Some drinks can affect high blood pressure faster than others. Identifying those drinks are crucial, especially on days your blood pressure might be tested. Therefore, let’s answer the question, what drinks raise blood pressure instantly?
Drinks that raise blood pressure instantly are:
- Drinks high in tyramine
- Coffee (caffeinated)
- Tea (caffeinated)
- Sugary Drinks
- Energy Drinks
This blog post will explain why these drinks increase blood pressure instantly. The drinks high in tyramine are exceptionally important to identify if you’re taking a certain medication. In addition, I’ll inform you how coffee affected my blood pressure when I conducted a study at home.
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Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Never change or modify your nutrition without seeking advice from a physician.
What Drinks Raise Blood Pressure Instantly?
1. Drinks High in Tyramine
A large dietary intake of tyramine can cause the tyramine pressor response, defined as an increase in systolic blood pressure of 30 mm Hg or more. This is especially dangerous if you’re taking Monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
Therefore, what drinks contain a high amount of tyramine? Drinks high in Tyramine include:
- Fermented alcohol
- Beer (especially tap or home brewed beer)
- Red wine
- White wine
The fermented alcohol, vermouth and tap beer contain more tyramine than the others. It’s safer to drink the others in moderation.
2. Coffee (caffeinated)
Many studies have shown how coffee raised blood pressure instantly after drinking it. The short-term effects affect non habitual coffee drinkers more. Even though, the regular drinkers experienced a slight increase.
I conducted my own study at home. I measured my blood pressure three times prior to drinking a cup of coffee. The average was 110/72 mmHg. I waited 30 minutes and checked my blood pressure again. This time it was 115/73 mmHg.
My results were similar to what I found in the studies. I consider myself a habitual drinker and saw a slight increase. I made a video on my experiment and also discussed the long-term effects of coffee drinking. Just click the play button on the video below.
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 3. 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.
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.
3. Tea (caffeinated)
Tea, like coffee, has been shown to benefit blood pressure long-term 4. Since this article is based on instant blood pressure increases, caffeinated tea can raise blood pressure immediately. This is more accurate for people who are non habitual drinkers.
One study examined the effects of drinking tea on 20 participants. They drank three cups of black tea 1.5 hours apart from each cup. The researchers found systolic blood pressure increased significantly when tea was drank alone with no other food or drink 5.
I recently posted an article about drinks that lower BP. Check it out here, 10 Drinks To Lower Blood Pressure Backed By Science.
Alcohol instantly increases blood pressure for the following reasons:
- Increase sympathetic activity: Increase the heart rate and constrict blood vessels which increases blood pressure.
- Decreases baroreceptor sensitivity: The baroreceptors help identify and control the changes in blood pressure.
- Increases cortisol levels: Cortisol is the main stress hormone which increases blood sugar levels.
- Constricts blood vessels: a constricted blood vessel increases blood pressure and makes the heart pump harder.
The above is more likely to occur having 3 or more drinks at one time. The American Heart Association recommends only drinking alcohol in moderation.
For healthy adults, one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. A drink is equal to four ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, 1.0 ounce of 100-proof spirits or 12 ounces of beer 6.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure or taking medication, these recommendations can change. Always check with your physician 7.
How about sugar, doesn’t alcohol have a good amount? Alcohol has zero sugar content. It’s what liquid is mixed with the alcohol that contains the sugar. Orange juice, cola and tonic water all contain high amounts.
Therefore, your mixed drink may be contributing to blood sugar spikes and increasing blood pressure.
5. Sugary Drinks
When people warn others to cut back on their sugary soda intake, they always mention tooth cavities and gaining weight. You never hear anyone say, stop drinking soda or you’ll have high blood pressure. But that’s exactly what’s going on.
One study in 2011 found that people who drank more than one soda a day, had higher blood pressure. In addition, the more they drank, the higher their blood pressure went up 8.
It’s not limited to soda. Many fruit juices contain added sugar 9. The sugar in drinks raises blood pressure instantly for the following reasons:
Raising Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
Consuming excess sugar has been shown to increase blood sugar and insulin levels. When your insulin levels increase, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. When this happens, the heart rate increases and blood vessels constrict.
Reduce The Sensitivity Of Receptors That Regulate Blood Pressure
When excess sugar raises insulin levels, it also reduces the sensitivity of the baroreceptors that regulate blood pressure.
Baroreceptors are found in the walls of your arteries. They constantly monitor blood pressure and send signals to the brain when they sense a change in your blood pressure. The brain responds by initiating mechanisms that adjust your blood pressure 10.
Americans consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day. The equivalent to 60 pounds of sugar per year or six 10 lb. bowling bowls!
I wrote a whole blog post on how sugar raises blood pressure. The post dives deeper and explains how it can affect your cell’s energy stores. Check it out here, How Does Sugar Raise Blood Pressure.
6. Energy Drinks
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, examined 34 people between the ages of 18 and 40. They drank a 32-ounce energy drink on three separate days. Their blood pressure was measured before the drink and every 30 minutes after, for four hours.
Their blood pressure increased by 15.9 mmHg systolic and 9.6 mmHg diastolic 11. The researchers contributed the instant rise in blood pressure due to the caffeine content.
More alarming is how the energy drinks affected the heart’s natural rhythm.
In addition to the caffeine, some energy drinks contain more sugar grams than a can of soda. As noted earlier, sugary drinks can spike blood sugar and insulin. Energy drinks contain a double whammy effect on blood pressure between the caffeine and sugar.
Some young people are mixing energy drinks with alcohol. This is troublesome as the energy boost masks the signs of being drunk. This can increase the amount of alcohol drank at one time and increase blood pressure more 12.
I identified 14 foods (not drinks) that raise BP immediately in my blog post which you can read right here, What Foods Raise Blood Pressure Immediately.
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- ScienceDirect: Tyramine
- Wiley Online Library: Blood pressure effects of monoamine oxidase inhibitors in response to orally administered tyramine in the rat
- American Heart Association Journal Circulation: Coffee Acutely Increases Sympathetic Nerve Activity and Blood Pressure Independently of Caffeine Content
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects and Mechanisms of Tea Regulating Blood Pressure: Evidences and Promises
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Acute effects of tea on fasting and postprandial vascular function and blood pressure in humans
- American Heart Association: Limiting Alcohol to Manage High Blood Pressure
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Alcohol-induced hypertension: Mechanism and prevention
- Harvard Health: Sugary soda and juice can boost blood pressure, weight
- American Heart Association: How much sugar is too much?
- DSI: Baroreceptor Sensitivity (BRS)
- Journal of the American Heart Association: Impact of High Volume Energy Drink Consumption on Electrocardiographic and Blood Pressure Parameters: A Randomized Trial
- Harvard: Energy Drinks