The impact of alcohol on your health is confusing. Every week there seems to be a new study that suggests that wine or beer offers a unique health benefit.
However, these studies don't apply to you if you have high blood pressure.
What do you need to know about alcohol and blood pressure? Keep reading to learn more.
Does Alcohol Lower Blood Pressure? Yes, In Healthy People
Alcohol has the potential to lower your blood pressure slightly if you are healthy. However, these are minimal amounts (one drink for women and two for men), and the subtle fall doesn't make enough of a difference to encourage everyone to have a drink.
But (and this is a big but), this is not true for people with high blood pressure.
First, drinking too much increases your blood pressure (temporarily), and regular heavy drinking contributes to long-term blood pressure control problems.
Second, alcohol can interfere with your blood pressure medication's effectiveness. Not only do you cause a temporary spike, but your medication won't work as well, and alcohol is full of sugar, which leads to weight gain and greater rights of high blood pressure.
Studies show that if you drink – even one – you impact the functioning of your heart's lower left chamber (the one that pumps blood to the body). Even one or two drinks can increase the risk of cardiac complications and dramatically impact your health.
The more you drink, the more likely you are to face those complications. A study of people with high blood pressure found that people who drank the most presented thicker left ventricular walls, which meant they had lower functioning.
The bottom line: not only can alcohol increase your blood pressure if you have high blood pressure, but it also impacts heart function, which is the last thing you need if you are already struggling with hypertension.
Is There Anything Safe to Drink if You Have High Blood Pressure?
The general rule is that there's no safe alcohol to drink if you are trying to manage your blood pressure: not beer, not wine, not whiskey.
If you do drink, stick to one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks if you're a man.
Make sure they're measured: it should be a 12-ounce beer or four-ounce glass of wine.
If you like beer but don't want to risk your blood pressure, consider switching to alcohol-free beers or drinks. But keep in mind that even alcohol-free beer is full of sugar, so it's not an opportunity to go hog wild if you need to manage your weight.
Alcohol and Normal Blood Pressure Don't Mix
Does alcohol lower blood pressure? Only slightly and only for healthy people. If you have high blood pressure, then it doesn't have the same effect. Plus, alcohol and blood pressure medications interact with eachother, so any ‘benefit' you might get from having a glass of wine is a moot point.
Are you trying to control your blood pressure? Why not try an herbal method? Read about the best herbal remedies for high blood pressure right here.