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Home >  Diet & Nutrition >  Caffeine Raises Blood Pressure
Articles on Diet & Nutrition
Caffeine Raises Blood Pressure
Author: Cleaves M. Bennett MD FACP
Monday, January 07, 2008

Caffeine is the most commonly used, naturally occurring nervous system stimulant. It's in coffee, it's in black tea, and cola drinks, and cocoa-- well as over-the-counter stimulants such as NoDoz tablets. And it's something we often use as a means of coping with stress or the chronic fatigue that often accompanies it. Drinking coffee to handle stress is like trying to quench a fire with gasoline.

A study in the American Journal of Medicine (1982) showed that caffeine raises the blood pressure. And if you really want to promote high blood pressure, smoke a cigarette while you're drinking your coffee. The effects of nicotine and caffeine mixed are even more powerful than the effects of either taken separately. After a cup of coffee and a cigarette the blood pressure can stay up for hours.I tend to encourage people to drink less and less caffeine. A lot of people are surprised and upset to find out how addicted to caffeine they are—and if you're a regular coffee drinker you may get headaches, or sick to your stomach, or depressed when you try to quit. These symptoms are the result of an actual physiological addiction; but they are very short lived and usually last only a day or two.

You may also have a psychological expectation and tell yourself, "I've got to have coffee, or I can’t wake up." But reducing or giving up your coffee habit will actually leave you with more energy, not less.

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