When people are looking for a little charge, they might reach for a coffee or soda. But if they suffer from a heart arrhythmia, it could be dangerous.
Or could it?
New research suggests that the idea that caffeine may increase the risk of heart rhythm issues is a fabrication that lacks evidence. Researchers even found that it can have a calming effect on some.
So, if you’re carefully watching your coffee intake because you’re scared of a hurky-jerky heartbeat, you might be able to relax a bit and enjoy a cup (or more) of coffee.
The researchers found no evidence to support broad-based claims that people with arrhythmias should avoid coffee or caffeine. They said it may be a trigger for some individuals, but such cases would be very rare.
Surprisingly, they found that each additional cup of coffee a person drinks per day may actually lower the risk of arrhythmia by 3 percent.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it helps the heart, but some people may experience a very minor benefit.
The researchers arrived at their conclusion after analyzing data from more than 385,000 people participating in a long-term British health study. They monitored heart arrhythmia developments and asked about coffee consumption.
Results of the study were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
More work is needed to examine how coffee and caffeine impact the heart and arrhythmia risk, but it may have something to do with coffee’s anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation can contribute to issues with heart rhythm, so it is possible coffee can help regulate.
The study, however, did not show that coffee necessarily protects people from arrhythmia, just that it is an unlikely contributor to them.
So, sip freely if you need it to get you going. Coffee can help you regain focus, energize for activity, and potentially offer a host of other benefits.