Can Caffeine Aggravate My High Blood Pressure?

June 14, 2022

Many of us love having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It's delicious, part of the culture, and can give us that energy boost that we need to kick-start our day.

But are there downfalls to starting the day off with a morning cup of coffee? After all, depending on the person, coffee may increase blood pressure for a short period of time.

Caffeine has many benefits, but it also can exacerbate some health issues if consumed in excess. Researchers say it may contribute to hypertension and even heart disease. So, perhaps while a cup or two might be beneficial, you may want to avoid a five-cup-a-day routine.


What Makes Caffeine Increase Blood Pressure?

When we drink coffee, our arteries constrict or tighten, and some people may experience an increase in blood pressure. However, this increase should only be temporary, and within a few hours, blood pressure should return to normal.

The stimulating effects also can cause adrenal fatigue and high-stress levels, since caffeine signals the adrenal glands to start producing more adrenaline, which can cause our heart rate to quicken. That in turn can lead to a tightening of the blood vessels and a rise in blood pressure.


The Link Between Caffeine and Hypertension

Controlled caffeine intake can be fine for people with hypertension, while drinking too much can be detrimental. However, research also shows that consuming caffeine often doesn't necessarily increase the chances of someone without high blood pressure to experience or develop hypertension.

It appears the dosage of caffeine as opposed to the frequency is what really matters.

Studies show that drinking between two and four cups of coffee a day (which is around 200 to 300mg of caffeine) causes an average rise of 8.1mmHg in systolic blood pressure and a rise of 5.7mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.

While these changes normalize after roughly three to four hours, you might still want to be careful if you have a history of high blood pressure or arrhythmia.

Possible Long-Lasting Effects

On the other hand, drinking too much caffeine every day (over 600mg) may put you at risk of the following:

  • Chronic stress and anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stomach issues.

Non-Caffeine Alternatives

If you are concerned about your caffeine intake, there are alternative beverages you can consider that can give you an energy kick, including:

  • Chicory root “coffee”
  • Maca
  • Ginseng tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Golden milk.

When to See Your Doctor

While overdosing on caffeine is unlikely, you may want to see your doctor if you spot these signs:

  • Confusion/difficulty concentrating
  • Arrhythmia
  • Sickness
  • Shaking uncontrollably
  • Anxiety or panic attacks.

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