AF and Caffeine

My cardiologist asked me to meet him halfway, prior to an appointment in four months to consider abalation. The plan he set in place for me was to start taking Flecanide, and to cut out coffee. I have taken Flecanide before without much effect. The cutting out of my three cups of daily coffee seems to have made quite a difference. Anybody else had this experience ? It has only been a week, but hopefully it has lessened the attacks of AF.

16 Replies

  • I have been told to cut out caffeine . Only drink water now.

  • I have cut back on my caffeine intake since finding out I had AF. I probably did drink far too much coffee and now probably just have the one cup a day. I don't think it was a trigger for me, but I found I could do with out it. There are several articles on the internet that state caffeine (In moderation) doesn't trouble AF and in some cases can be beneficial. However, a lot of us have different triggers, so what may be OK for one may be a problem for others.

    Glad to hear things have improved for you.

  • This is interesting. I stopped drinking coffee some years ago because I enjoyed it and then ten minutes afterwards wished I hadn't had it. I used to drink a lot of tea and wonder now if that set off my AF. I haven't been told not to have caffeine, but I have all but cut it out.

    I just have one brew of caffeine tea in the morning, and stick to water, redbush or decaff tea after that. If I have extra caffeine by mistake it doesn't seem to have any adverse effect though.

  • I used to drink tea and strong coffee all day long but switched to decaf tea and cut the coffee to one cup in the morning after diagnosis. It's a matter of doing anything which might help - good luck with it.

  • Probably very individual, but makes sense to eliminate caffeine. The true culprit for me was theobromine in chocolate.

  • Yes I stopped all caffeine after my first football match of an AF episode and the subsequent episodes were much milder!!

  • There have been several studies I have seen which say that caffeine does not contribute to AF BUT many anecdotal comments attached to these say the reverse so I really think its a very individual thing.

    I only ever had ONE caffeine coffee hit a day but it was always an extra shot flat white - a "real" coffee.

    I have now switched to decaf and you know what? Not so bad - TBH I can't usually tell the difference and I am sure my heart is much happier for it.

  • As you probably all know caffeine and nicotine do odd things to the heart. Either slows it down or ramps it up.Way before I was diagnosed with AF, I went into see my doctor about "an irregular heart beat". They couldn't find anything then but he did tell me to stop smoking,moderate or stop my drinking and stay away from caffeine.Fast forward to me visiting my cardiologist. Says to me stop smoking,watch your consumption of alcohol real closely,and give up the caffeine.For over 20 plus years I've been getting the same message. Can't tell you how many times before a bike ride I thought of taking a caffeine laced drink for energy. Don't need the problems associated with them. So for today,Alcohol,caffeine , and nicotine free.Hope my heart appreciates the sacrifice :-)))

  • I now where you're coming from with the caffeine laced drinks Paul. They used to be part of my warm up routine...Jog, stretch then Red Bull (Other energy drinks are available :) ). However, I did find they affected me. I covered every blade of grass for the first 20 minutes, but then crashed and my heart would be going like the clappers.

    I've never smoked, but my Dad did. He used to get on his high horse whenever he paid a visit to the Doctor's as they always used to ask him if he smoked regardless of what he was visiting for. He once went with a sore knee and they asked him the very same question to which he replied "Not through my Knee". Alcohol, nicotine, too much sugar, too much fat the list goes on and they all have negative affects. I guess the first thing an aspiring GP is taught to ask in med school is do you drink & smoke. I'm with the moderation gang, everything in reasonable doses.

  • Caffeine was a trigger for me, it seems to be very individual.

  • My EP told me to avoid all caffeine completely which includes black or green tea, coffee, coke and chocolate. As it happens I had been doing this

    For years anyway as I always seemed to have an excitable heart.

  • Caffeine is a trigger for me too. Not a precise one as in "have cup of coffee and I then get the wobbles", but just generally if I drank more than say 2 cups a day, I would get more AF. We have mainly decaf now. Same with alcohol for me.


  • 20 years ago I was diagnosed with multiple ventricular ectopics and had a 24 hour ecg. As the day wore on and I drank more caffeine, more and more ectopics occurred until I was in bigemeny by the evening ( every other heart beat being an ectopic). They then disappeared overnight whilst sleeping. I was told to stop caffeine ( I did drink a lot of diet coke then). I stopped all caffeine and the effects were instant relief.

    I did still get some attacks but only when rushing around at work under stress.

    I do now have PAF and still try not to drink caffeine unless directly in need or nothing else available. However I believe if I had continued to drink caffeine I would have had AF far sooner in life!

    so yes my opinion is caffeine does make a difference

  • Now drink one half - decaffeinated/day but only in morning. Miss my previous 3 cups - and the occasional alcoholic drink. Being teetotal ain't half boring!

  • I have cut out all caffeine and my AF attacks have stopped. I cut it out for BP reasons but I feel so much better now. Occasionally I still treat myself to a small cup if Im socialising. The caffeine free coffee and tea tastes the same as normal coffee and tea. Good luck with this

  • I've been drinking decaff everything for ages, including redbush in the morning. Haven't smoked for over 20 years and barely touch alcohol these days but never found that a glass or two of wine acted as a trigger.

    I think it's simply dodgy electrics for me.

    Giving up smoking is the best thing I ever did and I still ended up with a severe lung problem a few years later which seems to have left me me susceptible to chest infections.

    It all seems very individual and is down to whatever suits your heart the best.

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