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Can Caffeine Cause High Blood Pressure?

Puja Lalwani Feb 14, 2020
Not many of us can do without that first cup of coffee or tea every morning. However, what many of us are unaware of is how caffeine and blood pressure are related. This Story provides information about the same.
We consume greater amounts of caffeine in the form of tea, coffee, or our favorite chocolate bar, when that deadline for the important presentation is approaching, or while studying for an exam until the last minute. This is because caffeine is considered to be a stimulant, the intake of which is known to alert the mind and body and drive away sleepiness. Caffeine is present in tea and coffee in lower amounts compared to chocolate, colas, and energy drinks. However, before you pop that bar of chocolate, take a look at the studies that have established a possible relation between caffeine and blood pressure.

Is Blood Pressure Affected by Caffeine?

Caffeine is known to temporarily increase the blood pressure. This is the reason why it is called a stimulant, and why we become alert upon consuming it. It blocks the hormone called adenosine that functions to widen the arteries, and as a result of this, the blood pressure increases. Higher levels of adrenaline are also observed as a result of ingestion of caffeine. It is also known to increase the blood pressure. However, there is more to this assumption than what meets the eye. The effects of caffeine on blood pressure are yet to be confirmed.

The Debate

Research has shown that, people who drink beverages that contain caffeine on a regular basis, are at a lower risk of developing high blood pressure, than those who do not drink it, or drink it rarely. Studies have even proved that prolonged consumption of caffeine makes a person tolerant to its stimulating effects. Those who have normal blood pressure need not restrict the intake of their regular dose of coffee and tea. In fact, caffeine is known to have several antioxidant properties that are useful for the body.
On the other hand, people who already have high blood pressure or are at a risk of heart disease, should consult their doctor before deciding the amounts of caffeine they should consume. They should avoid excessive intake of caffeine-rich drinks and foods, as it can lead to several health problems that may occur as a result of high blood pressure.
Furthermore, research shows that various products that contain caffeine have different effects on the body in the long run. While coffee and tea are known not to have a drastic effect on the blood pressure, and in some cases, even reduce the risk of developing blood pressure problems, excessive consumption of colas and sodas containing caffeine are known to increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Because of the immediate effect that caffeine has on the human body, it is considered a drug. Thus, the intake of caffeine should be monitored as this drug can affect the effectiveness of the drug, one may be consuming to monitor blood pressure levels.
Much as it may have been said that caffeine does not increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, it is still advisable to gradually reduce its amount in daily consumption. The reason it should be done gradually is, completely stopping the intake of caffeine suddenly may lead to several withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness. Thus, it is a tricky choice, deciding whether to reduce or increase the intake of caffeine, specially since the research regarding caffeine and blood pressure is still vague, and not complete.
Disclaimer: This Story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.