Why does coffee and strong tea hurt your heart?

Fact #1: Caffeine Really Blocks Fatigue

The “invigorating” effect of caffeine actually exists - it’s all about the ability of this substance to block adenosine, a natural sedative that our body synthesizes in response to fatigue. The main task of adenosine is to relax the brain and send us to rest, and caffeine for quite a long time helps to block the production of this natural sleep aid. But there is a nuance: the more often and more coffee we drink, the more adenosine receptors the brain produces, and accordingly, the more caffeine we need to feel a surge of energy. So don't overuse coffee - save it as a last resort.

Coffee: benefits and harms

Millions of people on our planet start their day with a cup of strong coffee. The alkaloid caffeine contained in coffee and tea helps them increase their energy level, banish drowsiness and set themselves up for a productive working day.

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The number of cups of coffee that can be drunk without harm to health is different for each person. It depends on the genetically determined rate of neutralization of caffeine by the body, the condition of the liver and the cardiovascular system.

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Russian doctors recommend consuming no more than 150–300 mg of caffeine per day. This is approximately two cups of bean coffee or three instant. In the case of tea, the maximum daily dose is 3-4 cups of black and 4-5 cups of green.

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Fact #3: Caffeine helps us cope with physical activity

The more endurance required to perform certain physical activities, the greater the benefits of caffeine. It improves our physical performance over long distances, but is practically useless over short distances. The thing is that caffeine “forces” the body to extract energy from fat, rather than burn carbohydrates stored in muscles. And we feel tired precisely when there are no carbohydrate reserves left in the muscles. So a cup of coffee before a workout in the pool, a run or a walk is a great idea.


Beneficial properties of coffee

In 2011–2013, Harvard University (USA) conducted a large-scale study that found that people who drink 1–2 cups of natural coffee without additives daily reduce the risk of the following diseases.

  1. Heart attacks.
  2. Strokes.
  3. Heart attacks.
  4. Heart failure.
  5. Cancer.
  6. Liver cirrhosis.
  7. Alzheimer's diseases.
  8. Parkinson's disease.
  9. Type 2 diabetes.

In addition, it has been proven that moderate consumption of natural coffee speeds up metabolism, increases performance, has a positive effect on the functioning of the digestive system and increases the production of endorphins, happiness hormones.

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But if coffee is so beneficial, then why is there talk about its harmful effects on the heart? Why do some lovers of this drink note that coffee makes their heart hurt , their heart rate increases, and their hands begin to tremble?

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This happens primarily because many patients stubbornly ignore the word “moderate” and continue to drink 3-4 cups of drink a day.

Fact #4: Caffeine reduces the risk of dementia

Drinking 4 cups of coffee a day dramatically reduces the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, since caffeine can protect nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine - they are the ones that die in this disease. In addition, caffeine significantly reduces the amount of beta-amyloid, a dangerous protein that many researchers believe is the main cause of Alzheimer's disease. A study of 3,500 volunteers found that drinking two cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of illness by 55%.

Caffeine and the heart - friends or enemies?

Is there a direct connection between caffeine and heart function? Scientific research has the answer to this question. Key information taken from the book The Fragile Heart, written by Chris Case, Dr. John Mandrol, and Lennard Zinn. As strange as it may sound, problems associated with heart rate after consuming caffeine have not yet been fully studied. It was previously believed that caffeine clearly speeds up the heart rate once ingested. New data, including long-term observations of the subjects, prove to us that caffeine has nothing to do with arrhythmia. There is also very provocative news put forward by scientists that suggests the opposite - the most popular available stimulant among athletes may even reduce the risk of arrhythmia. Here's the latest research on caffeine and heart health.

Caffeine and extrasystole

Extrasystole is the most common type of arrhythmia. In the largest study of dietary patterns and heart rhythm problems, a team of American scientists published a report from a global study of heart health that included more than 5,000 people from four major medical centers. Long-term studies have proven that no changes in the functioning of the atrium and ventricles were noticed. The results were determined after taking into account possible additional factors.

Caffeine and atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder. This type of arrhythmia causes the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria) to flicker rather than beat, causing blood to not be pumped completely and causing blood to pool and then form blood clots. There is much more evidence that caffeine has nothing to do with atrial fibrillation. In 2020, a team of scientists from Denmark studied more than 57,000 people. They found that caffeine was not associated with an increased risk of MA. And when more detailed information was obtained, it turned out that about 15% of those studied reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation. Moreover, the more cups of coffee they drank per day, the lower the chance of developing MA. A Chinese group of scientists rechecked the data and agreed on the same opinion.

Caffeine and heart parameters

This study was conducted in different clinics, in patients with already diagnosed arrhythmias. Canadian researchers examined 80 patients who were scheduled for catheter removal of supraventricular tachycardia. An hour before the procedure, one group was given a placebo and the other was given caffeine tablets. Caffeine increased blood pressure, but no effects on cardiac conductivity were observed.

Caffeine and Overall Heart Health

Coffee is one of the most researched substances in the world. Recently, 36 studies involving 1.2 million participants were conducted worldwide. The average caffeine intake in the study subjects was 3-5 cups of coffee per day, which led to a reduced risk of stroke, heart attacks and heart-related deaths. It is important to note that all studies talk about large groups, and not about the effects of a substance on one specific person. This means that some people are not affected by caffeine, while others are more sensitive to it. Caffeine affects each person differently. It is also important to understand that in addition to caffeine, coffee contains thousands of organic compounds, most of which have not even been studied, which also significantly affect the human body.

This information may sound dubious and may even contradict common sense. We have heard from many athletes that after stopping drinking coffee, they seemed to stop feeling arrhythmia. It is important to understand that it is very difficult to understand the true reasons for the reduction in arrhythmia symptoms. They depend on many factors and vary in themselves. Perhaps this is because when people learn of their diagnosis, they reduce not only their caffeine intake, but also their exercise volume, pay attention to their sleep, and also their diet. Doctors call these "confounding" factors. The facts stated above will most likely just stick in your head and will not cause you to consume more or less caffeine. But now you don’t have to worry about your coffee consumption and don’t pay too much attention to it: if you like it, drink it, and don’t think about your heart health while drinking a cup of espresso during a cycling workout.


Negative sides

First of all, it is worth mentioning that scientists have long found out that coffee cannot worsen the functioning of internal organs, and especially the heart, if there were no health problems to begin with. And consuming no more than three cups of this drink per day will allow you to get only the benefits from it, without any harmful effects on the body systems.

In the case where initially there were disturbances in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels, problems with blood pressure, and, even more so, if serious illnesses were identified by the doctor, then drinking aromatic and tasty coffee may not just have unpleasant consequences, but be truly dangerous .

  • The drink stimulates the nervous system. This can cause people with sensitive nerves to experience bouts of irritability, anxiety, insomnia, or nightmares.
  • Coffee is believed to increase blood pressure. This statement is somewhat far from the truth - caffeine itself does not have such harmful properties. But it prevents blood pressure from decreasing, which is quite dangerous for hypertensive patients.
  • Coffee leaches potassium, calcium and magnesium from the body, which are so necessary for the cardiovascular and nervous systems. This may be one of the reasons why the heart hurts and there are problems with the nerves.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you can drink coffee even after suffering a stroke or heart attack. But only if the doctor allows it. And it is better if the drink is weak and with the addition of cream and sugar.
  • As for such common conditions as tachycardia and angina, drinking coffee is not advisable at all. This drink can only worsen the condition, even if there have been no negative symptoms for a long time. In case of such diseases, you should especially carefully control your diet, avoiding foods that have a stimulating effect on the nerves, heart and blood vessels.
  • Coffee stimulates the secretion of gastric juice, which in people suffering from gastritis and peptic ulcers can cause a relapse of the disease.
  • The drink causes blood stagnation in the extremities, which can aggravate the condition of varicose veins.

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All these points should be taken into account by both ardent coffee fans and those who drink the drink occasionally. If you already have some unpleasant manifestations from your internal organs, then you should reconsider your attitude towards coffee.

The effect of coffee on the heart

The benefits and harms of coffee for the heart are a topic of frequent discussion among doctors. This drink contains caffeine, which can have positive and negative effects on the body.

Positive Impact Aspects

If a person drinks natural coffee rather than instant coffee, then moderate consumption will be beneficial. It has the following properties:

  • saturates the body with magnesium and potassium . These are microelements vital for the heart muscle;
  • lowers cholesterol levels;
  • dilates coronary vessels . Due to this, the functional activity of the myocardium increases;
  • prevents the development of heart failure and heart attack;
  • removes toxins and fights infections . Caffeine is used in medicine for certain infectious pathologies, as well as when it is necessary to neutralize the effects of sleeping pills, narcotic substances and poisons;

Coffee stimulates brain activity. Affects mental and physical activity.

Is coffee bad for your heart?

Coffee is harmful when consumed excessively. The drink has the following effects:

  • dehydrates . Has a diuretic effect. Due to this, the tone of the heart muscle decreases;
  • washes away calcium and a number of other microelements necessary for the full functioning of the cardiovascular system;
  • leads to exacerbation of existing diseases;
  • increases blood pressure . Therefore, it is not recommended for hypertensive patients.

What measures should be taken?

Take this advice as a rule: do not diagnose yourself. The human body is a complex system, and only a specialist can help determine why there is pain in the heart area after drinking coffee.

There can be many reasons for discomfort in the heart area. And it is not a fact that the pain syndrome is caused by a malfunction of the cardiovascular system.

In the vast majority of cases, such a banal disease as osteochondrosis sends pain to the heart area.

The following diseases can also cause discomfort:

  • pancreatitis;
  • ulcer and gastritis;
  • pulmonary failure.

Please note: heart pain often occurs after overeating. A possible cause of pain discomfort is hidden in gastrocardial syndrome.

What should you do if your heart starts to hurt after drinking a glass of your favorite drink? First of all, you should eliminate coffee from your diet. In addition to this product, you should avoid drinking alcohol, cigarettes, fatty foods and foods containing high amounts of cocoa.

If the pain syndrome does not leave you within half an hour, and at the same time you feel a lack of air, you should open the window and take one of the proposed medications: Valerian, Carvalol or Barboval. The drug should be used according to the instructions. Before use, you should consult your doctor. Self-medication is dangerous for your health. Only a cardiologist can determine the true cause of discomfort.

Can coffee make your heart hurt?

The answer to this question is very ambiguous. On the one hand, coffee does not cause heart disease. In reasonable quantities, for most people the drink is not only not harmful, but also beneficial, as it trains the cardiovascular system and contains magnesium and potassium. On the other hand, by stimulating the nervous system, caffeine can cause overexcitation, increase blood pressure, and if there are problems, they manifest themselves. That is, coffee is not the root cause, but a catalyst.

However, if you drink more than 5-6 cups of strong coffee a day, constant overstimulation can lead to heart and vascular diseases.

That is, you need to monitor your well-being and take into account existing illnesses. Modern scientists believe that a cup of coffee in the morning does not harm anyone if there is no heart disease.

  • If you have a rapid heartbeat or arrhythmia, it is advisable to give up coffee or drink weak coffee. But if arrhythmia is accompanied by a slow heartbeat, a cup of coffee will help save you and significantly improve your well-being.
  • Hypertensive patients are not recommended to drink strong coffee, since their blood pressure is already high.
  • If you have coronary heart disease, if your blood pressure is already low, you should definitely drink coffee. As soon as you feel nauseous, weak, trembling in your hands or cold sweat, it means your blood flow has weakened and you need to cheer yourself up with a cup of coffee or take caffeine tablets.
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