I didn’t drink caffeine for a solid year leading up to getting pregnant. And, I avoided it all throughout my pregnancy, too. But as soon as I got back to running, caffeine slowly started creeping back into my daily diet. Not a lot. But enough to help me remember just how amazing it is.
Being a mom is a full time job. Layer in being back at work plus training for a marathon and, well…caffeine.
Typically, I will wake up, pump both sides and then drink either a cup of coffee, green tea or Vega Sugar-Free Energizer (natural energy sources and feels amazing!). By the time I’m ready to nurse again, I assume that the caffeine has likely moved through me. But I was still a little nervous that some caffeine was finding its way into my babe’s system via nursing. So I did a little research from the experts (i.e. American Pediatric Association) and here’s what I found:
- Caffeine in moderation while breastfeeding is completely fine.
- Breast milk usually contains less than 1 percent of the caffeine ingested by the mom.
- If you drink no more than three cups of coffee spread throughout the day, there is little to no caffeine detected in the baby’s urine.
- If your baby is suddenly acting a bit fussy, it could be the caffeine but as your baby gets older they will be able to tolerate it better. If you suspect it’s the caffeine try eliminating again and look for any changes.
Why caffeine is good!
I try to use caffeine for a purpose (beyond keeping my eyeballs open on 4 hours sleep) and specifically for before working out. Caffeine is an ergogenic aid, meaning it helps us perform better when we work out. And my personal vote is that we should all use it before our workout so we can push harder while we’re out there and make the most of our time.
Beyond the physical push caffeine has been linked to other health benefits including its ability to influence metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular body systems. All good things.
The most common source we’re likely all ingesting is from our morning coffee. However coffee is quite acidic and can be tough on our stomachs and adrenals. There are some really great alternative choices out there that are less acidic and more gentle on the body and on the mind (think no jitters and more mental clarity!) than coffee.
Alternative caffeine choices include:
- Cold Brew
- Green tea
- matcha (loose green tea, amazing in a latte or smoothie!
- Yerba Mate
Green tea and yerba mate all have shown to give more mental clarity and focus and less jitters than coffee, plus you get a nice dose of antioxidants. Cold brew is another coffee option but its brewing method makes it a far less acidic choice than a traditional brew
Learn more about caffeine and performance here