I have a heart problem. Is it OK to drink coffee or tea?
For the vast majority of heart patients, coffee and tea can be enjoyed without reservation as one of the joys of life. For a very small minority, the caffeine in coffee or tea can cause palpitations (an abnormal sensation of the heart), anxiety, or slightly increase blood pressure but for most there are no bad effects, whatsoever.
Studies have shown that up to 4 cups of coffee per day are well tolerated, particularly if you use paper filters in a drip machine. Studies of tea consumption show that tea is beneficial and can actually improve blood vessel function. There is no limit on daily tea consumption unless the caffeine keeps you awake.
Philip A. Ades, MD, is Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont Medical Center and a Professor at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM.