Caffeine Can Exacerbate High Blood Pressure
Caffeine is a stimulant found in more than 100 plants that stimulates the central nervous system by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain and influencing neural activity via sympathetic nerve circuits. Caffeine is naturally found in coffee, tea, and other beverages. Many people drink these substances to help them stay awake and energized for long periods of time. Some people have been concerned that caffeine can cause a person to develop high blood pressure. This is a natural question since it is a stimulant substance, but instead of “causing” high blood pressure, it actually exacerbates high blood pressure.
Consume Caffeine In Moderation
Caffeine can cause elevations in blood pressure, however, this is usually temporary. Yet, the regular intake of caffeine in someone who has known high blood pressure can cause that person to have sustained levels of high blood pressure. It depends on how much caffeine the person consumes during the day. Caffeine can increase blood pressure to a certain degree after prolonged use. One professional study suggests that people who consume caffeine may have higher than average blood pressure. However, this particular study was limited and its results are not universally accepted. It appears that most caffeine intake studies have been unable to show alterations in blood pressure in those who drink small amounts of coffee or tea. Caffeinated drinks can be part of a healthy lifestyle, however, the amount consumed should be in moderation.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure does the real damage when it is sustained at a high level over time. Small spikes in blood pressure readings don’t tell much about a person’s average blood pressure or mean blood pressure. A person can have a couple of high blood pressure readings during the day, however, during the rest of the day their blood pressure readings are normal. A visit to a certain location, such as a doctor’s office, can induce an episode of high blood pressure – the so-named “white coat syndrome” – yet, as soon as the individual leaves the office, their blood pressure goes back to normal.
Food For Thought
With regards to caffeine consumption, it’s best to find out what your blood pressure readings are throughout the day, especially if you consume large amounts of caffeine. Certain drinks have much higher levels of caffeine, such as energy drinks, some brands of coffee, and some particular soft drinks. Try to pay attention to this part of your diet and keep track of your caffeine level to make sure that you don’t overdo it. Caffeine in moderation tends to be the best methodology.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
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PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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