Caffeine & BP

Does Caffeine Affect Blood Pressure

On average, people who consume caffeine regularly tend to have higher blood pressure than those who don’t.  With caffeinated drinks becoming so popular these days, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor to determine your body’s tolerance to caffeine. Also, try to limit your intake to 200mg per day – which is about 2 cups of coffee.  Of course, this may vary depending on the preparation method, brand, and other factors.

According to a recent study, caffeine affects blood pressure due to the direct impact it has on the stiffness of the arteries.  It is possible this is due to the caffeine blocking a hormone that helps the arteries widen.  Prolonged use of caffeine can weaken the arteries which can lead to heart disease and other health issues.  Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, a caffeinated beverage can temporarily cause your blood pressure to spike for up to three hours after consumption.  On average, the jump in systolic pressure (top number) was 11 points, and the diastolic pressure (bottom number) was 8 points. Due to this, it is highly recommended to limit your intake of caffeine prior to activities that will naturally increase blood pressure such as exercise or any physical labor.

To check if your body is sensitive to caffeine or if it temporarily increases your blood pressure, simply take your blood pressure prior to drinking caffeine, and then again about 30-120 minutes after. If you find that caffeine increases your blood pressure by 5-10 points, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake.  If you plan to do this, take a gradual approach and cut back over several days to avoid the undesirable side effects it may cause.

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