It seems that the majority of blood pressure discussions in the medical and health communities deal with lowering high blood pressure; however, if you have low blood pressure you are equally at risk for developing various health ailments. According to the Mayo Clinic, low blood pressure, or hypotension, can cause dizziness, fainting and if your blood pressure becomes too low then you may experience a life threatening health complications (Source).
Like its counterpart, low blood pressure may be treated through prescription medications as well as alternative therapies such as caffeine. Although preliminary research for caffeine is promising, never attempt to self-treat hypotension without first consulting with your physician.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is perhaps best known for its energizing qualities, and white this substance is found naturally in a variety of plant species, many beverage manufactures synthetically create this compound (Source).
Because caffeine stimulates your central nervous system that results in elevated moods and an increase in energy, it is classified as a drug. You can feel the effects of caffeine for up to six hours, and because your body cannot store this compound within cells it causes a diuretic effects, thus enhancing the production of urine (Source).
Effects of Caffeine on Blood Pressure:
According Mayo Clinic researchers, consuming caffeine through beverages or food sources can result in a noticeable increase in your blood pressure (Source). Once you drink two to three cups of coffee, its caffeine content can raise the systolic pressure number 3 to 14 mm of mercury while also raising the diastolic pressure number 4 to 13 mm of mercury (Source).
While researchers are this currently debating the exact reason as to why caffeine increases your blood pressure, initial studies suggest this action may be due to an increase of adrenaline production of a decrease in hormones responsible for keeping blood vessel wide – either reason results in an increase in blood pressure (Source).
Although caffeine is not officially sanctioned by the medical community to treat low blood pressure, initial research is promising regarding its ability to increase blood pressure.
How Much Caffeine?
The amount of caffeine you should consume per day is relative based on your body chemistry, thus talk with your doctor to obtain a personalized daily dosage limit. It is important to do this as drinking excessive caffeine can result in adverse health reactions.
The Mayo Clinic outlines the suggested amount of caffeine for those with low blood pressure, which is 200 mg or more per day; however, this is a blanket suggestion and it is not ideal for every person (Source).
Mayo Clinic: Low Blood Pressure
Mayo Clinic: How Does Caffeine Affect Blood Pressure?
American Heart Association: Effect of Caffeine on Blood Pressure Beyond the Laboratory