Healthy Pregnancy

The Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks To Sip During Pregnancy, According to a Nutritionist

Photo: Stocksy / Studio Firma
If you love your nightly (or weekly) sips and you’re pregnant or looking to become pregnant, it helps to know what’s out there in the realm of non-alcoholic drinks that are safe before, during, and after pregnancy. Since alcohol (apart from the occasional glass of red wine) isn’t advised during pregnancy, these beverages will help fill the void should you find yourself with a specific craving.

“Most non-alcoholic beverages are crafted uniquely, and may include something vague, such as ‘natural flavors’ on the ingredient label,” says celebrity chef and nutritionist Serena Poon. “A few herbs to look out for [and avoid] include: sage, thyme, oregano oil, lavender, safflower, and comfrey.”

If you can’t find any information on the label or online, Poon says to send an email to the manufacturer requesting information about either specific ingredients or about the safety for pregnancy. Another option is to go straight to your doctor with the non-alcoholic beverages you’re hoping to work into your pregnancy routine. They’ll be able to approve or nix the concoctions.

Now that the safety spiel is over, it’s time to uncover the best non-alcoholic cocktails, spirits, and more.

Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Pregnancy

1. Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits

More and more non-alcoholic spirits are entering the market and, as a result, the flavor profiles are only improving, making them that much closer to the real thing.

“It definitely depends on the brand and your preferences, but non-alcoholic spirits do not usually taste just like the real thing, but often really, really close,” Poon says. “In my opinion, a non-alcoholic spirit isn’t necessarily supposed to be an exact replica of the alcoholic version, but provide a foundation to be able to participate in your social and relaxation rituals without the negative effects (hangover, questionable decisions etc).” Plus, they’re generally totally fine to consume if you’re pregnant.

If you have any concerns, again, check with your doctor. But if and when you feel comfortable partaking, consider the non-alcoholic spirits below (as well as Poon’s top mocktail suggestions).

If you love a good Bloody Mary, try a virgin version.

This mocktail is brimming with nutrients from the tomato juice, like lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant, and from any additional garnishes, such as celery sticks (high in fiber!), horseradish (antioxidant properties!), and garlic (supports immune function!),” she exclaims.

If you love Palomas, try a non-alcoholic version.

Made with fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lime juice, sparkling water, and non-alcoholic tequila, a paloma mocktail is a great option for getting in a delicious dose of vitamin C,” Poon says. “It’s still a good idea to drink these in moderation as the sugar content from fresh-squeezed juice can add up.”

Dreaming of a martini? Whip one up without the booze.

“A dirty martini contains olive juice, which is high in the antioxidant vitamin E,” Poon says. “A dirty martini would also cover up any flavor discrepancies with your non-alcoholic vodka or gin.”

Craving a seasonal mocktail? Try a spiced apple cider with non-alcoholic rum or whiskey.

Apple cider can be a bit high in sugar (and I would definitely skip any added sugar), but I do love the spices in this beverage,” Poon admits. “Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice all provide wonderful health benefits from providing anti-inflammatory properties to supporting heart health and more.”

That said, she points out that some believe nutmeg to be dangerous in pregnancy, so it’s best to consult your doctor or skip altogether if you’re expecting.

Miss your Moscow mule days? Moscow mule mocktails are a thing.

“I love this mocktail for its fresh spices,” Poon says. “Moscow mules contain fresh ginger and mint, which can each support digestive function. Instead of using simple syrup or an added sweetener, I make my Moscow mule mocktails with ginger-flavored sparkling water.”

2. Best Non-Alcoholic Beer

Like regular beer, non-alcoholic beer contains hops. “Hops contain phytoestrogens, therefore, some experts say to avoid hops during pregnancy,” Poon says.

That said, it’s up to you to take it up with your doctor to find out what’s best for you during your pregnancy. If you find that non-alcoholic beer is greenlighted, see below for a few options to consider.

3. Best Non-Alcoholic Wine

Wine is made with fermented grapes. Non-alcoholic wine is made with grapes that have yet to be fermented, or with grapes that have been fermented and then dealcoholized. This is done through reverse osmosis and vacuum distillation.

While most alcohol is removed, it’s common for there to be trace amounts from the fermentation process—but it’s comparable to that of kombucha, which is safe to consume while pregnant. In either event, there are plenty of non-alcoholic wines (which are essentially fancy grape juices) to choose from. See below for a few options.

Are mocktails healthier than cocktails?

Not necessarily! “Alcohol can be really hard on your body—studies have shown it can lead to inflammation, destruction of the gut microbiome, liver, heart, and neurological problems, and even cancer,” Poon says. That said, she points out that mocktails often contain a lot of added sugar.

Eating too much sugar can lead to inflammation, cardiovascular problems, weight gain, and other conditions,” says Poon. “One is not necessarily better than the other—the important thing is that you are keeping alcohol intake to a minimum when not pregnant (and avoid it while pregnant) and that you are conscious about what is going into both your mocktails and cocktails.”

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