How Much Does Caffeine Really Affect Your Heart Rate?
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

How Much Does Caffeine Really Affect Your Heart Rate?

It might not be as much as you think...

46080
How Much Does Caffeine Really Affect Your Heart Rate?
EHealth Harmony

Miller tested the effects of caffeine on heart rate on four different individuals. Each subject was given one 200mg caffeine pill and the subject’s heart rates were tested six times in 15 minute increments. The results were mostly inconclusive but inferences can be made.

Caffeine is a plant product found in food, drinks, and some medication. It’s a stimulant and is normally used to keep people more awake. It mostly has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. It can also make an antidote to respiratory depression induced by drugs. It also acts as a mild diuretic (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016).
It can start effecting the body about 15 minutes after ingestion and can last for around six hours (University Health Service). It’s rapidly absorbed about 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion (Bunch, 2016), so it’s safe to say that when it starts to effect a person depends on them. It does have side effects when in large quantities (1000 mg or more) on the regular such as conception problems, increased episodes of heartburn, changes in bowel habits (University Health Service), and raises blood level of epinephrine (adrenaline) (Bunch, 2016). Epinephrine, in pure forms, can increase blood pressure, the force of the heart, and mildly increase heart rate (Bunch, 2016) – which, on average, for adults, is 60 – 100 BPM (American Heart Association, 2016).
The box of caffeine pills claim that 200mg of caffeine is the same as in a cup of coffee. However, this varies. Eight ounces of brewed coffee can be anywhere from 95-200mg. Decaffeinated coffee still has about 2-12mg per eight ounces. One ounce of espresso can have 45-75mg of caffeine. It can even vary in the same coffee shop (Mayo Clinic Staff). 200mg might be kind of on the high end as far as regular coffee goes, but it is the best way to make caffeine content accurate.

The purpose of this experiment is to test the effect of caffeine on human heart rate. Miller failed to find any actual studies on the exact results of caffeine on heart rate as far as BPM goes. She did, however, find that it can increase blood pressure and force of the heart. From this research, she expects that it will increase heart rate some, however the exact numbers will likely depend on the person and she is interested to see what these will be. Of course, many factor can influence heart rate, so the ideal setting for this experiment is alone, away from people. Whether a person is standing up or lying down can change heart rate, as well as activity level, emotions, and medications (Laskowski). If Miller measures the heart rate of 4 adults after they take one 200mg caffeine pill, then their heart rate will increase slightly. Miller will check it in six 15 minute increments.


The materials needed for this experiment were:
Water
4 200mg Caffeine Pills (Kroger rand, one per person)
Heart rate watch (optional)

Each subject abstained from caffeine for 12 hours prior to the experiment. This meant no coffee, soda, tea, etc. A questionnaire was provided as it was needed during the experiment. This questionnaire also asked about daily caffeine consumption and any problems that might affect their heart rates.

Subjects were to take their resting heart rate preceding taking the caffeine pill. Some measured via the neck with first and middle finger. Some measured at the wrist, either with a watch or with their first and middle finger.

Subjects then took one 200mg caffeine pill with water.

Fifteen minutes after taking the pill, they measured their heart rates again. They measured, in total, seven times. Six were after consumption of the caffeine in 15 minute increments (15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90).

In total, the experiment took about 95 minutes.

The experiment was only conducted one time due to the restricted time frame of the experiment.


Results/Data:

Number

Sex

Age

Height in cm

Weight

Abstained for 12 Hours?

Environment?

Other people?

Others provoke emotion?

Overall mood

Health problems?

Estimated Caffeine a day?

Overall health

Resting Heart Rate?

15 minutes

30 minutes

45 minutes

60 minutes

75 minutes

90 minutes

Need to know?

1

Male

33

193

175

yes

classroom

no

N/a

great

None

2 cups of coffee

excellent

66

66

66

72

66

72

66

Walking around ccasionally

2

Male

61

198

250

yes

home

Yes

no

Good

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux

2-3 cups of coffee

good

68

110

100

80

73

65

70

Nope

3

Female

54

165

170

yes

home

Very little

No/not around people

Withdrawals

Normally low heart rate and Blood pressure

Caffeine all day

fair

72

84

96

102

102

120

120

N/a

4

Female

32

162.5

160

yes

House

Very little

No

Tired/rushed

None

3 cups of coffee

great

68

77

81

78

83

87

82

Was getting ready for work, kind of stressed.


The results from this experiment are rather inconclusive. Subject 3’s heartrate increased by 48 BPM from the beginning to end of the experiment. Due do the lack of time, it’s hard to tell if this was because of the disclosed heart problems and the slower heart rate. Subject 1’s heartrate, however, rose and fell. The changes in BPM never exceeded 6. Subjects 2 and 4, on the other hand, were much more sporadic. Subject 2’s heart rate actually went down to 65 at the 75 minute mark of the experiment – three points lower than Subject 2’s resting heart rate. There was an overall change of 45 BPM. Subject 4 had little variation with a change of only 19 BPM. There is little to be assumed from this experiment. The results are random at best and a clear answer is not present with how much caffeine actually affects heart rate. To make this better, subjects should all be in the same environment without outside influence. There should also be many more diverse subjects. Overall, Miller’s hypothesis was mostly correct – heart rate did increase, but it wasn’t only “slightly” increased for some subjects. From the results, it is safe to say that caffeine affects people differently.


Works Cited:

American Heart Association. "Target Heart Rates." Target Heart Rates. N.p., 12 Oct. 2016. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

Bunch, T. Jared, MD. "Caffeine, Your Heart and Exercise - Rhythm of Life." Rhythm of Life. Everyday Health, 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.

"Caffeine." University Health Services (n.d.): n. pag. University of Michigan. University Health Service. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.

Laskowski, Edward R., M.D. "Heart Rate: What's Normal?" Fitness. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Mayo Clinic Staff. "Caffeine Content for Coffee, Tea, Soda and More." MayoClinic.Org. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Caffeine." Encyclopædia Britannica. N.d. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

6324
Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

11598
High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

9569
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

9630

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.

8481
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments