Should I limit caffeine during pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant, you should limit the amount of caffeine you have to 200 milligrams (mg) a day  the equivalent of two mugs of instant coffee.


Caffeine is found naturally in lots of foods, such as coffee, tea and chocolate. It’s also added to some soft drinks, energy drinks, and cold and flu remedies.

High levels of caffeine during pregnancy can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. Too much caffeine can also cause a miscarriage.

Limiting your caffeine intake

You don’t need to cut caffeine out completely, but you should limit how much you have to no more than 200mg a day. Try decaffeinated tea and coffee, fruit juice or water, and limit the amount of energy drinks you have, as they can be high in caffeine. Don’t worry if you occasionally exceed the recommended limit, because the risks are quite small.

Talk to your midwife, pharmacist or another healthcare professional before taking any medicines, including cold and flu remedies. See the Pregnancy & Baby Guide for more information on alcohol, medicines and drugs during pregnancy.

How much caffeine?

The amount of caffeine found in some foods and drinks is as follows:

  • one mug of instant coffee: 100mg 
  • one mug of filter coffee: 140mg 
  • one mug of tea: 75mg 
  • one can of cola: 40mg 
  • one 250ml can of energy drink: up to 80mg  (larger cans may contain up to 160mg caffeine)
  • one 50g bar of plain chocolate: most products on the UK market contain less than 25mg
  • one 50g bar of milk chocolate: most products on the UK market contain less than 10mg

So, in one day, you will almost reach your 200mg limit of caffeine if you have: 

  • two mugs of tea and one can of cola 
  • one mug of instant coffee and one 250ml can of energy drink

Read the answers to more questions about pregnancy.

Further information:


Media last reviewed:

Next review due:

Page last reviewed: 30/03/2015

Next review due: 01/03/2018