Some Reports Say Caffeine Has An Effect On Blood Pressure
It has become so accepted that caffeine raises blood pressure, that doctors advise avoiding caffeine before having your blood pressure checked because it may raise it enough to falsify test results.
But what is the evidence for caffeine raising blood pressure?
A 1987 Italian study actually found that caffeine lowers blood pressure. In this study, researchers from the United States and Switzerland studied 15 volunteers who didn’t have high blood pressure and were nonsmokers. Only six habitually drank coffee. Harvard says:
The researchers monitored each volunteer’s blood pressure, heart rate, and sympathetic nervous system under four conditions: before and after drinking a triple espresso, before and after drinking a decaffeinated triple espresso, before and after receiving 250 mg of caffeine by intravenous injection, and before and after an intravenous placebo .
A triple espresso did raise blood pressure readings except in the habitual coffee drinkers. In those who didn’t drink coffee, it raises systolic readings 13 mm Hg on average and diastolic by 7 mm Hg.
Harvard Medical School says:
But there was an anomaly. Harvard says there are hundreds of substances in coffee, and caffeine is usually the one named as raising blood pressure.
Their conclusions: Coffee raises blood pressure in people who don’t drink it regularly. Younger people also are more sensitive to coffee’s blood-pressure effects.
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.
Habitual Coffee Consumption And Risk Of Cvd In Hypertensive Subjects
Five cohort studies were conducted in the United States, one in Finland , and the other in Sweden . Except for one study designed as a cohort of hypertensive individuals , the rest were large cohort studies in different populations with no clinical inclusion criterion, in which a subcohort developed hypertension during follow-up. Three cohorts included persons aged 30 y , and the others included those older than 48 y and 64 y . The study quality was good. In 5 studies, hypertension was defined on the basis of measured BP values . Two studies were based on self-reported history of hypertension or on a diagnosis of hypertension reported by nurses and were therefore very reliable . Habitual consumption of coffee was reported at the beginning of follow-up and in one study was updated every 4 y. In all studies, information on CVD was confirmed by review of the medical record or death certificate. Length of follow-up varied from 4 to 25 y. Finally, in all cases, the results were adjusted for the main confounding factors.
Read Also: Is Vinegar Good For High Blood Pressure
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.
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
You May Like: Does Claritin D Raise Blood Pressure
Coffee Might Reduce The Risk Of Depression
One Harvard study found evidence that women who drink coffee regularly are 20% less likely to suffer from depression, while another study found out coffee drinkers are at a lesser risk of committing suicide. One explanation might be that caffeine boosts the release of dopamine, also known as the feel good hormone.
On the other hand, coffee drinking makes us more sociable. Whether at the office or at a coffee shop, the ritual of having coffee together creates stronger bonds between people which has a positive psychological impact.
Caffeine Withdrawal & Blood Pressure
Caffeine is a drug found in many beverages, including energy drinks, soda, coffee and tea. You may already use caffeine during the day as a pick-me-up in your morning coffee or for a burst of energy in the mid-afternoon in an energy drink. The problem for many people often occurs when they attempt to stop using caffeine during the day and suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
You May Like: Spicy Food High Blood Pressure
Some Reports Say Theres No Direct Link Between Caffeine And Blood Pressure
According to Mayo Clinic:
Caffeine can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don’t have high blood pressure. It’s unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. Some researchers believe that caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened. Others think that caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.
Recent studies, however, have repeatedly reported that caffeine doesnt necessarily lead to an increased blood pressure, nor does it up the risk for cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease and cardiac arrest.
Verywellhealth.com also states a well-known study stating that theres no direct link between caffeine and a rise in blood pressure:
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 likewise reports that theres indeed no evidence that caffeine leads to high blood pressure.
And heres another silver lining:
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure In Minutes
If your blood pressure is elevated and you want to see an immediate change, lie down and take deep breaths. This is how you lower your blood pressure within minutes, helping to slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure. When you feel stress, hormones are released that constrict your blood vessels.
Recommended Reading: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
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.
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
Also Check: Is High Blood Pressure Heart Disease
Caffeine Increases Intellectual Performance
Most people cannot function properly without their morning coffee and that sweet caffeine kick. Its a small everyday miracle, you know, getting enough energy to go through another day.
Well, its not exactly a miracle, theres a perfectly scientific explanation caffeine enters the bloodstream and gets to the brain where it orders the release of adrenaline and dopamine, the hormones that power up the nervous system.
Caffeine doesnt make us stronger or smarter, it just helps us to perform better.
The Doctor’s Office Could Be A Culprit
If you instantly feel your heart race and your face flush when you step into the doctor’s office, you’re not alone. Anxiety at the thought of visiting the doctor is real and for some patients, it can almost become crippling once they reach the office for an appointment. This condition is known as white-coat syndrome, which can actually lead to white-coat hypertension .
White-coat hypertension is a physiological occurrence that causes your blood pressure to increase as an anxiety response when you visit the doctor. Although the increase is temporary, it may affect your cardiovascular health over time. As cardiologist Randall Zusman told Harvard Health, “If your blood pressure goes up under the relatively nonthreatening situation of seeing a doctor, then what might happen if you’re cut off on the highway, or experience a challenging family or work circumstance?”
The article highlighted a 2019 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine that linked untreated white-coat hypertension with a 36% higher risk of heart attack and other heart-related conditions. The takeaway? The heightened sense of anxiety people with white-coat hypertension tend to have could lead to excess strain on your heart, boosting the risk of cardiovascular disease and chronic high blood pressure. This doesn’t mean you should avoid ever seeing your doctor, of course. Rather, it may be helpful to seek treatment for your anxiety.
Don’t Miss: Onion Blood Pressure
You Might Have A Family History Of High Blood Pressure
Lots of things can run in the family. Your mannerisms, facial expressions, and stunning good looks, for example, can all be passed down from your parents, their parents, et cetera. But did you know that some medical conditions, like high blood pressure, could also be a result of your genetics?
One 2018 scientific analysis published in Nature Genetics included more than 1 million people and ultimately found “535 new loci” that point to traits associated with high blood pressure. Basically, researchers found hundreds of specific spots in DNA that affect blood pressure. However, the same researchers also assert that these genetic factors may influence lifestyle causes of high blood pressure, and vice versa, meaning that your diet and activity level do play a role.
Circulation published a 2017 study that also demonstrates this point. The study gave each participant a genetic risk score for high blood pressure based on their risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a lifestyle score based on their activity, diet, and habits, like smoking or drinking. Those with a healthier lifestyle score achieved better blood pressure results than those with a lower score, regardless of their blood pressure risk.
Can Decaf Coffee Cause High Blood Pressure
Most experts agree that caffeine of coffee can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure . Though the effect is temporary, but it may be dangerous for those with hypertension. How about with decaf coffee ? Does it also have the same effect?
In an effort to avoid and limit caffeine due to certain health conditions such as hypertension, heart arrhythmia , or if you are taking medicines that are advised to limit /avoid caffeine you may turn to decaf coffee. As the label decaf implies, it refers to decaffeinated which means the coffee has been processed to contain less caffeine.
The good news, the process to make decaffeinated coffee is now safe. Several years ago, some people doubted about the safety issue of making decaf coffee that might cause negative health impact! Today, a few different techniques in production are available.
In the past, the use of solvents was needed to make decaffeination. Nowadays, a new modified machine is designed to use carbon dioxide as a solvent for a direct decaffeination.
How much caffeine in a cup of coffee and a cup of decaf coffee?
A cup of coffee may contain about 95 mg of caffeine. How about with decaffeinated coffee?
How does caffeine affect both systolic and diastolic pressure?
While many studies have confirmed that caffeine can cause a temporary increase in both systolic and diastolic pressures, but there is still no a satisfied answer to explain this.
So, will decaf coffee cause high blood pressure?
Also Check: Va Disability Rating For Hypertension
Which Tea Is Best For Blood Pressure
Theres just something about making a cup of tea that makes you pause and relax. That in itself probably accounts for at least some of its blood pressure reducing action.
But its really the polyphenols in tea that make it so good for your heart and blood pressure. True tea includes black and green tea, as well as white, yellow, and oolong teas. They all come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea tends to get all of the glory, but really, all of these teas are good for you. They simply differ in the way the plant is grown and how the leaves are processed.
- They all have polyphenol antioxidants. However, green tea has more epigallocatechin-3-gallate , whereas black tea is a rich source of theaflavins.
- They all have L-theanine, a compound that brings about a relaxed, but alert state.
- Black tea is highest in caffeine, whereas green tea and the other true teas tend to be lower.
- Studies show drinking about two cups of either green or black tea each day can lower your blood pressure.
Herbal teas are not part of the same tea family, so theyre not considered true teas. That doesnt mean theyre not good for you though! Herbal teas have no caffeine or L-theanine, but they do have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They also provide various health benefits, depending on the herb or plant used to make the tea.
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.
Don’t Miss: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure