BP Basics

The Relationship between Caffeine and Blood Pressure

There are several factors that affect the blood pressure of an individual. Lifestyle is one such factor. In our daily life most of us usually love to have tea, coffee, chocolate or soft drinks. But do you know that these products contain caffeine which is a kind of stimulant. This stimulant is not good for health if we consume it regularly and in large amounts..

Although it is not well established how caffeine affects blood pressure, a few medical studies have concluded that people who have a high intake of caffeine are prone to high blood pressure. In other words excessive consumption of tea, coffee or soft drinks may put you at risk of high blood pressure.

In fact, just two or three cups of tea or coffee may raise your blood pressure by 3 to 14 mm Hg. The studies further conclude that people who regularly consume caffeine based beverages have a consistently higher blood pressure than those who abstain from or moderately consume such beverages.

On the other hand other studies have pointed out that people with regular caffeine consumption develop resistance and therefore caffeine does not affect their blood pressure.

There are more interesting results. Women who regularly consume soft drinks increase their risk of high blood pressure but this does not happen if they are regular consumers of coffee.

One more thing that should be mentioned here is that caffeine may cause an instant or sharp rise in the blood pressure but for only a short period. It happens because caffeine narrows the blood vessels by neutralizing the adenosine hormone. This hormone is responsible for maintaining the shape of the blood vessels.

As caffeine is a stimulant it stimulates the adrenal gland resulting in an increased secretion of cortisol and adrenaline. This further raises the blood pressure. Due to this effect of caffeine, doctors recommend that you limit your intake of coffee to two or three cups a day.