Do you enjoy drinking a cold soda on a hot summer day? Or, are soft drinks a regular addition to your meals, whether at home or on-the-go? If you are trying to get pregnant, this could be a problem. Research is showing that consuming soft drinks may actually affect your ability to get pregnant.
Americans and Our Love for Sugary Drinks
First, let’s take a look at how much sugary soft drinks Americans consume. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 63 percent of children ages 6 to 10 drink a sweetened beverage on any given day. For adults, the average was 49 percent on any given day. Note that the CDC not only includes soft drinks in the category of sugary drinks but any beverage that has been sweetened with sugar. These include:
- energy drinks
- sports beverages
- fruit beverages
- coffee or tea if it has been sweetened with sugar
Clearly, Americans enjoy drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. However, researchers are particularly interested in the effects of soft drinks on fertility.
The study was conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health. They interviewed 3,828 women between the ages of 21 and 45. The researchers also interviewed 1,045 men who were their partners. The study was conducted for 12 months, with female participants receiving additional questionnaires every two months until either the study period elapsed or they became pregnant.
The results of the research were surprising. For women, one soda consumed daily meant a 25 percent lower chance of becoming pregnant. For men, one soda consumed daily meant a 33 percent lower chance of conceiving.
Although there was not a significant connection between drinking fruit juices and pregnancy, there may be a link with energy drinks. However, more research is needed in this area.
Conclusions for Men and Women
This research simply adds another item to the list of food and beverages that should be avoided while pregnant. Among those are:
- Recreational drugs
- Lunch meats
- Smoked seafood that has been refrigerated
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Herbal teas
However, the study also reinforces that men also need to be mindful of what they consume in order for their partners to become pregnant.
What are Acceptable Beverages to Drink Before and During Pregnancy?
Instead of drinking sugary beverages such as soft drinks, consider these alternatives:
Water is important for the body with absorbing nutrients, removing waste and controlling body temperature. Drink at least eight glasses daily; drink more if you exercise or it is hot outside.
Milk has calcium and vitamin D, which are both important nutrients. Consume milk in moderation and choose a low-fat option.
As long as it is freshly squeezed and pasteurized, juice is OK to drink in moderation.
We are learning so much more about how nutrition plays an important role for both women and men when it comes to pregnancy. By making appropriate choices and abstaining from products that could be harmful such as soft drinks, couples can maximize their chances to become pregnant.