Atrial fibrillation is when you experience an irregular and fast heartbeat rhythm that starts in the upper chamber of the heart. Its symptoms include heart palpitations and anxiety, breathing problems, chest pain, dizziness, painful arms, and swollen stomach and legs. All of these leave you unable to exercise or stay active for too long.
These palpitations can last for a short period or go on for hours, wherein you require immediate medical treatment. To avoid this, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, being more active, reducing stress, and eating healthy are a must. But the change we discuss here is reduced coffee consumption.
What Caffeine Does To Your Body
[pullquote]People usually ask you reduce coffee intake to avoid any further heart palpitations. It might not, however, really help with atrial palpitations.[/pullquote]
Coffee is your savior every morning, helping you wake up and get going. How it does this is through its caffeine content, which increases your heart rate and causes palpitations. Pretty much the same as atrial palpitations isn’t it? When you look at it this way, reducing caffeine makes complete sense as you try to stay calm.
Now, caffeine drinks can mean multiple products, including coffee, tea, and sodas. The health benefits, if any at all, of fizzy drinks are a completely different ballgame. We’re going to ignore all that and focus on coffee, a beverage that has really caused any serious health issues.
The Effect Of Coffee On Heart Health
[pullquote]Studies show that regular coffee intake is bad for hypertensive individuals.[/pullquote]
Apart from working on your heart rate, coffee also affects your blood pressure.1 However, there are no major studies to connect coffee intake to severe heart disease or disorders.
Some studies even connect coffee consumption to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. According to one study, 3–5 cups of coffee a day will keep you safe from issues such as heart failure and stroke.2
But when it comes to coffee and atrial fibrillation, the results are quite different.
Does Coffee Increase The Risk Of Atrial Fibrillation?
Contrary to its effect on heart rate, drinking coffee will actually help you lower the risk of atrial fibrillation. A recent survey observed the effect of coffee (caffeinated) on atrial fibrillation in participants aged 50–64 years who were followed up for about 13.5 years.3 According to this, the more coffee the participant had, the lesser was their chance of suffering from this condition. While the incidence rate of those who drank 1 cup a day was 0.88, that of the participants who drank more than 7 cups went down to 0.79.
[pullquote]When combined with other factors such as acute stress or obesity, your risk of atrial fibrillation goes up.[/pullquote]
Clearly, coffee consumption actually reduces your risk. But you might find contrary research, and this depends on other factors. A common cause of atrial fibrillation is acute stress. So when you drink excess coffee due to a high level of stress, your risk of this heart disorder rockets. This can be more likely if you’re obese or gaining unhealthy weight.4
How Much Of Coffee Is Good For You?
Coffee consumption has its own set of risks, such as stomach irritation, gastritis issues, esophageal injury, risk of bone loss, and more. If you were to follow the studies and have 7 cups a day, your health will definitely go for a toss and keep you from sleeping well.
So just keep it limited. One or a maximum of 2 cups of coffee a day will not do you much harm. And with atrial fibrillation, it might even improve your odds! Stay healthy, workout frequently, drink a little coffee to cheer you up, and be happy.
|↑1||Nurminen, Marja-Leena, L. Niittynen, Riitta Korpela, and Heikki Vapaatalo. “Coffee, caffeine and blood pressure: a critical review.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53, no. 11 (1999): 831-839.|
|↑2||Ding, Ming, Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, Ambika Satija, Rob M. van Dam, and Frank B. Hu. “Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Circulation (2013): CIRCULATIONAHA-113.|
|↑3||Mostofsky, Elizabeth, Martin Berg Johansen, Søren Lundbye-Christensen, Anne Tjønneland, Murray A. Mittleman, and Kim Overvad. “Risk of atrial fibrillation associated with coffee intake: Findings from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study.” European journal of preventive cardiology 23, no. 9 (2016): 922-930.|
|↑4||Mattioli, Anna Vittoria, Silvia Bonatti, Mauro Zennaro, Roberto Melotti, and Giorgio Mattioli. “Effect of coffee consumption, lifestyle and acute life stress in the development of acute lone atrial fibrillation.” Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 9, no. 8 (2008): 794-798.|