Coffee gets blamed for many health issues, including blood pressure. After all, it raises your heart rate, gets your adrenal going and makes you more jittery the more you drink. How can it not raise blood pressure?
Does coffee raise blood pressure? Coffee can raise your blood pressure short-term, especially if you are not a habitual coffee drinker. The increase lessens for coffee drinkers who are more acclimated to the drink. Although studies indicate drinking coffee in moderation has little effect on long-term blood pressure.
Previous studies on this topic have various diverse results. One of the reasons is because coffee is often grouped into a caffeine conversation. The 2 doesn’t go hand in hand with each other. Coffee has many ingredients to it, besides the caffeine. Other reasons include different results for short-term or long-term effects.
We now know blood pressure will raise more for some people than others depending on their habits. I’ll explain to you the findings on drinking coffee and how they relate to you. You’ll be able to place yourself into a coffee category and then look at the findings for the short and long-term.
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How Coffee Raises Blood Pressure
The following 4 studies will inform you how drinking caffeinated coffee raises your blood pressure immediately after drinking it. It’s one of 15 reasons why it fluctuates throughout the day. You can read about all of them in my blog post by clicking here, Fluctuating Blood Pressure and Inconsistent BP Readings. The following studies will teach how the effect of coffee on your blood pressure is less when you are a habitual coffee drinker. The section following this one, will discuss the long-term effects.
A study of 15 people compared habitual and non habitual coffee drinkers. Their blood pressure was measured prior to drinking caffeinated coffee, and 60 minutes after. In addition, they measured the blood pressure of the non habitual drinkers after drinking decaffeinated coffee 1.
Both groups of drinkers experienced an increase in blood pressure. The habitual drinkers only had a slight increase while the non habitual drinkers experienced a much larger one. It was interesting to find out how the non habitual drinkers also increased their BP, after drinking decaffeinated coffee. Their increase was almost equal to the one with the caffeinated drink.
Caffeinated Coffee: Habitual Drinker Compared To Non Habitual
Systolic BP: The habitual coffee drinkers experienced an increase of 2.3 mmHg and the non habitual increased 12.6 mmHg.
Diastolic BP: The habitual drinkers experienced an increase of 0.7 mmHg and the non habitual increased 7.1 mmHg.
Decaffeinated Coffee: Non Habitual Drinkers
Systolic BP: The non habitual coffee drinkers experienced an increase of 12 mmHg.
Diastolic BP: The non habitual drinkers experienced an increase of 5 mmHg.
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This special report was based on 34 different studies between the years 2010 and 2016. In addition to other factors, they researched the impact of coffee consumption on blood pressure.
In the short-term, they found after drinking 1.5 to 2 cups of coffee, systolic blood pressure increased an average of 8 mmHg and diastolic 6 mmHg. This was up to three hours after drinking it. In addition, they found regular coffee drinkers experienced less of an increase.
They concluded, coffee consumption in moderation was safe and coffee restriction was unwarranted, even with high BP. Although they did note, some caution should be taken 2.
This study researched the effect of drinking coffee while taking the blood pressure medication felodipine. Part of the study tested how a person’s blood pressure was affected after drinking about 2 cups of coffee, without taking the medication.
Between 1 to 4 hours after drinking the coffee, systolic pressure increased 7.4 mmHg and diastolic 4.9 mmHg. After drinking the coffee and taking the medication, they found blood pressure still increased, but not as much. The researcher had concerns about how drinking coffee with blood pressure medication might affect how a doctor diagnoses the effectiveness of the medication 3.
As you see in the studies above, increases in blood pressure immediately after drinking coffee were minimal, when the person was a regular drinker. This study examined that exact topic and compared 2 groups. One group drank caffeinated coffee and the other group drank decaf. The coffee was prepared so it would contain approximately 504 mg of caffeine. The study lasted 4 weeks.
Immediately the people who drank the caffeinated coffee, saw an increase in blood pressure. The mean BP went up about 4 to 6 mmHg. After 5 days of heavy coffee consumption, the increases went down. For the remaining weeks of the study, the difference between both groups was minimal.
The researchers concluded, the caffeinated drinkers pressure went down probably due to an adaptation phenomenon. In addition, the long-term consumption of coffee did not appear to be a risk factor for high blood pressure 4.
How Coffee Raises Blood Pressure In The Long-term
While drinking coffee may raise blood pressure right after drinking it, the long-term effects are good for blood pressure. Reports have shown, drinking coffee in moderation may be beneficial for it and cardiovascular disease.
The following studies discuss the longer-term effects of coffee drinking on BP and cardiovascular disease. So, grab a nice cup of your favorite blend and continue to read on.
A recent study analyzed data from 13,374 people who did not have high blood pressure. For a mean period of approximately nine years, the study concluded there was not an association between coffee consumption and risk of hypertension. In addition, they found women had a 26% lower risk of high blood pressure 5.
The researchers conducted a review of past studies evaluating the association between habitual coffee consumption and the risk of high blood pressure. Four studies with 196,256 participants met their search criteria.
They concluded regular coffee drinkers did not experience a higher risk of hypertension. In addition, they found when a coffee drinker increased their daily cups to three cups per day, their protection from high blood pressure increased more 6.
In 2018, researchers conducted a review of data that included 243,869 people. They found the risk of high blood pressure was reduced when the number of cups per day was increased. The risk of high blood pressure reduced by 3%, 5%, 8% and 10% for 2, 4, 6 and 8 cups of coffee per day 7.
Published in 2015, this study researched over 208,000 people for 26 years. The coffee drinkers drank between 1 and 5 cups a day. Compared to nondrinkers, the coffee drinkers were associated with a lower risk of dying. In addition, coffee drinkers experienced less deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease, suicide and neurologic diseases 8.
A two-year study of over 45,000 men, between the ages of 40 to 75 years-old was conducted. The purpose was to examine the risk of heart attack, stroke and bypass surgery with coffee consumption.
The researchers found, total coffee consumption was unconnected with an increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. In addition, increasing the number of cups was unassociated with a larger risk of cardiovascular disease. However, they found a significant increase in risk with a higher consumption of decaffeinated coffee 9.
A 2018 review, based on observational studies and analysis, compared healthy people who were non coffee drinkers to ones that drank 3-5 cups per day. The coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, a higher number of cups was unconnected to an increase in risk.
When they compared no coffee intake to a typical consumption of 1 to 5 cups per day, the coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death. For people who already experienced a cardiovascular event, drinking coffee didn’t increase the risk of a repeated event. However, they noted people with high or uncontrolled blood pressure, should avoid consuming large dosages of caffeine 10.
Data from various studies suggest the consumption of coffee can help protect against high blood pressure 11.
Drinking Coffee With High Blood Pressure?
For most people, moderate consumption of coffee is unlikely to have a negative effect on long-term blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
As with any food, drink or activity, too much of anything may lead to negative effects. The studies and research above evaluated typical coffee consumption up to 5 cups per day. Regardless of their finds, they caution not to drink excess coffee or caffeine with high or uncontrolled blood pressure.
Before changing any of your habits, it would be wise to have your blood pressure under control first. As in any case, it’s always best to confer with your physician about drinking coffee.
Coffee should not be compared to caffeine. Coffee has many other ingredients like polyphenols, potassium and soluble fiber. These ingredients may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. This leads me to my next section on caffeine.
How Decaffeinated Coffee Raises Blood Pressure Compared To Caffeinated
Like I mentioned, coffee has many ingredients besides caffeine. Is it the caffeine alone raising short term blood pressure? If it was, then logic would say, decaffeinated shouldn’t raise BP in the same way.
The following studies didn’t show much of a difference on blood pressure between drinking caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. The increase in blood pressure seems to be associated with the ingredients in coffee other than caffeine. The short-term increases in blood pressure may happen when drinking regular or decaf.
In a study people were given three different options, a triple espresso, a decaffeinated triple expresso and an injection of equal caffeine. Their effects of blood pressure were measured, and the results may surprise you. The caffeinated expresso raised systolic BP 13 mmHg on average. The decaffeinated expresso raised systolic 12 mmHg. The caffeine injection raised systolic just 6 mmHg 12.
In this study, researchers analyzed 45 people who were considered regular coffee drinkers. They were given 5 cups of caffeinated each day for six weeks and then they were switched over to decaf for the next six weeks. The results showed a small decrease of -1.5 mmHg systolic and -1.0 mmHg diastolic when drinking the decaffeinated coffee 13.
Coffee Tips To Consider For Blood Pressure
- Always check with your physician first in regards to coffee consumption.
- Never drink coffee prior to checking your blood pressure in the morning because it will raise it.
- If you have a doctor’s appointment, don’t drink coffee prior to your visit.
- It’s best to wait about 6 hours or more before checking your blood pressure later in the day or evening.
- Take notes, along with your BP readings, about when you consumed coffee last and how much was drunk.
- Before exercise avoid drinking coffee. Exercise by itself can raise your BP, adding coffee at the same time may increase it more.
- As an experiment, check your blood pressure prior to drinking coffee and after. This can inform you how much it affects your BP short-term.
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If you found this Blood Pressure topic interesting check out these related blood pressure articles also found in this same website:
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- American Heart Association Journal Circulation: Coffee Acutely Increases Sympathetic Nerve Activity and Blood Pressure Independently of Caffeine Content
- Taylor & Francis Online: The impact of coffee consumption on blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus
- Oxford Academic: American Journal Of Hypertension: Coffee-Antihypertensive Drug Interaction: A Hemodynamic and Pharmacokinetic Study With Felodipine
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Adaption of blood pressure to continuous heavy coffee drinking in young volunteers. A double-blind crossover study
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Coffee Consumption and Risk Of Hypertension in the Sun Project
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Coffee Consumption and Risk of Hypertension: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Coffee Consumption and Risk of Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies
- Journal Circulation: Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in 3 Large Prospective Cohorts
- National Center for Biotechonology Information: Coffee, Caffeine, and Cardiovascular Disease in Men
- National center for Biotechnology Information: Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease: A Condensed Review of Epidemiological Evidence and Mechanisms
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Habitual Coffee Consumption and Blood Pressure: An Epidemiological Perspective
- Harvard Health: Coffee and your blood pressure
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of Decaffeinated Versus Regular Coffee on Blood Pressure. A 12-week, Double-Blind Trial