Caffeine Habit Elevates Heart Rate, Risk

Studies have shown that caffeine elevates both blood pressure (BP) and heart rate, which may come as no surprise to coffee drinkers familiar with the lift that the beverage delivers. The investigators found that caffeine raised average blood pressure by about 4 points, and pushed average heart rate up by about 3 beats per minute.

The researchers caution that, if sustained by regular coffee-drinking over a lifetime, these increases in blood pressure and heart rate will elevate the risk of stroke and heart disease. Many other studies, some including tens of thousands of subjects followed over decades, have failed to establish a conclusive link between even heavy coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease. The investigators explained that those epidemiologic studies have not focused specifically on coffee consumption, and often rely on subjective measurements of caffeine intake.

Psychosomatic Medicine May/June 1998;60.

COMMENT: Water is the best fluid for us. Anything other than water, especially taken over a long time, is likely to cause complications. As far as other fluids go, coffee is not one of the more harmful from my experience. However, if you are going to drink coffee it is very important that you only consume organic brands. Most coffee is not grown in this country and most foreign countries do not have bans on pesticides. So restrict your brands to the organic variety.

If you are seeking optimum health, however, you should stop your coffee. It is a drug and the last thing any of us needs is another addiction. If you want to wean yourself off, you can use caffeine pills (No Doz) or a product called Slow Joe, which is spring water with caffeine added. The caffeine will prevent the withdrawal headache from stopping coffee.

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