those:

  • From research of 2000, we found out that a moderate amount of chocolate can decrease the chance of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension during the first and third trimesters.
  • Another professional health services research conducted in 2006 showed us that eating chocolate while being pregnant helped increase blood flow to the fetus and improves placental function.
  • Having chocolate during your pregnancy can cause your growing baby to have an optimistic temperament during early ages. 

 

But a point to be noted is, another 2014 study showed that chocolate intake in the third trimester could have adverse effects on the baby’s ductus arteriosus (DA) that play an essential role in the baby’s development.

Can I have Dark Chocolate During Pregnancy?

Out of all the chocolates, dark chocolates have more benefits for pregnant women than the others if it is taken in a moderate amount. In addition, a medical study found out that dark chocolate can help prevent preeclampsia.

Some findings also showed that the antioxidants in dark chocolate could benefit your cardiovascular system. Also, it contains less sugar and caffeine than milk chocolate. So, it’s better to avoid milk chocolate and replace it with dark chocolate during pregnancy.

 

How Much Chocolate Is Acceptable To Eat In Pregnancy?

Eating 30g of chocolate every day can be helpful for your fatal growth and well-development. However, where too much chocolate intake can be fatal, 30g of low- or high flavanol chocolate a day can benefit you. 

 

However, please avoid chocolate during your first trimester, as the risk of having a miscarriage is high during that period. So we suggest not to eat too much chocolate during that period even if you crave it.  But you can eat chocolate while the amount is calculated properly.

 

Is Eating Cocoa Powder Harmful For Pregnant Women?

Having cocoa powder during pregnancy can show the same risks as chocolates because of the caffeine. So as long as you are aware of the consumption and overall, if you don’t take more than 200mg caffeine in a day, cocoa powder will be safe for you. As long as you keep the limit in mind, you can drink cocoa and hot cocoa beverages.

 

Can You Drink Chocolate Milk While Expecting?

Drinking chocolate milk while pregnant can be healthy if you are concerned about the amount. Chocolate milk can provide calcium and necessary vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin D to you. 

If you mix caffeine-free chocolate into your milk, the chocolate milk will only have more carbohydrates, and the other ingredients will be the same and as helpful as white milk.

Ensure to have only pasteurized milk or UHT (ultra-heat treated) milk while having the chocolate drink. Avoid condensed milk as it contains a lot of sugar.

Again, make sure that the chocolate that you are having has no caffeine. And if it contains caffeine, make sure to have the right amount that won’t be harmful to you. 

If you are craving a chocolate-based drink, here is a list of caffeine amount that different popular chocolate drinks, chocolate products, and beverage typically contain: 

Drink or Beverage  Serving Amount Caffeine Amount (mg)
Starbucks Coffee  16-20 Oz ≤450
Starbucks Decaf 16 Oz 25
Harshey’s Cocoa Powder  1 Tbs 5
Harshey’s White Chocolate  1 Bar 9
Dannon Lowfat Coffee Yogurt  5.3 Oz 40

 

Alternatives Of Hot Chocolate:

Caffeine can be harmful to your baby, mainly during the first trimester. Some other beverages like iced coffee, soft drink, chocolate with cacao, energy drink, and strong brewed coffee should be avoided too. If you are seeking some caffeine-free alternative healthy foods and drinks to avoid caffeinated beverage, here are a few: 

  • Hot Vanilla
  • Almond Milk (full of milk protein)
  • Drinking Tea
  • Talenti Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato
  • Herbal Teas
  • Peppermint Tea
  • Milk And Flavored Milk
  • Homemade Smoothies
  • Saffron Gold Milk
  • Mulled Apple Juice.
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Vanilla Creme Steamer
  • Apple Cider
  • Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
  • Hibiscus Tea
  • Stewart’s Orange ‘n Cream
  • Homemade Ice Cream
  • Green Tea Latte
  • Decaf Herbal Tea
  • Organic Energy Drinks
  • Orange Juice
  • Coconut Milk
  • Brown Sugar Maple Syrup
  • Coffee Prepared With Decaffeinated Coffee Beans
  • Decaf Iced Coffee

 

How Can We Cut Back On Caffeine?

Caffeine can be refreshing and can give you instant energy. So if you were used to having multiple cups of coffee or hot chocolate before pregnancy, it’s high time to quit these while you are on a pregnancy diet. 

The caffeine that can harm you and the added sugar can also harm you equally. However, you can still have a moderate amount of caffeine as long as your daily intake is limited to 200mg in a day.

 

You can alternate your caffeine-based drinks with smoothies, milk-based drinks, and decaffeinated drinks rather than having caffeinated drinks in coffee shops. Besides, if you are craving hot chocolate, you can use this Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix to have a tasty decaffeinated hot chocolate at home. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How many hot chocolates can you have when pregnant?

Researchers say that hot chocolates in moderate amounts are perfectly safe for an unborn child and his mother. So a pregnant female can have hot chocolates at least twice a day without any hesitation as long as the caffeine consumption is limited. 

 

Is hot chocolate bad for a baby?

Hot chocolate isn’t allowed for a baby. In addition, hot chocolate and coffee, energy, sports drinks, fruit punches, sweetened milk, and teas aren’t allowed for a baby. This is because these are high in sugar and contain caffeine, which can cause health issues in a baby.  

 

What hot beverages are safe during pregnancy?

Hot or iced tea is always a good choice during pregnancy. However, ginger tea is the best option for a pregnant lady. Ginger tea can deal with pregnancy-related nausea and an unsettled stomach. Two times of coffee a day won’t be harmful as long as the overall caffeine is limited to 200mg. 

 

Is it safe to drink chocolate milk during pregnancy?

Chocolate is safe for most pregnant women when caffeine consumption is under 200mg in a day. Eating chocolate can help a pregnant lady with many issues. So chocolate milk is a safe deal for a pregnant lady. 30g of chocolate a day won’t harm your unborn child or you. 

 

Why do I crave chocolate milk while pregnant?

Studies say food cravings are the wisdom of the body. So if you crave milk, that means your body needs calcium. So if you crave chocolate milk, that means your body needs calcium and the nutrients that chocolate contains.

 

Craving chocolate milk is ubiquitous during pregnancy, and the milk can be a good source of prenatal vitamin to improve child health. 

 

Which milk is best for pregnant women?

Studies and experts consider cow’s milk the healthiest milk for pregnant women. This is because the vitamins and minerals in cow’s milk are beneficial for pregnancy. Moreover, the calcium and vitamin D in cow’s milk offers the best nutrition for you and your unborn baby. 

 

How much chocolate is OK during pregnancy?

30g chocolate per day is OK during pregnancy. Chocolate benefits the fetal growth and development of the baby. The nutrients from the chocolate are also good for the mother and the baby. In addition, daily consumption of chocolate can cure preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. 

 

Can we drink chocolate milk during pregnancy?

You can. Chocolate and milk are safe and healthy for a pregnant woman as long as the caffeine intake is calculated. While milk contains calcium and vitamins, chocolate offers very beneficial nutrients for moms to be. So yes, you can have chocolate milk in a moderate amount being pregnant. 

 

The Takeaway

Can you drink hot chocolate while pregnant? If the question had bothered you for a long time, by now, you should have the answer. We have focused on many things and research, including medical advisories for your balanced diet.

Eating chocolate-based drinks and hot chocolate during pregnancy is safe if the caffeine intake is under 200mg. If you are craving chocolate, dark chocolate will be a good option. However, you should be extra careful in your first trimester as this period is sensitive. 

As a result, during the first 2-3 months of pregnancy, it’s better to avoid chocolate or any caffeine-containing drinks. Before you have any chocolate-based drink or chocolate, check out for caffeine by checking the ingredient list.

And do not forget to check with your doctor!

 

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