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Can Certain Foods Produce High Epinephrine Levels?

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Can Certain Foods Produce High Epinephrine Levels?
A cup of coffee may increase epinephrine levels. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You may know it better as adrenaline, but epinephrine is a hormone produced in your brain in response to strong emotions such as fear or anger. A release of the hormone causes an increase in your heart rate, blood pressure, muscle strength and blood sugar and serves as a means to get you ready for strenuous activity, or flight or fight. While stress response usually triggers epinephrine, certain foods may affect levels.

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Food and Epinephrine Levels

Coffee, tea, citrus fruits, bananas, chocolate, cocoa and vanilla can raise epinephrine levels. MedlinePlus says you should avoid these foods for several days before a catecholamine blood or urine test, which measures epinephrine levels as well as dopamine and norepinephrine, and helps diagnose certain kinds of tumors called neuroblastoma or pheochromocytoma.

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