When it’s 5:00 somewhere, or you’re wasted away again in Margaritaville, do you notice a rise in your blood pressure?
I mean, most folks enjoy a drink to relax or achieve a sense of calm. But, could the actual means of relaxation have the opposite effect internally?
Depending on the type of alcohol and the amount you drink, taking another shot of courage could have lasting effects on your health, namely your blood pressure.
So, let’s take a look at this issue and explore the following:
- why alcohol causes an increase in blood pressure
- could alcohol cause a long term hypertension
- how to potentially avoid those rises in blood pressure when having a drink (looking at how much is too much according to the experts)
Why Does Alcohol Cause An Increase In Blood Pressure?
It appears that alcohol may affect blood pressure in two ways: directly and indirectly.
Alcohol is high in both sugar and calories. Regularly consuming any food or drink that is high in sugar or calories can lead to weight gain, and more specifically, an increase in body fat.
Individuals with increased body fat or weight are at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure and its subsequent complications such as heart attack or stroke.
Though 16% of all hypertension cases in the US are related to drinking, researchers haven’t pinpointed the exact correlation between alcohol and high blood pressure.
The general thought behind what causes it centers around how the body processes alcohol.
Alcohol consumption sparks the release of what is known as endothelin 1 and 2, which are vasoconstrictors. In other words, they cause your blood vessels to narrow as the muscles within their walls contract.
Alcohol increases angiotensin 2 levels as well, which are also very potent vasoconstrictors.
And, drinking alcohol in excess (in amount and over time) can cause damage to your blood vessels leading to chronic hypertension.
Alcohol And Hypertension
Most of my life I’ve heard that drinking red wine can benefit the health of your heart. Now, some experts are saying this may be a myth.
In fact, some say the notion that red wine boosts heart health may ultimately be linked to other factors in one’s lifestyle, like a healthy diet and proper exercise (as opposed to just the red wine consumption itself).
The bottom line in regards to alcohol and heart health is that lifestyle and moderation are key…as with anything in life, right?
In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, alcohol consumed in moderation isn’t a hypertension death sentence.
But, alcohol can indeed lead to spikes in blood pressure, and when consumed often and in abundance, it can have negative long term effects.
Drinking more than 3 servings of alcohol in a given setting is proven to cause temporary increases in blood pressure.
And, repeated instances of such alcoholic consumption can lead to long-term or chronic hypertension.
Studies show that continued alcohol use over the span of several days causes a sustained rise in blood pressure.
And, regular binge drinking or long term heavy drinking can cause chronic hypertension, which is ultimately a contributing factor to coronary artery disease and potentially leads to heart attack or stroke.
Binge drinking is also associated with both a hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
But, while chronic and heavy drinkers (classified as binge drinking at least 5 days out of a month) are most at risk for alcohol-induced chronic hypertension, even a single drink can cause an elevation in blood pressure.
The good news is this spike in blood pressure after just one drink generally subsides within 2 hours.
But, it is important to note that for some folks, unfortunately even drinking in moderation can negatively affect blood pressure. In such cases, ultimately, listening to your body is key.
So, How Much Is Too Much?
First, individuals who already suffer from hypertension are advised to avoid alcohol completely or consume it only in moderation.
For those already taking blood pressure medications, know that alcohol may affect your blood pressure as well as your medications.
After that, frankly, the more you drink, the greater your risk of developing high blood pressure.
The CDC defines moderate drinking as follows:
- one drink per day for women
- two drinks per day for men
So, what does “one drink” look like? Unfortunately, even a pint from your local pub may be in excess according to the experts here.
The CDC and the American Heart Association are in agreement that keeping your heart healthy means staying within an average of the following daily alcohol consumption limits (each listing is considered to be one serving of alcohol):
- 12 ounces of beer
- 4-5 ounces of wine
- 1-1.5 ounces of hard liquor (such as whiskey, rum, vodka, etc)
- 1 ounce for 100 proof alcohol
- 1.5 ounces for 80 proof alcohol
The American Heart Association gives additional guidelines for healthy alcohol consumption stating:
- men younger than 65 should allow two sober days each week
- men older than 65 should not exceed one drink per day with equally as many sober days per week
- women of any age should include at least two sober days per week
Limiting daily alcohol consumption to the above range can not only prevent chronic hypertension, but can also help prevent alcohol addiction or alcoholism.
Keep in mind that family history, genetics, weight, lifestyle, and age can also play a role in how alcohol affects your body.
*If you or a loved one struggle to maintain moderation in drinking or if you think you or your loved one may suffer from alcohol addiction, helpful resources may be found through places like the American Addiction Centers.
Top Cardiologist: It’s Like Giving Your Body A New “Battery”
We all want more energy. Now, one doctor says he’s found the secret.
According to Dr. Steven Gundry — a husband, father, and world-renowned cardiologist — tiredness and fatigue are an epidemic in America.
Fortunately, this is a problem you can easily solve at home.
Dr. Gundry — who turns 71 this year — says his secret involves a little-known food that’s been scientifically shown to “unlock” your true physical and mental potential.
News of this has caught the attention of the media.
And this “trick” is becoming popular with Americans in their 50s, 60s, and 70s — who are now reporting a pleasant surge of youthful vitality.
Dr. Gundry serves as the personal physician to many A-list celebrities. But you don’t have to be a Hollywood star to take advantage of this secret.
Because now — for the first time ever — Dr. Gundry has created a short video where he explains his method from beginning to end (complete with instructions), so you can try it for yourself at home.
“Life’s too short to feel tired all the time,” he says. “So, if this tip can help folks put the bounce in their step, I’m happy to help! After all, energy is one of the greatest gifts you can have in life.”
The video has since gone viral and received millions of views.
So far, the reviews have been stunning, with thousands of Americans feeling half their age.
One viewer commented: “This is amazing! I’m 63 and have more gusto than I know what to do with. I’ve even started dancing again. This is so easy, it almost feels like cheating.”
When you watch this groundbreaking presentation, you’ll also discover:
- How Dr. Gundry lost 70lbs of fat (and finally relieved his aching joints)…
- The surprising link between rusting metal and your current energy levels…
- And the incredible way one cardiac patient “unclogged” his own heart — and the life-changing secret it can teach you about your body…
Plus, the 60-second “energy trick” that you can try at home.