Caffeine levels in café coffee too high for pregnant women

Levels of caffeine in high street coffee chains' coffee could be 50% higher than recommended daily allowance for pregnant women


Pregnant women should keep an eye on how much coffee shop coffee they are drinking after tests show cups can contain 50% more caffeine than their recommended daily allowance.


Mums-to-be, who are encouraged to steer clear of coffee in the first trimester, could inadvertently consume more than the recommended daily allowance of 200mg in a single cup, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry. Head to our guide on what you can and can’t have in pregnancy to see what 200mg of caffeine equals.

Dr Daghni Rajasingam, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), notes that too much caffeine can result in “a mother delivering a small baby or having a miscarriage”. Dr Daghni is urging women to be aware that caffeine levels can alter dramatically from shop to shop.

Of the 20 premises tested, four coffee samples were found to have more than 200mg in one cup. The highest level of caffeine was found to be over 300mg in a single serving – six times stronger than Starbuck’s 51mg espresso. Notably, even 50mg of caffeine falls into the category of ‘strong coffee’.

Caffeine can take up to 30 hours to break down in the body to just half its previous level, notes researcher Alan Crozier. The British Coffee Association suggests pregnant women switch to decaf coffee throughout their pregnancy if they’re concerned.


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