Coffee and low blood pressure are polar opposites because caffeine is known to raise blood pressure. As coffee is already an essential part of the modern human diet, it has sparked several controversies, like how long does caffeine raise blood pressure?
Coffee manufacturers have already crossed the border of beverages, and they now produce a variety of coffee-based products. Does decaf coffee raise blood pressure? Does coffee raise blood pressure or lower it?
The answers to these questions deepened on the actual caffeine content of what you’re consuming.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in tea, chocolate, and coffee. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system. Once it succeeds, it can keep a person alert and reduce the effects of mental and physical fatigue.
Caffeinated drinks became a huge hit since the late 1800s, and its popularity has continued up to today. One of the downsides of regular consumption of coffee, however, is it can trigger a dramatic increase in your blood pressure.
Caffeine Content of Some Coffee-based Products
Through the years, coffee-based products have become a staple in every American home. From coffee-infused drinks to candies, caffeine has become a mainstay in modern diets.
Caffeine can be found in the seeds, nuts, and leaves of certain plants, not just the coffee bean plant. For people to enjoy the caffeine in coffee, coffee beans are harvested and processed to produce various caffeinated beverages and food items.
Below are some popular coffee-based products and their caffeine content:
Eight ounces of regular coffee may contain 102-200 milligrams of caffeine. Researchers have identified that 200-300 milligrams of caffeine can produce an 8.1 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure and 5.7 mmHg increase in diastolic BP. This effect tends to dissipate after 3 hours.
Espresso is an Italian way of coffee-making wherein a small amount of boiling water is pushed through finely-ground coffee beans. This method extracts a considerably concentrated amount of caffeine per cup. A small cup of espresso coffee may contain 240-720 milligrams of caffeine. This ridiculous amount of caffeine can expose a person to a higher risk of heightened blood pressure, with slower recovery time.
Some carbonated drinks are infused with coffee. These beverages tend to have 50-160 milligrams of caffeine. Despite the lower caffeine content, additional ingredients like sucrose can also trigger a rise in blood pressure. Researchers believe that caffeine can block some hormones inside the body that is responsible for keeping blood vessels dilated.
Like carbonated drinks, chocolates are also combined with caffeine (in the form of beverages or solid bars). These coffee-chocolate products can have as much as 35 milligrams of caffeine. This amount of caffeine is effective only in stimulating the CNS and is not likely to cause high blood pressure.
Decaffeinated coffee, also known as decaf coffee, is the product of a manufacturing process that removes a portion of the natural caffeine present in coffee beans.
Decaf coffee only contains 2-7 milligrams of caffeine. With its lower caffeine content, it can stimulate your brain and nervous system without affecting your heart. Recent studies show that decaf coffee, due to its lower caffeine content, can even lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension.
Caffeine and Blood Pressure
Taken in moderation, caffeine is a helpful compound. It works not just as a stimulant – it can also improve your mood and brain function.
A cup of coffee can decrease depression and elevate a person’s mood. Caffeine can also improve one’s metabolism by stimulating the central nervous system—increasing general metabolism by 12% and the body’s fat-burning capacity by as much as 13%.
The right amount of caffeine can lower the risk of heart disease in both men and women. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, and chocolates is linked to 18% lower risk of heart disease, 20% lower risk of stroke, and 29% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you are a certified coffee drinker, you may experience regular spikes in your blood pressure.
People who drink caffeinated beverages regularly may have higher than average blood pressure than those who drink fewer cups per week. Regular consumption, however, can eventually teach the body to respond less negatively to the presence of caffeine, which cuts the incidence of hypertension in regular coffee consumers.
For people who are already hypertensive and/or may have inborn heart disease, the effects of caffeine from the regular consumption of coffee and other caffeinated products must be monitored regularly by an attending physician.
Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Taking Antihypertensive Medication?
As mentioned earlier, people who are exposed to some risks due to pre-existing medical conditions (i.e., hypertension, inborn heart disease, and other heart complications) must consider the advice of their physicians.
Researches published in medical journals have found that patients with hypertension are actually decreasing the effects of their prescribed medications. Caffeine can affect a person from three hours to as long as two days.
Additional studies suggest that drinking coffee before taking any blood test can increase the chances of getting higher blood pressure after. Abstaining in the consumption of coffee for two days is required to eliminate the caffeine from the bloodstream completely.
People who are not accustomed to drinking caffeinated products may experience a rapid increase in their blood pressure.
Hypertensive patients who regularly consume coffee and other caffeinated beverages must wait for one to two days before visiting their GP for a checkup. The caffeine in the bloodstream may provide a false blood pressure reading, which may result in the over-prescription of blood pressure medication. Also, you must tell your physician that you have been drinking beverages like alcohol and coffee during your checkups, as your physician will correlate your diet with what’s happening with your body.