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What to Drink to Lower Blood Pressure: MDs Reveal the Best Heart-Smart Drinks

Find out why an expert calls tomato juice a "powerhouse" when it comes to lowering BP

High blood pressure affects nearly half of all adults in the U.S. If you’re one of them, you may be wondering how to get your numbers back into the “normal” range. Sure, cutting back on sodium and added sugar can help. But what you drink can also make a big difference! While there’s no magical elixir that can lower blood pressure instantly, certain beverages improve your BP over time. We asked cardiologists and dietitian what to drink to lower blood pressure quickly. Here’s what you need to know.

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your systolic blood pressure (the top number) measures the force created each time your heart beats and pushes blood out to the rest of your body. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) measures the pressure inside the arteries when your heart rests between beats.

Normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic reading below 120 and a diastolic reading below 80 (or 120/80 mmHg). A systolic BP reading between 120 and 139, or a diastolic BP reading between 80 and 89, is considered prehypertension. Anything over 140/90 mmHg is considered hypertension, or high blood pressure.

“Maintaining healthy blood pressure is vital for your heart and overall wellbeing,” says Raj Dasgupta, MD, Chief Medical Advisor at Sleep Advisor and a board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, pulmonology and critical care. “When your blood pressure is high, it puts extra strain on your heart and increases the risk of serious health problems like heart disease, stroke and kidney issues.”

A blood pressure cuff with a red heart on a blue background
Adrian Calinescu/Getty

High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms. That’s why it’s important to understand your risk factors and stay on top of your annual wellness checkups. In the meantime, there are a few simple tweaks to your daily routine that can help keep your BP in check.

Related: 20 Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally — No Diet or Gym Required

What to drink to lower blood pressure quickly

Even lowering your blood pressure by a few points can make a big difference in your health. Research suggests that lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure by just 10 points and 5 points, respectively, curbs the risk of stroke by more than 40%. (Click through to learn about the sneaky silent stroke symptoms you need to watch out for.)

And it turns out what you drink can help lower blood pressure quickly and naturally. They: Be mindful of the added sugar and sodium content so you can reap the benefits without compromising your health goals. “Taking a look at the nutrition facts label can give you a general idea of what percentage a single serving of the beverage is contributing to your overall intake for the day,” says Patricia Kolesa, MS, RDN, a New Jersey-based dietitian and founder of Dietitian Dish LLC.

If you’re looking to lower your blood pressure quickly, here’s what you should drink:

1. Beet juice

“Beetroot juice is known for its heart-health benefits,” Dr. Dasgupta says. “It’s packed with nitrates that help your body produce nitric oxide, relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. It’s also rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation and stress, and it’s loaded with heart-friendly nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.”

A review in Frontiers in Nutrition found that drinking around 2.5 to 8 oz. of the red sipper daily helped significantly lower systolic blood pressure — in some cases, in as little as three days. (Learn how hybrid fruits and jackfruit lower BP, too.)

A woman sipping a beet juice drink to lower blood pressure quickly

Related: Top Doc: Beetroot Is the Superfood That Keeps Your Heart Healthy, Vision Sharp + So Much More

2. Green or black tea

In a study of more than 76,000 participants in BMC Public Health, researchers found that tea consumption was linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure. “Green tea and black tea both contain catechins, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and promote vasodilation,” says Rohit Vuppuluri, MD, a double-board certified interventional cardiologist in Chicago, IL. Both types of tea have anti-inflammatory properties, he adds, along with flavonoids to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Just be sure to avoid over-caffeinating. Most people can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, but anything above that could cause a small spike in BP. “One to two cups of green or black tea daily will provide enough antioxidant benefit,” Dr. Vuppuluri says. Loose leaf tea tends to be higher quality, he adds, but bagged tea is also fine if you prefer it.

Tip: Don’t over-steep your cuppa. Research suggests doing so may affect the antioxidant activity, especially in black tea.

3. Celery juice

The green drink has already gotten plenty of hype for its ability to beat bloating. But its anti-inflammatory compounds can also help to manage blood pressure. “Celery juice is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” Dr. Vuppuluri says. “Celery also contains compounds called phthalides, which help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.”

Aim for one to two cups per day — the fresher, the better, Dr. Vuppuluri says. “If you have a good quality juicer at home, this would be a great option,” he adds. Skip any commercially packaged celery juices, which may contain preservatives that negate the beneficial effects.

To make your own green juice, dice a handful of fresh celery. Add it to a blender with the juice of one fresh lemon and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, then blitz until smooth. (Click through to learn smart ways to use up leftover juice pulp.)

Glasses of celery juice, a drink that lowers blood pressure quickly, on a slate table beside fresh celery
Johner Images/Getty

4. Tomato juice

“Tomato juice is a powerhouse, as it’s a significant source of both potassium and lycopene,” Kolesa says. Potassium helps relax blood vessel walls and aids the body in excreting excess sodium. And lycopene is an antioxidant that can improve vascular function.

Proof of its heart-helping powers: A study in Food Science & Nutrition found that people who drank around 7 oz. of unsalted tomato juice each day had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Note: Some tomato juice brands can be high in sodium. For example, Campbell’s Tomato Juice contains 980 mg of sodium per can. That’s more than 40% of the recommended daily allowance. But Campbell’s Low Sodium Tomato Juice only has 140 mg of sodium (6% of your daily value) per 8-oz serving.

5. Reduced-fat milk

A study in Journal of Hypertension found that a higher intake of low-fat dairy products was linked to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in peopleages 40 and 59. “Dairy is beneficial for the heart because it contains essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and potassium,” Dr. Dasgupta says.

Milk protein also contains bioactive peptides, he adds, which are chains of amino acids that have been proven to help lower BP. Look for low-fat dairy options like skim milk and reduced-fat yogurt to make the most of these heart-health benefits.

A woman wearing glasses while holding a glass of milk and smiling

6. Grapefruit juice

“Grapefruit juice contains a large amount of flavonoids, which are compounds that promote vasodilation,” Dr. Vuppuluri notes. “Consumption of grapefruit juice can result in relaxing and enlarging the blood vessel size, which helps to decrease blood pressure.” One cup of a grapefruit juice drink also contains 400 mg of potassium (more than 10% DV) to help lower blood pressure quickly.

Note: If you’re taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol or depression, talk to your doctor before sipping grapefruit juice. Grapefruit can interfere with the way your body metabolizes certain medications, which can lead to dangerously high levels of the medication in your bloodstream. (Click through to learn how a modern version of the grapefruit diet can help you lose weight, too.)

7. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate has earned its reputation as a superfood. This delicious fruit can help to support brain health, fight inflammation, protect cells from harmful free radicals, boost exercise endurance and potentially even ward off cancer.

Now, you can add one more benefit to the list. Research suggests pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure both short-term and long-term. “Pomegranate juice can help lower blood pressure thanks to its antioxidant punch and ability to boost nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels,” Dr. Dasgupta explains.

As with any juice, though, be sure to sip in moderation. “It’s important not to overdo it,” Dr. Dasgupta adds. “Too much juice means too much sugar and calories, which can be unhealthy. Stick to a moderate amount — about 4 to 8 oz. a day, taking into account factors like your age, activity level and any preexisting health conditions like diabetes.” A doctor or nutritionist can help you determine the ideal balance for you.

Two glasses of pomegranate juice next to fresh pomegranate

8. Water

When you’re wondering what to drink to lower blood pressure quickly, don’t overlook the benefits of plain old H2O! “Water is the most essential liquid to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle,” Dr. Vuppuluri says. “It helps regulate blood pressure and maintain electrolyte balance.”

In a small study in Nutrients, folks drank an additional 18 oz. of water (on top of their typical daily fluid intake) within two hours of waking and another within two hours of bedtime. After 12 weeks, their systolic blood pressure had significantly decreased compared those who didn’t up their fluid intake.

Tip: Spacing out your water intake is key. “Avoid drinking large amounts of water at one time,” Dr. Vuppuluri says. “Water should be consumed consistently during the day to allow for proper digestion.” If you’re not a fan of plain water, he recommends infusing it with fruits that are high in flavonoids, such as berries, citrus fruits, apples or sliced grapes.

Related: Dehydration Can Be a Sneaky Cause of High Blood Pressure — Here’s How To Replenish Fluids Fast

Drinks to avoid if you have hypertension

While the drinks above can help to keep your BP under control, there are a few you should cut back on (or avoid altogether) if you have hypertension. Kolesa recommends enjoying the following beverages in moderation:

  • Energy/sports drinks. These can be loaded with added sugars. For example, one can of Rockstar Energy Drink Original contains 63 grams of added sugar. And if the drink is designed to replenish electrolytes, it may also have a surprising amount of sodium.
  • Alcohol. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that women consume one drink or less per day to help minimize the potential health risks of alcohol, including high blood pressure.
  • Sugary drinks. A review of studies in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher sugar intake significantly increased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

For more ways to lower your blood pressure naturally:

Dehydration Can Be a Sneaky Cause of High Blood Pressure — Here’s How To Replenish Fluids Fast

Quercetin for Heart Health: MD Says It’s Key To Lowering Blood Pressure + Cholesterol — and It Costs Just Pennies a Day!

20 Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally — No Diet or Gym Required

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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