Does Drinking Tea Affect your Blood Pressure?

Tea has been popularized across the world not only as a refreshing beverage but one which also has a lot of health benefits. One of the most widely promoted benefits of tea is that it helps lower the risk of heart diseases. However, whether it has a negative or positive impact on high blood pressure is a matter of ongoing debate.

Tea and Blood Pressure
There are divergent schools of thought on the issue of whether tea increases blood pressure or lowers it. It is claimed that since a cup of tea contains about 50 mg of caffeine, its consumption causes an increase in blood pressure. In fact, instead of tea, cocoa has been claimed to bring down blood pressure levels. However, it is suggested by opposing studies that increase in blood pressure from drinking tea is only transient. The end result is not a rise but decrease in blood pressure levels.

Population studies of regions where tea-drinking have been an age old custom (Norway, for example) indicated that drinking tea did result in lowering of systolic blood pressure. The chances of experiencing hypertension went down significantly if individuals above the age of 21 drank more than 3 cups of black tea in a day.

However, at some other places (such as UK) it was found that drinking black tea on an empty stomach temporarily raised systolic blood pressure (blood pressure measured when the heart is at rest). At the same time, there was no change in blood pressure when tea was consumed along with a meal.

Bearing in mind the opposite conclusions drawn in different demographical studies, it is evident that there is still more research to be done to arrive at a better understanding of effects of tea on blood pressure.

Should People With High Blood Pressure Drink Tea?
Out of the two studies mentioned above, the latter one would be of more importance for those suffering from high blood pressure. Even at a preliminary stage of research, the idea that drinking tea can cause high blood pressure can be of great importance for people already suffering from high blood pressure.

However, what is to be noted in the second study is that there was no change in systolic blood pressure if tea was consumed along with a meal. Keeping this inference in mind, it can be recommended to people suffering from high blood pressure that drinking tea is safe only when the stomach is full.

If you too are suffering from high blood pressure and want to try out an alternative therapy to lower it, it is advised that you do it in consent with you doctor. A close co-ordination with expert medical advice would help formulate a proper treatment plan comprising of medication, diet, and exercise.