How does caffeine affect blood pressure?
Answer From Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.
Caffeine may cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don't have high blood pressure. It's unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. The blood pressure response to caffeine differs from person to person.
Some researchers believe that caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened. Others think that caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.
Some people who regularly drink caffeinated beverages have a higher average blood pressure than do those who drink none. Others who regularly drink caffeinated beverages develop a tolerance to caffeine. As a result, caffeine doesn't have a long-term effect on their blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor whether you should limit or stop drinking caffeinated beverages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says 400 milligrams a day of caffeine is generally safe for most people. However, if you're concerned about caffeine's effect on your blood pressure, try limiting the amount of caffeine you drink to 200 milligrams a day — about the same amount as is generally in two 8-ounce (237-milliliter) cups of brewed coffee. Keep in mind that the amount of caffeine in coffee, energy drinks and other beverages varies by brand and method of preparation.
Also, if you have high blood pressure, avoid caffeine right before activities that naturally increase your blood pressure, such as exercise, weightlifting or hard physical labor.
To see if caffeine might be raising your blood pressure, check your blood pressure before drinking a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage and again 30 to 120 minutes afterward. If your blood pressure increases by about 5 to 10 points, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. If you plan to cut back on caffeine, do so gradually over several days to a week to avoid withdrawal headaches.
Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.
Dec. 16, 2022
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing!
You'll soon start receiving the latest Mayo Clinic health information you requested in your inbox.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
See more Expert Answers
- Papakonstantinou E, et al. Acute effects of coffee consumption on self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms, blood pressure and stress indices in healthy individuals. Nutrition Journal. 2016;15:26.
- Xie C, et al. Coffee consumption and risk of hypertension: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2018; doi:10.1038/s41371-017-0007-0.
- Giardina E-G. Cardiovascular effects of caffeine and caffeinated beverages. https://www.uptodate.com/content/search. Accessed May 6, 2021.
- De Giuseppe R, et al. Caffeine and blood pressure: A critical review perspective. Nutrition Research Reviews. 2019; doi:10.1017/S0954422419000015.
- Caffeine. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed May 6, 2021.
- 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Accessed May 6, 2021.
- Temple JL, et al. The safety of ingested caffeine: A comprehensive review. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2017;8:1.
- Chrysant SG. The impact of coffee consumption on blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy. 2017; doi:10.1080/14779072.2017.1287563.
- FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov. Accessed. Accessed May 6, 2021.