Caffeine Substitutes for People with High Blood Pressure

2013-06-15 |

Caffeine is the world’s most widely used psychoactive drug and is an addictive ingredient. What’s more, it can be found in many soft drinks and foods that some people will try to avoid when they are intolerant or allergic to it. Another group of people who must often avoid consumption of caffeine are those who live with high blood pressure. Caffeine does not cause chronic hypertension. However, it does increase blood pressure for a short period of time. This can make it dangerous for people with high blood pressure.

There research is not clear why it does this. Some research indicates that it blocks a hormone that keeps your arteries widened. According to other researchers it stimulates adrenaline release. People who consume caffeine regularly can develop tolerance to it. No matter how it works, for people already living with hypertension, the family doctor may advise that limited quantities be consumed. The doctor may also suggest that a person should give up daily caffeine consumption altogether.

In this case, the difficult part can be giving up coffee or tea as a morning drink and a daytime productivity booster. This transition may not be easy for people who have lived with it for long. That is not just because of the change in habit but also because of the addictive characteristic of caffeine. There is a solution however: caffeine substitutes from natural sources. The following list of substitutes and their uses can help in choosing which ones will fit best into a healthy lifestyle:

Using Vitamin B-12 as a Caffeine Substitute

Vitamin B-12 is the B vitamin that plays the largest role in effective brain function. That makes it a useful supplement for those looking to replace caffeine in their diets. Alongside its properties that increase mental clarity and enhance energy, B-12 is critical for the regulation of a healthy sleep cycle. So if one of the reasons a person is so dependent on caffeine is because of too little or dissatisfying sleep, this is a good caffeine alternative.

As well, the vitamin is a particularly important supplement for those who consume low quantities of animal products, like vegetarians and the lactose intolerant. B-12 is available in many foods, or can be taken as a supplement in a pill form. When in pill form, it usually comes along with several other B vitamins as a ‘B Complex’ tablet.

Ginseng is Helpful in Replacing Caffeine

There are two primary types of the root Ginseng: Siberian and American. The Siberian root has been used for centuries in China and parts of Russia. These cultures use it to improve the operation of the immune system and to enhance energy levels. The American root has an entirely different chemical make-up and, thus, scientific evidence to support its similar function is lacking.

However, many tout its energy promoting effects and combine it with other herbs in dietary supplements. The easiest approach is to seek out the Siberian Ginseng in either dried root, tea, capsule, or extract form. Then, integrate it into the morning routine via hot beverage or smoothie. While it is an efficient stimulant, it can also be beneficial for high blood pressure.

Replacing Caffeine Stimulation Using Ginkgo Biloba

This nut-based herbal extract has also been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Gingko Biloba increases blood flow to the brain and the extremities, which causes increased alertness. Many users have reported increased focus and creativity from their use of Ginko Biloba. This herbal supplement is also available in a capsule or tea. For those planning on taking it, it is important to consult the family physician or a trusted dietary professional. That helps to avoid potential negative interactions of this supplement with any current prescriptions or dietary restraints.

LifeStyle Changes Like Stretching and Dietary Changes can Reduce the Need for Caffeine

If a person wants to do away with stimulants or food supplements completely, one option is to make changes such as eating more fruit and exercising. With regard to diet, apples contain natural sugar, fructose, and numerous valuable vitamins that can increase wakefulness and energy. There are also various other fruits and seeds that have beneficial effect on memory, concentration and brain functions. Berries or walnut contain the natural chemical ALA, which promotes blood flow and helps oxygen delivery to the brain.

While this kind of alternative does not provide the same kind of buzz that caffeine does, it provides a more steadily enhanced energy level. This in turn prevents the crash that often accompanies coffee’s buzz. They also fill the body with valuable vitamins and minerals. This makes them more beneficial in the long run.

Stretching as a Form of Stimulation

In addition to diet, stretching is one of simplest ways to stimulate the system because it increases oxygen to the muscles and the brain, creating the ideal conditions for an energized and focused mind and body. Start the day with some of these invigorating stretches can be a first step to reducing caffeine dependency.

Conclusion

For those with high blood pressure who must limit or eliminate caffeine consumption there are alternatives to promote higher levels of energy. These come in the form of different stimulants or through changes in lifestyle and daily routine. This means there is no significant obstacle to being able to cope more easily with hypertension while eliminating the unpleasant side effects from caffeine addiction.

This is a guest post by Claire Wilson, a regular writer on health and lifestyle. Claire is currently writing for Skinny Limits who offer a great juice cleanse program and a great variety of pressed juice diets.

Related links

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/blood-pressure/AN00792
http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2003/pdf/2003-v18n01-p025.pdf
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-QuickFacts/
http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/19701402662.html;jsessionid=C609FE450AD3F7C8E770578BFC1E4E49
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/siberian-ginseng-000250.htm
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/american-ginseng-000248.htm
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320586906636
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1185/03007999109111504?journalCode=cmo
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2008.0008

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