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Caffeine and Blood Pressure

Not many of us can do without that first cup of coffee or tea every morning.

What we are unaware of is how caffeine and blood pressure are related.

Learn about the effect of caffeine on blood pressure.

We are sure to 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 it 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 than chocolate, as well as in 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.

Can Caffeine Cause High Blood Pressure?

Caffeine is known to temporarily raise blood pressure.

This is why it is called a stimulant, and why we become alert upon consumption of caffeine. It has the effect of blocking the hormone called adenosine that functions to widen the arteries, a result of which is high blood pressure. Higher levels of adrenaline are also produced as a result of ingestion of caffeine.

This is also known to increase blood pressure.

Thus, it is assumed that caffeine causes high 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. There has been a long standing debate about whether caffeine and blood pressure are related, and whether its consumption is directly proportional to the increase in blood pressure.

Caffeine and High Blood Pressure – The Debate

Research studies have shown that people who drink beverages that contain caffeine on a regular basis are at a lower risk of developing high blood pressure, rather 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 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, individuals who already have high blood pressure or are at a risk of heart disease, should first consult their doctor before deciding the amounts of caffeine they consume, and should beware of excessive intake, as it can lead to several health problems that may occur as a result of high blood pressure.

Further research has proved 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 drastic effects on 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 caffeine has on the human body, it is considered a drug. Thus, the proportion between caffeine and blood pressure needs to 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 the amount consumed for those who already suffer from it.

The reason it should be done gradually is because completely stopping the intake of caffeine suddenly can lead to several caffeine 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.

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