How Caffeine Affects Your Heart

Cardiac Health | Thursday, March 17th, 2011 | No Comments

Coffee Mug and Beans

Our society today runs on caffeine. Many adults will say they cannot start the day without their morning coffee. College students power through their days and late night study sessions by guzzling energy drinks and the energy shots that have become standard fare. However, how recently have taken into consideration the affect the constant stimulus of caffeine has on your heart?

Caffeine causes increases in your heart rate. It takes approximately 45 minutes for caffeine to be absorbed into the bloodstream. After making its way through the bloodstream to the heart, it attaches itself to receptors on heart tissue, increasing the heart rate and causing that jittery feeling you experience after too much caffeine.

Caffeine raises your blood pressure, one cup at a time. Studies have shown that most adults consume approximately 3.3 cups of coffee each day, with many drinking far more. All it takes are a mere four cups to cause the heart to raise your blood pressure for many hours and increase the risk for stroke or heart attack.

Numerous studies have been performed in order to determine if there is a link between coronary heart disease and the consumption of caffeine, particularly in coffee. There have been no conclusive results, but caffeine intake has also been linked with other medical side effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and other stomach problems
  • Muscle tremors
  • Headaches

Like most things, it is best to use caffeine in moderation. These tips should help you cut the habit:

  • Keep track of the amount of caffeine you are consuming in the form of both food and beverages.
  • Reduce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms by cutting back slowly, reducing your intake of caffeine a small amount each day.
  • Choose decaffeinated drinks.
  • Choose brewed or herbal teas.
  • Look for pain relievers that don’t contain caffeine.

To learn more about how you can protect your heart’s health, please contact us at the Central Florida Cardiac and Vascular Institute. Visit us online or call 772-335-9600.

 

Sources:

American Heart Association

 

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