Can Coffee Actually Raise Your Blood Pressure? And 3 Other Coffee Questions We Found Real Answers For

Here's the tea on coffee.

According to the British Coffee Association, Brits drink around 98 million coffees a day but how much do we actually know about it? Once you’re in the habit of starting and proceeding through your day with coffee, it’s easy to forget the complexities tied to our favourite caffeinated warm drink.

However, in a new podcast episode, the health experts at ZOE spoke with coffee expert James Hoffman about the drink and the benefits to it that go far beyond just keeping us awake throughout the day.

For example, the experts stated that coffee is high in fibre — around 1.5 grams per cup, which is more than a glass of orange juice. Three cups equates to around one-quarter of your daily recommended fibre intake.

Additionally, ZOE’s Professor Tim Spector said: ”[Coffee] is a health drink. The evidence is really clear: It can reduce heart attacks by 25%.”

Another thing you may not have known is that coffee contains a range of polyphenols. Plants produce these compounds to prevent against environmental stresses and when we consume them, they fuel our gut microbiome, helping to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure.

Who knew?!

This got us thinking that maybe the most common health questions around coffee are more nuanced than previously thought, and we found the answers to the most common coffee questions.

The most important coffee questions, answered

Can coffee raise blood pressure?

According to Spector, yes, it can but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t drink it. According to Spector: “Get [your heart rate] stable and then start to slowly introduce coffee into your diet. It’s not, as far as I’m aware, a contraindication if your blood pressure is well controlled.

“I monitor my blood pressure and coffee has no effect on that. And there’s some evidence that long term it might actually reduce your blood pressure.”

The experts added that, usually, your blood pressure does quickly return to normal, too.

Can coffee cause heartburn?

According to the NHS, unfortunately, yes. However, all is not lost as, according to Cleveland Clinic, opting for darker roasts is a good choice as they tend to have less acidity.

Can coffee give you a headache?

According to UCLA Health, caffeine narrows blood vessels that surround the brain which is linked to headaches.

The experts state that in some types of headaches, the blood vessels in the brain dilate, or swell. They then expand into surrounding tissues, triggering pain.

However, in something of a paradox, a sudden lack of caffeine can also cause a headache.

Basically, stay hydrated and don’t have more than four coffees a day.

Can coffee give you diarrhoea?

The International Foundation For Gastrointestinal Disorders states: ” More than two or three cups of coffee or tea daily can often cause diarrhoea.”

The foundation added that if you are struggling with diarrhoea symptoms from coffee, you should withdraw gradually over the course of a few days to avoid a headache and try going without for a while.

If you are struggling, the experts urge that you don’t rush for decaf, either as decaffeinated drinks may still contain chemicals that can loosen the stools.