Booze and AFIB: I am sure this has been... - AF Association

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Booze and AFIB

beach_bum profile image

I am sure this has been flogged to death numerous times...but...the no vs a little beer or wine issue. The general consensus BUT, I have always enjoyed a glass of Merlot or a glass of IPA on occasion. I am not, not ever have been a person who has more than 3 or 4 drinks in the course of a week, and sometimes none for months. My afib has never been triggered by this *my trigger seems to be food..of the heavy supper* but now, because of everything I've read since being diagnosed with afib, I am hesitant of having even a single glass of wine or beer.

Feedback and experiences would be appreciated. Summer is upon us, and I would LOVE to enjoy an ice cold IPA on the deck once in a while.

116 Replies

I enjoy a beer every week only a couple. Last time I drank wine I went into AFIb 30 minutes later. I hardly drink anything at all but do have a beer with a bit of lemonade in. I know others will disagree but you have to do what’s right for you.

Ya, it would seem it's an enigma. Food? drink? exercise? any combination of? Age, gender, obesity, diabetes, other cardio infinitum it would seem. Roll the dice.

In England that's known as a Shandy. ☺️

mcgavigan profile image
mcgavigan in reply to Sparky143

They got the name 'shandy' from the football

Lemonade tops in Yorkshire!

Hidden profile image

It’s true that alcohol is a well known cause and contributor to AF. There are also a good few who say they can enjoy an occasional tipple and it has no effect on them whatsoever. Most of us prefer not to take the risk, however in my case my wife and I share a can of Stella with our dinner and have been tempted to have a glass of wine on special occasions and it hasn’t been a problem. Maybe “everything in moderation” has a ring of truth!

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum in reply to Hidden

Sounds like common sense. Perhaps the alcohol intolerance is particular to heavy drinkers?Who knows...a 100 AFIB sufferers, a 100 stories on triggers.

My Cardio, EP and GP all said "you have no other health issues, heart is otherwise fine, keep staying fit and eating right like you do, BUT, we can't tell you what will and will not trigger YOUR p.a."

You will have to experiment what is right for you. A few days after cardioversion I had 3 glasses of red wine with no effect, but another day when I did a 20 km mtb ride THEN 3 glasses of wine - I went back into persistent AFIB.

I’m taking amiorodone tablets and went back into NSR for 4 days so far and had 1 glass of red wine yesterday at a party and all is still ok.

Experiment with yourself - we are all different. I will do riding exercise and NO red wine after next to narrow down the trigger or trigger combination.

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum in reply to MrFizz

That is what the consensus tend to be. I run my heart at about 135-150 while cycling..20-40km per day with no issues. If I have a big supper, it comes in the night..only 3 times in 4 months...first was a doozie..7 hrs in ER getting it to slow down. 1 medium and 1 small episode since...110-135 hr for about 3 hrs both times...both following supper. I can pig out for breakfast or issue...supper? gotta be light. Still investigating possible carb connection...maybe that is why people say stay away from beer?

MarkS profile image
MarkS in reply to beach_bum

Sounds as though you have vagal AF, beach bum. That can be set off by a large meal in the evening or when relaxing after a long ride. You might want to eat earlier and a bit lighter in the evenings.

Singwell profile image
Singwell in reply to beach_bum

Sounds like digestive overload what you're describing here. I'm similar. The digestive process is one of the most tiring for the body. Can you switch your main meal to lunch, allow time to digest immediately after then get on with your day + light earlier supper? Time of evening meal in relation to bedtime could be a factor too. We need 3 hours ideally after eating before bedtime.

smithy1 profile image
smithy1 in reply to Singwell

This has answered one of my concerns will definateley be trying this thank you

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum in reply to Singwell

Yer singing my song. No. big.late.suppers.

Vagus rest & digest. I get bad ectopics at night when I’m resting. Look up Dr Gupta on the vagus nerve if you haven’t already.

Are you speaking of Dr. Gupta from York England the cardiologist? He's my fave. Everyone would benefit from watching his YouTube's about the heart. Such a wonderful man I wish he was my doctor.

As a non drinker of alcohol i cant give my experience. However you mention wanting anice cold IPA, i would definitely counsel against the “ice cold “part as anything ice cold is a known trigger for lots of people.

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum in reply to meadfoot

Thanks! I'll rule that one out for now..I drink ice cold water several times a day..we have a 300' well, and ice cold is what it serves :-) Never an issue.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to meadfoot

I too can vouch for that. I can recall having an ice cold non alcoholic drink a few years back and WHAM!!

Yes ice cold not good. Not even ice cold water.

I enjoy a glass of champagne or white wine diluted but can’t have as much as a sip of red wine. Occasional light beer is ok but more than one glass does for me. I have come to the conclusion it has little to do with the alcohol content and a lot more to do with how the drink is brewed. I’d love to indulge in a good whiskey again but not dared try for nearly 10 years now!

It’s very personal as to how you react. I’m fine with a good coffee but decaf sets me off 🤷‍♀️

Sparky143 profile image
Sparky143 in reply to CDreamer

I can't do red wine these days. I'll have occasional martini or vodka tonic and it's fine but I have just one. Last night on the way home I had a margarita. Also fine and very enjoyable

I love a glass of merlot and relax with one every evening not a trigger for me

I have a glass of wine every evening with my meal. I just cannot face a meal without a glass of wine with it. I stick to only one glass and do drink red 3 or 4 times a week.

Ditto. I have a very small glass and this seems to be ok. When the restaurants were open husband and I would share a half bottle of red but usually could not finish it. We mainly eat out at lunchtime except when on holiday . I haven't eaten more than one course for 6 months now so though really looking forward to a break from cooking I will have to resign myself to leaving lots of each course if I want to eat a normal French menu! The trouble with eating on the carte is they give you a much bigger portion than if you choose an all in menu. Some waitresses in more rustic establishments shake their finger ( only semi jokingly ) if you do not finish what is on your plate!

I have a couple of drinks most Saturdays it varies from two glasses of white wine to two Guinness and it does not effect my AF at all. We are all different so you will have to go with what works for you. Good luck.

Drinking depletes your minerals and has some nasty chemicals (Nitrates and sulphates) which probably do the damage. I find taking magnesium helps me, though sodium, calcium, potassium and iron all could be affect when you drink. Light colour drinks tend to have less chemicals than dark coloured drinks. Keep hydrated with water when you drink.

Sparky143 profile image
Sparky143 in reply to Shcldavies

they sell organic wines made without nitrates!

G'day Beach-bum.......

Your user name describes my lifestyle in my 20's on Bondi Beach in Sydney and nite time booze fuelled parties in the surrounding area ............. perchance to dream and reflect 🙂

Yeah well, booze, any alcohol, tea, coffee, iced coffee has no effect on my AF at all. Food most certainly does .... ultimately causing me to consult a Nutritionist and get professional advice. That was originally about 10 years ago - since I've towed the diet line my AF is non existent, maybe 3 short bursts a year .... bingo, job done. I have reduced my boozing but only by enough to enable my GP to accurately declare my booze intake for the renewal of my PCV ( Bus) drivers licence..... and to stop her nagging me !! 😀😀

Don't get totally soul destroyed by food and drink though .......... genetics can also plays its hand. I wrote something on this to a runner (positively4thstreet) on here yesterday which may interest you.


I have a glass or 2 of wine most evenings with dinner, after my ablation ( 15-20 uk units a week) I have had no afib at all.

Before it was never a trigger either, the big trigger for me was over eating , any big meal was almost guaranteed to start me off, and if it had red meat it was guaranteed!

I have had one post ablation glutton meal ( Christmas) and spent Boxing Day with hopelessly too many ectopic beats and really worried I was going to go back to afib.

I really don’t think there is a single trigger that applies to all, and certainly even a smell of alcohol seems to trigger many. but I do think an excess of anything : wine, beer, beef, coffee , exercise , chicken even lettuce!! Is a risk for afibbers

A separate point is that I am certain as l can be that alcohol and over eating caused my afib, I was over weight and drinking 50 units a week and this gave me sleep apnea which I knew of but because it was mild … disregarded in the biggest misjudgment of my life. I’m sure booze = apnea = afib


If you know for sure it's a trigger that's one thing. I made the decision to stop wine after decades of vino pleasure, and definitely said goodbye for ever to GnT but every so often I have a small glass of local artisan cider with no ill effect. The issue for me was always - there's a bottle of wine here - it was never just one glass. My general health is better without the booze. I think we shouldn't give up out of fear but out of choice because we've noticed we feel better on that food, with that exercise, without that booze etc. My experience only.

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Singwell

We have a wine box for red and buy very expensive sweet whites as my husband hates dry whites. The Sauternes and other sweet whites last well with a vac u vin and even improve the second and third time-one bottle lasts us 4 days. This way there is no waste .

Maybe I am oversimplifying it, but for me AF was such a shock I wanted to take every precaution including no alcohol and agreeing to 200mgs Flecainide to stop it. Once that is stopped and you give sufficient time for the heart to get the message things have changed, it is up to the individual how much 'relaxation' they introduce by trial and error e.g. sips of wine no AF, followed by half a glass no get the picture.

Moderate alcohol is associated with a number of health benefits. There is a J shaped curve of the risk of various diseases compared with alcohol intake - i.e. risk drops initially before increasing at higher intakes. E.g.: analysis of almost 600,000 individuals from prospective cohort studies concluded that the lowest risk of all-cause mortality was seen in those consuming around or below 100 g of alcohol per week, with higher risk of death in abstainers and an even more marked increase in those who were heavy drinkers—the so-called ‘J-shaped’ curve."

Even with AF, the J curve seems to persist.

So if light alcohol does not trigger your AF, it could be beneficial to take the odd glass.

In the latest research, it's considered this could be due to lower stress related activity:

However, Beach Bum's AF appears to be vagal, and alcohol may be more of a trigger for those with vagal AF. I would try a lighter supper with your ice cold IPA!

I wish I could recall the research, but I read -And my EP said same - that there isn’t a J curve for alcohol as a risk for developing AF (not triggering, that may be different), and that daily alcohol, even if light was linked to an increased likelihood of developing AF. And I think that was me. I had a drink every night of my life. And before ablation wine became a trigger, (and meals, and sleep, so yes, vagal). Post ablation I have switched to a small glass of Kentish Ale, and so far 🤞. I think all of us are different and we need to know our triggers. However I wish I had counselled my younger self that my heart might over time be more vulnerable to developing AF with me daily drinking. But who knows? And regular use of ibuprofen is also considered a risk to developing AF and that was me, too, all that arthritis. Before you imagine a bloated self indulgent creature with lots of ailments, I was low normal BMI and ate a very healthy diet, non smoker etc.

I think that I may have the solution to your dilemma, beach_bum..... and it tastes good too

Never seen this. Will look out for it. I hardly ever drink beer but my wife loves beer - though we hardly ever drink more than a pint when we do have it and can't remember the last time we did.we have a small glass of wine between us with dinner some nights and very occasionally a weak G and T or whisky and ginger. Has no effect on me. Though I do know someone who can drink beer but not wine with his AF and someone who treated himself to a cappuccino on a Friday break time and went into AF from that. So everyone is different it is good to know if you have any triggers but some of us never find them so just have to carry on as we are going along with the moderation in all things.

Singwell profile image
Singwell in reply to Desanthony

I've tried it. Good!;

Alcohol is of course known to dehydrate you, which of course is a big contributor to AF. So if I do have an alcoholic beverage I will match it with water (especially in warmer weather) otherwise I will get headaches & the heart ‘wobbles’ 🤪😅

Best wishes Ally

Ally, that is what my wife keeps telling me and I do tend to do this so I think a great idea.

I agree Ally, I’ve found being dehydrated and then having alcohol is a definite trigger for me. I’ve had an ablation and now if I have a drink, I have a couple of glasses of water before and whilst having alcohol. Also in my case it’s how fast you consume the alcoholic drinks plays a role....especially strong drinks. For me a good moto is ‘in moderate over a good period of time with plenty of water’

Definitely- everything in moderation - even water is bad for you if you drink too much of it in one go 😅

Tyramine, the better the cheese and processed meat the more likely I was to get AFIB.My worst events always followed a similar pattern, fatigue, dehydration, over heated and a nice cheese or processed vegetable. Twice a fine red and beer were part of the mix!

Unfortunately I have had to forgo a fine red and a low sulphate quality white is now a regular tipple.

The more expensive the cheese or processed meat the more likely a trigger.

I always have an equal water, wine mix, two glasses!

I am coming up 3 months post ablation and have had no AFIB to my knowledge and am going out to dinner to celebrate and I will share a fine Australian Riesling with my wife. Anyways since the Chinese Aussie wine ban it's my patriotic duty to support this industry, my EP has no concerns!!

I think from this beach bum, you see it affects folk differently, I seem to be ok with a couple of glasses of red, I look at the gravity and have 11 or 12% which is harder to come by these days...Don’t know about white as my cardio said don’t drink white and since I haven’t although I’d love a glass of Cloudy Bay! Beer a couple of glass seem ok when we go to the local village terrasse, hmm....lockdown no terrasse eh! Although next Wednesday we get let on to outside dining again in France!

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Morzine

I read that it had been moved forward to tomorrow! But the weather is so crap here - cool and rainy -that I doubt many terraces will be open round us. One of our local restaurants has a huge awning so if it's not too bad we might go there on Thurs if they are serving outside as it's our wedding anniversary.

Morzine profile image
Morzine in reply to Auriculaire

Oh auriculaire the weathers been horrid .....we’ve come down to sunny provence.....ha ha delete the word sunny! Arrived Friday in caravan, and it hasn’t stopped raining!we left the alps where it had rained two weeks solid!The meteo promises sun from tomorrow ...fingers crossed.

Hope u get to go for your anniversary.

Gosh I hope it’s moved to tomorrow must read and see!


Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Morzine

It's been the wettest and coolest May that I can remember for a long time. The garden is exploding into lush growth that will just wilt when the hot sun returns. Hope you get the sun tomorrow. Here in the Limousin it's going to rain all day!

Unfortunately, studies show that even moderate drinking can increase AF incidence: “Alcohol is an important risk factor for AF through direct effects on the atrial substrate, and by contributing to hypertension, obesity, and SDB. Habitual drinking at moderate levels, as well as binge drinking, predisposes to AF, with an increase in AF recurrence in those who continue to drink. Although a small amount of alcohol is considered cardioprotective, these benefits do not extend to AF.”

Also: “In a cohort of paroxysmal AF patients, 70 of 418 (17%) progressed to persistent AF over 2.7 years. Moderate-heavy alcohol consumption (>14 standard drinks/week) was the strongest risk factor for progression (odds ratio [OR]: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.1 to 8.0) . Alcohol was also 1 of the strongest predictors of recurrent AF (RR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.2 to 4.4) in patients with a first episode of “idiopathic” AF .In 122 consecutive patients undergoing PVI, 1-year arrhythmia-free survival was 81% in abstainers, 69% in light-moderate drinkers (1 to 14 standard drinks/week in men, 1 to 7 standard drinks/week in women), and 35% in “heavy” drinkers.”


FaberM profile image
FaberM in reply to Samazeuilh

This is the research I couldn’t find! Thanks

Samazeuilh profile image
Samazeuilh in reply to FaberM

Regrettably it doesn’t make for cheerful reading!

Once I realised that alcoholic drinks are simply a mix of water, sugar and poison it became much easier to abstain.There are no benefits to drinking alcohol, only negatives.

FaberM profile image
FaberM in reply to CliveP

Ooo how I disagree! A single malt, a glass ofPrimitivo, a cold Cava at a celebration, an ice cold beer on a hot beach, a ginger wine on a cold cold day.... I could go on.

Nerja2012 profile image
Nerja2012 in reply to FaberM

Yes go on cos I'm with you on that one.

CliveP profile image
CliveP in reply to FaberM

Mmmm, poison. Lovely poison. :)

I had Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation for many years and throughout that time I continued to drink moderately.

I was fortunate enough to move house and unbeknown to me bought a house within 15 minutes of one of the UK’s Centers of Excellence.

At that hospital I was given a number of ablations and was ultimately under the care of a Consultant who was determined to deal with my AF.

I decided that I should make my contribution and although like you alcohol was rarely a trigger for my AF stopped drinking before my last ablation in 2017.

Gradually since then the frequencies of my AF have become much less and in fact right now the last episode I had was in October 2020.

I do miss having the odd real ale or glass of wine but although I cannot prove cessation of drinking contributed I now feel that this decision was worthwhile.

In the end it is up to you.


I have about 3 glasses of wine in a week, it doesn’t seem to be a trigger for me, but everybody’s different. A big trigger for me is not drinking enough water.

I think we should remember to that if on anticoagulant alcohol is not recommended.

Hi beach_bumI think listen to your own body and modify your choices acording to what makes it kick up. I've had paroximal vagal AF for 20 years, terrible at times & absent at others (sometimes absent for most of the day), but always scary!

Impossible to plan ahead. I have a small glass of red wine with supper most evenings with no ill effects. I always have a very light supper, ideally between 5-6pm. Anything heavier or later causes problems (which I notice is also a trigger for you). My triggers include any large meal, any cold drink, including water, swimming in cold water, ice cream, any car journey over 10 minutes and most of all any form of stress or anxiety.

Listen up for your own triggers, your body will keep you informed!

I think if you enjoy the occassional tipple, and it doesn't trigger you, there's probably little or no harm done. Best of luck.

kakyrian profile image
kakyrian in reply to Ederlezi

Hi Ederlezi,Kyriakos here, any idea about the connection between road trips and Afib?thanks

Ederlezi profile image
Ederlezi in reply to kakyrian

Hi kakyrian, thanks for your reply. I haven't heard anything about anyone else having trouble with road trips. This was not an issue when I was younger and regularly drove longer distances, although my AF would sometimes kick off on arrival. I only drive locally now, so these days I'm a passenger on longer trips. Even so, my AF can sometimes kick off 200 yards down the road, sometimes not at all for most of the trip. Just impossible to predict.

Don't know if it's the car journey itself, or scary road & traffic conditions, or sitting still for long periods or bad seating posture. Probably a combination. I prefer to sit upright as squashy sofas set me off (vagal nerve) and I like to keep as active as possible, as inactivity also sets me off. Going to my GP or the hospital sets me off (stress/anxiety).

We just can't win can we!

kakyrian profile image
kakyrian in reply to Ederlezi

Hi Ederlezi, Thanks for your reply,

You are right.

When it comes to road trips, a combination of things such as the seating posture, the duration, stress and maybe a heavy meal prior to the car journey might play a role.

Thanks again,

Take care

Took me a good while to realize that booze kicked me into afib so I stay clear most of the time but having said that I still get lots of bouts without it trying to figure out other triggers is a challenge or does it even need triggers???

I have a liqueur sized portion of sherry every day before dinner (I know Mr Buff is getting hungry when he appears with the glass!) and the occasional half glass of white wine socially. But red wine is out. My last episode of Af after a 5 month break was after overdoing the hedge trimming.

I don’t think you should let AF dictate that you reduce your QOL if something isn’t definitely a trigger for you.

There are some great non alcoholic (0.5% or lower) drinks out there so once you find a couple you like there’s no reason, taste wise, to go for an alcoholic one. I’ve not found a good non alcoholic red wine but there are some good white wines and nosecco is a good alternative to Prosecco. Lots of good non alcoholic gins available too. Having said that there’s something psychologically satisfying about an alcoholic drink and I have an occasional small glass of wine. Guess it’s up to us all what we do but I’d rather be alcohol free than in AF. I also think about the efforts I and the NHS went to to get me back into NSR. Hope you have a great summer!

jsanta profile image
jsanta in reply to Johnboy64

Lamuria is a great non alcoholic wine . Red is good. I top off with a touch real red wine to give it the touch of bouquet which is missing . Very good...

Johnboy64 profile image
Johnboy64 in reply to jsanta

Thanks, I give it a try

Not touched alcohol for about a year and half now as miserable as that is! For me I could literally feel my heart start misbehaving after one sip from a glass of wine or maybe quarter of the way down a first pint! Not always but often enough that there was no question over trigger. But everyone is different. If you have AF you can’t afford to hammer it’s pretty clear it will do you harm. But the odd glass or pint here and there, if you don’t feel it’s a trigger for you I would say enjoy it..

I stopped drinking alcohol while I was on warfarin after initially being diagnosedThe AF nurse said that it was my “binge” drinking (4 or 5 pints on a night out every 3 to 4 weeks) that I needed to stop

That was a few years ago. I came off warfarin and trialled a few drinks at a time and apart from one heavy night at the Oktoberfest I’ve not experienced alcohol causing me any issues.

As the Land Rover slogan used to be “One Life. Live It”

When I got here this thread had 43 replies. I didn't read any of them.

My EP's words on the matter are "alcohol triggers a-fib in some people, but not all people". It doesn't trigger it me. I have gone into a-fib 7 times, and there has been no correlation between those events and some events where I have consumed more booze than I wish to ever again (but probably will because of my rubber arm).

Obviously drinking a lot is not good for your health and puts your heart under strain. No argument there. FYI, within the first 5 minutes of meeting her, the cardiac nurse who oversaw my ablation said to me "you do know red wine is good for you, don't you?"


Think many would concur. We are all different. Different physiology with different triggers. For me I dont seem to have any problems with 1 or 2 glasses of wine with a meal at weekends. The very occasional pint of beer. I try to avoid any alcohol Mon to Thurs. Seems to work for me.

vagal nerve.

I have a glass of wine occasionally with no effect. I did ask my Warfarin nurse if it was ok and she said "everything in moderation." I would think if you were having a glass of wine no more than once a week then it wouldn't be ok. I love wine, but I am happy to just have the odd glass rather than none at all. It's just a case of being sensible I think. I find a heavy meal affects me more than wine. An overloaded stomach is a no no for me. Take care.

I don’t drink as much as I did pre AF diagnosis - but occasionally have a G & T which I VERY much enjoy. In the past I’d have two or three but those days are over and I am happy with just one now and then (once a month approx). I can’t tolerate any wine sadly so that’s off the cards but I may very occasionally have a white wine spritzer. I’d go for good quality wine too as really cheap wine makes me feel ill. I’m happy to have less alcohol but the thought of none at all would make me feel very bleak.

I didn't have any alcohol for ages after my initial diagnosis. I was more concerned about the effects on the Apixaban. However, I now discover I can enjoy a glass of red or a single gin and tonic. White wine just sets me off.... Definitely an individual thing. Maybe try just the one and see how you are.

I don’t think anyone can judge that except you. I have a glass of wine most days and it does not trigger me. Now if I drink a lot that might be a different story. So I would say have your IPA/wine (one) and see what happens. If ok do same next day. Monitor for a few days and you will know.

I am fortunate in that alcohol does not trigger my Afib at all. My ablation in 2019 was successful, and I have drinks several days a week.

vagal nerve.i would like to tell you all about my scottish deer-hound named dandie.he was my beautiful boy.i bought dan as a puppy from a kennel-club registared breeder when i bought him he came to me fully vaccinated .after a year,he had to have his yearly check and his booster.i noticed the vet centred on his heart,to be told dandie heartbeat was irregular.and to make an appointment to take him to highcroft in whitchurch bristol.they have specialised teams therefor all manner of ailments.we saw a cardiologist there and dan had extensive tests.he was insured so that took the edge off a bit.we went for his arranged follow ups,but the cardi/gist.sais as you know dan has a there is a milan that is the only vet that can put dandies heart-mode back in synus mode.its worth a try my husband and i discussed it and firstly said no!we cant possibly take him there.well in the end we said we have to give him that chance..oh no! insurance will not cover in a foreign country.dandie had his appointment made for a weeks time .with mr umberto gilliany.with passport -forthglade and biccies water etc.we set off .dan had lots of room as the seats folded down so he could sprawl out.its so east to take your pet abroad as they all cater for them he always slept in our room with took us three days .we took dan to the vet and he was with them for 24 hours.when we went to pick him up he was black and blue.around his groin area.umberto explained they had mapped his heart and that he was at that time back in synus mode,but that he has a faulty vagal nerve so nothing more could be done .umberto perscribed tables for dan and with check-ups at whitchurch we had him until he was 7 wasn,t his heart that killed him it was sugar -free sweets he had picked up while we were out walking.he has been gone 4 years now and i would give everything to have him back .so to all you dog -lovers sugar free anything is FATAL.xxxxmuch love

Thanks to all who replied! Wow! Who woulda thunk it was such an issue. I must confess, I did read all the available reports reposted here, and elsewhere, consulted my GP/EP/Cardio folks, and was looking for real world experiences from current AFIB sufferers from all walks of life. The single biggest teaching point for me on this subject, is listen to your body, and no two triggers are the same. Many AFIB sufferers, also have single or multiple health issues, so that is factored in. you know, mine seems to be heavy meals too close to bedtime...and even if given a 5 hour buffer, my HR/BP is too high..but no AFIB, so I now always eat light and early for supper. Quite odd that a large "big greasy" breakfast or hearty lunch has no effect. TO be clear, I typically don't eat that way, but did experiment just to see if I could replicate. Cold liquids...nope..I have another confession...I have always had a serious addiction to water. I don't have to buy it...we live in the country, and our well water is crystal clear and ice cold all year. Maybe because my early training to "drink early drink often" sports mantra stayed long after I hung up the cleats...and I still cycle plenty, so there is that.And aside...sometimes water will not suffice when sweating, so please please ensure you replace electrolytes...Gator/PowerAide sort of thing...we take tablets for out water bottles during the summer riding season. You do NOT want to experience heat exhaustion, or worse heat stroke...been there done that (heat exhaustion) oh yes, you think an afib attack is scary?....I digress...sorry, anyway, in summation, I never have had booze with idea why I don't like it..I just don't, so I'll try a couple of beers before an early light supper and see how that turns out...I'll keep ya posted :-)

Again, thanks all! Cheers!

waveylines profile image
waveylines in reply to beach_bum

I wasn't told not to drink at diagnosis but then they didnt give me any real advise on lifestyle.I drink rarely these days because I also need b12 jabs. Alchohol is a known drainer of B12 and low B12 causes palpitations...... so the odd one here and there........but a rare drink rather than frequent. As we age we absorb less b12 from our stomachs as the acidity reduces in our stomachs. So b12 sublingually or injections becomes necessary

I have a whisky every day and I am in permanent AF. I don't feel that this affects my AF, but I do find a heavy meal seems to aggravate the AF particularly if taken late in the day.

I was never told NOT to drink after being diagnosed with a-fib, but I know it's a major trigger for me so I stopped on my own. It got to the point where even a glass of wine after a hard day of work (in my working days) would trigger an episode 5 hours later -- don't ask me why it would take that long -- but it would happen like clockwork. I miss it, but it's not worth it for me.

I am polar opposite to all the critical thinking what good does it if followed the episodes continue. I don’t think there are triggers Afib happens when and where it wants to it should be obvious by now we cannot control it. Even with medication‘s which in my opinion causes more harm than good. Which is why I don’t take any. I refuse to let Afib rule my life I will continue to enjoy coffee, tea, beer, and all things that I enjoyAnd live life to the fullest.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have drank for nearly all the time I've had afib. The only time I stopped was after my original cardiologist told me he believed mine was due to excess alcohol and being over weight.

This gave me a bit of a shock, so I stopped for a year completely and lost nearly three stone. I've always taken a lot of exercise so this remained the same.

For me, it made absolutely no difference. Although the loss of weight was nice 😁

I work a four on four of shift system with two twelve hour days followed by two nights. So my "week" is an eight day affair. I try to limit my alcohol to three days out of eight.

I've found no correlation between booze and triggering my PAF. Can't find any trigger at all. I drink double national guidelines...

Long time paroxysmal AF sufferer here. I had a very successful PVI cryoablation in August 2018 and haven't experienced an AF episode since. Since August 2019 I've been walking a minimum of 4 miles every day and on most days I enjoy three bottles of light beer (4% alcohol by volume) in the late afternoon. The daily beer intake has caused me zero problems. Life is short. Cheers, Richard

I was so scared to have a my Dr. told me I mustn't but I decided it's my life and I really enjoy a social when I go out I have 2 light beers...and a glass of water with each...I have not had any problems...( touch wood )I even had 3 beers the other week....

I drinkI can cope with the Afib may feel bit yuck next day but hey ho I just think life is to short as long as I exercise eat ok well a little bit of what you fancy and not to much why not!

I drink a bottle of ice cold lager now and again with no prob.

I discovered through 'trial and error' that alcohol often, not always, brought on AF. Even a bitter shandy could 'do it!' Ablation 2016 and symptom free since. I notice that at times, and I am more aware of heart beats since procedure, that caffeine can cause increased h/rate so I decided to give up alcohol completely. Didn't drink a lot before, 3 units a week, don't miss it.

I have one glass of red wine with dinner on Saturday evenings only. Heavy foods seem to be a trigger for me as well. I do not eat a lot during the day ... a cup of riboose (sp) tea and supplements in the early morning... then a tiny Abe’s muffin for breakfast ... nuts and raisins for lunch and a light dinner around 5. Nothing after that except a handful of raisins just before falling asleep ... supposedly prevents awakening to go potty ... it works!! I am tall and thin.

When I was first seen by a cardiologist about my permanent AFib, and rapid heartbeat. I asked him about wine. He asked how much I drank and I said a glass with my evening meal on Saturdays and Sundays, so 2 glasses a week, very occasionally a third glass on Mondays if we had some left over! He said that was all right. I didn’t only have the AFib, but also a badly leaking valve. So I continued to drink these small quantities and found that I tolerate white wine better than than red wine.

Like beach_bum, food has always been far more of a trigger - too much, and foods that I have an intolerance for - bread, pastas, tomato based sauces (not raw tomatoes) spicy food especially, and others.

I have recently had the open heart surgery I needed to repair two leaky valves. But the AFib remains. It seems nothing can be done about that although I was told I may eventually need a pacemaker. The surgeon didn’t seem too concerned about the AFib as I also had an atrial pouch occlusion to prevent clots forming, and am on blood thinner. It just isn’t pleasant, especially at night.

Since the surgery a month ago my appetite is reduced, and I haven’t even wanted any wine, but I can see the day coming when I will want some! But I will start with small quantities and see how I react. I love limoncello too, so will eventually try that.

I think we should use our judgement as to how alcohol affects us. Beer/lager/cider has long been a no no for me, but as a cardiologist approved my limited quantities of wine I see no reason not to drink it!

scstwo profile image
scstwo in reply to Limoncello

Why did you not get the Maze procedure during your open-heart surgery???????

Limoncello profile image
Limoncello in reply to scstwo

I have no idea what the Maze procedure is, and no cardiologist has ever mentioned it.

I have permanent AFib and unfortunately have had to stop having my evening glass of wine as it made it worse.

After a thorough examination and testing, my results with the drinks were as follows: Beer - without limitations (little alcohol in it), Wine - forbidden, Brandy - no bad side effects, but I do not like it that much. Miss the wine...

One large G&T (slimline) every other night (occasionally two) for me with no problems. Caffeine is my trigger and I avoid it completely.

Yes, caffeine does for me too. I now drink decaffeinated Earl Grey, but avoid even decaffeinated coffee. I do drink weak green tea with squeezed lemon juice, but only brew it for one minute.

No one likes to drink more than me. I quit four years ago. I would open a bottle of Cabernet and throw away the cork. I found that one glass seemed to trigger af.I had a cardioversion a famous cardiology clinic here in Kansas City started me on high doses of Amiodarone. When I was near death, I went to the Veterans hospital. The cardiologist there took me off all medication except lasix vitamin D warfarin (l self test) went on a diet low salt an no alcohol. My. vitalj are good. Knock on wood. That was almost 4 years ago. April 2020 l had a serious accident major trauma surgery and I'm still going. I'm 80 years old. I do have a murmur but it's moderate.

I had Afib for 30 years and never stopped having a wine and the odd pint. Never was my trigger and my cardio was very happy for me to do so. However it certainly can trigger Afib episodes in some folk. To be brutally honest I noticed that a glass of wind actually stopped runs of paroxysmal Afib. I had 2 ablations in 2018. However it must be the individuals choice as you know your own body.

SteelHeart profile image
SteelHeart in reply to Smileyian

It may be my poor knowledge of English, but how do you take a glass of wind...?

Smileyian profile image
Smileyian in reply to SteelHeart

That is plainly obvious. You buy your wine from the Windy Winery in Osborne USA.

SteelHeart profile image
SteelHeart in reply to Smileyian

Don't be mad with me, please! I imagined that it was a typing error, but could not resist to make a little joke. In my life, there are two unjust things - I can not eat cheese and can not drink wine, and I like these two things most... Maybe in my afterlife, lol!

Smileyian profile image
Smileyian in reply to SteelHeart

Of course a joke but the windy winery in Osborne USA is

After eating certain foods I feel as if I had taken a whole bottle of wind.

Sorry to say so, but after eating any food, I feel likewise, lol!

I have always had some drinks since my afib ablation 41/2 yrs ago. For me 3 or 4 drinks a week would cause no problem. I do lean to lighter beers and less volumes of alcohol. I have heard on good authority that the rule is no more than 7 per week after afib ablation. For what itbis worth.Lorne

Keep your own written records, you may/will be surprised what brings it on. I drink alcohol in a pattern similar to you and record it carefully. It is NOT ALCOHOL unless, of course, your a drunk..............

I can manage a glass or two of merlot or a beer no problem but a glass of ice cold water sent me into full Afib requiring a second ablation!

Started with aflutter in 2006 which was cured by ablation in 2008 but still have proxy afib which which I’d had an ablation for in 2010 . If I have too much alcohol it makes the heart go wobbly sometimes resulting in afib . Tend to keep to no more than 3 or 4 pints maybe 5 but any more is chancing it . I found out back in 2007 ish that a couple of pints can puts me back in normal rhythm. Only a couple of years ago we were on holiday in Greece just about to go out with friends for our evening meal and went into afib so suggested a couple of swift ones it did the trick.

I was diagnosed with PAF 3 years ago .I stopped drinking ,watched my diet ,exercised and generally worried about things like we all do!!Some times I was obsessed with my bp machine constantly checking etc.On my last visit to my new Cardio we discussed my own diary of events of the last3 years Yes I still was having my attacks once or twice a month which I call my rest days as I just put my feet up and read or watch tv and wait for the attack to pass usually within 2 hours after my PIP. My Cardio then said so if your still having attacks after giving up alcohol then I think it’s fair to say that the alcohol is not the cause of the problem.I cautiously tried a beer over 6 months ago and have had several since and am no worse for it in fact I dont feel left out of the group I am in any more.My Cardio did advise that initially I should refrain from fizzy lagers tonics etc which I have done . So far so good. I have abandoned all tablets except Flecanaide as PIP only Irbesartan 300mg once daily Apixaban 5mg twice daily and a 2 mg diazepam during an attack only.I am 76 have struggled all my life with AF but years ago it was referred to as Stress and Nerves. All those hours I have spent worrying yet I am still here. Take a good look at things keep a diary and read and reread what has happened to you and if possible take it with you to your Cardio. This thing is not nice but Don’t let it rule you. Looking forward to my pint tonight. Cheers and bless you all.

I went for a walk with the wife, only about a mile and half along the side of the Royal Military Canal. On returning we stopped at West Hythe and I had a pint of cider. Not that strong. Later that evening I had an AF episode that lasted about three hours. Since then at home I’ve had the odd pint of cider of a glass of wine with no problem. The only difference between pub and home was in the pub I drunk it quicker than I do at home but otherwise it’s the same amount. I have yet to find a constant trigger that you can absolutely avoid. So my attitude to it is everything is in moderation. Rather than a beer or wine every day I usually now just have a glass of beer at the weekend or a glass of wine if out in a restaurant. Best wishes to you all I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather finally after a soggy and cold April and May. Stuart

Ya, one never knows. I just avoid the thing that triggered my 7 hr stint at the ER...a late..7:00 PM heavy meal *pasta and a few-too-many meatballs*....a large breakfast or lunch has no effect. I hike anywhere from 4-8k every morning with the labs, and cycle 25km every second day alternating the other days with medium weight training...for lifting ever-heavier grandkids 😆...but I digress...If I don't get a good breakfast and lunch into me, I get "hangry" by supper and tend to stuff myself, and we know how that turned out. I totally avoided beer and wine after reading the could also be triggers, and anything to avoid another "event". I mentioned this to the EP, and she said "why? a few now and then should be fine for you...for others who find it their trigger definitely no." So, I experimented...a few glasses of Merlot in the issues. Ditto for a 5% IPA. I do like document everything, so I put the cuff on to check BP before and after both. Interestingly, the wine increases my HR/BP a bit, ditto for beer, but significantly less.

Anyway, common sense, listen to your bodies...and medical professionals


Less is more. I enjoy wine, but I don’t drink much, it’s the best way I think. To enjoy a little so you might not have to abstain completely.

Organic wines and beers may be good.

everyone is different. Listen to your body. Relax and enjoy your life! That's what I say. It's so important for me to remember that life is good!

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum in reply to Sparky143

True that 😄


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