8 Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Quickly

There are ways to lower your blood pressure instantly, but you shouldn't rely on them to manage hypertension.
Image Credit: nortonrsx/iStock/GettyImages

If doctor's appointments or health screenings make you nervous, you may be looking for ways to reduce your blood pressure for testing. While there are ways to lower your blood pressure instantly, keep in mind that you should never try to hide hypertension from your doctor, as it may prevent you from getting the treatment you need and contribute to more serious health problems.


With that said, you might try these tricks to lower your blood pressure as a short-term way to deal with anxiety over a health screening. Just make sure you're also making the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle to bring your BP into a healthy range for the long run.

Video of the Day


Hiding high blood pressure or avoiding treatment can pose a serious health risk. Work with your doctor to use long-term strategies rather than quick fixes for high blood pressure.

1. Take a Few Deep Breaths

Breathe deeply for 15 minutes before testing. Shallow breathing increases blood pressure, so you'll want to do the opposite.


How to do deep breathing: Inhale through your nose while counting slowly to five, letting your abdomen expand rather than your chest. Then exhale through your mouth, counting slowly to six.

2. Drink Some Beet Juice

Drink 20 oz. of beet juice. Beet juice contains nitrate, a component that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. Participants in a study conducted by St Bartholomew's Hospital in London showed a decrease in blood pressure in less than one hour after drinking 20 oz. of beet juice. In 2.5 hours, the participants saw a significant reduction in blood pressure.


3. Take a Walk

Take a brisk walk for at least 15 to 20 minutes. While at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week can reduce blood pressure overall and is effective for managing hypertension, even a short walk can lower blood pressure instantly because it produces rhythmic breathing, which calms the body's stress response. Moreover, the extra oxygen helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, thereby decreasing the stress or pressure on the heart.


4. Try Water

Drink a glass of water. Water has a calming effect on the nervous system, and water flushes out sodium, an element that increases blood pressure. Drink a larger portion of water at one time, rather than sipping on water at several intervals during the day. Sipping water throughout the day is good for staying hydrated, but for a faster effect, drink a glass of water for direct calming effects and a drop in blood pressure.


5. Eat a Banana

Eat a banana or other potassium-rich food. Potassium is an electrolyte, and it plays a significant role in some of the mechanisms that control blood flow and heartbeat.


Potassium supplements may take four to six weeks before having an effect on blood pressure. Depending on how fast the body metabolizes the foods rich in potassium, blood pressure may drop within an hour or two of eating a potassium-rich food.


6. Avoid Unhealthy Foods and Habits

Refrain from smoking at least one hour before the appointment, as smoke decreases oxygen intake and makes the heart work harder.

Avoid fatty meals, too — which often contain lots of sodium and increase blood pressure — at least two days before the physical.


7. Take a Catnap

Take a nap before testing or visiting the clinic. Research conducted at the Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, U.K., found that naps reduce strain and pressure on the heart. Taking a quick nap before your appointment may help bring down your blood pressure.

8. Avoid Morning Appointments

Avoid making a morning appointment and tell the clinician about testing anxiety. Morning hypertension is common, as blood pressure is naturally higher in the morning.


Some of these tricks for lowering blood pressure quickly may help bring down your numbers in the long run if you use them regularly. For example, practice deep breathing once a day, stay well hydrated, avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and go for a walk several times a week.



references & resources

Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...