Does Coffee Cause High Blood Pressure?

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Does Coffee Cause High Blood Pressure?
    There is some debate on whether drinking coffee can cause high blood pressure. Some medical studies have established a link between caffeine and high blood pressure and others have shown that drinking coffee regularly can actually decrease blood pressure. While the matter is far from concluded, most health organizations recommend limiting your intake of caffeine and keeping your coffee consumption to less than 2 cups a day.
  • Conflicting Studies

    Some medical studies have linked the caffeine found in coffee to a rise in blood pressure, but there are conflicting conclusions. One study has found that coffee drinkers have higher blood pressure than nondrinkers and may register a spike in blood pressure after each cup, but another study has found that drinking coffee on a regular basis may actually help reduce blood pressure. A study conducted by the Julius Center for Health Sciences on more than 6,000 people found that those who do not drink coffee at all have a lower risk for high blood pressure than regular coffee drinkers. According to this study, the risk of high blood pressure increased with the number of cups drank per day, especially in women. However, another study by Dr. Roberto Corti indicated that regular coffee drinkers may become immune to the effects of caffeine because they did not register an increase in blood pressure. As you can see, a scientific consensus is far from established on the issue of coffee and high blood pressure.
  • Those With High Blood Pressure

    There is some evidence to suggest that the caffeine in coffee may cause blood pressure to rise in people who already have high blood pressure. A study reviewed by the American Heart Association found that in those participants with high blood pressure, drinking caffeine did cause a slight increase in blood pressure. However, drinking caffeinated beverages did not cause a blood pressure increase in those study participants with normal blood pressure. So, if you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure it is suggested to discuss your coffee and caffeine intake with your doctor.

  • How to Tell if Caffeine Affects You

    The Mayo Clinic recommends that people who are concerned about their blood pressure cut back on all beverages containing caffeine, including coffee. Some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine in coffee than others, but you can tell if it has an impact on you with a quick blood pressure test recommended by the Mayo Clinic. Simply check your blood pressure before and after drinking a cup of coffee-don't wait longer than 30 minutes-and record your blood pressure readings. If your blood pressure has gone up at least five points, you are probably sensitive to caffeine and should think about cutting back.
  • 2 Cups a Day

    If you are a serious coffee addict and drink more than two cups a day, you might want to think about decreasing your consumption. You should aim to ingest no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, based on Mayo Clinic recommendations. Sadly for many coffee lovers, you can easily get that much caffeine in a mere 2 cups of coffee. However, the 2-cup limit is widely supported by a number of health organizations. The American Heart Association also finds that there is no harm in drinking 1 or 2 cups of coffee each day. As with other popular food and drinks, it seems like a policy of moderation is really your best bet.
  • Talk to Your Doctor

    It is always important to visit your doctor whenever you have questions or concerns about health issues. Your doctor can monitor your blood pressure and provide personal recommendations and advice on your coffee consumption.
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