The Relationship Between Coffee And High Blood Pressure
One to two cups of plain black coffee doesnt seem to be harmful, according to the American Heart Association. And coffee even has some surprising potential health benefits, including better focus, reduced inflammation, and lower risk of depression. As far as coffee intake and cardiovascular disease risk factors go, such as high blood pressure, information is mixed.
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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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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How Much Caffeine Can You Drink A Day
The FDA recommends that adults dont drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the average cup of coffee contains 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine whereas a can of caffeinated soft drink contains 30-40 milligrams. According to a review of 34 studies, caffeine may raise your blood pressure, especially if you are not a regular coffee drinker. The review found that in general, drinking anywhere between 200-300 milligrams of caffeine can raise your systolic blood pressure by 8 mm Hg while boosting your diastolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg. The caffeine, however, will usually only raise blood pressure levels for around 3 hours.
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How Coffee Raises Blood Pressure
The following 4 studies will inform you how drinking caffeinated coffee raises your blood pressure immediately after drinking it. Its one of 15 reasons why it fluctuates throughout the day. You can read about all of them in my blog post by clicking here, Fluctuating Blood Pressure and Inconsistent BP Readings. The following studies will teach how the effect of coffee on your blood pressure is less when you are a habitual coffee drinker. The section following this one, will discuss the long-term effects.
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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Can Deep Breathing Help Blood Pressure
Slow, deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which decreases the heart rate and dilates blood vessels, reducing your overall blood pressure. As your breathing becomes slower, your brain associates it with a state of relaxation, which causes your body to slow down other functions like digestion.
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To Sum It Up Does Coffee Raise Blood Pressure
Studies show that coffee increases blood pressure for up to 3 hours , after which it returns back down.
As the effects are so short-lived, for the general population regular coffee consumption does not raise your blood pressure long-term, nor does it appear to increase your risk of cardiovascular health problems.
However, there is a large caveat.
Our individual tolerance of caffeine is largely determined by our genes. Slow caffeine metabolisers have much greater spikes in blood pressure after a coffee, and are far more at risk for negative cardiovascular consequences as a result.
If you suspect you are a slow caffeine metaboliser, and you have existing high blood pressure, I recommend limiting yourself to one coffee per day. Better yet, switch to decaf.
For the majority though, a few coffees per day will not raise blood pressure in the long-run just dont have one before a blood pressure check-up.
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Other Risks Of Coffee And Caffeine
So while it appears there is little risk for high blood pressure among regular coffee drinkers, the question occurs: Are there other risk factors for health in consuming coffee and/or caffeine?
Coffee can cause:
- Difficulty falling asleep or outright insomnia
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Tremors or jitters
- An increased heart rate
And for those who consume a lot of caffeine, it may cause dizziness or headaches and excessive urination and dehydration.
How Decaffeinated Coffee Raises Blood Pressure Compared To Caffeinated
Like I mentioned, coffee has many ingredients besides caffeine. Is it the caffeine alone raising short term blood pressure? If it was, then logic would say, decaffeinated shouldnt raise BP in the same way.
The following studies didnt show much of a difference on blood pressure between drinking caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. The increase in blood pressure seems to be associated with the ingredients in coffee other than caffeine. The short-term increases in blood pressure may happen when drinking regular or decaf.
In a study people were given three different options, a triple espresso, a decaffeinated triple expresso and an injection of equal caffeine. Their effects of blood pressure were measured, and the results may surprise you. The caffeinated expresso raised systolic BP 13 mmHg on average. The decaffeinated expresso raised systolic 12 mmHg. The caffeine injection raised systolic just 6 mmHg 12.
In this study, researchers analyzed 45 people who were considered regular coffee drinkers. They were given 5 cups of caffeinated each day for six weeks and then they were switched over to decaf for the next six weeks. The results showed a small decrease of -1.5 mmHg systolic and -1.0 mmHg diastolic when drinking the decaffeinated coffee 13.
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Drinking Coffee With High Blood Pressure
For most people, moderate consumption of coffee is unlikely to have a negative effect on long-term blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
As with any food, drink or activity, too much of anything may lead to negative effects. The studies and research above evaluated typical coffee consumption up to 5 cups per day. Regardless of their finds, they caution not to drink excess coffee or caffeine with high or uncontrolled blood pressure.
Before changing any of your habits, it would be wise to have your blood pressure under control first. As in any case, its always best to confer with your physician about drinking coffee.
Coffee should not be compared to caffeine. Coffee has many other ingredients like polyphenols, potassium and soluble fiber. These ingredients may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. This leads me to my next section on caffeine.
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.
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Is There A Recommended Intake For Each
According to the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs, moderate tea or coffee drinking is not likely to be harmful to your health as long as you have other good health habits. Reference Daily Intake is this:30
- Four 8 oz cups of brewed or drip coffee.
- Five servings of tea, which is about 165 to 235 mg of caffeine.
- Ten 8 oz cups of coffee a day is considered excessive intake.
As mentioned earlier, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a government advisory committee, have also said that moderate coffee ingestion is safe. And according to them, moderate consumption is this:
- Within the range of 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day, or up to 400 mg of caffeine per day.31
- However, pregnant women are recommended not to consume more than 200mg of caffeine a day, which is equivalent to about two mugs of instant coffee or about two and a half mugs of tea.32
More research studies are needed to close the debate on the pros and cons of tea and coffee consumption. But for now, moderate consumption is considered safe for healthy individuals.
Is Caffeine Bad If I Have Hypertension
You may wonder if its safe to consume caffeine if your doctor has diagnosed you with hypertension. While you should ask you doctor just to be sure, having 1 to 2 cups of coffee or tea a day is usually considered safe.
If your doctor recommends that you regularly monitor your blood pressure at home, make sure to take any readings BEFORE you have your coffee or 6 hours after you finish drinking it, so you log your normal blood pressure and not your post-caffeine spike. Likewise, at each of your doctors appointments, you should let your doctor know when you last drank a caffeinated beverage .
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Why Does Caffeine Raise Blood Pressure
Caffeine causes an increase in blood pressure because of its brief vasoconstrictive effect.
This means that when caffeine is consumed, the arteries become constricted , and blood pressure increases for a period of time.
Most people experience a spike in their blood pressure within 30 minutes to an hour of consuming caffeinated beverages.
The change in blood pressure is temporary, and it will usually return to normal after 3-4 hours.
Caffeine also raises blood pressure by triggering your adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline.
Adrenaline causes your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow, which leads to an increase in blood pressure.
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Coffee Doesn’t Cause High Blood Pressure
March 26, 2002 — Although drinking a cup of coffee a day may slightly raise your blood pressure, it won’t likely increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.
In a new study, researchers say a connection between high blood pressure and coffee drinking has been discussed for decades, but no studies have actually established this link. Previous research has shown that coffee temporarily increases blood pressure immediately after consumption, but the body quickly adapts to that effect. Other studies have hinted that there might be a more persistent relationship between coffee drinking and the risk of developing high blood pressure over time.
In this study, which appears in the March 25 Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers tracked the coffee intake and blood pressure of a group of male medical school graduates for 33 years. They found that drinking one cup of coffee a day led to small increases in blood pressure, but long-term coffee drinking did not significantly increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
People who didn’t drink coffee were less likely than coffee drinkers to have high blood pressure, but there was no progressive increase in risk associated with higher levels of coffee intake, according to the researchers.
The authors note that studies have shown that stopping coffee drinking can lower blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure, and the results of this study may not apply to that group of people.