Is it safe for pregnant women to drink bubble tea?

The question of whether pregnant women can consume bubble tea is a concern for many women, especially expectant mothers. In today’s article, Long Chau Pharmacy will help clarify this concern in detail. First, let’s explore the main ingredients in bubble tea!

Main ingredients in bubble tea

The primary components in bubble tea include:

– Tea: Bubble tea predominantly uses various types of black tea, green tea, and oolong tea. When using these teas correctly, they do not pose health risks as they contain antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. However, to enhance flavor and attract buyers, many vendors often add flavorings like jasmine or lotus that may not have clear origins. These flavorings could potentially contain harmful chemicals, leading to serious consequences if consumed.

– Milk: Instead of using fresh milk or condensed milk to provide calcium, vitamin A, D, and quality protein for health benefits, most bubble tea varieties on the market use a food item called creamer (not actual milk). Creamer is chosen due to its lower cost and ability to enhance the taste of bubble tea.

– Tapioca pearls: A crucial ingredient loved by bubble tea enthusiasts is tapioca pearls. This familiar topping is made from 80% starch, with the remainder being condensed sugar and food flavorings. Consuming tapioca pearls can make one feel full, reducing the desire to eat and preventing the intake of other essential nutrients.

– Sugar: Health experts recommend a daily sugar intake ranging from 40 to 50 grams per person. However, the sugar content in a single cup of bubble tea exceeds this limit. Specifically, in a cup of fresh milk black sugar bubble tea, there is 92.5 grams of sugar, or in a bubble milk tea, it can go up to 102.5 grams of sugar…

Is it safe for pregnant women to drink bubble tea?
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink bubble tea?

Effects of Drinking Bubble Tea During Pregnancy

Is it safe for pregnant women to drink bubble tea? The answer is yes. However, pregnant women should limit their consumption. According to research, a typical 500ml serving of bubble tea contains around 130 – 140mg of caffeine. Therefore, moderate consumption without excessive intake or in combination with other caffeinated beverages does not pose significant health risks for both the mother and the baby. Nevertheless, for the sake of caution, pregnant women are advised to avoid it altogether.

The main ingredient in bubble tea, creamer, primarily comprises hydrogenated vegetable oil, which isn’t beneficial for health. Intake of large amounts of hydrogenated vegetable oil during pregnancy can lead to health issues such as blood vessel blockages, increased bad cholesterol, decreased good cholesterol, and risks of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, potentially affecting the baby’s health.

Furthermore, examining the components in bubble tea, it’s evident that the sugar content exceeds the daily recommended intake for an individual. Drinking a single cup of bubble tea can result in sugar intake surpassing the permissible limit, posing health risks to the baby.

Moreover, bubble tea often contains tapioca pearls, which may be made from harmful chemicals, impacting the baby’s abnormal development. Thus, pregnant women should limit or altogether avoid consuming tapioca pearls for their and their baby’s well-being.

Hazards of Excessive Bubble Tea Consumption During Pregnancy

Increased risk of gestational diabetes and obesity due to excessive sugar intake:

Studies suggest that pregnant women should not consume more than 25g of sugar per day. However, a typical 473ml serving of bubble tea contains between 34g – 45g of sugar, amounting to 2-3 times the recommended sugar intake. Excessive sugar consumption prompts the pancreas to release more insulin, resulting in the accumulation of excess fat, leading to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and adverse effects on the baby’s health. Additionally, excess sugar intake accelerates skin aging by affecting elastin and collagen, causing inflammation and premature aging, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin.

Reduced water intake

During pregnancy, a woman needs to consume between 2.5 – 3 liters of water daily due to increased body heat. Water plays a crucial role in supplying essential nutrients by aiding in the transfer of vitamins and minerals into the body’s blood cells. However, drinking 1000ml of bubble tea provides only about 100ml of pure water. To ensure good health, pregnant women should prioritize pure water intake and limit bubble tea consumption to facilitate proper bodily functions and enzyme storage.

Increased risk of iron deficiency

Iron intake is crucial during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage, premature birth, postpartum infections, and ensure the baby’s health. Consuming excessive bubble tea during pregnancy can lead to iron deficiency. The fatty acids present in bubble tea inhibit the stomach’s digestion process, affecting nutrient absorption, leading to constant fatigue and weakness.

Best Teas for Pregnant Women’s Health

Instead of bubble tea, pregnant women can benefit from other teas promoting a healthy pregnancy and baby development.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea, known for its soothing herbal aroma, aids in reducing stress, controlling insomnia, and alleviating swelling in pregnant women. It promotes relaxation, aiding in better sleep.

Peppermint Tea

An effective remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy, peppermint tea’s aroma helps alleviate nausea and improves digestion.

Ginger Tea

Containing compounds like gingerols and shogaols, ginger tea assists in digestion, alleviates nausea, and boosts immunity. However, pregnant women should limit their daily ginger intake to 1 gram for safety.

Red Clover Tea

This lesser-known herbal tea reduces the risk of premature birth and strengthens the uterus. It contains significant iron levels, preventing anemia during pregnancy.

In summary, while bubble tea consumption during pregnancy is permissible in moderation, it’s advisable for pregnant women to prioritize healthier alternatives to ensure their well-being and that of their baby.


Are bubbles safe to drink while pregnant?

Consuming bubbles, typically made from tapioca pearls, in drinks like bubble tea during pregnancy is generally considered safe if they are properly cooked and prepared in a hygienic manner. However, excessive consumption may not be recommended due to concerns about ingredients used in bubble tea, such as excess sugar or additives.

Is it safe to eat tapioca during pregnancy?

Tapioca, when properly cooked and consumed in moderation, is considered safe during pregnancy. However, it’s important to ensure that tapioca pearls or bubbles are well-cooked and from a trusted source to avoid any potential risks related to hygiene or preparation.

Is it safe to drink bubble tea?

Moderation is key. Drinking bubble tea occasionally during pregnancy, ensuring it’s from a reputable source and not excessively high in sugar or caffeine, is generally considered safe. However, pregnant women should be mindful of the ingredients and consider opting for healthier beverage alternatives.

What tea should be avoided during pregnancy?

Certain herbal teas and teas with high caffeine content should be avoided or limited during pregnancy. Teas such as black tea, green tea, and some herbal teas (like those containing ingredients such as ginseng or licorice root) should be consumed in moderation due to their caffeine or potential adverse effects on pregnancy. It’s advisable for pregnant women to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which teas are safe for them during pregnancy.


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