How Much Coffee Should I Drink If I Have High Blood Pressure
Its up to you to decide how much coffee you can have if you have high blood pressure. Some recommend limiting your caffeine intake to 200 mg caffeine per day for healthy blood pressure. This is roughly the equivalent of two cups of brewed coffee per day. If you have high blood pressure, then this guideline could be worth following especially if youre specifically trying to lower your blood pressure, rather than just maintain it at its current level.
Keep in mind though that two cups per day may still increase blood pressure too much for some. Each persons sensitivity to caffeine is different, and can change.
You can try to assess the short-term effect of caffeine by taking blood pressure readings. Take a reading first at rest before having any caffeine, and again about 30-60 minutes afterwards . If your readings go up 5-10 points after caffeine then its likely youre sensitive to it.
However, this doesnt measure any subtle ongoing effects that caffeine may be having on your blood pressure. So if youre trying to lower your blood pressure, better to keep your caffeine intake on the low side.
Personal factors relating to coffee and high blood pressure
When figuring out what amount of caffeine is healthy for you, you also need to consider personal characteristics and other activities which exacerbate the effects of caffeine. These include:
Your age: The older you get especially once youre over 70 the more your blood pressure is likely to react to caffeine.
How To Get Less Caffeine
Lower your caffeine intake gradually
If your current caffeine intake is much higher than a few daily cups of coffee, then be aware that a sudden drop in your caffeine intake can cause mild withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety.
You can make the transition easier by reducing your caffeine intake over the course of a week or more.
As well as just cutting the number of cups of coffee you drink, there are other ways you can reduce the caffeine youre getting, such as changing the kind of coffee you drink or switching to other drinks that are lower in caffeine or dont contain caffeine at all.
Drink less coffee
The simplest way drink less cups of coffee and/or drink smaller cups of coffee.
Drink coffee thats lower in caffeine
In general, espresso coffees contain less caffeine than brewed/filter coffee, and of course decaffeinated coffee contains the least of all. See the links at the bottom of this page for details of the caffeine content of different drinks.
Drink tea instead of coffee
Replace coffee with other less caffeinated drinks, like black and green tea. As well as containing less caffeine, they also contain substances which can actually help lower your blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure And Coffee
Now, let me say a word about coffee and people with high blood pressure. Should you drink coffee if you have high blood pressure?
Of course, you can drink coffee if you have high blood pressure. But you need to be careful.
When your blood pressure rises with coffee use, the effect is not responsive to high blood pressure medications. It is a sustained effect that is not easily reversed with high blood pressure pills.
Secondly, the effect of coffee or caffeine on people with high blood pressure is much more dramatic compared to people without high blood pressure .
So, whereas, you may have a rise of 6 mmHg systolic in someone without high blood pressure, you who has high blood pressure may experience a systolic rise of 12 mmHg or higher.
Now remember, I said earlier on that BP increase with coffee does last up to 3 hours. Imagine, if you are one of those people who drinks several cups of coffee a day.
Imagine a situation where youre constantly topping up your coffee fix when you are experiencing a caffeine crash every 4 hours or so. What do you think will happen?
Your elevated blood pressure reading will be sustained. Because whenever your blood pressure is beginning to settle, you spike it again with your top-up coffee.
Can you see how you can sabotage your blood pressure control efforts by your coffee drinking habits?
Heres something else
Everyone is different when it comes to coffee and blood pressure. How?
Which one are you?
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How Caffeine And Alcohol Affect Your Blood Pressure
Ask someone what they can do to address high blood pressure , and the first answer is nearly always something like cut back on salt. We dietitians also like to teach people about foods you can add that can help . But rarely do I hear talk of alcohol and caffeine.
The bottom line is simple: Drink too much alcohol and high blood pressure is just one of numerous health consequences you risk. And while caffeine can increase blood pressure for 1-3 hours, in moderation its not considered a cause of hypertension or a concern in terms of overall cardiovascular health.
How much is too much? Heres what the blood pressure guidelines say:
Staying On Top Of Your Health
Monitoring your blood pressure is important to ensure that your heart is healthy, whether you regularly drink coffee or not. With QardioArm, you can monitor your blood pressure wherever and whenever. It is completely wireless and connects to a state-of-the-art app. QardioArm is ideal for anyone looking for an efficient, practical way to monitor their blood pressure.
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Coffee And Your Blood Pressure
Coffee has been part of the human diet for about 1,000 years. During much of that time, it has stimulated controversy and in the age of Starbucks, the dispute has blossomed from a tempest in a coffee pot to grounds for serious debate. Some of coffee’s negative press seems to depend on the widespread belief that anything that tastes so good must be bad for you.
But there is a serious side to the argument: Coffee stimulates the nervous system, increasing alertness. But many people are sensitive to even one cup of coffee, making them feel jittery or interfering with sleep.
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Caffeine’s Effect On Blood Pressure
May 17, 2002 — The caffeine jolt of a java fix may cause a jump in blood pressure — a particular problem in people who already have high blood pressure. But don’t put your coffee cup down just yet. Researchers say the jury’s still out on the effects on caffeine on your heart.
This new study was presented today at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Hypertension in New York City.
Although there has been a lot of recent interest in studying how caffeine may affect the heart and blood pressure, the authors say it’s the first time an effect of caffeine has been found on the stiffness of arteries, an indicator of heart function.
In the study, caffeine quickly increased the stiffness of the large arteries in people with high blood pressure, said study author Charalambos Vlachopoulos, MD, of the department of cardiology at Athens Medical School in Greece, at a news conference.
Vlachopoulos and colleagues tested the effects of caffeine on the major arteries of 10 people who were being treated for high blood pressure and were an average of 62 years old. On alternating days, the participants were given either a pill containing 250 mg of caffeine or a placebo.
Thirty minutes after the caffeine was given, there was a big jump in the stiffness of their arteries, said Vlachopoulos. The effect peaked after 60 minutes and remained significant for at least three hours.
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Caffeine Blood Pressure And The Heart
Evidence has repeatedly shown that consumption of caffeine does not increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, or heart attack. One very well-known study examined more than 85,000 women over a ten-year period and found that there was no increased risk of these diseases, even in women who drank more than six cups of coffee per day. The Joint National Committee on Hypertension has specifically stated that there is no evidence linking coffee/tea and high blood pressure.
While some studies have shown a weak link between caffeine and elevations in blood pressure, the results are complicated and only consider short-term effects.
For example, one widely quoted study found that blood pressure rose slightly in subjects almost immediately after consuming a caffeinated beverage and that this blood pressure rise was more pronounced in people with pre-existing high blood pressure. However, these elevations were not very large and only lasted a short time. The study also showed that in about 15 percent of people with existing high blood pressure, drinking a caffeinated beverage actually caused a decrease in blood pressure.
Two important studies published in 2007 further supported the existing body of evidence by again demonstrating that:
- Caffeine-induced blood pressure changes were small and short-lived
- Caffeine does not contribute to disorders of the blood vessels associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
Does Caffeine Raise Blood Pressure
To be clear, caffeine does actually affect blood pressure. When you consume caffeine, whether it be from coffee, an energy drink, or supplement, one of its effects is to spike your blood pressure.
Caffeine raises blood pressure by blocking adenosine, a compound that helps blood vessels stay relaxed and open. Without the adenosine, blood vessels constrict, the heart must work harder to move blood through your system, and so the pressure rises.
This rise kicks off within 15 minutes of consumption and can last 4-6 hours. If you dont consume more, things should return to normal.
Many of us are in this position. We like our coffee or energy drink or soda or tea, and we pay no thought to the consequences of that little burst of blood pressure. Why? Because we never notice.
Hypertension, as stated above, has many risk factors, so you might get it irrespective of your caffeine consumption. If you get hypertension though, that spike in blood pressure can be serious, and caffeine will be one of the first things off the list if you get diagnosed with it.
For a small subset of us, our genetics make this all better or worse, depending on one little gene variant.
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Does Coffee Raise Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels
I know this topic is about coffee drinking and blood pressure but a quick word about coffee and blood sugar wouldnt go amiss for completeness. The reason is most people who have concerns about their BP reading when they drink coffee also worry about the effect of coffee on their blood sugar levels too.
Not to mention that they may be concerned about coffee and their insulin level.
Truth be told, just like coffee and blood pressure studies, the results for coffee and blood sugar are mixed.
For instance, this meta-analysis tells us that caffeine intake increases blood glucose levels. Not just that, in majority of the studies they pooled together, the study results suggest that caffeine intake whether it be from coffee or tea prolongs the period of high blood sugar levels.
Some other reports like this one did not make any significant association either way, so long as the intake of coffee or caffeine was limited to 2.5 mg/kg body weight per day.
The same could be said for relationship between caffeine and insulin levels and insulin sensitivity. Some studies suggest caffeine will raise insulin levels, other say coffee or caffeine has no effect on insulin.
Others like this one however indicate caffeine or coffee is good for type 2 diabetes. Meaning coffee has a protective effect and actually improves insulin sensitivity. So, consuming coffee means you need less insulin to drop your blood glucose levels.
Some Benefits Of Coffee For High Blood Pressure
The relationship of coffee and high blood pressure isnt clear-cut. As well as studies giving somewhat mixed results, some suggest that some of the ingredients in coffee can benefit high blood pressure. Coffee contains antioxidants and also some potassium. Since these substances are known to be good for the cardiovascular system, some thus argue that coffee can be good for your blood pressure.
Have a look at our guest post by Allison Jones of CoffeeUrban.com for an overview of some of the key scientific studies on caffeine and high blood pressure: What Does the Science Say? Taking an Evidence-Based Look at the Impact of Caffeine on Blood Pressure
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Synthesis Of The Data
In each clinical trial, the net effect of coffee/caffeine on BP was calculated as the difference in mean SBP and DBP change between the intervention and control groups. In crossover designs, the effect of coffee/caffeine was calculated as the difference in BP between the intervention and control periods.
In the meta-analysis of clinical trials on the acute effects of coffee/caffeine on BP, each period of time with BP measurements after the administration of coffee/caffeine was considered as an independent stratum . When a study had more than one measurement in the same period of observation, we used the mean of those measurements. For example, in the study by Freestone and Ramsay , 3 strata were considered, because measures after caffeine intake were available for the first , second , and third periods of observation in both the intervention and control groups. However, protocols a and b in the study by Potter et al were considered as independent studies because they considered different times of caffeine abstinence before the intervention and included a different number of participants. Because none of the studies selected presented the SDi of the mean BP in each stratum, it was estimated by using the following formula:
where SEMi is the SEM in each stratum and ni is the size of each stratum. In studies without information on SEM or other sources to calculate the SD , the SEM was imputed in a standardized way by using the prognostic method with the following formula:
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.
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Does Coffee Raise Blood Pressure Time To Clarify The Confusion
Coffee is one of the worlds most popular drinks.
Taste and social value aside, its generally considered a health food and is linked to numerous metabolic health benefits.
However, there is a lot of confusion around its impact on blood pressure.
Many foods are shown to be beneficial, but does coffee raise blood pressure? Is there more to consider if you already have high blood pressure?
This article digs through the current research to clarify any confusion.
How Much Does Caffeine Increase Blood Pressure
A normal blood pressure reading is considered to be less than 120 mm Hg systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic. The results from one study suggest that around five cups per day of coffee caused a 1-2 mm Hg increase in blood pressure. Reviews have also reported changes of between 3-15 mm Hg systolic and 4-13 mm Hg diastolic after caffeine consumption.
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Does Coffee Raise Blood Pressure And Blood Sugar
One question that bothers quite a lot of people is whether coffee does raise blood pressure or not. If you drink coffee, this is something youd like to know the truth about.
And I am here to clear the confusion about coffee and blood pressure. And as a bonus you get to know if coffee will raise your blood sugar or not as well. How cool is that?
This is very important because millions of people drink coffee everyday. And millions of people all over the world have high blood pressure. In fact, high blood pressure is leading cause of health problems in a lot of countries.
Is it possible that habitual coffee drinking may be contributing to the problem we have regarding high blood pressure worldwide? It is not impossible to think along those lines.
But I suspect such reasoning might lead us the wrong path.
Yes, millions of people drink coffee habitually. Yes, millions of people have high blood pressure. But so do non-coffee drinkers too. Occassional coffeee drinkers or those who do not drink coffeee at all for whatever reason also do suffer from high blood pressure.
Oh, lets not forget. There are those who do not drink coffee but drink lots of tea with caffeine in them. Caffeine is not only present in coffee beans but also in a lot of tea leaves too.
With many people turning to natural remedies for their health problems, it is not surprising that herbal teas like green tea and black tea have become a staple in many homes.
What Are The Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
Hypertension can creep up on you. Most people dont realize they have it until they are in a situation where their blood pressure is checked or something bad happens like a heart attack.
This is one of the main reasons for being preventative with your health! Its not like you have nerve fibers in your blood vessels to tell you when the pressure is getting too high, so getting ahead of the problem can be a huge advantage.
Some of the things that can factor into high blood pressure include :
Notice whats not on that list? Yep! You dont see caffeine there, but well get there in a minute.
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