Your morning cuppa Joe may boost blood pressure
Study shows caffeine linked to increased hypertension
People who are caffeine fiends may need to check their pulse on how much coffee they consume.
Results from a recent study in the American Journal of Hypertension showed that people who intermittently consume caffeine may be at risk for higher blood pressure.
The study showed that people who went without caffeine for two days and then consumed caffeinated coffee had a gradual increase in blood pressure. Decaffeinated coffee does not boost blood pressure, according to the study.
“Too much coffee or caffeine-containing foods after going without it for extended period of time can gradually increase blood pressure,” said George Rodgers, MD, a cardiologist with Ascension Seton Heart Institute. Ascension Seton is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.
Caffeine is the world’s most commonly consumed stimulant, 80 percent of which is had in the form of coffee, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
Who should be concerned about caffeine consumption?
Rodgers said people with a history of heart palpitations, which is a rapid flutter or pounding of the heart, should be aware of how much caffeine they are consuming.
Heart palpitations can be caused by things like stress, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or diet pills, hormone changes and medications such as thyroid pills, cold medicines and asthma drugs.
“What we see as an issue with caffeine is that there are some people that are more prone to palpitations and caffeine can be a trigger,” Rodgers said. “Caffeine sources like coffee or energy drinks can make your heart a bit more irritable. Not in a dangerous way, but it can increase premature abnormal heartbeats.”
How much coffee should I drink per day?
For people with heart palpitations, Rodgers recommends less than three sodas per day or one eight ounce cup of coffee. Tea has more mild caffeine effects, he said, and could be a good alternative to your morning java.
For people without heart palpitations, Rodgers said two cups of coffee per day is fine. If you drink a lot of coffee and go without caffeine for a period of time, it can also cause headaches, Rodgers said.
Having too much caffeine can also cause you to feel shaky, dizzy and dehydrated, and can cause lack of sleep.
“Caffeine in moderation has never shown to be a problem,” Rodgers said. “If you drink excessive amounts of caffeine it will raise your blood pressure, but it doesn’t raise it radically. It doesn’t cause heart attacks or other heart problems.”