High Blood Pressure and Coffee: The Healthiest Beans for You

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Short Answer: Coffee should really be avoided if you have high blood pressure. But if you’re a coffee addict who cannot live without it, you can switch to decaf and drink it in moderation.

Coffee has become a part of our routine for morning boosts, afternoon slump pick-me-ups, and pulling all-nighters.

Because it’s inexpensive and widely available in convenience stores, coffee is popular among the working class. In today’s fast-paced world, caffeine products help you stay focused and energized as stacks of work pile up.

Aside from improving endurance and providing an energy boost, numerous studies have discovered a plethora of other health benefits provided by coffee.

But if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking supplements and medication, you need to consult your doctor to see if drinking coffee or any sort of caffeinated beverage interacts with your body. An example of this would be how coffee affects your blood pressure levels.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how and why coffee can raise your blood pressure and how to lower it to the normal level.

Can coffee raise blood pressure?

A person monitoring their heart rate.

Too many cups of coffee can definitely cause a rise in your blood pressure.

Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, has been shown to inhibit the hormones that work to widen your arteries. It can cause your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, causing your blood pressure to rise.

Given this, experts believe that drinking more than 4 cups of coffee per day may raise your blood pressure.

Studies also confirmed that 200 to 300 mg of caffeine can cause an increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 8 mm Hg and 6 mm Hg, respectively.

Caffeine’s effects, however, differ from person to person, depending on tolerance and activity levels, and overall health conditions.

Can I drink coffee with high blood pressure?

The good news is you can still enjoy a cup of coffee or two even if you have high blood pressure by switching to decaf.

People with high blood pressure can still enjoy a cup of coffee as long as they’re careful.

Nevertheless, to avoid any adverse effects it’s critical to adhere to the recommended daily caffeine intake limit which is 400 mg for healthy individuals.

If you have insomnia, experience tremors, headaches, anxiety, or heartburn, you should avoid coffee because it could mean you have caffeine sensitivity.

And if you notice that these symptoms are worsening, I recommend that you see your doctor.

Does quitting coffee lower blood pressure?

Quitting coffee can surely help in lowering down your blood pressure.

Caffeine is the real culprit and giving it up can help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart from working overtime.

But that’s not all you have to do. To improve your heart health, you must also give up bad habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

According to health professionals, giving up caffeine widens your arteries, resulting in healthy blood pressure. So, if you eliminate coffee from your diet, you won’t have to worry about blood pressure spikes or other potential complications.

If you really want to go caffeine-free, I recommend doing so gradually to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, dizziness, tiredness, and muscle pain.

I have an entire post on quitting coffee if you want a comprehensive read which you can check out right here.

Natural ways to bring down high blood pressure

A woman doing sit ups. Exercising is one of the ways to lower blood pressure.

The following are ways to bring down your blood pressure naturally without using any medication:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose some weight
  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Eat heathy
  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce your stress

It’s equally important to monitor your blood pressure to make sure that your lifestyle changes are working.

I suggest you buy a blood pressure monitor to keep check of your blood pressure. Also, visit your doctor as soon as you experience any potential health complications.

Here is a table showing the blood pressure stages that can assist you in categorizing your blood pressure and dealing with it appropriately.

Blood Pressure CategoriesSystolic mm Hg (upper#)Diastolic mm Hg (lower#)
Normalless than 120less than 80
Elevated120-129less than 80
High Blood Pressure
(hypertension) Stage 1
High Blood Pressure
(hypertension) Stage 2
140 or higher90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis
(Seek Emergency care)
higher than 180higher than 120
Stages of blood pressure.

Best coffee option for high blood pressure

White tiles spelling out decaf.

Decaffeinated coffee or decaf is the best option for people with high blood pressure because it doesn’t raise blood pressure levels as long as you consume it cautiously.

A 12-week study comparing the effects of caffeinated vs. decaffeinated coffee on blood pressure found that there was a small but notable drop in blood pressure when caffeinated coffee was replaced with decaf.

However, the study also stated that more research is needed to determine whether a switch to decaf coffee can really reduce hypertension and other related health problems.

You should know that decaf coffee is not totally caffeine-free. It contains 3% caffeine that’s why you still need to limit your intake of it.

If you want to read more about decaf coffee, you can check out my informative post about it here.

Which foods should I avoid if I have high blood pressure?

Sugary and food high in saturated fat should be avoided if you have high blood pressure because can surely elevate it.

Here is a helpful list of food to avoid that can raise your blood pressure:

  • salt
  • deli meat
  • pickles
  • canned food
  • processed food with transfat

Salt is one of the leading causes of heart disease and high blood pressure because it affects fluid balance in the blood.

The majority of sodium in the American diet comes from processed foods but it can also be found in other food we eat.

I have bad news for deli meat fans: processed deli meats are high in sodium. Manufacturers use salt to cure, preserve, and season their meat products.

lt’s also best to avoid sour pickles because they contain a high amount of salt. The longer it stays in its can or bottle, the more sodium it releases.

Canned foods appear to be a blessing especially for those who are always on the go. However, it’s better to stop eating anything that’s canned as it’s also loaded with a high amount of sodium.

For instance, canned tomato soup contains approximately 1110 mg of sodium. Though the amount is still within the daily recommended sodium intake, it’s way high when you consider consuming this much sodium from just 1 kind of food.

As a result, you should eliminate as much sodium from your diet as possible because it has the potential to harm your health in the long run.

For more information about food that raises blood pressure, watch the video below.

Foods That You Shouldn’t Have If You Have High Blood Pressure.

To sum it all up

Too much caffeine can lead to hypertension and an increase in blood pressure levels.

The good news is that you can still enjoy a cup or two of coffee even if you have high blood pressure. You just have to switch to decaf and consume it in moderation.

Mind you, decaf isn’t completely caffeine-free. 97% of caffeine is removed during the process of decaffeination so the remaining 3% still causes harm if you aren’t careful.

Overdoing caffeine intake when you have high blood pressure can potentially lead to caffeine overdose or worst-case scenario – a stroke or heart attack!

If your blood pressure still rises even though you’re already drinking decaf cautiously, it’s best to give up caffeine.

This results in your arteries widening naturally for better blood flow. Just make sure to do it gradually as not to experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, dizziness, tiredness, and muscle pain.

It’s also a good idea to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes avoiding foods high in sugar, sodium, and trans-fat, as well as refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking. You must also combine weight loss and exercise.