skip to main content
Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Pregnancy
Updated on
December 19, 2023

Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Pregnancy

Babylist editors love baby gear and independently curate their favorite products to share with you. If you buy something through links on our site, Babylist may earn a commission.
Pinterest logo.
Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Pregnancy.
Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Pregnancy

From the moment you start telling people you’re pregnant, you’re likely to hear about all the things you’ll have to avoid over the coming months. From various foods and drinks to medications and certain kinds of physical activity, it can feel like there’s a long list of things that are considered unsafe for pregnancy—and alcohol is high on that list.

While it’s true that healthcare experts don’t consider alcohol consumption to be safe at any point during pregnancy, if you’re missing the taste of your favorite alcoholic beverage or if you’re looking for a way to not feel left out while everyone else is drinking, there are thankfully quite a few non-alcoholic drinks on the market that taste pretty similar to the real thing.

Are non-alcoholic drinks safe during pregnancy?

Before you make your trip to the store to grab any ol’ bottle labeled “non-alcoholic,” there are a few things you need to know about alcohol levels and legal labeling requirements. The biggest thing: there are some drinks labeled as “non-alcoholic” that do, in fact, contain a small amount of alcohol. And remember, no amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy, so it’s important to read all labels closely to see exactly the alcohol by volume in every drink. Here are the types of labels you’re likely to find:

Non-Alcoholic

This is the label you’ll see the most often, and it’s also the one to pay most attention to when trying to avoid alcohol. Technically, drinks only need to have 0.5% ABV or less to legally qualify as “non-alcoholic”…but half a percent isn’t zero, so the label is misleading.

If you find a drink labeled “Non-Alcoholic” or “N/A,” look closely at the label for the ABV. More often than not, it’ll say something like “Contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.” While you’re not likely to get even slightly tipsy off of that level of alcohol after a few drinks, it’s still important to talk to your healthcare provider about it before you try any.

(By the way, 0.1-0.2% ABV is about the same amount that can sometimes be naturally found in fruit juices and bread, believe it or not, all thanks to the natural fermentation process some foods go through.)

Alcohol-Removed

These drinks begin as either regular alcoholic beverages or they’re made with reduced amounts of alcohol to begin with. Either way, at some point during production, the alcohol is removed via filtration or chemical process to end up with a non-alcoholic version.

The important thing to note about this label is that the alcohol can never be completely removed from these products, so they can sometimes have higher than 0.5% ABV, which starts to cross the thin line between non-alcoholic and maybe-just-a-little-bit-alcoholic.

Again, look closely at the ABV and potentially avoid these drinks while pregnant.

Alcohol-Free

Sometimes labeled as “0.0%” products, these drinks have no detectable amounts of alcohol. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s absolutely zero alcohol in them, but the amount is so minimal that it doesn’t even show up in lab analysis.

Adaptogens

Another thing to look out for on labels is adaptogens, a botanical substance (usually certain herbs or mushrooms) sometimes added to homeopathic medicines or beverages as mood lifters.

Adaptogens have been claimed to replicate that “buzz” you’d get from regular alcoholic drinks, but it’s best to avoid them during pregnancy. Not enough research has been done to prove they’re safe for consumption during pregnancy. (Note: it’s also good to avoid adaptogens when you’re trying to conceive.)

Can I drink mixers while pregnant?

If you’re looking to make a mocktail, there’s no shortage of non-alcoholic mixers you can add to make drinks extra tasty. Just be sure to check that the mixers contain zero percent alcohol. And make sure you watch the sugar content, as well, especially if you’re at risk for gestational diabetes. Common mixers like syrups and juices can often be high in sugar, but you may be able to find low-sugar versions (or just use less when mixing).

A note on tonic water

If you’re mixing with tonic water, some brands may include quinine among their ingredients. Quinine is an anti-parasitic used to treat illnesses like malaria, but it’s also commonly added to tonic water to give it a bitter taste.

Research has shown that quinine crosses the placenta into the fetal bloodstream, so unless you’re actively suffering from malaria, it’s safest to avoid quinine while pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, some newborns have been found to experience withdrawal symptoms after being exposed to tonic water containing quinine.

We get it, it’s a lot to consider, and it can feel more than a little confusing. (And who wants to think about all this when they’re pregnant and just want to enjoy a nice drink?) So we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best pregnancy-safe non-alcoholic drinks in several categories. We evaluated each option based on flavor (especially how close it tastes to its alcoholic counterpart that it’s mimicking) and mix-ability, and these are our favorites.

Keep in mind: No non-alcoholic alternative is going to taste exactly like an alcoholic beverage, but these picks come really close.


Amylia Ryan

Associate Editor

Amylia Ryan is the Associate Editor at Babylist, specializing in the topics of health, wellness and lifestyle products. Combining nearly a decade of experience in writing and editing with a deep passion for helping people, her number one goal in her work is to ensure new parents feel supported and understood. She herself is a parent to two young children, who are more than willing to help product test endless toys, books, clothes, toiletries and more.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.