Blood pressure is the measurement of the power of your blood on the walls of the blood vessels. Their blood vessels are the arteries, veins, and capillaries. Blood pressure is an important concept as it helps to drive up the oxygen and nutrients that your body needs to survive throughout your system. Unfortunately, when the blood pressure becomes too high, it can potentially damage the blood vessels. Two substances that can contribute to higher blood pressure, if not used in moderation, are alcohol and caffeine.
According to the American Heart Association, drinking alcohol in moderation can potentially have a positive effect on your heart. However, “in moderation” means only one or two drinks a day for men and only one drink a day for women. Once you start consuming more than these, your blood pressure can begin to be adversely affected. Alcohol first does this by disrupting blood flow to the heart by removing nutrient-rich blood from the heart. Alcohol is also high in calories, resulting in obesity, which in turn also raises blood pressure levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you are currently taking antihypertensive medication, alcohol can interfere with their ability to work, putting you at an even higher risk of dangerously high blood pressure.
Caffeine can also be beneficial in moderation. According to men’s health, caffeine can help actively activate dopamine molecules and can also help fight off Alzheimer’s. But just like alcohol, when not used in moderation, caffeine can also have harmful effects on your blood pressure. Caffeine affects the blood pressure by narrowing the blood vessels. It does this by binding with adenosine receptors in the body, which blocks the possibility of properly functioning adenosine. Adenosine is a hormone that is partially responsible for helping keep blood vessels far enough for blood to pass through easily. Caffeine also stimulates the release of adrenaline and adrenal cortisol. One of the side effects of releasing these chemicals into the bloodstream is an increase in blood pressure.