coffee and high blood pressure

Coffee and high blood pressure

Many of us love coffee. But few of us really aware about the effects of caffeine in our body. Various researches confirm that caffeine causes increase of blood pressure. So, in this article we are going to discuss about the relationship between coffee and high blood pressure. Lets have a look.

Coffee and High Blood Pressure Causes

Not just as a drink, but coffee lovers take coffee in different forms. Baking cakes and cookies with coffee, making deserts with coffee or even eat coffee chocolates! Coffee contains caffeine. So coffee and high blood pressure has direct relation.

Yes, caffeine may cause a short, but dramatic increase of blood pressure, even if  one does not have high blood pressure.  It is not clear that what are the reasons behind this spike in blood pressure.

Moreover, it is seen that the effects of caffeine on blood pressure is not same to all. It actually differs from person to person. So, physiologic condition of the person determines the final outcome that how the person will get affected with the rise of blood pressure.

Researchers believe that coffee and high blood pressure are due to various reasons, all of the reasons work together to cause the increase of blood pressure.

The probable mechanisms through which coffee causes rising of blood pressure are

1. Caffeine could block a hormone that helps to keep your arteries widened.  If the arteries are not widened, then blood pressure will increase.

2. Caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline. This adrenaline leads to high blood pressure.

So, most researchers agree that these two above mentioned mechanisms are the widely common reasons behind coffee and high blood pressure.

Coffee and High Blood Pressure Relationship

Research shows that people who regularly drink coffee or any caffeinated beverages have a higher average blood pressure than do those who drink none. So, caffeine is positively associated with increase of blood pressure.

But how much the pressure will increase after the caffeinated beverage consumption can not be predicted before consumption. So, coffee and high blood pressure relationship depends upon the person, varies with person to person.

Research also shows that people who regularly drink caffeinated beverages develop a tolerance to caffeine. So, if a person is having coffee or any other caffeinated beverages on a regular basis, the effects of caffeine on blood pressure increase is not prominent.

So we can say, caffeine doesn’t have a long-term effect on blood pressure when consumed regularly or more frequently.

Thus, coffee and high blood pressure concept is rational only when the person does not drink coffee regularly. Though more research is needed to confirm if regular consumption of coffee nullify high blood pressure development.

If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, it is better to avoid caffeinated beverages. You can ask your doctor whether you need to stop or limit drinking caffeinated beverages.

Coffee and high blood pressure is a concern for those who are more prone to develop hypertension or already having high blood pressure. According to The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 400 mg a day of caffeine is generally safe for most of the people.

But remember, if you’re concerned about caffeine’s effect on the blood pressure, try to limit  the amount of caffeine you drink to 200 mg a day that is half of the tolerated dose of caffeine for most of the people. This is also about the same amount as is generally in two 8-ounce (237 ml) cups of brewed coffee.

Remember that the amount of caffeine in coffee, energy drinks and other beverages varies by brand and method of preparation. You need to add the amount of caffeine in all the caffeinated beverages you drink in a day and calculate whether the sum of the total caffeine is more than 200 mg or not. Make sure that the total caffeine consumption in a day to be less than 200 mg.

It is also important to mention that in case you have hypertension or high blood pressure, just avoid caffeine right before any activities that naturally increase your blood pressure, for example- exercise, weightlifting or hard physical labor. This will ensure that blood pressure will not increase more, so chances of fatal outcome will be less.

How To Check if Coffee Causing High Blood Pressure

To see whether caffeine raising your blood pressure or not, check your blood pressure before drinking a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage and check the blood pressure again after 30 to 120 minutes.

If your blood pressure increases by about 5 to 10 points, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. Just make sure that you take rest after consumption of coffee and avoid other factors that can increase your blood pressure. Only then the blood pressure effects of caffeine can be determined.

If you plan to stop the consumption of caffeine, do so gradually over several days to a week.  Otherwise, sudden withdrawal can lead to headache.

Sources

  1. Goldman-Cecil Medicine
  2. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine 20th edition
  3. Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine 23rd edition
  4. Burket’s Oral Medicine
  5. Peterson’s Principles of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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