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.