You may know that coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. You may also know that over time, people who are coffee drinkers tend to have higher blood pressure than those who don’t.
But coffee isn’t the only problem. Caffeine is the main reason why energy drinks are so popular.
Mayo Clinic researchers decided to look at the effects of energy drinks on the blood pressures of 25 healthy volunteers ranging from 19 to 40 years old. They had the participants drink a can of energy drink one day, and then a placebo the next day.
The researchers found that average systolic blood pressure increased 3 percent more after the subjects drank an energy drink, compared with after they drank the placebo drink.
The spike was sharper in participants who were not regular coffee drinkers because those who partake of coffee regularly tend to build up a tolerance to caffeine; their blood pressure went up less, if at all.
The researchers noted that such a spike might not harm people who are young and healthy, but could cause problems in older people who are more prone to stroke, irregular heartbeats, and other cardiovascular problems.
When it comes to blood pressure, small changes can translate into big gains in terms of a longer, healthier life.
Don’t ignore the most common causes of high blood pressure. You still need to walk an hour a day, lose 10 pounds, and quit smoking.
But also be sure that the hidden causes of high blood pressure aren’t sabotaging your best efforts.
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