Pregnancy comes with a long list of transformations for expecting mothers – physical and mental – and it's completely normal to have endless questions and concerns.
You've probably heard you should avoid raw fish, alcohol, cigarettes, and soft cheeses while pregnant, but what about matcha? Is drinking matcha during pregnancy safe? Can you drink matcha while pregnant?
The short answer to can you drink matcha while pregnant is yes! Matcha is very safe when consumed in moderation while pregnant. (4)
1 gram of high-quality matcha contains between 35-50mg of caffeine. This means that you can have four servings of matcha per day and still be under the recommended limit of 200mg of caffeine for an expecting mother.
To put that in perspective, that is equivalent to having two large matcha green teas a day using a teaspoon of matcha with each one.
We answer all the common questions around matcha and pregnancy safety in the following post.
How much caffeine is safe for a pregnant woman?
Often, the concern of drinking matcha while pregnant stems from matcha's caffeine content. According to research, the typical range of caffeine in matcha green tea ranges a lot — 18 to 50 mg/g — depending on the quality of the matcha. For example, exactly how the matcha is grown, harvested, and prepared can all have a significant impact on matcha caffeine levels. Our various matcha offerings at Matcha.com are in the range of 35-50mg/g.
Like coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some supplements, matcha tea has caffeine. And if you are pregnant, you've probably already heard it's important to restrict your caffeine intake. According to medical research, pregnant women should keep their caffeine consumption below 200 mg daily. (3) (11)
Studies have shown that consuming large amounts of caffeine may increase your risk of a miscarriage at any point during the 40 weeks you are pregnant. For example, one study published in 2008 found that having up to 400 mg of caffeine (which is equivalent to two large cups of coffee) could double your risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. (5) (12)
Luckily, a review of existing studies found that moderate amounts of matcha while pregnant (staying under 200 mg per day ) is entirely safe for you and your baby's health. (9)
How much caffeine does matcha tea have?
A cup of matcha tea usually has around 35 mg of caffeine. To put this in perspective, compare this to a standard cup of coffee or one shot of espresso, which has about 100 mg of caffeine.
So if matcha is your only source of caffeine in a given day, then you can likely rest assured you are well below 200mg of caffeine if you are having over four servings or cups of green tea or matcha (powdered green tea leaves) in one day. (19)
Should I switch from coffee to matcha while pregnant or breastfeeding?
We think so!
Combine matcha's moderate amount of caffeine packed per serving with its incredibly full range of natural nutrients, and it's genuinely an excellent caffeinated drink of choice while pregnant or breastfeeding. With matcha, you can enjoy lattes at the same frequency and volume average adults drink coffee.
So if you are currently a coffee drinker who's pregnant or trying to get pregnant, we recommend asking your healthcare provider about switching from coffee to matcha.
Wondering exactly what makes matcha caffeine safer for pregnancy than coffee? Read our full article on matcha caffeine and how it is processed differently by the body.
What makes matcha caffeine safer for pregnancy than coffee?
The caffeine from matcha is very different than other forms of caffeine. Due to other natural compounds found in matcha, such as L-theanine, daily matcha tea drinking can be beneficial in many ways during pregnancy. (6)
The traditional Western or American diet has a lot of hidden caffeine. If you aren't careful about reading every label of the packaged foods you consume, your caffeine consumption can quickly go over the recommended amount. According to the latest medical studies, if you want to air on the side of caution with caffeine, you should limit the total amount of caffeine to well below 200 mg per day. (17)
Can I drink matcha while breastfeeding?
Yes! Matcha tea is not only a safer and healthier alternative to coffee while pregnant, but it is also a cleaner energy source for breastfeeding mothers.
According to research, breastfeeding mothers should try not an exceed 300 mg of caffeine daily. Compared to coffee, it's much more challenging to reach the maximum caffeine intake (300 mg) when drinking matcha. (12)
Will drinking matcha impact my sleep negatively?
Short answer - Nope!
Sleep is precious to new parents, and there's nothing worse than when you get a chance to rest, but you can't shut your eyes because of all the caffeine you've pumped into your body.
With matcha, you don't need to worry about suffering from any caffeine jitters, experiencing a caffeine crash, or having issues with your sleeping.
Studies have shown that matcha has several natural compounds that benefit sleep. For example, the high l-theanine concentration in matcha has been shown to help lower cortisol levels, reduce stress, and make it easier to fall asleep faster. (6) (16)
Unlike coffee, matcha delivers very relaxed alertness that lasts up to 6-8 hours.
And if you already have a young toddler running around, then you know how exhausting having young children can be. So matcha is the perfect healthy pick-me-up energy boost for young parents who are sleep-deprived at any hour of the day.
Can matcha help clear up my hormonal acne while pregnant or postpartum?
Yes! Matcha and other green teas can safely support hormonal acne treatment while pregnant. Studies have shown that you can use matcha powder to create a natural mask that can help fight hormonal acne topically. (14)
Matcha can help clear up blemishes as it helps clean out bacteria that build up in your pores. It also helps balance out an oily complexion. (8)
Can I make a matcha green tea face mask while pregnant?
Yes, you can.
We have two matcha face mask recipes to share—one for all skin types and one for more oily to combination skin types. So the next time you have a free half an hour, you can give one of our mask recipes a try! (8)
Matcha mask for all skin types:
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon Matcha Green Tea + ½ teaspoon, raw honey.
How to make a matcha honey mask for pregnant acne:
Mix and form a paste from the teaspoon of matcha and honey. If you need to, add a bit more honey. You can then use your fingers or a gentle brush to apply it on your face and neck generously.
Leave it on for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Soak a washcloth/towel in warm water and wipe your face and neck with it. If you feel any negative sensations such as burning or itching, remove the matcha mask immediately.
Matcha mask for oily and combination skin
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon Matcha Green Tea + a few drops of Aloe vera gel or water
How to make a matcha aloe mask for oily skin:
- Take a small, clean bowl and mix matcha green tea with water or aloe vera gel.
- Make sure that the consistency of your matcha aloe mixture isn't too thin, as you want it to stick (not drop) from your face.
- Clean your face with a cleanser first, then apply the mask, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and wash it off.
Can matcha help clear up my stretch marks from pregnancy?
Your stretch marks may soon fade from your memory and your hips in a natural way, thanks to matcha. Green tea is well-studied to be very effective for helping get rid of stretch marks. (15)
One of the natural compounds found in matcha helps purify and clear up acne-prone skin. Studies have shown that when applied topically, matcha can minimize the appearance of stretch makes, making them almost invisible. This is likely why countless anti-scarring and wound healing creams are creating formulas that include green tea.
Matcha recipe for banishing stretch marks
Use 1 gram of matcha mixed with aloe vera or coconut oil. You can also add some water to create the paste consistency you like. Then, gently rub the mixture on your stretch mark-prone area up to 3 times daily. You could see a change within a few days of using this topical approach. (15) (13)
What should I do if I'm concerned my caffeine intake is hurting my newborn?
Experts recommend having an eye on your baby's bodily movements after feedings. If you notice any significant changes to their sleep cycle, then it's recommended you cut down on the amount of matcha you are having for some time to see if there is any difference. (1) (7) (10)
Can drinking matcha while pregnant impact my baby's birth weight?
Yes, drinking too much caffeine while pregnant has been linked to lower birth weight, though it is important to note no specific studies have been done on excessive amounts of matcha caffeine impacting birth weight. (1)
Studies have shown that daily caffeine intake exceeding 200 mg a day from coffee can impact child development and lead to a smaller birth weight size. (1)
What is the best matcha to have while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Remember all matcha is not created equal.
The caffeine concentration in your matcha can vary drastically depending on its source and serving size, which is why having high-quality matcha you can trust is particularly important for pregnant as well as postpartum moms keeping track of their caffeine.
Its especially important to be cautious when choosing the suitable matcha during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and we recommend sticking to making your matcha at home. Hence, you have total control over serving size and caffeine consumption.
Luckily, MatchaKari matcha is of the highest quality, with our harvests being routinely tested for the caffeine content, heavy metals, and more. Therefore, we recommend selecting something from our daily matcha collections, such as our First Harvest Sipping Matcha or our Organic Single Estate Matcha. (2)
If you consider any of our adaptogenic mixes, we recommend checking in with your healthcare provider before making it a go-to daily ritual.
The bottom line - matcha is beneficial for pregnant and postpartum moms
Matcha and pregnancy go together with a low chance of side effects for expecting mothers and newborn babies. Matcha is a clean source of caffeine and a great alternative to coffee that also comes with other added health benefits. When consumed in moderation (don't exceed over four servings of matcha a day), matcha is safe to drink for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and a much safer form of caffeine for expecting mothers than coffee. (4)
Do keep in mind there are certain things all expecting and nursing moms should know before regularly consuming it.
And remember – before you introduce anything new to your body while pregnant – even if it is a wondrous superfood like matcha — speaking with a trusted healthcare professional first is essential. When it comes to pregnancy, it's always better to air on the side of caution.
Other articles you may like:
- Matcha for improving sexual health and natural libido
- How to naturally care for your mental health
- How matcha can help combat anxiety
- CARE. Study Group, Olsen, & Bech. (2008). Maternal Caffeine Intake during Pregnancy and Risk of Fetal Growth Restriction: A Large Prospective Observational Study. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 337(7682), 1334–1338. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20511513
- Colapinto, C. K., Arbuckle, T. E., Dubois, L., & Fraser, W. (2016). Is there a relationship between tea intake and maternal whole blood heavy metal concentrations? Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 26(5), 503–509. https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2015.86
- Gleason, J. L., Tekola-Ayele, F., Sundaram, R., Hinkle, S. N., Vafai, Y., Buck Louis, G. M., Gerlanc, N., Amyx, M., Bever, A. M., Smarr, M. M., Robinson, M., Kannan, K., & Grantz, K. L. (2021). Association Between Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Metabolism and Neonatal Anthropometry. JAMA Network Open, 4(3), e213238. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.3238
- Hachul, A. C. L., Boldarine, V. T., Neto, N. I. P., Moreno, M. F., Carvalho, P. O., Sawaya, A. C. H. F., Ribeiro, E. B., Oller Do Nascimento, C. M., & Oyama, L. M. (2018). Effect of the consumption of green tea extract during pregnancy and lactation on metabolism of mothers and 28d-old offspring. Scientific Reports, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20174-x
- Hey, E. (2007). Coffee and pregnancy. BMJ, 334(7590), 377. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39122.395058.80
- Hidese, Ogawa, Ota, Ishida, Yasukawa, Ozeki, & Kunugi. (2019). Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(10), 2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102362
- Jeong, G., Park, S. W., Lee, Y. K., Ko, S. Y., & Shin, S. M. (2017). Maternal food restrictions during breastfeeding. Korean Journal of Pediatrics, 60(3), 70. https://doi.org/10.3345/kjp.2017.60.3.70
- Katiyar, S. K., Ahmad, N., & Mukhtar, H. (2000). Green Tea and Skin. Archives of Dermatology, 136(8). https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.136.8.989
- Li, J., Zhao, H., Song, J. M., Zhang, J., Tang, Y. L., & Xin, C. M. (2015). A meta-analysis of risk of pregnancy loss and caffeine and coffee consumption during pregnancy. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 130(2), 116–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.03.033
- McCreedy, A., Bird, S., Brown, L. J., Shaw-Stewart, J., & Chen, Y. F. (2018). Effects of maternal caffeine consumption on the breastfed child: a systematic review. Swiss Medical Weekly. https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2018.14665
- Qian, J., Chen, Q., Ward, S. M., Duan, E., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Impacts of Caffeine during Pregnancy. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 31(3), 218–227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2019.11.004
- Santos, I. S., Matijasevich, A., & Domingues, M. R. (2012). Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Infant Nighttime Waking: Prospective Cohort Study. Pediatrics, 129(5), 860–868. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2011-1773
- Saric, S., Notay, M., & Sivamani, R. (2016). Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris. Antioxidants, 6(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox6010002
- Tan, A., Schlosser, B., & Paller, A. (2018). A review of diagnosis and treatment of acne in adult female patients. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 4(2), 56–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.10.006
- Ud‐Din, S., McGeorge, D., & Bayat, A. (2015). Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 30(2), 211–222. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13223
- Unno, K., Noda, S., Kawasaki, Y., Yamada, H., Morita, A., Iguchi, K., & Nakamura, Y. (2017). Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep Quality Caused by Green Tea Are Associated with a Reduced Caffeine Content. Nutrients, 9(7), 777. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070777
- van der Hoeven, T., Browne, J. L., Uiterwaal, C. S. P. M., van der Ent, C. K., Grobbee, D. E., & Dalmeijer, G. W. (2017). Antenatal coffee and tea consumption and the effect on birth outcome and hypertensive pregnancy disorders. PLOS ONE, 12(5), e0177619. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177619
- Weng, X., Odouli, R., & Li, D. K. (2008). Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a prospective cohort study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 198(3), 279.e1-279.e8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2007.10.803
- Wierzejska, R., Jarosz, M., & Wojda, B. (2019). Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy and Neonatal Anthropometric Parameters. Nutrients, 11(4), 806. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040806