How Does Alcohol Influence Blood Pressure?

Light Drinking Can Lower Blood Pressure
Light to moderate drinking, or up to two drinks for men and one drink for women per day, has been shown to cause a slight drop in blood pressure for some people. A small amount of alcohol can lower blood pressure by 2-4 mm Hg in women, but it’s important to note that this is not a significant drop and most experts agree that it is not a good reason to advise drinking.

How Does Alcohol Affect Blood Pressure?
Consuming more than three drinks at once will cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. Consuming even a single alcoholic drink can cause an acute increase in blood pressure that goes away after two hours. It’s repeated binge drinking that can cause long-term blood pressure problems. The exact mechanism for the association between alcohol use and elevated blood pressure is still unknown, but the effects on blood pressure seem to be reversible in many cases. It’s believed that alcohol causes a slow pressor response, which refers to an increase in blood pressure in response to external or internal conditions.

Reducing Alcohol to Lower Blood Pressure
Men who have more than eight drinks a day are four times more likely to develop hypertension, while women double their risk by regularly drinking more than six drinks a day. The most effective way for a heavy drinker to lower their blood pressure is quitting drinking, or at the least cutting back on the number of alcoholic beverages consumed every day. If you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation.

2 thoughts on “How Does Alcohol Influence Blood Pressure?

  1. my blood pressure is 145 over 58.
    What is my next move ?
    Thanks for help.

    Male 77 years old. Fit sports player. Tennis 5 or 6 times a week a couple of hours at a time.

    Alcohol intake some 3 or 4 glasses of white wine per day.
    Not great at water intake. Most other liquids being coffee with milk and honey 3 or 4 times a day.

    Breakfast sometimes left until 11.00 or 12.00 otherwise just an egg for breakfast and an egg for lunch. Reasonably balanced e ending meals. No excesses.

    .?? X

  2. The first step is to measure your blood pressure daily and record it in a log so you can more accurately see what your blood pressure is doing. It is normal for blood pressure to go up and down during the day and thus you don’t want to mistakenly think you have high blood pressure if you happened to have a single high reading. Blood pressure is normally the lowest in the morning when you wake up and also late in the evening. It is highest in mid-afternoon. Take your blood pressure when sitting and relaxed. One other note is it normal for blood pressure to rise during exercise. For example, I am a very fit 43 year male runner with a blood pressure in the 100/60 to 115/70 depending on the time of day. My resting pulse about 40 and sometimes a tad lower in the morning. When doing a stress test, my systolic blood pressure was up to 180! But that is normal function so the heart can supply the blood demanded when the body is working hard. The key thing is what does the blood pressure fall back down to when the body is at rest. That is why you need to take it over a period of at least a few days to get a clearer picture.

    That all said, it is great you are fit and playing tennis at 77 years old! Keep it up! Sounds like I don’t need to recommend exercise for you. The key is to find aerobic activities that you enjoy!

    Stress is also a well known culprit for raising blood pressure. This is why it is important to do activities you enjoy and are fun and additionally that you don’t worry too much about high blood pressure. Take action yes, but do not dwell on it once it is under control.

    If after taking daily readings over a week, you find that you still have blood pressure averaging more than 120/80, then I would take some moderate lifestyle changes.

    I would suggest the following:
    -drink no more than 2 glasses of wine a day
    -drink no more than a 2 cups of coffee a day
    -switch to skim or 1% milk if you aren’t already
    -eggs are great, but two a day may be a little too much (the jury is out on this). I would suggest one every other day. Have oatmeal (steel cut oats are great) for breakfast the other days
    -drink plenty of water every day. This effectively hydrates your body and also the water displaces other calorie and sugar laden drinks you may have otherwise
    -eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
    -meat portions should be about the size of a deck of cards

  3. My blood pressure gets high when having sexual intercourse before anything its at 120/75
    But when I’m having intimacy it skyrocket to 180/85 can someone tell if it’s normal I’m embarrassed to tell my Dr.thanks

  4. My BP is down to 76/56 in the evenings. I work in a ‘caring’ profession. I have had numerous falls/collapses in the last couple of years – 2 resulting in an ambulance being called. I have just had lots of blood tests done and the Consultant is looking into Addison’s disease. I have looked into Addison’s and I can relate to a lot of the symptoms. Please can anyone give me more help/advice. Many thanks

  5. My average systolic reading over 14 weeks is 53
    My average diastolic reading over 14 weeks is 128
    Pulse rate 53

    I am 80 years and play tennis two to three times weekly

    about a week ago, I had a dizzy spell playing tennis when I could not coordinate for about 30 minutes. Have been okay since? Is my diastolic too low. I am on medication for high blood pressure of 22.5 mils daily

    • It is impossible for your Systolic number to be smaller than your Diastolic number.

      you either calculated wrong or you are in serious trouble that has not been medically documented yet.

  6. I am 80 years and play tennis two to three times weekly

    about a week ago, I had a dizzy spell playing tennis when I could not coordinate for about 30 minutes. Have been okay since? Is my diastolic too low. I am on medication for high blood pressure of 22.5 mils daily

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