Earl Grey Tea Caffeine: Is It Safe During Pregnancy?

by Priyanka Sadhukhan , Nutritionist, CDE, Reviewer & Writer

Do you love Earl Grey tea and don’t want to sacrifice it during your pregnancy? It is normal to feel concerned about the side effects and caffeine content of Earl Grey tea.

Read on to find out the caffeine content of your favorite tea and whether it is safe during pregnancy. Scroll down!

Earl Grey Tea Or Black Tea

Earl Grey tea is a mixture of black tea and bergamot oil (BGO) (1). It has a bold and citrusy flavor due to the addition of synthetic or natural bergamot oil.

Bergamot orange is an aromatic citrus fruit commonly found in the Mediterranean. The taste may vary from one producer to the other. However, in general, its taste is bold and refreshing.

Caffeine Content In Earl Grey Tea

Traditional Earl Grey tea contains caffeine, the exceptions being herbal Earl Grey tea or its decaffeinated variants.

The caffeine content in Earl Grey tea varies depending upon the producer. But, in general, it is almost similar to the amount of caffeine in other black teas.

A regular cup of Earl Grey tea contains approximately 55-65 mg of caffeine (2). Decaffeinated Earl Grey tea contains lesser caffeine.

But, is Earl Grey tea safe to drink while pregnant? Does it have any adverse effects? Read on to find out.

How Safe Is Earl Grey Tea During Pregnancy?

Earl Grey tea is extremely popular. Hence, you will find innumerable flavors in this type of tea. Though tea offers several health benefits, research has shown that too much intake of any form of black tea can lead to serious side effects due to its caffeine content.

Several studies have found that high caffeine intake (>150 mg/day) during pregnancy may result in an increased risk of low birth weight (in the infant), spontaneous abortion, and restricted fetal growth (3), (4), (5).

However, limiting your caffeine intake to 1-2 cups per day is not a cause for concern, even in pregnancy (6).

It is always advisable to consult your doctor before experimenting with any beverages.

Hence, even though Earl Grey tea is soothing in nature, make sure to drink it only in moderation during pregnancy.

How Much Should You Drink?

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the American Institute of Medicine, caffeine intake should be limited to less than 200 mg/day during pregnancy (7).

Health experts say that ingesting around 250 mg of caffeine per day is safe for adults, but only if you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

In pregnant women, the ingestion should be restricted to around 150 mg/day.

Drinking too much Earl Grey tea is harmful to the health of the fetus as well as the mother.

So, if you are breastfeeding or are pregnant, you should restrict your consumption to 1-2 cups to avoid complications.

Now, let’s check out the potential side effects of this popular tea in pregnant women.

Possible Side Effects Of Earl Grey Tea In Pregnant Women

The possible side effects of Earl Grey tea in pregnant women include:

  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Heartburn
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions

If you have developed a psychological or physiological dependence on this beverage, withdrawal from it can also lead to mental issues.

According to a study conducted in the Netherlands, too much caffeine consumption from tea (>300 mg/day) may lead to pregnancy-induced hypertension (8). However, further research is required to substantiate these claims.

Conclusion

Although you can continue drinking Earl Grey tea during pregnancy, you must restrict your consumption to 1-2 cups per day. You also need to consult your doctor if you are suffering from any other health concerns.

Switching over to decaffeinated black tea is a much better idea to rule out any problems during pregnancy.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What teas are safe to drink while pregnant?

Tea that is low in caffeine content or decaffeinated tea is safe to drink while pregnant. But, nothing in excess is advisable during pregnancy. So, consult your doctor before drinking any beverages.

Is Earl Grey tea high in caffeine?

Earl Grey tea contains almost the same amount of caffeine as black tea. Herbal varieties and decaffeinated Earl Grey tea contain a lesser amount of caffeine.

Do you put milk in Earl Grey tea?

Earl Grey tea should be taken without milk to enjoy its subtle flavor.

Does Earl Grey tea keep you awake?

Earl Grey tea contains lesser caffeine compared to coffee, so drinking a cup of it in the evening will not keep you awake like other beverages.

What is the difference between Earl Grey and English breakfast tea?

Earl Grey tea is a blend of black tea and bergamot oil. It has a citrus flavor that can be enjoyed without milk. English breakfast tea is mainly the Ceylon variety of tea that is enjoyed with milk and sugar.

8 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
  • Navarra, Michele et al. “Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application.” Frontiers in pharmacologyvol. 6 36. 2 Mar. 2015, doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00036
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345801/
  • Bunker, M L, and M McWilliams. “Caffeine content of common beverages.” Journal of the American Dietetic Associationvol. 74,1 (1979): 28-32.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/762339
  • Fernandes, O et al. “Moderate to heavy caffeine consumption during pregnancy and relationship to spontaneous abortion and abnormal fetal growth: a meta-analysis.” Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.)vol. 12,4 (1998): 435-44. doi:10.1016/s0890-6238(98)00024-0
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9717693
  • Weng, Xiaoping et al. “Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a prospective cohort study.” American journal of obstetrics and gynecologyvol. 198,3 (2008): 279.e1-8. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2007.10.803
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18221932
  • Bakker, Rachel et al. “Maternal caffeine intake from coffee and tea, fetal growth, and the risks of adverse birth outcomes: the Generation R Study.” The American journal of clinical nutritionvol. 91,6 (2010): 1691-8. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.28792
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20427730
  • Morgan, Sara et al. “Is caffeine consumption safe during pregnancy?.” Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadienvol. 59,4 (2013): 361-2.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3625078/
  • Wierzejska, Regina et al. “Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy and Neonatal Anthropometric Parameters.” Nutrientsvol. 11,4 806. 9 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11040806
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520888/
  • van der Hoeven, Timothy et al. “Antenatal coffee and tea consumption and the effect on birth outcome and hypertensive pregnancy disorders.” PloS onevol. 12,5 e0177619. 16 May. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0177619
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28520809

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Priyanka Sadhukhan

Priyanka is a nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate about science and how it can be applied to one’s daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine, and proper nutrition is key to achieving good health. She has also written a book on PCOS and its management for doctors and patients. When she is not working, she loves spending quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and endorses healthier alternatives to junk foods to promote good health.
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