How does coffee affect atrial fibrillation (AFib)?

You can drink coffee if you have atrial fibrillation (AFib). If your heart rate happens to be very sensitive to caffeine you may need to decrease the quantity of coffee you drink. Many patients are placed on medications to slow their heartbeat and control their heart rhythm.

As far as we know, excessive caffeine consumption probably has an effect in inducing AFib, but one or two cups of coffee a day should have no effect. I see a lot of people with atrial fibrillation who stop drinking coffee but still have the condition. Like every thing else, excessive consumption puts you at greater risk but light to moderate use is alright.

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

If you are sensitive to caffeine, it makes good sense to avoid it if you have atrial fibrillation. Talk to your doctor about drinking caffeinated coffee if you have arrhythmias or episodes of atrial fibrillation. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant and can cause you to have a serious arrhythmia if you are sensitive to it. Keep in mind that other foods, beverages and medications have caffeine in them. For example, energy drinks are usually high in caffeine. Chocolate bars have caffeine, as do some teas, including green tea. Some headache preparations have caffeine, so read the labels carefully.

Continue Learning about Atrial Fibrillation

9 Myths About Atrial Fibrillation, Debunked
9 Myths About Atrial Fibrillation, Debunked
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common types of irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia. It’s estimated that this condition, often called AFib, affe...
Read More
Will I need to take blood thinners after a WATCHMAN device procedure?
Northside HospitalNorthside Hospital
Patients should continue to take blood thinners for 45 days following their WATCHMAN procedure.
More Answers
Is atrial fibrillation an arrhythmia?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia where the heart's chambers quiver ineffectively rather t...
More Answers
What Is the Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation?
What Is the Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.