Here at Zero.Zilch.Zip, we’re big believers in low and no-alcohol free drinks enriching your life (rather than feeling like something has been taken away!)
However, the question of whether you can enjoy alcohol free versions of your favourite pub order when pregnant is hotly debated. Here, we’ll take a closer look at whether you can indulge or whether you should steer clear…
The official advice
The NHS advises that if you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, the safest approach is not to drink any alcohol at all. This includes beer and lager as well as wine and spirits.
When you drink alcohol, it passes through the placenta to your baby. Your growing baby is unable to process alcohol because the liver is one of the last organs to develop and won't mature until the later stages of your pregnancy.
This means that drinking alcohol during pregnancy could have a serious impact on your baby's development. Research also suggests that drinking when pregnant can lead to behavioural and learning difficulties in your child as they grow.
What about alcohol-free drinks?
In the UK, alcohol-free means drinks below 0.05% ABV (alcohol by volume) and ‘low-alcohol’ means drinks below 1.2% ABV. But in many countries, including all those in the EU, drinks that contain 0.5% alcohol or less are considered to be alcohol-free.
Of course, drinks that contain up to 0.5% ABV are not free of alcohol, but lawmakers realised there is already naturally occurring alcohol in many of the things we eat or drink.
For example, a 2016 German study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, found that grape juice has 0.86% (more that 0.5% beer!) and bananas 0.02% ABV.
There hasn’t yet been extensive (or much at all!) research on the effects of enjoying 0.5% ABV drinks during pregnancy, so any decision is best taken with the guidance of your doctor. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an amazing selection of 0.0% ABV options including Days Lager and Brulo Lust for Life IPA.
Here’s the lowdown
As we were doing the research for this post, we realised just how divided this topic can be (especially with the lack of research!). The question 'can you have non-alcoholic beer when pregnant?' was never going to be as straightforward as you may think!
Deciding whether to enjoy 0.5% alcohol-free drinks is your choice. We’ve learnt that you can find more naturally occurring alcohol content in the food and drinks that we all enjoy every day – however, there are plenty of delicious 0% alcohol-free drinks if you’d prefer to cut out all trace amounts for peace of mind.