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Does Caffeine Cause Atrial Fibrillation

How Caffeine Can Lead To Palpitations

Can Food or Drinks Cause Arrhythmias Like Atrial Fibrillation?

Caffeine is an incredibly popular stimulant. More than 85% of the United States population consumes at least one caffeinated beverage each day, and 96% of that consumption comes from coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

If you enjoy caffeinated beverages but have noticed heart palpitations, you may wonder whether your daily cup of joe is to blame.

Rely on board-certified cardiovascular physician Ayim Djamson, MD, and his team at Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants to help you keep your heart as healthy and as strong as possible. Heart palpitations, though brief and short-lived, shouldnt be ignored, as they could signal an underlying issue with your heart.

Visit us if you suspect that lifestyle habits such as drinking caffeine are causing your heart symptoms. Dr. Djamson performs a comprehensive evaluation to check your heart health. Here we discuss caffeine, how it can lead to heart palpitations, and what you can do about it.

Serious Lifestyle Changes After A Trip To The Er

I saw Pete a few weeks after his ER visit. He’d experienced heart palpitations before, but they’d been shorter and stopped on their own. His recent episode had lasted four to five hours, and when he became short of breath, he decided to go to the emergency room. He told me that this was a wake-up call, and that he was going to make some serious lifestyle changes.

The first thing he mentioned is something I hear very often: I’ve given up coffee completely, even though I didnt want to. His additional changes included trying to lose weight, get more exercise, stress less, and eat a better diet. But did he really have to give up coffee?

Caffeine And Your Heart

Caffeine is one of the most researched dietary components, and we know a lot about how it affects the body. However, research examining caffeines link to heart palpitations has been conflicting, with some studies showing a connection and others not.

This is because in healthy people, caffeine does not appear to cause heart palpitations. However, some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine and may experience heart symptoms such as palpitations.

Caffeine affects the heart in multiple ways. Firstly, it promotes the release of noradrenaline and norepinephrine. Among other things, these hormones increase heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, caffeine can act on enzymes that stimulate heart contractions, causing the heart to contract with more force.

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Avoid Alcohol Especially Binge Drinking

If you really tie one on, or binge drink, you may feel an AFib episode, or the so-called holiday heart syndrome, the next day. But even just having a beer or two daily can bring on a rapid heartbeat and other AFib symptoms. To reduce your odds of having an AFib attack, swap out alcoholic beverages for water or another low-calorie drink.

Guidelines For Afib And Caffeine Intake

Does caffeine cause atrial fibrillation?

If you are someone who enjoys foods and beverages containing caffeine on a regular basis, continuing consumption will not likely trigger an episode of AFib if you monitor your intake and make wise choices .

  • Cut out or abstain from caffeine if you have a history of sensitivity to it.
  • Keep your consumption to a moderate and consistent amount, as increasing your intake could lead to an AFib episode.
  • Make sure to always read labels on any over-the-counter cold medications or pain relievers if you have a history of adverse reactions to.


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How Do You Stop An Afib Episode

There are many ways that people manage their atrial fibrillation at home including many of my own patients. There are up to 4 methods that I frequently discuss with my patients, which can include vagal maneuvers and biofeedback just to name a few. but it is also important to know when is the right time to seek emergency treatment for AFib. Check out my article for tips for managing atrial fibrillation attacks at home here.

Does Coffee Disturb Your Hearts Rhythm

BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 24: Cups of just-brewed flat white, a variation on the classic … cappuccino, stand on a counter at Bonanza Coffee Roasters on January 24, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Bonanza founder Kiduk Reus is among a growing number of so-called third wave artisinal coffee bean roasters who are finding a niche market in Europe and the USA for their carefully-crafted and expensive coffee. Reus insists that the cast iron parts, the slow-roasting abilities and hands-on controls of his flame-roasting, refurbished 1918 Probat machine allow him to develop the most flavour from his carefully selected beans.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia in the U.S. and Europe, affecting millions of people every day. A-fib is a condition where your heart beats irregularly and less efficiently than normal. Some people experience a-fib without even being aware of it, but it is a serious condition that leads to an estimated 750,000 hospitalizations per year in the U.S. alone.

As appealing as it sounds, this advice is wrong, at least for men.

In a study published in 2019 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Vijaykumar Bodar and colleagues at Harvard Medical School looked at data from nearly 19,000 men who participated in the long-term Physicians Health Study. They looked at the risk of atrial fibrillation in men drinking anywhere from no coffee at all to 4 or more cups per day.

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Can Afib Go Away On Its Own

Episodes of atrial fibrillation may come and go and resolve on their own in the earlier stages of atrial fibrillation. However, the long-term condition of atrial fibrillation is unlikely to correct itself if nothing is done. Atrial Fibrillation can be improved dramatically through a variety of methods including medications, procedures, and lifestyle modifications. Read more about common AFib treatments and success rate here.

Try The Valsalva Maneuver

How Can Stress Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

A breathing technique called the Valsalva maneuver can prevent an AFib episode. You donât need any special equipment, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. Simply pinch your nostrils and keep your mouth closed while attempting to breathe for 10 to 15 seconds. This increases the pressure inside your ear and chest, which reduces some heart arrhythmias. Your ears might pop, and thatâs OK. Just donât blow too hard, as it might damage your ear.

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Can Food Or Drinks Cause Arrhythmias Like Atrial Fibrillation

Alcohol, caffeine and over-the-counter sinus or cold medications can all lead to arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, such as in atrial fibrillation. For some people, half a cup of coffee can trigger the irregular, fast heart rates of atrial fibrillation. Drinking too much alcohol at one time may trigger arrhythmias in some people who are sensitive to alcohol. Taking decongestants for sinus problems can also result in a rapid and/or irregular heartbeat.

Stopping the alcohol, caffeine and sinus or cold medicines should allow the heartbeat to go back to its normal rhythm. If you still notice that your heartbeat is rapid and/or irregular, call your doctor and get it checked out. Working with your doctor, you can find the best medications and treatments to help resolve your situation.

Can Dehydration Cause Atrial Fibrillation

Another thing that can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation is dehydration. Dehydration is a very common trigger for atrial fibrillation and brings together some of the other points that I discussed earlier, topics like caffeine, dehydration, and stress. Some of the things that lead to the episode of atrial fibrillation is actually the dehydration. Caffeine and alcohol, for example, are powerful diuretics. As a result, if you’re not drinking enough water to supplement, you can become dehydrated. Any type of dehydration can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation.

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What Are Heart Palpitations

Most of the time, youre likely unaware of the beating or rhythm of your heart. A normal resting heart rate is 60 to 100 beats-per-minute, and the heart has a characteristic rhythm when it beats. Unless your heart is beating fast or hard, you likely wont notice it beating.

Heart palpitations are the feeling that your heart is beating irregularly. It may feel like its pounding, beating too fast, or fluttering. Common causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Certain medications

Stimulants, including caffeine, are known to affect heart rate, but just how does caffeine affect the heart?

Feel Free To Enjoy That Coffee Without Worrying About Your Heart New Research Says

Atrial Fibrillation

If youve been told to avoid coffee because it might make your heart beat irregularly, recent research suggests it may be time to rethink that recommendation.

Theres this quite pervasive conventional wisdom that people who have or are at risk of arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, should avoid caffeine, said Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. Many patients who come to see him have already been told by other doctors to steer clear of caffeinated products, such as coffee, he said.

But a growing body of scientific research, including a new study conducted by Marcus and other researchers at UCSF, suggests that such advice may be unnecessarily depriving many people of their daily coffee fix.

The latest study analyzed data from more than 380,000 people and found that coffee drinking habits were not associated with an increased risk of arrhythmias. Neither was an individuals ability to metabolize caffeine, according to the results, in JAMA Internal Medicine.

In fact, analysis of self-reported coffee consumption appeared to indicate that those who drank more had a potentially lower risk of developing certain types of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, or AFib, which can cause blood clots, stroke and heart failure, among other health complications. At least 2.7 million Americans are living with the condition, according to the American Heart Association.

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Other Risk Factors For A

Interestingly, people with A-fib report that the same activities, such as going for a walk, might prompt an attack one day and not the next.

Additionally, heart disease is a known risk factor for A-fib, as are age, obesity, and genetics, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and European ancestry.

However, there is a closer connection between obstructive sleep apnea and A-fib than any other risk factor.

A list of further potential A-fib causes includes:

  • certain medical procedures
  • exercise

Caffeine Consumption From Coffee And Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and involves the two upper chambers of the heart. People with atrial fibrillation usually have a significantly increased risk of stroke.

To date, research has not demonstrated an association between coffee consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation, although some studies have suggested that coffee consumption may have a protective effect25-32:

This information is intended for Healthcare professional audiences. Please consider the environment before printing.

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Does Caffeine Cause Atrial Fibrillation

By | Submitted On December 24, 2006

Atrial fibrillation is a heart disorder, most often found in older adults. During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two small upper chambers quiver rather than beating effectively. As a result, blood isn’t pumped completely out of the chambers, so it can pool and clot.

Approximately 2.2 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation. The likelihood of developing this disorder increases with age. Doctors estimate that three to five percent of those over age 65 have this disorder.

Atrial fibrillation can be dangerous because, if a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke can result. In fact, about 15% of all strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.

There are several ways to treat atrial fibrillation. The most common treatments include:

oMedications, which slow down the rapid heart rate associated with atrial fibrillation.

oElectrical cardioversion – This is basically an electric shock that restores normal rhythm. It is typically used when medications don’t improve symptoms.

oDrugs can sometimes restore the heart’s normal rhythm. These drugs are given under medical supervision, and are delivered through an IV tube into a vein, usually in the patient’s arm.

oSurgery can be used to disrupt electrical pathways that generate atrial fibrillation.

oPacemakers can be implanted under the skin to regulate the heart rhythm.

Who’s At Risk for Atrial Fibrillation?

Is Caffeine Causing My Heart Palpitations

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment Options

For years researchers believed caffeines stimulant effects on the heart were responsible for heart palpitations. Recent research suggests this isnt necessarily the case. That doesnt mean caffeine isnt causing your heart symptoms, and it doesnt vindicate caffeine completely.

The body adapts to the effects of caffeine. Therefore, healthy people who regularly drink coffee are unlikely to experience symptoms such as heart palpitations. Caffeine can cause heart palpitations in people with a sensitivity to caffeine and those with an underlying heart condition.

If youre new to caffeine consumption or drink excess amounts, youre more likely to experience heart symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to visit a heart specialist for a checkup.

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Can Stress Trigger Afib

Another thing that can trigger episodes of atrial fibrillation is just stress by itself. Stress by itself, whether that is stress at home, or stress at work, can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation. How does stress increase episodes of atrial fibrillation? First, when people are in periods of stress, they may also have these stress-related hormones released that can trigger episodes of atrial fibrillation. Also, the habits that people have when they’re stressed also can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation. Those habits may include sleep deprivation. Perhaps you’re not sleeping as much when you’re stressed but other stress habits can include more caffeine intake because you’re tired or more alcohol intake because you’re stressed, and so all of those habits together can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation.

The Top 10 Atrial Fibrillation Triggers

A few years back, my good friend, Mellanie True Hills, the founder of the website, teamed up with researchers from the University of California at San Francisco in an effort to better understand atrial fibrillation triggers. What they found in their investigation was that people who are healthier usually have definitive triggers, while people who are less healthy might not even require a trigger to push their heart out of rhythm. They also found that while just about everyone has different triggers, some triggers are far more common than others.

There an important distinction to make here between causes and triggers. Itimportant to understand both, but the long-term factors that put people atgreater risk of AFib, also known as substrate causes , aren always the samethings that prompt a specific incident of AFib. Here, a wildfire analogy might behelpful: Any spark can trigger a single blaze, but the chances of having lots offires in a season are greatly increased by conditions that accumulate over time,including drought, insect infestation and the growth of underbrush.

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What Can Trigger Atrial Fibrillation

Modifiable risk factors for atrial fibrillation include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, and excessive alcohol use. Some of these, like smoking and excessive alcohol use are risk factors for atrial fibrillation and are also direct AFib triggers. Other triggers for atrial fibrillation include stress, certain medications, inflammation and excessive physical activity


Smoking increases the risk of atrial fibrillation by increasing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and COPD. However, it also causes atrial fibrillation by having a direct toxic effect on the heart. Smoking has been shown to lead to increased stiffness of the left atrium. An increasingly fibrotic left atrium is likely to trigger abnormal electrical signals which cause atrial fibrillation. People who smoke are twice as likely to develop atrial fibrillation as those who do not smoke.


Alcohol is irritating to the hearts electrical conduction system and excessive alcohol use can cause AFib. It can also cause dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities which can trigger atrial fibrillation. If a person with atrial fibrillation is going to drink alcohol, it is recommended that women drink no more than 1 drink per day and men drink no more than 2 drinks per day. A standard drink is 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of hard alcohol , and 12 oz. or regular beer.


Excessive exercise

Positional AFib

Weight gain

An Overview About Caffeine


Caffeine is a substance found in over 60 plants such as coffee beans, kola nuts, cacao pods, guarana and tea leaves.

It falls into the stimulant category because it increases heart rate and blood pressure. It also functions as a diuretic due to its tendency to rid the body of excess water.

Caffeine is present in the following foods and beverages:

  • Chocolate.
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Restlessness and shakiness.

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Coffee Caffeine And Atrial Fibrillation

Caffeine is the most widely consumed behaviorally active substance in the world and almost all caffeine comes from dietary sources, most of it from coffee Associations between coffee, caffeine and AF have had conflicting results. Coffee contains several hundred different substances including lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, alkaloids and phenolic compounds. Nevertheless effects of coffee on cardiovascular system have been mainly related to caffeine.

Caffeine is an alkaloid present in coffee beans, in humans come from a number of dietary sources i.e. tea, coffee, cocoa beverages, chocolate bars and soft drinks and recently energy drinks. . The content of caffeine of these items ranges from 4 to 180 mg/150 ml for coffee, 15 to 29 mg/180 ml for cola, 24 to 50 mg/150 ml for tea, 2 to 7 mg/150 ml for cocoa and 1 to 36 mg/28 mg for chocolate, 100 to 286 mg for common ED, however some brands of ED contain 550 mg caffeine per can or bottle.

The clinical effect of intakes of caffeine from coffee, tea, caffeinated soda and energy drinks on AF remain inconclusive. The patho-physiology of the arrhythmias have been described in detail, however the mechanism underlying electrical changes and the possible triggering factors remain largely unknown. Several studies evaluated the acute effects of caffeine on heart rate and found controversial results.

Caffeine toxicity produces supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation.


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