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Can Tea Make a Person's Blood Pressure Go Up?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Can Tea Make a Person's Blood Pressure Go Up?
Enjoy tea as a heart-healthy beverage. Photo Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

One in every 3 adults has high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're at risk, or recently diagnosed, it's normal to have concerns about how what you eat and drink influences your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about drinking tea. It may temporarily raise blood pressure, but evidence suggests it lowers it in the grand scheme of things.

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Temporarily Spikes Blood Pressure

In 2005, "Journal of Hypertension" published the findings of a study that evaluated the effects of tea on blood pressure. In the study, researchers observed that tea causes a temporary spike in blood pressure when consumed alone on an empty stomach. However, drinking tea with a meal prevented the spike in blood pressure observed when tea is consumed by itself.

A Spike Isn't Necessarily Bad

A temporary spike in blood pressure doesn't necessarily translate to negative heart health effects. Your blood pressure varies naturally throughout the day, which means taking blood pressure readings isn't as straightforward as it may seem. For example, exercise, which is good for you, causes a temporary spike in blood pressure because your heart has to work harder to get oxygenated blood to your working muscles. In the end, physical activity is good for heart health, and the same seems true for tea.

Lowers Blood Pressure With Regular Consumption

While tea has components that may temporarily spike blood pressure, it appears to have other components that lower it, according to a study published in the June 2013 edition of "Journal of Dietary Supplements." Drinking 3 cups of green tea daily for four weeks significantly lowered blood pressure in people with Type 2 diabetes who had mildly high blood pressure, according to the study. "Archives of Internal Medicine" published a study in 2004 that found regularly drinking green or oolong tea cut the risk of hypertension by 46 percent to 65 percent.

Tips for Managing Blood Pressure

High blood pressure has modifiable risk factors, which means you can prevent or manage hypertension by implementing lifestyle changes. Lower your weight through healthy eating and exercise if you're currently overweight. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Cut back on alcohol consumption and reduce the amount of salt in your diet. The DASH eating plan is commonly used to treat or prevent high blood pressure. It's a low-sodium diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in fruits and vegetables.

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