Does Caffeine Raise Blood Pressure or Not?

Do you have a blood pressure problem1? Generally, normal blood pressure is considered to be less than 120/80 mmHg. But there is no problem if you will see fluctuation in blood pressure throughout the day.

There are various reasons for blood pressure fluctuation including stress, anxiety, drug intake, excess coffee consumption, and lifestyle as well. In people, the variation in blood pressure seems to be different. Some people end up developing high blood pressure responses while others have a sign of low blood pressure.

For people who have high blood pressure problems2, it is seen that they consume lots of caffeinated beverages or drinks. This depicts that caffeine raises blood pressure. But how does caffeine raise blood pressure?

If caffeine elevates blood pressure then what is the reason? What happens after blood pressure goes up? How is cardiovascular disease related to high BP? All of your doubts will be clear after reading this whole article.

Before that, it is very important to know about caffeine and its importance in the diet. Then dive into the full detail of does caffeine raise blood pressure.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine chemical formula
Image by Greg Rodger on Flickr

A substance that gives a boost to your energy level and stimulates your nervous system is Caffeine. It is a kind of stimulant drug. And many people consume it in different ways, the most common is in the form of coffee.

In its pure form, it is found in the form of white powder and has a slightly bitter taste. As you know coffee, tea, and chocolates are the common food products that have caffeine. So, it is obvious that caffeine has originated along with them.

Caffeine consumption is considered to be good or bad for health. Some researchers have found that excessive caffeine consumption affects the sleep cycle. Despite that, it has various health benefits.

2. Caffeine Sources

Caffeine is naturally obtained from plant species. The most common plants that yield caffeine are coffee plants, tea plants, and cocoa plants.

2.1. Coffee

Most common and highly consuming source of caffeine. The most popular coffee plants are Coffee Arabica and Coffee Canephora.3

Caffeine content may vary from species to species and also varies with the type of coffee.

  • Brewed coffee or regular coffee contains approximately 70-140 mg of caffeine per cup.
  • Instant coffee which is made from brewed coffee has less amount of caffeine than regular coffee.
  • Espresso has a high caffeine amount of nearly 125 mg. Some other varieties of drinks that are made from espresso are such as lattes, Americanos, macchiatos, and cappuccinos. And they contain around 63 mg of caffeine.

2.2. Tea

Another major source of caffeine is tea plants, scientifically known as Camellia Sinensis. Well, the amount of caffeine obtained from tea plants varies from plant to plant.

For instance, green tea has 30-50 mg, while black tea has 25-110 mg of caffeine. And also the younger leaves contain more caffeine than the older ones.

2.3. Chocolate (Cocoa Powder)

The main ingredient of chocolate is cocoa powder which is derived from cocoa beans of the cocoa plant.

The darkness of your chocolate determines the caffeine content in it. That means the darker chocolate has a high amount of caffeine.

Dark chocolate contains 12 mg of caffeine per ounce and milk chocolate has 9 mg per ounce, according to USDA.

2.4. Guarana Seeds

These seeds are obtained from Paullinia cupana plant species 4which is native to the Amazon basin. Interestingly, guarana seeds have a caffeine amount four times of coffee beans.

2.5. Energy Drinks

Caffeine is considered a good source of energy. Because of this reason, it is used in many energy drinks. These drinks contain caffeine along with other ingredients. People prefer energy beverages to get instant energy and strength.

Through these drinks, you will increase your alertness and also remove anxiety but all the strength and endurance remain temporary.

A cup of coffee is the best start of the day for work, it gives energy and alerts the mind. But its intake in excess will put you at risk of hypertension.

The BP change after the intake of caffeinated products may vary from person to person, but an increase in blood pressure has been observed.

No matter whether you are a healthy individual or have hypertension or hypotension, caffeine will raise your blood pressure within a few hours of intake.

The reason is not much clear but some researchers believe, it is because of an increase in the production of adrenaline hormone by the adrenal gland.

Another reason is caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor, which reduces the size of blood vessels. Hence it becomes difficult for blood vessels to flow blood through a narrow area. As a result, they experienced pressure against the walls.

Many studies and research are still going on in this area to know more about how caffeine raises blood pressure. Researchers are clear about the increase in blood pressure after taking caffeine but they are unclear about the cause of this blood pressure spike due to caffeine.

energy drinks
Source: Shutterstock

3. What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood reaches different parts of the body through arteries. When the heart pumps blood, it exerts pressure on the walls of arteries, that pressure is known as blood pressure. During each heartbeat, the artery wall experiences pressure which results in increased blood pressure.

Well, the blood pressure does not remain at a normal level throughout the day. Hence, it is normal if your blood pressure fluctuates from the normal level. However, too much variation in Blood pressure becomes a point of concern.

The blood pressure measurement for a healthy living person is 120/80 mm Hg. For those who don’t know what these numbers depict? Well, These two numbers represent blood pressure at the time of heartbeat and heart rest.

3.1. Systolic Blood Pressure

The first number (i.e. 120 mmHg) in the above-mentioned BP reading depicts systolic blood pressure. It is that pressure that arises against the walls of arteries when the heart pushes blood to body parts.

Systolic blood pressure is considered to be normal if it is 120 mmHg or less than 120 mmHg. Any increment in this number leads to hypertension or high blood pressure issues.

3.2. Diastolic Blood Pressure

The second number (i.e. 80 mmHg) is the measure of diastolic blood pressure, which occurs at the time of heart rest or between beats. This is the pressure in arteries when the heart is collecting blood.

If the measure of diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg or less than 80 mmHg, then it is normal. Otherwise, you are at risk of hypertension 5or high blood pressure.

blood pressure
Source: Shutterstock

4. What if BP Increases?

Higher blood pressure is a sign of hypertension and many other heart diseases. Lack of a balanced diet, drinking coffee, caffeinated beverages, energy drinks or alcohol, taking too much salt, stress, anxiety, and more importantly age. These are the reasons for increasing blood pressure.

Sometimes, chronic health issues like diabetes mellitus 6and kidney problems may lead to a rise in blood pressure.

No matter why your blood pressure increases, it may cause other complications like heart disease, heart attack, metabolic syndrome, heart failure, and dementia. These health problems are the consequences of high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is higher than normal, that means more pressure is experienced by blood vessels. And the number of hypertensive patients is increasing day by day. So many people are suffering from hypertension.

As per an estimation, 26% population of the world is suffering from high blood pressure problems.

In the United States, the number of people going through hypertension is around 116 million. And in this number, the percentage of males is higher than females.

5. Does Caffeine Raise Blood Pressure?

Well, there is no chance you can avoid your cup of coffee or tea. Everyone loves to drink coffee or tea to recharge themselves daily. Therefore, it might be difficult for high blood pressure people to avoid coffee consumption.

Through research, it has been clear that blood pressure increases after the consumption of caffeinated beverages. And if you are at risk of hypertension, then this increase in blood pressure will be high. Which is not well for your health.

Hypertension is considered to be the worst health problem and becomes the cause of other kinds of cardiovascular disease. In the USA every one person out of three has high blood pressure, and they even don’t know about it.

Coffee consumption for hypertension people is like moving close to heart disease. Hence, for them avoiding caffeinated beverages, coffee, and other caffeine-containing products is a good option for a healthy heart.

Does coffee raise blood pressure
Image by Max Braun on Flickr

Why Does Coffee Intake Cause High BP?

Well, the relation between coffee and blood pressure, is still quite unclear some studies indicate coffee drinking causes a slight increase in blood pressure, part of the short-term effects.

It has been found through a study that systolic and diastolic blood pressure increases by 8 mmHg and 6 mmHg, after 2-3 cups of coffee.

The increase in blood pressure has been observed within 3-4 hours of habitual coffee consumption. For normal blood pressure persons, this will not cause any negative effects.

However, in high blood pressure people, habitual coffee consumption leads to health problems.

Well, the major reason for blood pressure increase after coffee intake is its components. Coffee contains various bioactive compounds such as caffeine, antioxidants, and diterpenes.

When you drink coffee in excess, the amount of caffeine would increase in your body. That will trigger your adrenal glands to secrete more and more adrenaline. This will increase blood flow as well as reduce the size of blood vessels.

High Blood Pressure
Source: Shutterstock

Sometimes people are not aware of their blood pressure problems. Due to the continuous heavy coffee drinking habit, people unknowingly complicate their blood pressure problems by consuming caffeine. That’s why It is very important to be aware of your blood pressure and heart health.

In the beginning, it will be hard to cut off coffee, energy drinks, teas, and other caffeinated beverages but slowly reducing their consumption will be helpful for you.

Not only hypertension patients but normal people also avoid coffee consumption to reduce caffeine intake. They prefer decaffeinated coffee over regular coffee because decaf coffee has no caffeine. That’s a great thing about it hence many doctors recommend decaffeinated coffee for high blood pressure persons.

6. Long-Term Effects

The increase in blood pressure after taking caffeine will be for a short duration after that it comes to the normal level.

If you are used to drinking around 6 or more cups of coffee every day then you are at high risk of a heart attack.

Some long-term effects of caffeine intake are the following:

  1. Irregular heartbeat
  2. Nausea
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Insomnia or sleeping difficulty
  5. Irritability
  6. Dysuria (Frequent urination)
  7. Increase heart rate
  8. Anxiety
  9. Dehydration
  10. Caffeine toxicity

7. Caffeine and Pregnancy

For a pregnant woman, caffeine consumption is not considered to be safe for her and her baby’s health. During pregnancy, proper rest and a healthy diet are essential for a woman.

On the contrary, caffeine is a stimulant drug that keeps you awake and also disturbs your sleep cycle, which is not good for your health. It also raises blood pressure which is dangerous for mothers and babies.

Well, the increase in blood pressure is quite common during pregnancy as the number of blood cells increases at this time, but it leads to preeclampsia7. Preeclampsia occurs when blood pressure rises. In this case, other organs, including the brain and kidney get damaged.

It causes upper abdominal pain, nausea, breathing difficulty, and swelling in the hands and face. If you have such symptoms during your pregnancy, then you need to contact your doctor or gynecologist.

In some worst scenarios, caffeine causes miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight, and some other complications in delivery. It also passes from mother to baby through the placenta.

pregnant women
Source: Shutterstock

Caffeine is not safe during pregnancy, it doesn’t mean that you will give up on all the caffeine-containing products at the time of pregnancy. The guidelines released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that 200 mg of caffeine a day is safe.

8. How Much Caffeine is Good for Health?

For good health, it is very important to include all the nutrients in the diet. Everything which we consume needs to be within a limited proportion otherwise, it may cause a negative impact rather than show good results.

A similar concept is applied to caffeine consumption. Everyone knows that caffeine makes them alert and also boosts their energy as a result they work more actively.

But its excess is not safe for health. So, try to consume it in a limited amount.

Caffeine in moderate amounts will help in the cure of various diseases like Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Moderate coffee consumption means taking an average of 400 mg of caffeine a day. This would be equal to 3-5 cups of coffee according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Conclusion

Everything shows beneficial effects till its limited use, once you start consuming it in excess, it will show negative effects.

Similarly, caffeine is good for your health when you consume it appropriately not too much.

Although caffeine consumption causes blood pressure to increase, moderate coffee consumption is considered to be good to gain the health benefits of caffeine.

  1. Stamler, Jeremiah. “Blood pressure and high blood pressure. Aspects of risk.” Hypertension 18.3_supplement (1991): I95. ↩︎
  2. Londe, Sol, and David Goldring. “High blood pressure in children: problems and guidelines for evaluation and treatment.” The American Journal of Cardiology 37.4 (1976): 650-657. ↩︎
  3. Dussert, Stéphane, et al. “Coffee (Coffea canephora).” Genetic diversity of cultivated tropical plants. Science Publishers, Plymouth (2003): 239-258. ↩︎
  4. Marques, Leila Larisa Medeiros, et al. “Paullinia cupana: a multipurpose plant–a review.” Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 29.1 (2019): 77-110. ↩︎
  5. Huang, Zhiping, et al. “Body weight, weight change, and risk for hypertension in women.” Annals of internal medicine 128.2 (1998): 81-88. ↩︎
  6. Alam, Uazman, et al. “General aspects of diabetes mellitus.” Handbook of clinical neurology 126 (2014): 211-222. ↩︎
  7. Ramos, José Geraldo Lopes, Nelson Sass, and Sérgio Hofmeister Martins Costa. “Preeclampsia.” Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia/RBGO Gynecology and Obstetrics 39.09 (2017): 496-512. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf

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Laveleena Sharma
    1. Well, In this article showed a Caffeine can temporarily raise blood pressure, especially right after consumption. It stimulates the nervous system, which can cause a short-term increase in heart rate and blood pressure. However, the long-term effects on blood pressure can vary among individuals. Regular caffeine intake might lead to tolerance, reducing its impact on blood pressure over time for some people. It’s essential to monitor how your body reacts to caffeine and consider moderation if you’re sensitive to its effects on blood pressure.

  1. Well, In this article showed about a Caffeine can temporarily raise blood pressure, especially right after consumption. It stimulates the nervous system, which can cause a short-term increase in heart rate and blood pressure. However, the long-term effects on blood pressure can vary among individuals. Regular caffeine intake might lead to tolerance, reducing its impact on blood pressure over time for some people. It’s essential to monitor how your body reacts to caffeine and consider moderation if you’re sensitive to its effects on blood pressure.

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