High blood pressure, as the name suggests means that your blood is pressing against your artery walls and once the pressure gets too high, it may “erupt” causing a heart attack or other heart diseases.
High blood pressure is usually caused by stress, excessive sodium intake and not maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
A visit to a doctor is often accompanied by a blood pressure test as it’s quite difficult to detect the signs and symptoms of whether your blood pressure is increasing or decreasing without doing so.
Maybe your most recent visit to the doctor has brought you here. If you’re looking for answers about the combination of energy drinks and high blood pressure, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this article.
Disclaimer: always exercise caution when consuming energy drinks, especially if you have a medical condition. It’s also advisable to consult your doctor for the final say on anything diet related.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
The ingredients in energy drinks
What’s an energy drink without caffeine?
Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in energy drinks, but its amount varies from brand to brand. It’s the main component within an energy drink that makes you feel alert and awake, which is why caffeine is so popular all around the world.
Caffeine gives you a nice energy boost, improves mental alertness and enhances your physical performance.
However, too much caffeine can be dangerous and there are some side effects to be aware of like jitters, anxiousness, palpitations or headaches.
Of course, most people enjoy caffeine without any negatives, but if you do encounter any adverse reactions to caffeine, what you experience will depend on your sensitivity to caffeine, which varies from person to person.
Caffeine has many health benefits if consumed in moderation, but in a moment I’ll get to how caffeine affects your blood pressure.
Sugar also contributes to the energy boost you feel after drinking an energy drink. Many energy drinks are jam-packed full of sugar, but there are plenty of sugar-free options available too.
However, sugar is unhealthy and too much of it may cause a sugar-crash afterwards, leaving you feeling lethargic.
Guarana is an ingredient included in some energy drinks.
Guarana increases the caffeine content in an energy drink and is often not included in the total declared amount of caffeine, so be careful.
In effect, this means you’re adding more caffeine to your caffeine.
That’s good news if you’re looking for more caffeine, but probably bad news if you don’t want to increase the caffeine levels of your energy drink further.
1g of guarana equates to 40mg of caffeine.
That’s a lot!
Therefore, pay close attention to the labels of your energy drinks and whether they contain guarana or not.
Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy Drink have guarana in them, but so do many others.
Caffeine and blood pressure
Caffeine raises your blood pressure.
This study showed that 200-300mg of caffeine caused an average increase of 6-8 mm Hg of systolic blood pressure.
This is actually common, even for those with normal blood pressure.
However, once you develop a tolerance to caffeine, it’s likely that the impact of caffeine on your blood pressure will reduce.
Therefore, whenever you drink caffeinated beverages, there is a temporary increase in blood pressure for everyone, regardless of your blood pressure before consuming caffeine.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before consuming anything caffeinated to get their advice on whether it’s appropriate for you.
Can you still consume caffeine if you have high blood pressure?
You should check with your doctor about whether or not it’s safe for you to consume caffeine if you have high blood pressure.
Everyone is different, but generally speaking, you should be fine as long as you limit the amount of caffeine that you consume to no more than around 100mg. Also, be careful not to have any caffeine immediately before doing any type of exercise.
According to the Mayoclinic, up to 200mg of caffeine per day should be fine. However, I suggest you play it safe and start with less and only after consulting your doctor.
Because of this, you should avoid the really strong energy drinks and go for something with a more sensible amount of caffeine.
Moderate caffeine consumption, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a can of energy drink should be fine for your most people, even those with high blood pressure.
Sugar and blood pressure
Sugar may significantly increase your blood pressure, according to webmd.
Sugar also leads to weight gain and obesity, which then also leads to an increase in your blood pressure, as high blood pressure is more common among those who are overweight.
Therefore, sugar may have both short and long term impacts on your blood pressure.
If this is a concern to you because of pre-existing high blood pressure, you should choose energy drinks that are sugar-free. At the very least, you should be avoiding energy drinks that have a lot of sugar in them.
Fortunately, these days there are plenty of great sugar-free options in the world of energy drinks.
Can you still consume sugar if you have high blood pressure?
You should consult your doctor before consuming food or drinks that are high in sugar.
Regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure, you should limit your daily sugar intake.
Sugar may have a short term effect on your blood pressure, but it certainly can also have a long term effect on your blood pressure. Sugar is unhealthy and leads to weight gain, which in turn leads to a lot of other diseases, including high blood pressure.
Again, if you are living with high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating or drinking anything that contains a lot of sugar.
In terms of energy drinks, you should choose one that is sugar-free and with a low to moderate amount of caffeine.
Do energy drinks cause high blood pressure?
Energy drinks may contribute to high blood pressure because of the caffeine and sugar content.
However, energy drinks certainly aren’t the only caffeinated products in the world, and there are many other things that cause high blood pressure.
Also, not all energy drinks contain sugar, which can lead to increased blood pressure.
How do energy drinks affect your blood pressure?
The caffeine content in energy drinks causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure.
The surge of energy that we feel after consuming energy drinks is a byproduct of increased blood pressure, which is why we sometimes get jitters, anxiousness or palpitations after drinking them.
If your energy drink of choice also contains a lot of sugar, there is a chance that it might lead to increased blood pressure over the long term, perhaps as a result of weight gain.
Does caffeine interfere with high blood pressure medication?
Yes, caffeine does interfere with high blood pressure medication.
Drinking caffeinated beverages including coffee or even energy drinks can make your medication less effective, which can impact your blood pressure.
Caffeine has a short term increasing effect on your blood pressure, while your medication is working to decrease your blood pressure. These two forces are pulling in opposite directions, but the overall result is higher overall blood pressure compared to not having any caffeine.
However, talk to your doctor about whether it’s okay to have caffeine in combination with your specific medication.
Is Taurine bad for high blood pressure?
The evidence suggests that taurine is actually good for high blood pressure.
This study in rats showed that taurine supplementation significantly reduced blood pressure.
Interestingly, another study on frontiers clinical nutrition found that mice that drank energy drinks that contained caffeine and taurine actually had lower blood pressure than those that did not.
With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to choose an energy drink that also contains taurine if you have high blood pressure.
Coffee and blood pressure
Similar to energy drinks, coffee also contains caffeine and often comes with sugar.
As mentioned above, both can affect your blood pressure.
The biggest problem with coffee compared to energy drinks if you have high blood pressure is that the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee varies from cup to cup (sometimes significantly), whereas energy drinks contain a standardized amount of caffeine per can.
If you want to keep a close eye on your caffeine intake, this can be an important difference.
Also, some energy drinks contain taurine, which studies suggest has a positive impact on high blood pressure, while coffee does not contain taurine.
Choose energy drinks.
Lowering blood pressure
As much as it’s important to know what can increase your blood pressure, it’s also important to know what you can do to lower your blood pressure to be healthier.
Regularly exercising can strengthen your heart, enabling it to pump blood more efficiently and lower the pressure in your arteries.
You should exercise regularly, even if it’s just a 30 minute walk on a daily basis.
Also, did you know that energy drinks can help improve your athletic performance?
However, as mentioned earlier in this article, if you have high blood pressure you should probably avoid consuming caffeine prior to exercise unless your doctor gives you the all clear.
Changing your diet to suit your medical condition is important. You can’t just eat anything without regard for how it might affect your blood pressure.
If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, it’s best to reduce your salt and also your sugar intake.
It’s also wise to cut down on alcohol. This study revisited an earlier study from 1915 to show the relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed each day and the incidence of hypertension. Not surprisingly, consuming less alcohol is more healthy.
Instead load up on more fruit and vegetables.
As mentioned above, caffeine does cause a temporary increase in your blood pressure and might affect you more if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
This doesn’t mean that you have to cut out all caffeine, but you should reduce your intake.
You can still enjoy your coffee, tea or energy drinks every now and again, but choose brands that contain less caffeine.
Can you drink Red Bull if you have high blood pressure?
Yes, you can drink Red Bull if you have high blood pressure if your doctor says it’s okay.
Red Bull only has 80mg of caffeine, which I consider to be a sensible amount, which is less than the average cup of coffee.
But, Red Bull also contains 27g of sugar and 110 calories. That’s quite a lot of sugar, especially in light of the American Heart Association guidance on sugar.
Too much sugar can contribute to gaining weight, and remember, weight gain isn’t a good friend of high blood pressure.
Red Bull certainly isn’t the worst option if you have high blood pressure, especially if you choose the sugar-free version. But, clear it with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.
Can you drink energy drinks if you have high blood pressure?
Yes, you can drink energy drinks even if you have high blood pressure if your doctor says it’s safe to do so.
The Mayoclinic recommends simply limiting your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg per day.
Maybe you’ve come across other articles like this one that don’t recommend energy drinks if you have high blood pressure.
You should certainly get the final word from your doctor, but it may not be necessary to completely cut out all energy drinks.
Remember, energy drinks are not the only drinks that contain caffeine and (sometimes) sugar. Coffee, tea and sodas all often contain those ingredients too.
High blood pressure or not, I think you should choose energy drinks that are low in caffeine, with little or no sugar and few calories.
Moderation is key.
Even if your doctor gives you the all clear, you should always consume all caffeinated beverages in moderation.
Lastly, you have to monitor yourself and be responsible for your own wellbeing.
I know it’s hard to completely abstain from something that you’re used to, but listen to your body. If it feels like energy drinks are causing you problems, you should cut them out completely and give your doctor another visit.
Best drinks for high blood pressure
I think XS Energy Drink is a pretty good option. It’s low in calories and has zero sugar. The caffeine content is also sensible, slightly less than you would find in a regular cup of coffee.
XS also comes in 18 different flavors, with 2 caffeine-free options, so there’s plenty to choose from.
Yep, Coca-Cola now has their very own energy drink. It’s caffeine content is quite moderate too, the same as XS.
However, it does have 26g of sugar and 105 calories per 8.4 fl.oz can, which may not be ideal if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake.
However they do also offer a sugar-free option which I suggest you check out.
Monster Zero Ultra
If you’re a fan of Monster Energy Drink but would like to switch to something with less sugar due to high blood pressure, maybe you could try this sugar-free version.
However, this version contains even more caffeine, which might be a bit much if you have high blood pressure.
Powder energy drink options:
Zipfizz is another option worth checking out if you have high blood pressure.
Sugar-free and with 100mg of caffeine per serve, it ticks all the boxes.
You can check out my Zipfizz review where I test drive 10 different flavors. I loved some, others weren’t my cup of tea.
However, Zipfizz has around twice as many calories and is around twice the price of my favorite energy drink…
REIZE is my personal favorite energy drink.
REIZE is sugar-free and has just 11 calories per serve. It also has only 50mg of caffeine, something I love and think is a good option if you have high blood pressure.
The sensible amount of caffeine works together with taurine, ginseng and B vitamins to give you a perfect, long lasting energy boost, without overdoing it. There’s also no crash, which is important.
Best of all, REIZE only costs around $1 per drink (including shipping right to your door).
Give REIZE a try today and you might also find that it’s a wise choice for your high blood pressure.
Once again, remember to check with your doctor before making any dietary changes.