The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Latest Research About Caffeine Effects on Blood Pressure
Whether you prefer Starbucks, Dunkin’, Keurig, or another brand, there’s a good chance that you are one of the millions of coffee and tea drinkers in the world.
While some new research shows that coffee and tea may have health benefits, many people still wonder how the caffeine in these beverages affects their risk for health problems like high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease.
Note: Caffeine is found in many other products, including energy drinks and foods infused with caffeine, and it causes the same temporary effects no matter the source. However, the possible long-term benefits discussed here are only seen with coffee and tea.
How does caffeine affect blood pressure?
Caffeine in coffee or tea may temporarily raise blood pressure by a small amount, but it does not appear to have harmful long-term effects. Let’s take a look at how this happens.Caffeine is a stimulant. It’s why coffee and tea make you feel more alert or awake. It fires up the nerves and gets your heart pumping a little faster. The effects are short-lived but, for a few hours after you finish a caffeinated beverage, your blood pressure will be a bit higher than normal.
How long does caffeine raise blood pressure for?
As soon as 30 minutes after drinking coffee, the caffeine in it may raise your systolic blood pressure (the top number) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by up to 15 points. This effect usually lasts for up to 4 hours.
While that might sound like a big increase, it’s nothing to worry about. One or two cups of coffee or tea in the morning does not cause any long-term problems with blood pressure or raise your risk for developing hypertension. In fact, regular consumption of these beverages has some health benefits and is considered safe, in moderation — even in people with heart disease.
Does coffee have health benefits for the heart?Coffee may actually have some heart health benefits. Coffee contains antioxidants, and it may also have anti-inflammatory effects and help regulate appetite. Coffee consumption has been linked to:
- Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Increased physical activity
- Weight loss
- Lower rates of depression (a risk factor for heart disease)
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lower risk of death from heart-related problems
How much is too much caffeine?
In general, less than six cups of coffee a day should be safe. The FDA recommends consumingno more than 400 mg of caffeine, which is about 4 or 5 cups of coffee, per day. One study looked at a large number of coffee drinkers (over 8,000) and did not find that heavy coffee drinking (over 3 cups per day) raised the risk of high blood pressure or stiffening of the arteries.
Is caffeine bad for me if I have hypertension?
You may wonder if it’s safe to consume caffeine if your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with hypertension. While you should ask your provider just to be sure, having 1 to 2 cups (8 oz to 16 oz) of coffee or tea a day is usually considered safe, even if you have hypertension.
If your healthcare provider recommends that you regularly monitor your blood pressure at home, make sure to take any readings before you have coffee or 6 hours after your last sip. This way, you can log your normal blood pressure and not a post-caffeine spike.Likewise, at every appointment, you should let your healthcare provider know when you last drank a caffeinated beverage, including soda.
Will avoiding caffeine lower my blood pressure?
Avoiding caffeine won’t greatly affect your blood pressure long term. But other Choosing black coffee over sweet, milky coffee
Lowering the amount of salt in your diet
Limiting how much alcohol you drink
Managing stress levels
What can I do if I’m concerned about how caffeine is affecting my 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:
Check your blood pressure at home
At-home blood pressure monitors are relatively inexpensive and last for years. With the push of a button, you’ll get a reading in about a minute or less. For most healthy adults, a blood pressure of under 120/80 mmHg is considered “normal.” If you get readings that are higher than that, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider
Switch to half-caff coffee or green tea
Both half-caff coffee and green tea tend to have less caffeine per serving than regular coffee, black teas, and yerba mate tea. These alternatives cause minimal changes to your blood pressure and still provide health benefits.
Take a caffeine holiday
If you find that you just can’t do without caffeine on work days, you can always take a break on the weekends or your days off to reset your blood pressure to its natural, caffeine-free rate. It usually takes less than 10 hours to get caffeine out of your system.
Talk to your healthcare provider: If you are truly concerned that caffeine may be having a bad effect on your health, talk to your healthcare provider. They will be able to make recommendations based on your health status and medical history.