What effect does a daily cup of coffee have on your heart health? Twenty minutes after you drink your morning cup of coffee, your body experiences a spike in blood pressure. How much of a spike in blood pressure you experience serves as a good indicator of how sensitive your body is to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. Although your genetics play a role in your caffeine sensitivity, your daily coffee consumption can provide further insight into the effect of coffee on your heart health.
A study conducted by the Wageningen University looked at the risk of developing hypertension in low, moderate, and heavy coffee drinkers. Hypertension, in men and women, is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiac arrest. The study found that people who consumed no coffee had the lowest risk of developing hypertension and the risk of hypertension increases with moderate coffee consumption (1-4 cups a day). But here’s where things get interesting. The study found that heavy coffee drinking (5+ cups a day) is protective against hypertension and associated diseases, especially for women. Although this suggests heavy coffee consumers build up a tolerance, different individuals have different sensitivity levels and if you are worried about your high blood pressure it’s best you limit yourself to two 12-ounce cups a day.
Unsure of whether it’s time to curtail your coffee addiction? Checking your blood pressure within 30-120 minutes after coffee consumption with Health Gauge could provide some insight. If your eBP increases 5 to 10 points, you might be more sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. If you do plan to reduce your coffee intake, gradually cutting down the daily cups of coffee and increasing your consumption of water may help prevent withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches.