Does Caffeine Raise Blood Pressure?

A staggering 75 million adults in American have high blood pressure. That means that 1 out of every three 3 American adults is suffering from some form of blood pressure. That’s 29% of the population.

The problem has grown to such an extent that heart disease and stroke are the 1st, and 3rd leading cause of death in America. Dr. Paul Muntner believes that these figures are further expected to rise.

It’s no coincidence that 64% of the American adult population drinks coffee.

A 2014 study also proved that there link between drinking coffee and raising blood pressure.

If you drink coffee and you suffer from high blood pressure, you might just want to stick around…

The Causes of High Blood Pressure

The pumping of blood in your body creates pressure on the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure means that the walls of the arteries are under too much pressure consistently. This can be due to a variety of reason, but the main causes are given below:

  • Age: is a big factor when it comes to blood pressure. The older you are; the  more likely you are to have high blood pressure
  • Family history: blood pressure has a genetic marker: which means that if your father or someone in your family has blood pressure, you are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Temperature: A recent study has shown that cold weather also contributes to high Blood pressure.
  • Obesity: Being overweight, or being obese leaves you at the risk of developing high Blood pressure.
  • Inactivity: Doing nothing raise the risk of hypertension.
  • Smoking: smoking causes your blood vessels to grow narrow. Meaning more pressure on the arteries.
  • Alcohol: People who drink have a higher chance of developing hypertension than people who do not.
  • High Salt, and High-Fat diet: Both high salt diet and a high-fat diet has been known to leave you at the risk of narrowing your arteries.
  • Mental Stress: Compelling studies have found a very strong link between high blood pressure and the amount of stress a person has to endure.
  • Diabetes: Studies have found that diabetic patients are more susceptible to hypertension.

Now that we have understood the causes, let us try to find the connection between caffeine and high blood pressure.

Caffeine and High Blood Pressure

The link between caffeine and blood pressure is a strange one.

What all the researchers unanimously agree on is this: Coffee causes a temporary spike in blood pressure.

The exact cause of this is unknown.

Some believe that caffeine blocks a hormone that widens the arteries; thus causing high blood pressure, while others believe it causes a surge in adrenalin; leading to high blood pressure .

People who regularly drink caffeinated beverages have also been known to build a tolerance to caffeine; as a result, it is safe to say that: Caffeine has no long-term impact on blood pressure.

Who would have thought?

But, this doesn’t mean that you are out of the woods yet.

People with high blood pressure should definitely avoid caffeine, while everyone else should drink coffee as per usual unless you are doing some really stressful work, or you are doing a job that requires a lot of physical exertion.

There have been some cases of people being extra sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine.

In that case, check with your doctor, and try to cut back on the caffeine gradually. 

How Long Does it Take for Caffeine to Effect Blood Pressure?

As I said before: consuming caffeine will cause an immediate surge in your blood pressure.

The exact amount varies from person to person depending on a variety of factors, but for the average adult, caffeine can take anywhere from 30- 120 minutes.

The high blood pressure caused by the caffeine can last up to 3-6 hours, after which it gradually starts to decrease.

If the “caffeine high” lasts more than 4 hours constantly; go see a doctor.

Does Drinking Decaff Cause High Blood Pressure?

Again this is a tricky question to answer.

Most researchers do believe that drinking decaf can lead to high blood pressures, but the link is not all that clear.

Most studies on the subject have proved a more than a plausible connection between drinking caffeine and the rise in blood pressure, but these studies also point out that such effects are only temporary.

Only in a person with a high degree of sensitivity to the blood pressure raising the effect of caffeine can be dangerous.

To everyone else, decaf has no lasting impact on blood pressure.

People With High Blood Pressure: How To Drink Coffee Safely

When it comes to health you can never be too careful. Coffee raises blood pressure temporarily, but it still raises blood sugar.

My advice to you is:

  • To drink coffee only when you want to relax, or at the start of the day.
  • Avoid coffee when doing anything stressful.
  • Avoid drinking coffee if you are doing an activity that requires a lot of physical excretion.
  • If you feel that your blood pressure is high for more than 4 hours after drinking coffee: go see your doctor.
  • If you plan on cutting back on coffee; do so over several days, or weeks to avoid withdrawal headaches.
  • Remember too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, so two cups a day, or better yet if you have to drink coffee, drink decaf. Decaf has 97% of the caffeine removed.

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