The short answer will be yes. The longer explanation will be about what type of coffee you are drinking, how regularly, and what your specific susceptibility is to the effects of caffeine on the factors that trigger arrhythmias. Studies suggest that caffeine intake of up to 300 mg/day may be safe for arrhythmia patients. So here’s the deal…
WHAT IS CAFFEINE?
According to Wikipedia caffeine(found in coffee) is a central nervous system stimulant that reduces fatigue and drowsiness. It is also a proven ergogenic aid(Performance-enhancing substance also known as a performance-enhancing drug PED). Caffeine improves athletic performance in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
It is the worlds most widely consumed psychoactive drug. It is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. It can have both positive and negative health effects.
A regular cup of coffee contains 80-175 mg of caffeine, and 85% of the American population consumes some sort of caffeine daily with an average of 164mg consumed daily. Health Canada advises a daily intake of no more than 400 mg. This means between 4 to 6 cups of coffee per day if it is accepted that an average cup of coffee will contain about 94 mg of caffeine.
CAFFEINE AND ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
Because of the effects of caffeine on enhancing the mind and heart rate it may be assumed that it can contribute to arrhythmia. In most, if not all cases the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is not clearly indicated. As mentioned above it is a drug and therefore you can theoretically “overdose” on it. This rarely happens, and when it does it is usually because of a dietary supplement or caffeine tablets rather than from drinking coffee.
As mentioned in this study which summarized 11 major studies of the relationship between caffeinated beverages and atrial fibrillation the following was discovered.
One small case-control study with no adjustments for other confounders reported that coffee was detrimental
Three studies demonstrated the benefit of coffee and
Seven studies showed no significant interaction.
The authors did mention that caution must be taken before the data is used on face value, because in all the long term studies investigators followed regular long-term coffee drinkers and coffee tolerance may explain the lack of association with arrhythmias.
Twenty-five percent of patients reported coffee as an AF trigger in this study. Within this same study, in which 100 patients were interviewed 54% reported psychic stress as a trigger. I just had to throw it in there because it fascinates me that our mind can be so strong!
DECAF COFFEE AND AFIB
If you did not know it, decaf coffee still has some caffeine in it. Surprise! But much less. On average, a decaf coffee of 236-ml (8-ounce) will contain up to 7mg of caffeine compared to a regular cup of coffee which will have between 70-140 mg of caffeine according to Healthline. Other studies mentioned above said that a regular cup of coffee may contain up to 175 mg of caffeine.
HOW DOES TEA AFFECT YOUR HEART RATE?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the caffeine content in tea and coffee can vary considerably. Factors like origin, processing, preparation method, brewing time and type of tea will have an impact on the amount of caffeine in tea.
Most teas do contain caffeine but much less than coffee. The average caffeine content in an 8oz (237ml) cup of tea will be between 25-48 mg of caffeine, except if it says decaf or if it is Rooibos tea.
Rooibos Tea is naturally caffeine-free and has many health benefits. The caffeine content in most teas are low and I did not find specific research about how tea affects or does not affect, atrial fibrillation. There were studies that indicated that drinking tea is good for your heart health. Not just because of the lower caffeine levels but also because of polyphenols and flavonoids in tea. Rooibos tea is also used as a detox.
With all things, it is very important to know what type of tea you are drinking. Black tea is caffeinated and is not great for high blood pressure according to this site. My favorite tea will always be Rooibos Tea, because of the lack of caffeine in it but also because of all the other health benefits. And it’s natural!
According to this study mentioned above the following was found.
Regular caffeine intake through coffee and tea is safe and may even protect against heart rhythm disorders. There is however a “safe” cutoff ” of 300 mg caffeine intake per day, which equals about 3-4 regular cups of coffee per day.
Some individuals are very sensitive to caffeine and those who do experience noticeable effects due to caffeine usage must avoid caffeinated beverages. Unfortunately what the study does not say is that you will only know how sensitive you are to caffeine if you experience an “AFIB attack” after using a caffeinated drink.
Many energy drinks have caffeine content between 160 and 500 mg in a single serving, and therefore should be used with caution. I avoid it totally.
Do you want to get rid of the bad stuff in your body? Use this Rooibos Tea Detox.
I am not a doctor, and I do not give medical advice. I’m a person who was born with a CHD called Tetralogy of Fallot. I have suffered from AFIB and during my journey experienced one open-heart surgery, 8 cardioversions, and an ablation. AFIB has not reduced me to living a “small life”. I endeavor to manage it wisely by applying what I learn about it.