Does Coffee Raise Blood Pressure?


Have you ever gulped down a hot cup of coffee in the morning and then immediately felt your heart rate spike and your face flush? If you speculate a surge in your blood pressure as a result of drinking coffee, you are not wrong. Coffee's caffeine content has been linked to an increase in blood pressure. Healthcare professionals advise against drinking caffeinated beverages, including coffee, especially 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure because it could result in an inaccurate measurement. While coffee does momentarily raise blood pressure levels, it has no long-term negative effects on health, especially if consumed in moderation.

Causes of drinking coffee

Coffee is one of the most extensively consumed beverages in the world. It is the most widely used psychoactive stimulant worldwide and a naturally occurring central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class.1

Temporary effects of drinking coffee on blood pressure

The caffeine in coffee elevates the blood pressure in the short term since it reaches a peak 30-120 minutes after oral administration and has a half-life of 3-6 hours. According to research, blood pressure spikes within 30 minutes of coffee consumption, peaks in 1-2 hours, and may last for over 4 hours, with the initial impact on blood pressure indicating variations of 3-15 mm Hg systolic and 4-13 mm Hg diastolic pressure.2 Although drinking coffee can momentarily raise your blood pressure, the increase has not been shown in frequent and chronic coffee drinkers, which is another intriguing and peculiar truth. Even though the exact mechanism underlying this has not been discovered, many believe that it can be due to the tolerance to caffeine developed as a result of frequent use.

Long-term effects of drinking coffee

While caffeine in coffee causes an immediate elevation in blood pressure for over three hours, especially in hypertensive subjects with susceptibility, there is little to no evidence to suggest a link between long-term coffee use and higher blood pressure or an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in hypertensive individuals.3 In the long run, coffee consumption has been linked to health benefits due to the presence of antioxidants that combat oxidative stress by reducing the free radical content.4 The positive outcomes of coffee on the cardiovascular system can be related to the presence of substances including polyphenols, soluble fiber, and potassium. Additionally, consumption was linked to a reduced risk of a number of certain cancers in addition to neurological, metabolic, and liver diseases.5

Effect of coffee that can raise blood pressure

The precise mechanism by which coffee raises blood pressure is unknown; some speculate that it is brought on by a surge in adrenaline, while others blame disruptions in hormone control. However, the increase in blood pressure brought on by drinking coffee is attributed to a number of variables.


Coffee consumption has been associated with a marked reduction in sleep and can also predispose an individual to develop insomnia, particularly for those at risk and coffee consumption before bedtime. Caffeine works as an adenosine receptor antagonist and blocks the mechanism that promotes sleepiness as result there is a reduction in sleep whichleads to upregulation in blood pressure, insomnia  in extreme cases. Blood pressure drops when you sleep, and habitually short sleep cycles as in the case of insomnia are linked to hypertension, particularly in middle age. Objectively, low sleep time coupled with insomnia increases the chance of developing hypertension.6 


The caffeine in coffee relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, which can cause the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, including heartburn, to appear or worsen. There is a high correlation between heartburn and hypertension, since it has been linked to an increased prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.7


The presence of caffeine in coffee acts as a psychological stimulant which often leads to the development or exacerbation of anxiety symptoms. Coffee and caffeine-containing products have beneficial inotropic and chronotropic effects on the circulatory system, along with anxiogenic-like effects on the central nervous system.Although anxiety has not been linked to long-term hypertension, it can momentarily raise an individual's blood pressure.9


According to NHS guidelines, drinking more than four cups of coffee per day has been linked to an increase in blood pressure. As a result, it is important to stick to the recommended amount and limit caffeine use, particularly coffee. Caffeine should be avoided shortly before activities that inherently raise blood pressure, such as exercise, weightlifting, or strenuous physical labor, if you are inclined to high blood pressure or have been diagnosed with clinical hypertension.

Even though it has been proved that not all people are susceptible to the effects of coffee, if you are one of those individuals whose blood pressure spikes minutes after consuming coffee, it is recommended to eliminate coffee from your diet and replace it with blood pressure friendly alternatives.

Alternatives to coffee

Since caffeine is the primary cause of elevated blood pressure, many people think switching to a decaffeinated variety would be a wise decision, but in reality, decaffeinated coffee or decaf coffee is not completely devoid of caffeine. Decaffeinated coffees and teas typically have 2 to 15 milligrams of caffeine per cup, compared to 80 to 100 milligrams in a conventional cup of coffee. Even trace amounts can have an adverse effect on hypertensives who are caffeine sensitive.

Even though they contain less caffeine than coffee, black tea, green tea, cola drinks, and energy drinks can all cause a surge in blood pressure in people who are sensitive to it. Fresh fruit juices, matcha tea, golden milk, lemon water, chicory root tea, rooibos tea, apple cider vinegar, and kombucha are a few of the healthier alternatives to your morning brew. Although the substitutes may not have the same energizing effect as a cup of coffee, they are nevertheless worth considering because of their beneficial properties and antioxidant richness.

When to stop drinking coffee

The FDA estimates that consuming less than 400 mg of caffeine per day is generally considered safe for most adults. Since a freshly brewed cup of coffee contains approximately 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, consuming no more than four cups per day keeps the adverse effects at bay.10 There is no one solution that works for everyone, so if your blood pressure is sensitive and surges after caffeine, it's important to completely cut out coffee and stop drinking it.

According to a tip sheet by John Hopkins, not every individual experiences a rise in blood pressure after consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee and cola, but for all individuals that experience a five to ten-point surge in their blood pressure in the aftermath of coffee consumption, it is a cue for them to cut back on coffee and all other caffeinated beverages. It is even more crucial to cut down caffeine intake for those diagnosed with clinical hypertension.11


The notion that excessive consumption of everything is unhealthy also applies to coffee drinking, therefore moderation is the key to maximizing the advantages. All in all, coffee can cause hypertensive people who are caffeine sensitive to experience a brief increase in blood pressure, although this impact can be averted by drinking the beverage in moderation. It is advised to either entirely cut off coffee or consult your primary care physician for advice and instruction if you develop signs and symptoms of hypertension after consuming coffee. The recommended daily dose of coffee can be consumed by healthy people without a history of hypertension to take advantage of the invigorating effects of coffee.


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  9. Yan J, Pan Y, Cai W, Cheng Q, Dong W, An T. Association between anxiety and hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2015 Apr;11:1121–30. Available from:
  10. FDA. Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much? [Internet]. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2018. Available from:
  11. Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure [Internet]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Sidra Irfan

Bachelors of Dental Surgery, Dentistry, Lahore Medical & Dental College, Pakistan

Sidra is a general dentist who enjoys writing in general but particularly enjoys compiling health tech innovation and patient awareness material. She is an equal healthcare access advocate who is currently engaged in research and public health. She also works as a medical, health, and wellness SEO content writer.

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