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Can People with High Blood Pressure Drink Coffee?

2020-01-05 16:50

Being busy, staying up late, having an unhealthy diet, and being always stressful...are you having a healthy life? 


 About 1 in 4 people in Taiwan have high blood pressure, and those people are advised by doctors not to drink coffee. However, there are two opposite views about "drinking coffee". Some people claim that caffeine causes blood vessels to dilate and help lower blood pressure, while others insist that caffeine increases blood pressure rather than stimulates blood circulation. So, can people with high blood pressure drink coffee?


According to the statement by the English National Health Service (NHS), High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by cutting down on caffeine. It means that drinking coffee is not the fatal factor of increasing your blood pressure while drinking "too much" coffee is. That being said, Mayo Clinic, an American not-for-profit organization academic medical center, points out that "caffeine can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don't have high blood pressure. It's unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. Some researchers believe that caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened. Others think that caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase". (Dr. Sheldon Sheps, 2019)


On the other hand, people who are accustomed to drinking caffeine drinks (tea, coffee, etc.) usually have a higher average blood pressure than those who do not drink at all and are more tolerant to caffeine. That is to say, caffeine does not cause a long-term drastic effect on the blood pressure of ordinary people, but people who are overweight or over 70 years old are more likely to have a noticeable blood pressure increase after absorbing caffeine. 


Therefore, Mayo Clinic (2019) advises that if you have relevant issues of high blood pressure, ask your doctor whether you should limit or stop drinking caffeinated beverages. " If you're concerned about caffeine's effect on your blood pressure, try limiting the amount of caffeine you drink to 200 milligrams a day — about the same amount as is generally in two 8-ounce (237-milliliter) cups of brewed coffee". Besides, checking your blood pressure before drinking a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage and again 30 to 120 minutes afterward to see if caffeine might be raising your blood pressure. If your blood pressure increases by about 5 to 10 points, you are advised to be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. If you plan to cut down on caffeine, do so gradually over several days to a week to avoid withdrawal headaches.


Apart from controlling caffeine intake, there is one more thing advised when you drinking coffee. The timing of drinking and how to drink coffee properly are important! It is advised to avoid drinking coffee before exercise as doing exercises raises blood pressure itself, and your blood pressure will rise faster than usual. Also, if you would like to drink coffee, drink black coffee, and coffee with less sugar and milk will help you control your blood pressure. 


It's difficult to get rid of all coffee in daily life! We do need something that fulfills our coffee cravings and boost our energy during work! However, staying healthy is way more important to live happily. We all need to focus on our physical and mental health and ease our "excessive" cravings of caffeine.