Does Sprite Have Caffeine? Here’s what you need to know

By Hannah Whittaker RD, PGDip | Apr 20, 2023

So does Sprite have Caffeine? Let’s find out.

Pregnancy is an amazing time in life but it can bring with it a rollercoaster of emotions and questions as you prepare to bring your new baby into the world. And let’s not forget, the arrival of a new baby is a family affair, involving not just you but also spouses, siblings, and even curious little ones already in the household.

You may experience the dreaded pregnancy nausea or sickness and find yourself, like I did, reaching for something like an ice-cold fizzy drink, including Sprite. But you may be feeling more conscious, as I was, of your caffeine and sugar intake to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your baby, and for the family as a whole.

The question I get asked a lot is how much caffeine is safe to have during pregnancy. This is where the common question comes up: ‘Does Sprite have caffeine?’ But this blog isn’t just for the pregnant mamas out there; it’s also for you if your a parent wondering if this popular carbonated soft drink is a good choice for your children. 

​In this blog post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of having Sprite both during pregnancy and as a parent considering options for your children. We’ll explore how to manage caffeine intake responsibly, for you and for the younger members of the family, and look at healthier alternatives for everyone. We’ll also dive into the potential health problems that come with added sugar in drinks like regular Sprite during both pregnancy and childhood. From pregnancy cravings to choosing drinks for your kids, this post aims to cover it all. Most importantly, I’ll answer the question: ‘Does Sprite have caffeine?'”

Does Sprite have caffeine?

Firstly, no. Sprite, unlike other popular fizzy drinks or sodas such as Mountain Dew, Coke, and Pepsi, does not contain caffeine. 

The main ingredients of Sprite include carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, and sodium benzoate. This makes Sprite a safer choice during pregnancy when considering caffeine intake. However, it’s important to be aware that Original Sprite produced by the coca-cola company has a high sugar content. Excessive sugar intake during pregnancy can lead to weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels, which may increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes and could potentially impact the baby’s health. Additionally, for parents of young children, it’s good to note that caffeinated beverages can negatively affect a child’s sleep pattern and energy levels. Therefore, while Sprite may be caffeine-free, it’s not necessarily the healthiest option during pregnancy and for children. 

Let’s look at the effects of caffeine and then consuming drinks high in sugar during pregnancy and childhood.  

Caffeine & Pregnancy; What you need to know

Caffeine’s Effect on Babies

Caffeine is a stimulant that can pass through the placenta during pregnancy and affect your baby’s heart rate and sleep pattern. This means that too much caffeine may have an impact on the growth of your baby. That’s why limiting your daily caffeine intake is a good idea during pregnancy 

Recommended Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy

The American Heart Association and NICE guidance in the UK advise pregnant women to limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day.

Can children have caffeine? 5 reasons to be cautious

Caffeine isn’t good for children and is not recommended. It can be very bad for their health and here’s why:

  • Increased Heart Rate: Caffeine can speed up a child’s heart rate and slightly raise their blood pressure. That’s a concern, especially for young hearts.
  • Digestive Issues: One potential side effect of caffeine is an upset stomach. Managing stomach aches on top of everyday parenting can be challenging.
  • Focus and Attention: Kids need to concentrate, whether they’re in a classroom or on a playground. Caffeine can sometimes disrupt that focus.
  • Sleep Disruption: Children need consistent sleep for proper development. Caffeine can interfere with sleep patterns, which is not ideal.
  • Weight Gain: Many caffeinated beverages come with a lot of added sugar, contributing to an increased risk of weight gain.

Caffeine content in common foods & drinks

  • Coffee: A cup of coffee can contain around 100 mg of caffeine, but this can vary depending on the strength and size of the cup or the coffee shop it was purchased. 
  • Tea: Tea contains less caffeine than coffee, with around 50 mg per cup.
  • Soft drinks: Some soft drinks, such as cola and energy drinks contain caffeine. The amount of caffeine can vary, but a can of cola contains around 30-40 mg of caffeine, and energy drinks can contain anything for 70-240mg of caffeine.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine, with around 10 mg per ounce.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as pain relievers and migraine medications, may contain caffeine.
Does Sprite have caffeine

The Sugar Impact on children

As a parent of a young child, you might find that they find the allure of sugary drinks like Sprite hard to resist, especially when you see those little eyes light up at the sight of a regular Sprite can on the supermarket shelves. However, it’s essential to consider the short and long-term health implications.

A regular can of Sprite, like many sugary drinks, contains a substantial amount of added sugar. According to the labels, a single can of regular Sprite contains approximately 38 grams of sugar.

High consumption of added sugar at an early age could lead to various health problems, including obesity, high blood pressure, and can also lead to heart disease.

Sprite is not a good choice for regular consumption

Given the grams of sugar packed in each can, Sprite is not a good choice for regular consumption by young children—or anyone, for that matter. The high sugar content can lead to that initial energy boost which can quickly lead to a low which can also affect general mood and well-being.

Glass of water with lime and mint on a white table

Healthier Alternatives to Sprite for the whole family

When you’re pregnant or caring for young ones, you may often find yourself questioning what kinds of beverages are best for both you and your family. 

Although Sprite is caffeine-free, its high sugar content and artificial flavors can be concerning. High sugar consumption during pregnancy can lead to complications, such as increased risk of weight gain, obesity, cesarean section, and having a baby who is large for gestational age. Similarly, too much sugar can have long-term health consequences for children as well as shown above. 

For those moments when you’re looking for a refreshing, child-friendly beverage, there are plenty of healthier options.

  • Fruit-Infused Water: Also known as “spa water,” this is an excellent alternative to sugary beverages.
  • Branded Flavored Water: Brands like Air Up offer special bottles that use flavored discs to change the water’s taste without sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Zero-Sugar, Caffeine-Free Sodas: Acceptable on occasion as a sugar-free choice.
  • Lemon or Lime Infused Soda Water: A carbonated option that includes natural citrus flavors.
  • Herbal Tea: Options include mint, chamomile, or ginger teas for a warm or cold non-sugary beverage.

Herbal Tea During Pregnancy: Teas like peppermint, chamomile, or ginger can be hydrating but should be consumed in moderation. It’s advisable to limit intake to 1-2 cups per day.

The key is to select options free from added sugar and artificial sweeteners. This can support in reducing the risk of negative health impacts for both you and your children.

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Does Sprite Zero have caffeine?

Sprite Zero sugar, also known as Diet Sprite also contains no caffeine. It is carbonated water, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium citrate, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium. 

Can i have Aspartame in pregnancy?

Aspartame is considered safe for most people during pregnancy but limiting intake to 1-2 servings per day is recommended. However, it’s essential to note that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium have been linked to pregnancy complications such as preterm birth and low birth weight.

Pregnancy cravings – why do we have them, and do they affect our health?

Many women during pregnancy experience cravings for certain foods, including ice-cold fizzy drinks ( I know I did!). These cravings are often attributed to hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies, and a heightened sense of taste and smell and may leave you reaching for that ice-cold Sprite. 

Taste Changes in Pregnancy

Hormonal changes may be responsible for taste changes during pregnancy. Although there is no real evidence based, some believe that changes in progesterone and oestrogen can cause changes in taste.

Craving foods due to nutritional deficiency

Nutrition may also play a role in pregnancy cravings. Women who are pregnant may find themselves craving foods that are rich in certain nutrients. This may be food that are rich in carbohydrates for energy or fruit and vegetables for fluid or vitamins. You might find yourself craving Sprite as you may be a little hydrated and struggle to drink other fluids.

Tomatoes are a common pregnancy craving and are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support immunity. Tomatophagia or a craving for tomatoes has been linked to iron deficiency. However, experts aren’t sure why this is as tomatoes are not an iron-rich food. It may be that tomatoes are high in vitamin C and this supports iron absorption in the body.

Protein rich foods can also be craved in pregnancy. This may be due to this rapid phase of growth, however again there isn’t any hard evidence to support this.

Craving the same food as last pregnancy

Some women may have had cravings in a previous pregnancy which may then mean they reach for the same foods in their second pregnancy.

Hormonal and psychological factors changes affecting appetite

Pregnancy is a time of significant emotional and psychological changes, and some women may find that they want to eat certain foods due to this to help them to cope with their emotions.

Some cravings can however be harmful to your developing baby if consumed in large amounts, especially if they contain a high amount of sugar, like Sprite. It is important to monitor your intake.

Woman lying on the floor, pregnancy sickness

Why might you want Sprite during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, as I personally went through, you might deal with all sorts of challenges. Nausea and morning sickness can make even the thought of food exhausting, and even drinking water can be a struggle. It’s times like these when you might reach for a Sprite. Its ice-cold lemon-lime flavor feels so refreshing and can temporarily relieve that nausea. On top of that, the fizzy bubbles and the crunch of the ice can be a real treat for those pregnancy cravings.

But here’s the thing: While Sprite doesn’t have caffeine, it does have sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. A lot of it. And when you’re already battling fatigue and low energy levels during pregnancy, it’s tempting to reach for that quick sugar fix. In the moment, Sprite might seem like a pick-me-up. However, that sugar rush is often followed by a sugar crash, leaving you more drained than before. Plus, let’s not forget about the risks associated with too much sugar intake during pregnancy, such as weight gain and increased chances of complications.

So before you reach for that Sprite, think about the longer-term impact. It might offer immediate satisfaction, but there are other ways to energize yourself and satisfy cravings that are better for you and your growing baby.

So, can you drink soda while pregnant?

Yes you can drink soda, including sprite while pregnant but the advice is to keep check on how much.

Sprite may be free of caffeine, but it can be packed with sugar and artificial flavors, which can lead to complications like weight gain, obesity, and increased risks during childbirth. The same caution should also be taken when choosing drinks for your little ones as as we can see this can also have negative impacts on their health too.

Moderation is the word of the day. If you’re pregnant, you’re already hyper-aware that it’s not just about you but ensuring balance nutrition and hydration for your growing baby too.  

Striking the right balance means opting for healthier alternatives, like fruit-infused waters or herbal teas, that are suitable during pregnancy/ This allows you to both satisfy your cravings and prioritize health, ensuring that you’re doing what’s best for you and your family.

So, whether you’re pondering about what to sip on during pregnancy or considering what drinks are best for your children, it’s essential to weigh all the factors. Does Sprite contain caffeine? No, but that doesn’t give it an automatic pass as the best beverage choice. It’s all about balance. 

Hannah x. 

Hannah Whittaker Dietitian Bump2baby Nutrition
Expert Pregnancy & Paediatric Dietitian at  | info@bump2babynutrition.com | Website

Hannah is an Expert Registered Dietitian specialising in Vegan Family Nutrition and Cows Milk Protein Allergy. 

She is a respected figure in the field of nutrition and a captivating speaker and sought after media spokesperson being featured in esteemed publications including the Sunday Times, Independent and Huffington Post.

Credentials

Registered Dietitian
First Class Degree in Nutrition

Experience

Over 15 years experience working in the field of nutrition
Respected Media Spokesperson both in the UK & USA; quoted online, TV and in local and international news
Writer & Researcher, supporting the BDA and PEN Nutrition

 

 

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