Living With High Blood Pressure

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Non-alcoholic drinks and your blood pressure

Are drinks affecting your blood pressure?

If you drink sugary drinks, fruit juices, flavoured waters and smoothies, you’re most likely drinking more sugar than you should. Lots of sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain, and being overweight can cause higher blood pressure.

Just one large flavoured coffee can have over 30g of sugar in it - that’s the maximum amount of free sugars you should have in a day! Free sugar means sugar that is added to food or drink – including honey, syrups and fruit juices.

If you have sugar in your tea or coffee, reducing how much you use and eventually cutting it out is a great way to bring down your overall sugar intake. You don’t have to do it overnight – little by little is one of the best ways to build lasting change.

What about caffeinated drinks?

People who are concerned about their blood pressure might worry about drinks that are high in caffeine like coffee, energy drinks, cola and some teas. Our BHF Senior Dietitian Victoria Taylor offers some advice to let you know how much is too much.

“Although drinking coffee has been shown to increase blood pressure, this effect is usually temporary and is minimised over time if you drink caffeinated drinks regularly. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine and can experience palpitations. If this is you, then it’s sensible to avoid caffeine.”

Read more about caffeine and blood pressure >

Drinking hidden calories

The temptation to enjoy a new drink on the menu, a hot chocolate or sugary coffee is high. But, lots of these drinks contain a lot of sugar, and add huge amounts of calories to your daily intake and lead to weight gain.

  • Ditch the cream, marshmallows and drizzle – these are high in saturated fat and sugar.
  • Always ask for the smallest size so you’re drinking less but still having a treat.
  • Ask for skimmed milk and sugar-free syrup to cut calories down.

Find an alternative with our 8 healthy hot drinks >

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