- 16. 1. 2019
- Reproductive health
MAKE HEALTHY DRINKING PART OF YOUR PRECONCEPTION CARE PLAN, AS WELL AS HEALTHY EATING.
Most of us know that it is quite important to eat and live well when you are pregnant. We know that saying well “act pregnant to get pregnant”. And than we start with the basics: quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, but needed to say, it is not just about the demon drink. Alcohol is not the only thing you should stop drinking if you are trying to conceive. There are some things to watch out and some easy changes to make whether you are trying for a child naturally or using assisted reproduction methods.
Tea and coffee
Caffeine can affect fertility in women and men. There is caffeine in coffee, tea, green tea, cola drinks, energy drinks, chocolate and some medications, like headache pills. Tea also contains tannins, which cause blocking of absorption of some nutrients. So, if you are struggling to get pregnant, giving up caffeine is a good idea. In some studies drinking two or three cups of regular coffee has been linked to miscarriage. For the guys, there seems to be a correlation between caffeine intake and sperm health as well. But before you stock up on decaf, be aware! Many decaf products are processed with chemicals and it is best to reduce them when you are planning to have a baby. Try to find tea and coffee that has been naturally decaffeinated or seek other alternatives, like fruit or herbal beverages.
Most women know that there is a need to give up alcohol when they find out they are pregnant, because the danger of alcohol to unborn babies is well known. Even exposure to small amounts is risky. If you are planning for a baby, it is suggested to quit the alcohol altogether, or drinking only on very special occasions. Alcohol depletes vitamins and minerals and you need good levels of nutrition to make a healthy baby. Heavy drinking in woman affect her cycle and ovulation and, ultimately, ability to fall pregnant.
Note to men: alcohol DOES affect sperm quality!
Water from plastic bottles and tap
It is a fact – drinking plenty of water is key for general and hormonal health, but not all water is created equal, or at least, does not end up that way. Tap water can contain extras to avoid like metals and impurities. It is good to buy a water filter and filter those extras out. Drink, wash food and cook with filtered water than. Mineral water is great but it is good to avoid plastic bottles, which are likely to contain hormone-harming chemicals.
Flavoured waters and fizzy drinks
Flavoured waters and fizzy drinks are very often boosted with sugar or artificial sweeteners. As well known, sugar is high in calories, low in nutrients. It takes away from body nutrients including B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and chromium – all vital for reproductive health. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to a raft of health issues from headaches to weight gain, including hormone problems. Fizzy drinks sometimes contain phosphorus, which can upset calcium stores and balance in the body.
Fruit juice drinks
Remember – just because it says juice on the label does not mean it is actually juice! It could be a juice drink, full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Some shop-bought smoothies can be also very sugary or full of unwanted extras too. The best is to drink real juice diluted with water or smoothies made from natural ingredients only.
Stay healthily hydrated by choosing:
- Filtered or mineral water from glass bottles. It is recommended six to eight large glasses per day, more if you exercise, if it is hot, if you have not managed to give up caffeine yet and if you are traveling on plane.
- Herbal and fruit teas - there are so many available to choose from. Remember, green tea still has caffeine. Rooibos is naturally decaffeinated.
- Fresh juices, either plain or diluted. Try to have more veggies than fruits in your juice to keep the sugar content low.
- Eat plenty of veggies and fruit, they are mostly water!