What drinks can increase blood pressure


Hypertension is a condition that increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems.

Despite its incidence (it is estimated that around 1.13 billion people have hypertension) it is a preventable disorder. This can be achieved by adopting healthy habits, including a healthy diet. Although this is usually focused on food, drinks also play a key role. Here we will see which are the most dangerous.

Alcoholic drinks

An alcoholic beverage is any one that contains ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, in its composition.

This can be found naturally or acquired, the important thing is that it is equal to or greater than 1% of the volume of the drink. Alcoholic beverages can be differentiated into:

  • Fermented: beer, wine or cider, among others.
  • Distilled: whiskey, cognac, vodka, rum or gin, among others.

The recommended consumption of alcoholic beverages is up to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women. One drink is roughly equivalent to a glass of beer, a glass of wine, or a measure of distilled beverage.

The difference between the sexes is that men have more water in their body, therefore, if they drank the same amount, the concentration of alcohol in the blood for women would tend to be higher.

Among the health consequences of excessive alcohol consumption is an increased risk of hypertension, because these drinks can increase fluid retention and thus blood volume.

They can also stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and heart rate, increasing blood pressure.

Coffee

Coffee is a drink that is obtained from the roasted and ground beans of the coffee tree fruit (Coffea). It is highly stimulating due to its important caffeine content, a bitter substance that stimulates the central nervous system.

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Its consumption is usually associated with different health benefits, as long as it is drunk in moderation, that is, between 2 and 3 cups a day (which represents an intake of approximately 250 mg of caffeine).

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Too much can affect your metabolism in many ways, including increasing your blood pressure. The exact cause of this relationship is not known, although experts say it could be because it blocks a hormone that helps keep arteries wide.

The possibility that caffeine causes the adrenal glands to release more adrenaline is also being considered, which causes blood pressure to rise.

Energizers

Energy drinks, also called energy or hypertonic, arise with the aim that whoever consumes them:

  • Achieve a higher level of focus.
  • Increase your physical endurance.
  • Get a feeling of well-being.
  • Eliminate harmful substances from the body.
  • Boost metabolism.
  • Avoid sleep.
  • Get faster reactions.

They should not be confused with isotonic drinks, intended to replace fluid and substances lost during physical activity. Among the main ingredients of energy drinks we find:

  • Carbonated water.
  • Aspartame (sweetener intended for diet versions).
  • Sugars
  • Caffeine.
  • D-glucurono-gammalactonna (carbohydrate).
  • Guarana (herb).
  • Taurine.
  • Vitamins B (B2, B3, B4, B5, B6 and B12).

This ingredient combination acts on the central nervous system, inhibiting the neurotransmitters responsible for transmitting feelings of tiredness, fatigue, exhaustion or sleep, while enhancing those related to well-being and concentration.

While they provide almost immediate energy to the body, they don’t really end muscle fatigue or exhaustion, but instead temporarily inhibit those sensations. For this reason, it is common for decay to resurface once the effect of the drink wears off.

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Constant exposure to caffeine from energizers can over-excite the body’s sympathetic nervous system, raising blood pressure and triggering heart rhythm abnormalities, cardiac arrest, heart attacks, coronary dissections, or vasospasm.

Refreshments

Soft drinks, also called sodas or sodas, are flavored drinks that are made with:

  • Carbonated water.
  • Sweeteners (natural or synthetic).
  • Colorants
  • Preservatives

For years, researchers and health professionals have warned that its excessive consumption can cause different problems, including hypertension.

The latter was seen in different studies that found that people who normally consume soft drinks have a higher risk of suffering alterations in their blood pressure levels.

Experts point out that this may be due to the fact that the long-term intake of sugar (present in soft drinks) can trigger an increase in weight, and it has been proven that for every 10 kilos gained, blood pressure increased between 2 and 3 mm / Hg.

Drinking these beverages can also increase blood sugar levels, which in the long run can cause kidney damage or type 2 diabetes, risk factors for hypertension.

High sodium drinks

Sodium in the diet is a recognized risk factor for hypertension, since its regular intake promotes fluid retention in the body. This causes an increase in blood volume, and thus, in blood pressure.

Although different foods rich in sodium are usually pointed out as the main culprits, and it is advisable to limit or avoid them, such as cheeses, fried foods, sweets, industrial baked goods or sausages, beverages that also contain sodium and can be harmful in excess, such as milk or sparkling water.

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What is blood pressure and how is it controlled

Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels or arteries. It can be measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), taking into account the activity of the heart, which is expressed by two figures:

  • The highest value (“first” or “top”) corresponds to the systolic pressure, which reflects the amount of pressure within the arteries when the heart contracts.
  • The lower value (“second” or “bottom”) indicates diastolic pressure, which reflects the pressure within the arteries during the resting phase between beats.
  • Normal levels are considered when the systolic pressure is below 130 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is below 80 mmHg. Hypertension occurs when these numbers are exceeded.

    This condition can cause serious heart damage, such as arterial hardening and reduced blood and oxygen flow to the heart. This, in turn, can cause:

    • Stroke (CVA).
    • Chest pain
    • Myocardial infarction.
    • Heart failure.
    • Renal insufficiency.
    • Health professionals highlight that hypertension is a preventable condition, and blood pressure levels can be controlled by following certain tips:

      • Reduce your salt intake (to less than 5 g per day).
      • Consume foods with vasodilator properties, especially fruits and vegetables, such as: olive oil, garlic, blueberries, bananas, apples, watermelons or tomatoes, among others.
      • Get regular exercise.
      • Avoid or limit the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and foods rich in saturated fat.
      • Maintain regular sleep times and periods.
      • Managing stress.
      • Use, under medical supervision and recommendation, certain medications, such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.
      • Sources consulted: American Heart Association, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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