Nancy Dell: Caffeine and high blood pressure

Determine your own tolerance to caffeine by taking your blood pressure throughout the day

I have high blood pressure. How much caffeine can I drink, before it raises my blood pressure?
– Jack, Internet

We do know that the caffeine in regular coffee will raise blood pressure temporarily. How much it increases blood pressure will vary person to person.

The increase is far less substantial in people who have a long history of drinking caffeinated coffee because they develop a tolerance to it. So determine your own tolerance to caffeine by taking your blood pressure throughout the day when you drink coffee and compare it to your blood pressures on a day where you reduce or avoid caffeine.

If your blood pressure is too high on the caffeine day, then wean off it. If you just can’t give up your caffeine, then follow the other diet guidelines to lower blood pressure:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Reduce sodium
  • Eat half your plate as produce
  • Eat 2 servings of low fat milk or yogurt a day

Like caffeine, the effect of alcohol on blood pressure varies with each person. For some people it may be the main lifestyle factor that raises it and for others alcohol may have no effect.

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