No matter how carefully you improve your way of living by eating right and getting your body into shape, your efforts may be wasted if you are raising your blood pressure with chemicals. Street drugs like cocaine have a direct effect on blood pressure but so also legal drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine, and, for some people, caffeine.
You may have heard that moderate alcohol intake can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It is true that one or two drinks a day can increase the beneficial type of cholesterol in your blood. But the disadvantage of alcohol can easily outweigh any advantage. If you take more than a couple of drinks a day, the net effect will be harmful to your heart, as well as your liver and other organs. For some people, two or more drinks a day also increase blood pressure.
Here are some tips for those who may need to cut down:
Caffeine need not be harmful. Even through it may boots pressure temporarily, the pressure doesn’t stay high. However, some doctors will suggest that their patients drink less coffee particularly if it is interfering with sleep or making it hard to relax. As a rule of thumb, it is smart to cut down if you are drinking more than two strong cups a day.
Caffeine is an addictive drug. If you cut it out completely, you may have with drawl symptoms for a few days, including sleepiness and a dull headache. To help avoid such symptoms, try cutting down gradually.