In news that surprises exactly nobody, the Lawson Health Research Institute is reporting that your morning cup of coffee might be affecting your blood pressure treatment adversely. Ok, so I’m being a little facetious here, but if you’ve been living with HBP for any amount of time, you know that you need to keep your caffeine intake down because every old wives’ tale agrees on the fact that coffee is bad for your blood pressure.
Well, it appears that we have some proof now, in the form of this study. To be fair, the study looked at the difference in the efficacy of a blood pressure treatment (Felodipine) when applied in concert with continuing daily coffee intake vs. the Felodipine alone. It found that the anti-hypertensive effects of the Felodipine appear to have been significantly impacted by the intake of coffee on a daily basis.
“Even one cup of coffee containing a relatively low amount of caffeine remarkably compromised the anti-hypertensive effect of this drug at the maximum recommended dose,” said Dr. David Bailey, Lawson Scientist and researcher at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “If you wanted to overcome the effect of the coffee, you had to double the dose of this anti-hypertensive drug which could increase the risk of unwanted excessive drug effects, particularly during the period when coffee is not consumed.”
Going back to the old wives’ tales, again even though we’ve all known that coffee impacts blood pressure adversely, many of us build a tolerance to the effects of caffeine if we continue to drink it, and the hypertensive effects are nullified. However, this study also found that this tolerance pretty much disappears if you stop drinking coffee for a couple of days, along with their protection. Yup, so if you drink coffee for months every day and your blood pressure is fine, stopping for a couple of days and then starting coffee again will make your blood pressure spike. Scary.
Furthermore, the ingestion of coffee and caffeine can further complicate how your hypertension is treated by messing with your Doctor’s measurements if you have had coffee shortly before an appointment.
I personally use caffeine quite a bit as a pre-workout stimulant as I feel like I’m able to perform much better with it. Maybe it’s time to call a spade a spade and drop caffeinated beverages from our respective routines because it is not worth the trouble.