Dizzy spells, fainting and overheating are all common side effects of not drinking enough water during pregnancy. Adequate hydration is essential for moms-to-be. If you're not a fan of plain water, consider drinking mineral water with fresh lemon juice.
Dehydration Affects Prenatal Health
Health experts recommend drinking plenty of fluids for good reason. First of all, your body is about 60 percent water. Every cell and tissue needs this fluid to function optimally. Water also lubricates your joints, aids in digestion, regulates your temperature and helps flush out waste.
Harvard Health Publishing notes that it's important to drink 30 to 50 ounces of water per day. High-water foods, such as leafy greens, cucumbers, melons and berries, keep you hydrated, too. Raw cucumbers, for example, are over 95 percent water.
While proper hydration is essential for optimal health, it becomes even more important when you're carrying a baby. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dehydration may affect the growth of your unborn child and cause premature labor. Furthermore, it's the primary cause of Braxton Hicks contractions, which tend to occur during the last three months of pregnancy.
Dehydration affects both the mother and her unborn baby. Even if you drink enough water, you may still experience this issue. Morning sickness, for instance, can leave you dehydrated, which in turn, may contribute to headaches during pregnancy.
Water does a lot more than just quench your thirst. This vital fluid helps your body form amniotic fluid, create new tissues and transport dietary nutrients. On top of that, it may help prevent or relieve constipation, lower the risk of preterm birth and protect against urinary tract infections, as the experts at Intermountain Healthcare point out.
Drinking Sparkling Water During Pregnancy
Not everyone enjoys drinking plain water. Some find it boring. Others prefer soda, fruit juices or milk. These beverages, though, are high in sugar and may affect your health when consumed in excess.
Read more: 12 Ways to Make Water Taste (Much) Better
While it's normal to gain some weight during pregnancy, you still need to watch your diet. Expectant mothers who are overweight or obese face a higher risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, hypertensive events and neonatal deaths, according to a review published in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International in April 2018.
Considering these facts, it makes sense to monitor your food intake and avoid empty calories, such as those in soft drinks, while maintaining an active lifestyle.
A healthy option is sparkling mineral water. The tiny bubbles in this beverage fill you up quickly, which may help prevent overeating. Plus, this drink is rich in minerals that keep your bones strong and support overall health.
Read more: Carbonated Water and Weight Loss
Natural mineral waters are particularly beneficial, as noted in a September-December 2016 review published in Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism (CCMBM). These beverages count towards your daily fluid intake and may have therapeutic properties. They are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, chlorine, copper, manganese and minerals.
Calcium, for example, regulates bone growth and development, blood clotting, muscle contraction and other functions, according to the CCMBM review. This mineral may help protect against hypertensive disorders during pregnancy and decrease the risk of preterm birth. Although most studies have been conducted on calcium supplements, mineral water can be a good choice as well.
This drink also contains magnesium, which supports nerve and muscle function, protein synthesis and cardiovascular health. In fact, magnesium contributes to more than 300 enzymatic reactions.
In August 2017, the journal Advanced Biomedical Research published a clinical trial assessing the role of magnesium in pregnancy. As the researchers point out, this mineral may help lower the risk of stillbirth, fetal growth retardation, low birth weight and other pregnancy complications.
Health Benefits of Mineral Water
By now, you should have a better idea of the health benefits of sparkling mineral water. This drink is just as good as plain water, keeping you hydrated. Rich in minerals, it supports prenatal health and may help increase your nutrient intake. Some types of sparkling water may improve digestion, reduce blood pressure and keep you regular.
The review published in CCMBM reports that certain nutrients in mineral water may help prevent constipation. Approximately 38 percent of women experience constipation during pregnancy, according to a January 2015 report featured in the Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. This condition is largely due to the increase in progesterone levels, which affects gut motility.
Sulfate-rich mineral water has a mild laxative effect. Therefore, it may help prevent and alleviate constipation. In a clinical trial, subjects who consumed one liter of sulfate-rich mineral water per day experienced a temporary increase in bowel movement frequency. The results were published in the journal Complementary Medicine Research in December 2016.
Bicarbonate and chloride, which occur naturally in some mineral waters, may have similar effects. These nutrients support digestive function and have laxative effects, as noted in the CCMBM review.
Some types of mineral water are particularly high in iron. These beverages may benefit those who are at risk for anemia and iron deficiency. Pregnant women with severe anemia are at greater risk for preterm birth and other complications. A diet rich in iron may help prevent this condition and improve pregnancy outcomes.
Are There Any Risks?
Drinking sparkling water during pregnancy is generally safe. Be aware, though, that not all brands are created equal.
Flavored sparkling water, for example, may contain added sugars, synthetic flavors and preservatives. Some varieties are highly acidic and may damage the tooth enamel, according to the American Dental Association. These beverages are no better than soda.
Also, there is a risk of toxicity associated with bottled mineral water, as reported in the CCMBM review. Plastic bottles may contain Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) and other potentially harmful compounds that release chemicals into the water.
Some of these chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA), mimic the hormone estrogen and may disrupt endocrine function. Exposure to BPA may cause metabolic disorders, neurological problems and hormonal imbalances, among other health issues.
However, more research is needed to confirm these claims. To stay safe, purchase sparkling water in BPA-free bottles, advises the Mayo Clinic. This information should be listed on the label.
As mentioned earlier, some mineral waters are more nutritious than others. Their composition varies from one brand to the next. Compare the different brands available in your area and choose one rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals that support prenatal health. If you're not sure what to look for, discuss your options with a doctor.
- American Heart Association: "Summer Heat Brings Special Health Risks for Pregnant Women"
- USGS: "The Water in You: Water and the Human Body"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "The Importance of Staying Hydrated"
- USDA: "Raw Cucumbers"
- United States Environmental Protection Agency: "Climate Change and the Health of Pregnant Women"
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: "False Alarm: Braxton Hicks Contractions vs. True Labor"
- University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester: "Headaches in Early Pregnancy"
- Intermountain Healthcare: "How Hydration During Pregnancy Can Benefit You and Your Baby"
- Deutsches Ärzteblatt International: "The Risks Associated With Obesity in Pregnancy"
- Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism: "Natural Mineral Waters: Chemical Characteristics and Health Effects"
- World Health Organization: "Calcium Supplementation in Pregnant Women"
- Cochrane: "Calcium Supplementation During Pregnancy for Preventing Blood Pressure Disorders and Related Problems"
- NIH: "Magnesium"
- NCBI: Advanced Biomedical Research: "Effect of Magnesium Supplement on Pregnancy Outcomes: A Randomized Control Trial"
- Obstetrician & Gynaecologist: "Constipation in Pregnancy"
- Complementary Medicine Research: "Effects of Sulfate-Rich Mineral Water on Functional Constipation: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study"
- American Society of Hematology: "Anemia and Pregnancy"
- American Dental Association: "Erosion: What You Eat and Drink Can Impact Teeth"
- UC San Diego News Center: "BPA’s Real Threat May Be After It Has Metabolized"
- Mayo Clinic: "What Is BPA, and What Are the Concerns About BPA?"