How Drinking Coffee Affects Your Blood Pressure, And What You Can Do About It

blood pressure

Coffee is one of the most beloved drinks in the world. Also, people across the globe drink nearly 19 billion pounds (8.6 billion kg) a year.

If you’re a coffee addict, you’re probably well familiar with the “coffee buzz” that comes not long after the first few sips. Even the aroma will begin to perk you up on its own.

However, there has been some controversy about whether daily coffee consumption is really good for you—especially given its effect on heart health and blood pressure.

This article informs you whether coffee influences your blood pressure—and whether you need to consider dialing back your daily coffee fix.

How does coffee increase blood pressure?

heart illustration

Moderate coffee intake can have a neutral or beneficial impact on hypertension in certain people.

Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which implies that it reduces blood vessels’ size and can increase blood pressure. Caffeine wields its effects by binding with various brain receptors. Experts agree that other coffee compounds, like antioxidants, have a protective impact on blood vessels.

The effects and drawbacks of drinking coffee remain somewhat contentious, as research has not been concluded.

By how much is your blood pressure raised by coffee?

Coffee increases blood pressure in the short term.

The FDA recommends that adults not consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. The regular coffee cup yields 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, while the can of a soft drink can contain 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine.

According to an analysis of 34 studies, caffeine can increase your blood pressure, particularly if you are not a frequent coffee drinker. In general, drinking between 200-300 milligrams of caffeine will increase your systolic blood pressure by 8 mm Hg while raising your diastolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg. Caffeine, however, can typically only increase blood pressure for around three hours.

Potential long term effects

While coffee temporarily increases your blood pressure right after you drink it, it does not seem to extend much beyond the short term.

For people with elevated blood pressure, existing literature shows that daily coffee intake is unlikely to substantially affect blood pressure or the overall risk of heart disease.

Coffee potentially has some health benefits.

For otherwise healthy individuals, evidence shows that drinking 3–5 cups of coffee a day is associated with a 15% reduction in heart disease risk and a lower risk of premature death.

Coffee contains several bioactive compounds known to have powerful antioxidant effects and can minimize oxidative stress in your body.

Some researchers argue that coffee’s health benefits could outweigh any possible negative effects that caffeine may have on those who drink it frequently.

More research is also needed to help explain how coffee impacts human health in the long run. For now, it seems to be absolutely healthy, and it may even be a beneficial habit to have.

While long-term research is sparse, some reports suggest that drinking coffee is often not associated with a rise in blood pressure or heart disease risk. In reality, coffee features antioxidants that may reinforce the health of the heart.

Are you supposed to avoid coffee if you already have high blood pressure?

In most people, moderate coffee intake is unlikely to have a major impact on the risk of blood pressure or heart disease—even if you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

In reality, the opposite might be true.

Some of the bioactive constituents in coffee can provide health benefits, including reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.

Of course, prolonged caffeine consumption is not recommended, particularly if you already have high blood pressure.

If you’re not drinking coffee daily, you might just want to put it on hold until your blood pressure is in check before incorporating this drink into your routine, as it may raise your blood pressure in the short term.

Bear in mind that drinking or eating too much of something can cause negative health effects—coffee is no exception. It’s always necessary to keep your dietary and lifestyle habits healthy.

Regular physical activity combined with a diet rich in fruit, lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains remains among the best ways to promote healthy heart health and blood pressure.

Concentrating on these kinds of healthy habits is likely to make better use of your resources than being excessively worried about your coffee consumption.

It is unlikely that moderate coffee intake daily would exacerbate persons’ health outcomes with high blood pressure. Keeping a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is likely to have a greater effect on blood pressure than coffee intake.

Does decaf coffee raise blood pressure?

Since coffee contains several different compounds apart from caffeine, other compounds may be responsible for their blood pressure effects.

However, a person may try switching to decaffeinated coffee to see if their blood pressure will decrease.

When to avoid drink coffee

Some people think that drinking coffee triggers anxiety, insomnia, or tremors. Others might experience reflux and heartburn. Anyone who has these symptoms related to coffee should stop drinking it.

Researchers claim that frequent coffee drinkers can develop withdrawal symptoms, such as low mood and headaches if they suddenly stop drinking them. Therefore, if they wish to minimize their intake, they should progressively reduce the number of cups.

The authors of the analysis in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology note that certain physicians suggest that people with atrial fibrillation or other disorders involving irregular heartbeat avoid coffee.

However, they reported that a daily intake of up to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day tends to be healthy and may even help against heart rhythm disorders.

However, the researchers warned that if there is a strong connection between episodes of arrhythmia and caffeine, a person should not drink coffee.

Alternatives to coffee

Some coffee substitutes contain caffeine, while others are ordinarily free of caffeine. People could try:

  • roasted barley or grain drinks
  • chicory coffee
  • dandelion root coffee
  • rooibos tea
  • yerba mate

Will quitting coffee lower your blood pressure?

Blood pressure peaks when you drink caffeine. Researchers conclude that it can even prevent the arteries from remaining as large as they should for healthy blood pressure. If you stop caffeine, you miss this bump in blood pressure and possible risks.

Conclusion

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks globally, but it’s been accused of inducing high blood pressure.

Research shows that coffee can contribute to a short-term increase in blood pressure.

However, no long-term correlation with higher blood pressure or heart disease risk has been reported in people who drink it frequently.

Instead, because of its high antioxidant content, coffee can promote heart health.

While more research is needed, drinking coffee in moderation is likely a healthy habit for most people.

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.