The Top 5 Drinks For Lowering Your High Blood Pressure

Nearly 50% of adults in the US¹ have high blood pressure (hypertension), a serious health condition that increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Diet is known to have a significant influence on blood pressure management — an unhealthy diet increases your risk of high blood pressure and can cause obesity, one of the leading risk factors for hypertension.

Approximately one in five adults¹ with high blood pressure has been recommended to make lifestyle changes to manage their high blood pressure.

Consuming a healthy diet is one of your first lines of defense against hypertension. Some drinks have been shown to lower blood pressure, so consuming them as part of a healthy, balanced diet could help keep yours in check.

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What is high blood pressure?

Arteries transport blood from your heart to other parts of your body, and blood pressure is a measure of the force exerted by the blood on the artery walls. High blood pressure occurs when the force is too high, which can damage your arteries and organs.

Blood pressure is measured in two moments: when your heart beats (systolic pressure) and between the beats (diastolic pressure). A normal blood pressure reading shouldn’t be higher than 120/80mm Hg, and you might be diagnosed with high blood pressure if your blood pressure consistently reads above this.

Untreated, high blood pressure can cause severe health conditions including:

What are the best drinks for high blood pressure?

Some drinks can help lower your blood pressure, including:

Skimmed milk

Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and skimmed milk can help lower high blood pressure.

A study² found that swapping full-fat dairy for a low-fat alternative can lower your blood pressure.

Full-fat dairy contains palmitic acid, which blocks signals that relax your blood vessels and allow free blood flow. When you consume palmitic acid, your arteries will remain tight and constricted, elevating blood pressure.

By consuming skimmed milk and other low-fat dairy products, you can avoid palmitic acid and keep your blood pressure down.

Tomato juice

Growing evidence suggests that drinking at least one glass of tomato juice each day can promote your overall heart health. Researchers³ found that a daily cup of unsalted tomato juice improves systolic and diastolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

Beet juice

Beetroot is a root vegetable with a variety of health benefits. A review⁴ found that dietary nitrate in beetroot juice can help control arterial blood pressure in the short term (long-term effects are still unknown). These dietary nitrates contain secondary metabolites that can also help lower blood pressure.

Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure when incorporated with other lifestyle changes.

A study⁵ of 46 patients with stage 1 hypertension divided participants into two groups. One group received a cup of hibiscus tea daily for a month, while the others followed lifestyle and dietary advice to control their blood pressure.

Systolic blood pressure was shown to reduce in both groups, but only the group treated with hibiscus had a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

So, what makes hibiscus tea an effective drink for lowering high blood pressure? It is thought that hibiscus⁶ contains diuretics and angiotensin-converting inhibitors, both of which effectively lower blood pressure.

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice has strong anti-inflammatory effects and has also been researched as a remedy for high blood pressure.

A review⁷ looking at eight randomized control tests found that consuming pomegranate juice could reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Try drinking at least 240ml of pomegranate juice every day as part of a heart-healthy diet, but always select products that are free from added sugar.

Drinks to limit or avoid when you have high blood pressure

While some drinks can help maintain healthy blood pressure and even lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, some drinks have negative effects and should be limited or avoided.

Coffee

Coffee works as a central nervous system stimulant that activates your brain and makes you feel more alert. Some research⁸ has shown that consuming 200–300mg of caffeine can temporarily increase your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

This increase usually lasts for about three hours and has no significant long-term effect. On the other hand, frequently consuming large amounts of caffeine (by drinking energy drinks, for example) can cause chronic high blood pressure.

This doesn't mean you can no longer enjoy your morning coffee or favorite caffeinated soft drink. According to a 2017 literature review⁹ of 34 studies, consuming caffeine in moderation is entirely safe and beneficial for people with high blood pressure.

Alcohol

The American Heart Association (AHA)¹⁰ recommends consuming no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. However, AHA warns that excessive alcohol intake can raise your blood pressure.

A study¹¹ on alcohol-induced hypertension suggests that high alcohol intake and hypertension are linked. It is thought that alcohol raises blood pressure because it affects the body in several ways, including unbalancing the central nervous system, increasing vasoconstriction (tightening of blood vessels), and decreasing baroreceptor activity (sensors that interpret blood pressure).

Again, this doesn't mean you should completely avoid drinking alcohol — instead, reducing alcohol intake can help prevent alcohol-induced¹¹ high blood pressure.

Other steps to lower blood pressure

Your doctor might recommend the following strategies for maintaining a healthy blood pressure:

Keeping active

Regularly exercising can significantly lower your blood pressure, particularly a few hours after working out. All forms of exercise can lower your blood pressure, but cardiovascular activities like jogging are proven to be the most effective.

Remember to check with your doctor before exercising and stay hydrated to prevent a blood pressure dip and symptoms like shallow breathing, fainting, dizziness, and fatigue.

Eat a healthy diet

AHA recommends sticking to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan¹² to prevent or manage hypertension. The plan encourages you to eat food from healthy sources and limit your consumption of red meat, sweets, and products with excess salt and added sugar.

Stop smoking

A study¹³ found that chronic exposure to inhaled nicotine can increase your blood pressure. Quitting smoking is a step in the right direction and will help lower your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor to see if you need nicotine replacement therapy.

Manage stress

Managing your stress can also help keep your blood pressure in check. Stress¹⁴ can trigger a temporary blood pressure spike and may encourage you to make unhealthy lifestyle choices, like being inactive, consuming alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods.

Take steps to manage your stress, like getting fresh air and exercise, eating healthily, improving time management, making time for a hobby, or practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation.

The lowdown

Consuming drinks like tomato juice, beet juice, pomegranate juice, and skimmed milk as part of a balanced, healthy diet can help you manage high blood pressure.

People with high blood pressure should limit their consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic drinks to keep their blood pressure in check, as consuming too much caffeine and alcohol has been shown to elevate blood pressure and the risk of serious health conditions.

  1. Estimated hypertension prevalence, treatment, and control among U.S. adults | Million Hearts

  2. Low-fat dairy products and blood pressure: follow-up of 2290 older persons at high cardiovascular risk participating in the PREDIMED study (2008)

  3. Unsalted tomato juice intake improves blood pressure and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level in local Japanese residents at risk of cardiovascular disease (2019)

  4. Dietary nitrate from beetroot juice for hypertension: A systematic review (2018)

  5. Effect of hibiscus sabdariffa on blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension (2019)

  6. Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies (2014)

  7. Effects of pomegranate juice on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2017)

  8. The effect of coffee on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in hypertensive individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis (2011)

  9. The impact of coffee consumption on blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus (2017)

  10. Is drinking alcohol part of a healthy lifestyle? | American Heart Association

  11. Alcohol-induced hypertension: Mechanism and prevention (2014)

  12. Your guide to lowering blood pressure | U.S Department of Health and Human Services

  13. Nicotine exposure alone leads to pulmonary hypertension, study suggests | Science Day

  14. The short-term stress response – mother nature’s mechanism for enhancing protection and performance under conditions of threat, challenge, and opportunity (2019)

Have you considered clinical trials for High blood pressure?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for High blood pressure, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64


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