Have you identified caffeine as a trigger for AF episodes?

AF Association is hoping to support the development of an article in The Sun newspaper about the links between caffeine and heart rhythm disorders like AF. If you have noticed any links between the consumption of caffeine, perhaps in large quantities, and increased frequency of AF episodes, and would like to support this piece, please do get in touch. It is hoped the piece will help advance education around the importance of monitoring caffeine consumption. Please email info@afa.org.uk to learn more.

28 Replies

  • I drank red bull & coffee constantly before I got AF, I reckon that's what started it, my doctor said it was unlikely though!

  • Taurine is in Red Bull I understand, which is a supplement recommended by sone to stop AF!

  • I was lead to understand that Red Bull was a stimulant and would cause the heart to beat faster. Also energy drinks can be the cause also. take care my friends.

  • I used to drink energy drinks 4/5 a week when on nursing shifts, and coke was my staple soft drink. Switching to 12 hour shifts the consumption only increased to get me through working 12 hours on 12 off over the course of a few days...... I have no doubt it was a contributory factor.

  • Or the 12 hour shifts?

  • Both!

  • I have found that for me there is no connection between my AF and caffeine. I have eliminated all caffeinated beverages from my diet, and if anything the number of episodes I have experienced have increased. Sorry that I can't be more helpful with this. ~ KeL

  • I was told to give up caffeine when I had my pacemaker fitted twenty years ago. Did that for a long while then started again. After being diagnosed with AF I gave it up again this year but no one suggested this time. It was my decision.

  • I was advised to cut out caffeine, alcohol and high sugar content foods and snacks and endurance exercise as any of these could contribute to AF even under medication. Even after cutting these out and taking medication I still the odd episode - albeit less frequently and less intense. Difficult to know the true cause and effect but I guess that is part of the issue with AF it is hard to pin down direct causes. My cardiologists view was that in any case healthy life-style is a positive outcome - and I have to say I do feel better in myself so no to caffiene alcohol (drat it) and now a more balance exercise regime.

  • Yes, I have done similar and that pint of Guinness looks almost irresistible.

    I found de-caff coffee also a potential culprit.

  • I thought caffeine may have been a contributory factor to my AF, but after cutting out just about every pleasure I had, it made no difference. I still got the episodes and when I told my Cardiologist he frowned at me and said "You have to live your life a bit". I now have 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of tea a day and started having the odd beer again. Everything in moderation shouldn't cause us any problems. Cold water was a trigger for me on my last meds, I can't exactly give that up :)

  • I have sent an email to you and I am almost 100% certain that caffeine was the main trigger for my AF. On one occasion I had a coffee out in a Garden Centre where they make the coffee so strong it is almost black. I drank mine and had a reaction within 5 minutes of drinking it.

  • I have no doubt that caffeine is a trigger for me. First I sacrificed coffee and more recently tea and chocolate which of course also contains caffeine. I definitely feel better in myself although, because I have paroxysmal AF, it could be that my heart is being kind to me anyway!

  • I've drunk coffee all my life but now I can't take caffeine, only drink decaf tea and coffee. Caffeine is a trigger for me. But I can have the odd normal coffee no problem.


  • I think the guzzling of coffee prior to your first AF attack could be the culprit, then once it's happened once it can happen again, the problem with caffeine & alcohol is they dehydrate you and you lose a lot of vital minerals from your body which I think contribute to af attacks. They do call it hoilday fibulation due to the amount of people getting it after lots of booze & caffeine and not enough water!!!

  • I am convinced that caffeine is a factor for me, having accidentally discovered the benefits of cutting it out of my diet a few years ago. A friend suggested that it could be a trigger in bouts of cystitis which I suffered from occasionally, so having drunk strong black coffee fo many years, I reluctantly changed to decaf. The benefits were almost instant. No more cystitis, but the bonus was that I began sleeping better and the racing, pounding heart on going to bed, which I had put down to a stressful job, began to disappear. Shortly afterwards I was then diagnosed with a/f when admitted to hospital with pneumonia. In hindsight, I then realised that I had probably been suffering from it for a number of years, without understanding what I had been experiencing. I can't say the caffeine caused the a/f but it certainly was a factor in triggering episodes.

    I suffered a TIA last year and was admitted to hospital for 9 days. I was incredulous that I was unable to get decaf tea or coffee, despite it being a known stimulant and being on a cardiac ward.

    I am fortunate that following an ablation procedure a few months ago, I am now a/f free, but I will not risk caffeine again. I am a caffeine free zone. Anne

  • Caffeine is a factor for me but in a curative way. Very often my Afib episode will convert to NSR within minutes of drinking a cup of coffee. It is one of the several things on my " Try This " list of things I do to get back into sinus" In fact- I should probably try a red Bull the next time...lol

  • After first diagnosis I was advised to give up coffee completely, which it did. There were no problems with decaffeinated coffee, so I experimented with one, then two cups a day. However I got over confident and had three cups earlier this week, which appears to have been the trigger for an episode of AF. Now back on two cups a day, and all well so far, so two appears to be my limit.

  • I was told NOT drink coffee , tea , alcohol and eat chocolate.

    It's hard but you can can used to anything.

    Miss the wine though !!

  • Since being diagnosed with paroxysmal AF, and on the advice of my cardiologist, I have eliminated all caffeinated drinks from my diet and now only drink de-caff coffee or mint tea, and I have only had a few very minor bouts of AF - lasting barely a few seconds - in the past 12 months. Occasionally I allow myself an alcoholic tipple and that does not trigger the AF ( at least so far! ). I use to drink a lot of very strong coffee, up to and including 18 months ago when I was in hospital following an operation, and I believe that it was this which sparked the AF. So, yes, I feel that for me caffeine, over and above anything else, is the major trigger factor of my AF.

  • I find it quite interesting the different advice given to individuals. In my experience I was told that everything in moderation was fine and I can honestly say cutting down on coffee, alcohol, bad food didn't make one iota of difference to me, how I wish it did. I feel we look for answers in the quest for an AF free life and if somebody says "Don't do this or don't do that" we cling to the hope that they are right. I think my consultant was right when I told him I was nearly a monk. He said "You have to live your life". It's a massive learning curve is AF and one that I don't think I will ever get to grips with.

  • I have to laugh the first thing they gave me when I was in A&E with AF was a cup of tea presumably with caffeine in it I was gobsmacked and asked if this was OK? Of course it is they said !

    :-D :-D. :-D. You can't win !

  • Have just read your post and had all caffiens stopped only last week. I did not drink a lot of coffee but doc said to give up caffiene as this could be cause for AF and high bp. Dont know if it is doing any good as I dont get an attack very often.

  • I never drink coffee; not even decaf but I still have at least 4 cups of tea a day ... should I also cut out tea? I don't drink alcohol or have any chocolate cola etc, my only vice is tea!

  • I've been drinking decaff since before I developed AF, but when I looked for evidence I found eight studies refuting the assertion that caffeine causes AF, and only two supporting it, with another three equivocal ones.

  • Must have missed this one, caffeine is a definite trigger for me,

  • Must have missed this one, caffeine is a definite trigger for me,

  • It absolutely has a negative effect on AF. I spent two weeks in Portugal, they had the best coffee I ever tasted so I drank quite a lot of it. I had palpitations regularly and constant shortness of breath. I was unaware I had AF at the time. I dont have any caffeine now and have not had an Af attack in months

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