Caffeine and Hypertension
Caffeine consumption is prevalent across the population. The stimulation of alertness and focus via the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) make it a routine chemical in many American diets. It is commonly ingested as part of morning rituals to wake up from a basal metabolic state in dosages of about 125 mg per cup of American coffee or to prevent the midday doldrums in the form of diet sodas, “energy” drinks, or designer coffees at 40-200 mg depending on the product and serving consumed. Caffeine is also regularly found in weight loss products serving as the most popular appetite suppressant in over-the-counter supplements and also acts as a diuretic. The widespread use and social acceptance of the stimulant leads one to assume the product is benign to the body and routine consumption would not present any negative impact to health. For many Americans consuming caffeine in moderation, this is true. But some people fail to realize that caffeine does have an impact on the body, particularly on the cardiovascular system. This fact becomes more relevant when caffeine consumption is increased in efforts to thwart the effects of mild sleep deprivation, as a support mechanism to passive (psychological) stress, or to enhance motivation for training in the gym when mental fatigue is a barrier. The addition of caffeine to these stress-present conditions increases its cardiovascular effects.