Caffeine And High Blood Pressure: Do They Go Together?

Caffeine and high blood pressure cannot go together. This has been proven over and over again by research studies. These showed that acute caffeine intake significantly increases central blood pressure as well as systolic and diastolic pressure. Another study showed that drinking coffee can cause a measurable rise in both systolic and diastolic pressure that can last into the following day.

If that’s not enough, caffeine has also been associated with heart rhythm irregularities or the incidence of heart palpitations. Caffeine also causes an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, which increases the chances of getting a heart attack. It also increases plasma homocysteine and too much of this in your blood can lead to a possible heart attack.

A study has linked coffee drinking to the risk of developing acute coronary disease. In people who took more caffeine the risk increased significantly. The same study showed that coffee drinking increases the risk of succumbing to an acute myocardial infarction in people with diabetes. Two cups per day increases the risk by 32%, while four cups increases the risk by 64%. This effect is even more pronounced in individuals younger than 59. For younger adults, heart attack risk is increased 24% by one cup of coffee daily, 67% by two to three cups of coffee or 133% by four or more cups.

Another study authored by Charalambos Vlachopoulos of the Athens Medical School in Greece found out that caffeine caused stiffness of the arteries. The study showed that caffeine quickly increases the stiffness of the large arteries in people with high blood pressure. The researchers observed an 11 point jump in systolic blood pressure and an 8 point jump in diastolic blood pressure after thirty minutes of taking caffeine. The effect is said to have peaked after 60 minutes and remained significant for at least three hours.

These findings should seriously be considered by coffee drinkers and especially those who have problems with their blood pressure levels. Caffeine is among the many addictions that you should rid yourself of if you want a healthier lifestyle. Coffee drinking can become addictive that is why it is too hard for some people to quit or lessen caffeine intake. Withdrawal symptoms can involve painful headaches, nausea, vomiting, and loose stools, as well as depression, fatigue and anxiety.

Among kids, the same principle holds true. This was demonstrated in a study at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. It showed that caffeine elevates children’s blood pressure, lowers the heart rate but does not affect metabolism. Kids who participated in the study took caffeinated drinks twice a day for four days. After drinking, they were told to exercise on a stationary bicycle while blood pressure rate and oxygen consumption were measured. It turned out that most of the kids were found to have increased blood pressures.

If you are a coffee lover and are accustomed to pumping up your body’s caffeine level in order to accomplish your daily tasks, you ought to think of the consequences to your health especially if you are predisposed to high blood pressure problems. Come to think of it; the “high” you get from caffeine intake might be the wrong kind.

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