Sometimes pregnancy can feel like taking a nine-month-long test. Have you noticed that? You’re constantly trying to remember what you should and shouldn’t be doing, eating, or drinking.
One very common question asked by moms-to-be is, “Can I still drink my favorite Starbucks drink throughout pregnancy?”
Starbucks Chai Tea Latte While Pregnant
The good news for tea drinkers is that a chai tea latte from Starbucks is generally considered safe to drink throughout your pregnancy.
A grande chai tea latte from Starbucks has around 95mg of caffeine, which is well under the recommended limit of 200mg per day during pregnancy.
This means that if a chai tea latte is your beverage of choice, you should be able to continue drinking it without any issues.
However, you may want to keep in mind your other caffeine intake during the day from coffee or soda to make sure you aren’t overdoing it.
Another thing you may want to note when ordering your favorite Starbucks beverage is the sugar content.
While plain chai tea is simply a blend of black tea and spices, a chai tea latte from Starbucks contains significant amounts of sugar.
If gestational diabetes or excessive weight gain is a concern in your pregnancy, you may want to skip the latte and order some plain tea instead.
Make sure you also read my recent article/study where I answer: Are probiotics safe during pregnancy? Some of my findings might surprise you.
Potential Dangers Of Drinking Too Much Caffeine During Pregnancy
Even though a chai tea latte from Starbucks isn’t likely to cause any harm, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of consuming too much caffeine during pregnancy.
Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause problems such as anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, and an increased heart rate.
Studies have also found that caffeine consumption could lead to fetal growth restriction and an increased risk of miscarriage.
The reason is that caffeine could potentially blood affect blood vessels and decrease blood flow to the placenta.
In these studies, the women were consuming significantly more caffeine than what’s found in a grande chai tea latte from Starbucks.
However, it’s still important to be mindful of your caffeine intake during pregnancy.
Making Your Own Chai Tea Latte At Home
Whether it’s because you need to avoid the sugar or just because you can’t tie your shoes without help anymore, you may find yourself wanting to make a chai tea latte for yourself at home.
While it won’t be quite the same as the drink your Starbucks barista makes for you, there are many easy recipes out there for homemade versions.
Being able to customize your drink with decaf chai tea, low-calorie sweeteners, or your favorite type of milk is a great reason to stay home in your sweats and make it yourself…not that you need a reason other than the fact that you are pregnant!
Delicious Chai Tea Latte Recipe
This easy recipe can be made with any type of milk you like, making it a great dairy-free option. You can also use decaf chai tea if you want to avoid caffeine altogether.
1 cup milk of your choice (dairy, almond, soy, etc.)
1 chai tea bag
1-2 tablespoons honey or another sweetener
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add the teabag, letting it steep for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the tea bag and add honey or sweetener to taste. Serve immediately.
Alternative Tea Lattes To Try
Sometimes, pregnancy can make even your favorite foods or beverages sound terrible. Food aversions are often sudden and unexpected!
If you find that you just aren’t feeling a chai tea latte, but still want a tasty tea drink, you can always try another tea latte to switch things up.
Tea lattes are simply brewed tea with milk and sometimes a syrup flavor. Two popular options are a London Fog (an earl grey tea latte with vanilla) or a matcha green tea latte.
Both have acceptable caffeine levels for pregnancy and are generally considered safe.
Whatever your questions about what you can eat and drink during pregnancy, remember that your doctor is happy to help!
Never hesitate to reach out to your care team with questions or concerns during your pregnancy.
Now we hope you treat yourself to a well-deserved Starbucks run! Or better yet, ask someone else to go for you. You’re growing a human, after all.
What Starbucks Drinks Are Safe During Pregnancy
In general, the idea is to consume less than 200 mg of caffeine per day. This is the dosage recommended for pregnant women by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
That said, every pregnancy is different. Some women may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. So it’s always best to check with your doctor about your specific situation.
Now let’s get into the Starbucks drinks that are safe during pregnancy, as well as some things to keep in mind when ordering.
Pregnancy-Safe Starbucks Beverages
These are some of the best (and safest) Starbucks drinks to enjoy during pregnancy:
If you just can’t kick your coffee habit, decaf is a great option. It has a small amount of caffeine, but it’s typically around 12–13.4 mg of caffeine per 16-ounce.
Espresso has slightly more caffeine than coffee, but a decaf espresso shot is still a safe choice during pregnancy. It contains between 3–15.8 mg per shot
Tea is a great option for pregnant women, as long as it’s not too high in caffeine. Herbal teas are usually the best bet, as they don’t contain any caffeine.
Teas vary in caffeine content. Most range between 25 and 95 mg of caffeine for a grande.
Fruit tea is another great herbal tea option that’s safe for pregnancy. It’s a refreshing and flavorful way to get your daily hydration. Most fruit teas range between 20 and 45 mg of caffeine.
Chai Tea Latte
A chai tea latte is a great way to get your fix of both tea and coffee. It’s made with black tea, milk, and spices. And it usually contains around 95 mg of caffeine.
Green Tea Latte
As a chai tea latte, a green tea latte is a mix of tea and coffee. But it’s made with green tea instead of black tea. It also contains around 80 mg of caffeine.
Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro cold brew is a popular choice at Starbucks, as it has a smooth and creamy texture. It’s made by infusing cold brew with nitrogen gas.
The vanilla cream flavor has around 100mg while the dark and black options contain around 155mg of caffeine.
Iced coffee is a great way to get your caffeine fix on a hot day. It’s made by brewing coffee over ice, which gives it a refreshing flavor. Most contain around 165mg of caffeine.
Blended Coffee Drinks
Blended coffee drinks are a popular choice at Starbucks. They’re made by blending coffee with ice and milk to create a frappe-like drink. These drinks will vary in the amount of caffeine but most are around 155 mg.
A caramel macchiato is a popular blended coffee drink at Starbucks. It’s made with espresso, milk, and vanilla syrup, and it’s topped with caramel. A grande cup of pumpkin spice latte contains 150 mg of caffeine.
Mocha is another blended coffee drink that contains espresso, milk, chocolate, and sometimes whipped cream. A grande mocha contains 175 mg of caffeine.
13. Pumpkin Spice Latte
The pumpkin spice latte is a fall favorite at Starbucks. It’s made with espresso, milk, pumpkin puree, and spices. A grande cup of pumpkin spice latte contains 150 mg of caffeine.
14. Salted Caramel Mocha
The salted caramel mocha is a variation of the classic mocha. It’s made with espresso, milk, chocolate, and salted caramel sauce. A grande mocha contains 175 mg of caffeine.
15. White Chocolate Mocha
The white chocolate mocha is another twist on the classic mocha. It’s made with espresso, milk, and white chocolate. A grande white chocolate mocha contains 150 mg of caffeine.
For other drinks, ask your barista how much caffeine each drink contains. You can also choose decaf coffee or tea, or order a drink with no added caffeine.
Starbucks Drinks To AVOID During Pregnancy
While there are plenty of Starbucks drinks that are safe to enjoy during pregnancy, there are also some that you should avoid. Here are some drinks to avoid while pregnant:
Coffee Drinks with Extra caffeine
Coffee drinks with added caffeine, such as the Quad Shot Espresso or the Triple Shot Espresso, should be avoided during pregnancy.
These drinks can contain up to 330 mg of caffeine, which is more than the safe limit for pregnant women.
Blended Coffee Drinks with Extra caffeine
Blended coffee drinks with added caffeine, such as the Caffe Americano or the Espresso Frappuccino, should also be avoided during pregnancy.
These drinks can contain up to 400 mg of caffeine, which is again, more than the safe limit for pregnant women.
Drinks with Alcohol
Drinks that contain alcohol, such as the Espresso Tonic or the Irish Cream Frappuccino, should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though these drinks may only contain a small amount of alcohol, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Herbal teas, such as the Hibiscus Tea Latte or the Jade Citrus Mint Tea, should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because some herbal teas can contain compounds that are not safe for pregnant women.
If you’re unsure about a particular herbal tea, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before drinking it.
So there you have it, a list of Starbucks drinks to avoid during pregnancy.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure about whether or not a drink is safe to consume during pregnancy, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider and your local barista as well 🙂
Things To Keep In Mind When Ordering Starbucks Drinks While Pregnant
When you’re pregnant and ordering Starbucks drinks, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Ask for decaf. If you’re unsure about the caffeine content of a drink, ask for it to be made with decaf coffee or espresso.
Skip the add-ins. When possible, skip the added syrups and flavorings. These can often contain caffeine or other ingredients that may not be good for pregnancy.
Limit the sugar. Too much sugar can lead to gestational diabetes, so it’s best to limit your intake during pregnancy. When ordering, ask for your drink to be made with less syrup or without any added sugar.
Ask for alternatives. If you’re unsure about an ingredient, ask your barista for a safe alternative. They’ll be happy to help you customize your drink.
Drink in moderation. As with anything during pregnancy, it’s important to drink Starbucks beverages in moderation. Too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects like anxiety and insomnia. So it’s best to stick to one or two cups per day.
As long as you keep these things in mind, you can enjoy your favorite Starbucks drinks while pregnant. Just remember to listen to your body and drink in moderation.
And of course, always check with your doctor before consuming caffeine during pregnancy.