Coffee And Blood Pressure
According to a study in the October 2011 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” drinking coffee substantially raises your blood pressure for up to three hours after consumption. Researchers state that 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine, equal to 2 to 3 cups of coffee depending on the strength, raised the systolic number by 8.1 millimeters of mercury and the diastolic by 5.7. This change took place within an hour of consumption. While researchers observed an immediate increase in blood pressure, they say that being a coffee drinker does not necessarily raise your blood pressure in the long term.
Does Caffeine Influence Blood Pressure
Yes and no. As previously outlined, it can cause short-term increase shortly after consumption. However, there is no evidence to show chronic caffeine consumption has a long-lasting impact on blood pressure meaning if youve been drinking coffee every day for 10 years it will have made virtually no impact on your blood pressureunless, of course, youre adding sugar or other calorie-dense ingredients that can lead to weight gain. But from the standpoint of looking specifically at caffeine, it is neutral with regard to long-term blood pressure.
Not everybody has the same acute reactions to caffeine, however. Tolerance is completely unique and differs from person to person. One person may drink coffee every day and get a buzz after one cup, while another may need two or three to exhibit the same response.
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What Is High Blood Pressure Or Hypertension
Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it is pumped around the body by the heart.
Two numbers are reported when blood pressure is measured. The first number is the systolic pressure – the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest between beats. As mentioned above, a normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a consistent increase in pressure that causes the heart to pump harder and damages blood vessels. It is a primary cause of death worldwide and is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
While caffeine consumption can cause a short-term increase in blood pressure, it is not generally thought to increase the risk of hypertension. Although, some research suggests that certain people could be at increased risk from cardiovascular events such as coronary heart disease or stroke because of caffeine consumption.
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How Quickly Does Caffeine Increase Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is usually affected within 30 minutes of taking caffeine, with the peak effect occurring 1-2 hours after consumption when caffeine levels tend to be at their highest. It can take 3-6 hours for caffeine levels to reduce by half in your system. Blood pressure changes caused by caffeine have been found to last for more than 4 hours.
What To Eat To Lower Your Blood Pressure
A review with five research trials included tested the impact of oats on systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in about 400 healthy adults.
The researchers found that systolic blood pressure was 2.7 mmHg lower and diastolic blood pressure was 1.5 mmHg lower when participants ate around 60 grams of rolled oats or 25 grams of oat bran per day.
This quantity of oats or oat bran contains around four grams of a type of fibre called beta-glucan.
For each extra one gram of total daily fibre, there was an extra 0.11 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
Recommended minimum daily adult fibre intakes are 30 grams for men and 25 grams for women.
While some of fibres effect is due to weight loss, soluble fibres produce bioactive products when theyre fermented in the large bowel. These work directly to lower blood pressure.
To improve your blood pressure, eat rolled oats or oat bran for breakfast, add to meat patties, or mix with breadcrumbs in recipes that call for crumbing.
Beetroot is extremely rich in a compound called inorganic nitrate. During digestion, this gets converted into nitric oxide, which causes arteries to dilate. This directly lowers the pressure in them.
A review of 16 trials of mostly healthy young men found drinking beetroot juice was associated with a 4.4 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure. But it found no change in diastolic blood pressure.
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How To Drink Less Coffee
There are various ways to drink less caffeine without having to give up coffee completely.
One thing to keep in mind though is that its best to reduce the amount of caffeine youre getting gradually as a sudden drop in can give you mild withdrawal symptoms like headaches. Heres what you can do:
Drink coffee thats lower in caffeine
As well as simply drinking less cups of coffee, you can also lower your caffeine intake by switching to a lower-caffeine kind of coffee if you really cant bear to drink decaf!
In general, espresso coffees contain less caffeine than brewed/filter coffee, and coffee made from Arabica coffee beans contains half the caffeine of coffee made from robusta beans.
A good way to control your caffeine levels is to make your own coffee. Experiment with different flavours and methods to see what you like, and take the time to make a really good coffee that youll really relish and enjoy quality rather than quantity and with less caffeine!
NOTE: Theres a very informative article on the caffeine content of different types of coffee here: High Caffeine Coffee Which Coffee is the Strongest?
Drink tea instead of coffee
You can also wholly or partially replace coffee with other less-caffeinated drinks like black tea and green tea. Remember that these still contain caffeine, though much less than coffee, so remember to factor in their caffeine content when figuring out how to stay under your daily caffeine limit.
Drink herbal teas and cordials
Nutrients In Coffee Credited For Fighting Blood Vessel Aging
Most of the men and women drank traditional Greek coffee in small, espresso-sized cups.
Greek coffee is considerably stronger, with more caffeine, than espresso, Chrysohoou tells WebMD.
She credits compounds, including flavonoids, magnesium, potassium, niacin, and vitamin E, for combating blood vessel aging by blocking the damaging oxidation process and reducing harmful inflammation. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. This, in turn, can start chain reactions that damage cells.
Traditional Greek coffee contains more of these chemicals than most other types of coffee as it is unfiltered and boiled, Chrysohoou says.
“We recommend hypertensive patients drink coffee in moderation, just one to two cups a day, as it seems that it may improve arterial aging,” Chrysohoou says.
One limitation of the study is that participants drank their coffee in cafes with friends or with family at home, in a relaxed atmosphere. Therefore, the psychological benefits of socializing on heart health may help explain the findings.
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What Does Coffee Do To Blood Pressure In The Long Term
The long-term side effects of drinking coffee on blood pressure really depend on whether youre a habitual or occasional coffee drinker, according to Dr. George. A 2017 review in the journal Nutrients, found that increased coffee consumption is associated with a small decrease in hypertension, or high blood pressure.
More recent studies suggest that it is safe to drink three to four cups of coffee a day for people who have hypertension, according to Dr. George. And habitual coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women, per a meta-analysis in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
But that doesnt mean more is better.
Studies, like one published in 2019 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people who drank more than six cups of coffee a day had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, than moderate coffee drinkers. Moderate intake was linked to the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, says Satjit Bhusri, MD and founder of Upper East Side Cardiology in New York.
People also need to be mindful of consuming other drinks and even foods with added caffeine, including caffeinated waters, juices, energy drinks, chocolates, candies, and even potato chips, Dr. Bhusri says.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much
As a guideline for the average healthy adult, 400 mg of caffeine is considered safe .
Consuming larger quantities in a day can lead to undesirable side-effects such as anxiety, tremors, heart palpitations and insomnia Especially if you have existing high blood pressure.
However, the severity of these side-effects also depends on your personal caffeine tolerance. Coffee connoisseurs tend to develop a high threshold.
So on an individual level, your true coffee limit actually depends on your genetics, your personal caffeine tolerance, and any existing medical conditions that react with caffeine. Observe how your body responds to caffeine , including a blood pressure reading after you have a cup.
Also be mindful that coffee can vary considerably in its caffeine content. Instant and home-brewed coffee usually contains 60-80 mg per small cup, while a Starbucks grande can have up to 300 mg.
Summary: As a general guideline, more than 3-4 standard coffees per day may cause unwanted side-effects. But your true limit depends on your genetics, your personal caffeine tolerance, and any existing medical conditions. We must consider these factors and observe how our body reacts.
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Caffeine Has Many Benefits
But the benefits of coffee and possibly caffeine alone, ranging from mental to physical, are so many that experts advise people not to stop taking it but rather to take it in moderation – no more than 400 mg per day.
As many philosophers and doctors have said down through the centuries, all things in moderation. Don’t overdo it, and you should be OK.
Caffeine Can Make Your Blood Pressure Climb
The next installment of Lifelines series on high blood pressure and how you can reduce your risk for this condition.
Whether its to jumpstart your day or to stay alert when working the night shift, if you have high blood pressure, think twice before reaching for that cup of coffee, can of soda or energy drink.
All of these beverages contain caffeine. So do a growing number of food products. Unfortunately, in addition to its ability to keep you awake and briefly boost your energy, caffeine can also make your blood pressure rise. While this spike is temporary, if you have high blood pressure 140/90 mm Hg or higher any increase can have serious consequences. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and its related conditions, including heart attack, stroke and heart failure. One in every three Americans and one in every five Canadians have high blood pressure. Among Laborers, heart disease is responsible for more deaths than any other illness or workplace injury.
Caffeine is found naturally in a number of plants including the coffee bean, tea leaf, kola nut and cacao pod. The stimulating effects of caffeine on the central nervous system increased blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and urine output begin within 15 minutes of consumption and can last for more than six hours. This is why consuming caffeine late in the day can interfere with sleep, which in itself can increase risk for high blood pressure.
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Should People With Hypertension Avoid Coffee
The review found that although there were older reports of a link between coffee drinking and hypertension, more recent studies suggested that 34 cups a day had either a neutral or beneficial effect.
A of 40 healthy regular coffee drinkers found that all types of coffee increased blood pressure but that the levels stayed within healthy ranges.
The increase in blood pressure was temporary but still measurable after consumption.
Some research suggests that the amount of coffee that someone drinks determines its effects on blood pressure.
As coffee contains many different compounds aside from caffeine, other compounds could be responsible for its effects on blood pressure.
However, a person could try switching to decaffeinated coffee to see whether their blood pressure decreases.
According to researchers , regular coffee drinkers may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and low mood, if they suddenly stop consuming it. Therefore, if they wish to reduce their consumption, they should cut down the number of cups gradually.
Some alternatives to coffee contain caffeine, while others are naturally caffeine-free. People can try:
- chicory coffee
How Much Is Too Much Caffeine
People are debating this currently, but less than 6 cups of coffee a day should be safe. If you drink more than that long term, you might be at higher risk for heart disease.
You may have heard some media outlets saying recently that its safe to drink as much as 25 cups of coffee a day. Thats an exaggeration. The study theyve been referring to didnt actually look at people who drank more than 25 cups of coffee per day. In fact, most of the people in the heavy coffee drinker category reported only drinking 5 cups a day. Also, the study measured blood pressure, heart rate, and blood vessel stiffnessnot whether patients developed heart disease. We also dont know how long patients in the study stuck to their reported caffeine consumption.
So, as we mentioned, 6 cups a day or less is generally fine. Really, the biggest health concern lies in how you prepare your drink. The sugar and cream that many people like to add to coffee and tea can come with far more health risks than caffeine itself. Those extra calories have no benefits and can raise your risk for diabetes and heart disease over time.
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What Can I Do If Im Concerned About Caffeine And High Blood Pressure
If you are at all concerned about how your caffeine habit may be affecting your heart, here are a few things you can do to help ease your mind:
To sum it up: In most cases, a cup or two of your favorite caffeinated beverage in the morning wont cause any harm. Unless your doctor told you to specifically avoid it, its not something you should lose sleep over. The high blood pressure that comes right after drinking caffeine is temporary and wont make you any more likely to develop hypertension later in life.
Now, if youll excuse me, I need to finish my large, iced, French vanilla coffee.
Caffeine Has An Immediate Short
Coffee is the most popular hot beverage in the Americas, Australia and most of Europe.
As coffee beans contain caffeine, that makes coffee our biggest source of caffeine.
Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that stimulates the release of certain hormones in the brain . This is why coffee gives us an energy kick.
Caffeine also gives a kick to our blood pressure, and is actually a well-documented pressor . Increases tend to be mild, in the range of 5 to 10 mmHg. Thats regardless of how often you drink coffee or your caffeine tolerance, although there are always rare exceptions .
Caffeine appears to have a greater pressor effect on those with elevated blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure. And those effects are not suppressed by the use of blood pressure lowering medications .
Coffee is sounding pretty grim right now, but caffeine only appears to elevate blood pressure for about 3 hours before the effect subsides .
So what does this mean for our health in the long run?
Summary: Drinking coffee immediately increases blood pressure, regardless of your caffeine tolerance. The effect typically only lasts for a maximum of 3 hours though.
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How To Reduce The Effects Of Caffeine On Blood Pressure Without Drinking Less Coffee
If you drink a lot of coffee and have high blood pressure then its likely youre going to need to drink less coffee. But there are other things you can do to try to reduce the effect of caffeine in blood pressure.
This is because the effect of caffeine intake may be exacerbated by other substances or activities which also increase your blood pressure. So:
Avoid caffeine before doing exercise or any highly energetic activity hard labour, workouts, runs, brisk walks. These already raise your blood pressure, and the extra effect of caffeine can mean your heart has to work too hard. Stay away from caffeine for at least an hour before getting into it drink water instead.
Dont smoke and drink coffee tobacco also raises blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels, so coffee and a cigarette arent such a perfect combination for your blood pressure!
Does Coffee Raise Blood Pressure
As a stimulant, coffee makes people more alert and awake. Over 154 million adults, or 75% of the US population, are reported to consume some form of it every day. Due to its popularity, there needs to be a better understanding of how it can impact your health. Experts agree that in moderation coffee is not unhealthy, but how does it affect your blood pressure?
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