In the past, scientists believed that too much coffee and the caffeine therein was responsible for extra heartbeats (or heart palpitations), but according to a study out of the University at California at San Francisco, your morning cup may have been wrongly accused. Sorry for misjudging you, coffee!
The study, published in Journal of the American Heart Association, observed 1,388 healthy people, judging them based on their caffeine consumption (including chocolate, coffee, and tea) over a year. Each participant had their heart rhythms monitored for 24 hours, and 61% drank more than one caffeinated beverage in a day. This study didn’t include energy drinks, which are especially high in caffeine. As a result of the study, the researchers did not discover that higher consumption of coffee, tea or chocolate resulted in palpitations.
“Coffee, tea and dark chocolate, although containing caffeine, which can cause extra heartbeats, certainly have medicinal properties that support cardiovascular health,” says cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., author of Health Revelations From Heaven and Earth. “For example, green tea, black tea and coffee, contain potent antioxidants that are supportive to heart health and dark chocolate has been shown to not only reduce blood pressure but help regulate lipids as well. In this study of 1,388 participants, more than one caffeinated product daily over a twelve month period did not have a significant increase in skipped heartbeats. This is a favorable finding especially since caffeine has been a known trigger of extra heartbeats as well as arrhythmias. The study suggests that maybe it is more about balance in consuming caffeinated beverages on a regular basis. It is well known that acute consumption of caffeine can provoke undesirable cardiac effects; however, this study suggests that the body perhaps may adjust to the chronic consumption of caffeine over time. Further study with a control group should be done to assess acute consumption versus chronic consumption of caffeine in the assessment of premature heartbeat,” says Dr. Sinatra.
As long as the hours of the study are between seven and eight in the morning, we’re totally there.