T Nation

BBers with High Blood Pressure


I've been training for a good decade plus. I have put on some muscle and I eat well. Cardio could be better though(I do at least 2X/wk). My doc put me on an ACE inhib because I had high blood pressure- well prehypertension. My BP was always around 130/85-90, but I have a family history of heart disease.

I'm curious if anyone else has a similar history and take meds for it.

Its sorta blows people's minds when they hear I have hypertension because I look like I'm in shape.

I'm 32, 5'7" and 180lbs.


From what I understand the medical community is quick to prescribe drugs for BP and cholesterol -- I'd get my shit checked out with a doctor I know personally before using an ACE inhib.

My two cents.


How many readings has your doctor done? Mine was sky high after a very stressful day, but he asked me to come back in a week before work and it was ok.

There's a few threads on here and IM about supps to decrease BP, maybe have a search. Personnaly I'm supplementing with vitamin D3 and CoQ10.

Obviously limit caffeine and try and chill-out!


That's just cause they don't know what they are on about.

How old are you? Hows the diet and what is the diet?

Do you smoke? drink alcohol? Drink coffee? Use prescription drugs of any sort? rec. drugs?

As someone else asked, how many/how long have you been following this? A heavy session at the gym will significantly raise BP for a while afterwards.

You have a family history and that sadly is likely all that you need to have high BP i'm afraid (as this could simply be a genetic predisposition for thicker than average artery walls or whatever).

TBH, i am not sure what you are asking - if you are asking if it is normal for someone to lead a healthy lifestyle and still have high BP.. then the answer is yes. It happens.

The best you can do to control it is exactly as your doc (will have i'm sure,) suggested - low sodium, increase cardiovascular exercise to at least 20mins 5x/week, watch dietary fat intake, don't smoke and limit alcohol, all the normal crap for high BP!



Use Hawthorne berry extract at 500-1000mg per day. It will bring down the blood pressure.


There are plenty of OTC remedies available.

If you are using AAS or stimulants then that can be the root of your problem right there. Anything that is causing you to retain a lot of water could be to blame (high sodium diet, etc.).

Personally I would try to avoid medication if you can find a way to naturally resolve the problem - especially at just 32 years old.


One more thing - if you have large arms the cuffs that they use for blood pressure may not be accurate. Heck I actually got my arm stuck in one of the machines at the grocery store a couple of months ago!


if BP's high consistently, it's high. after that, it's a guarantee you're getting a med for it.

i'm 21 and have been seeing a nephrologist for BP issues for a few years now. the nephrologist reads me at 140/60. saw a specialist at UofMich for a while who only reads me at 110/60. everyone's thoroughly confused.

it does suck. sucks more since no one can find anything wrong.


It was psychological with me...going to the doc just scared me more than anything. My last physical it was really high in the docs office...even after they gave me time to calm down and try to relax. A week later they put a 24 hour monitor on me, a few hours later at home I was normal, and that nite after I went to sleep it really dropped, which is very important healthwise.

So these days I do try to relax more, do more high reps and GPP training. Also you can try natural ACE inhibitors like apple cider vinegar and pomegranate, and unprocessed cocoa. Other things that lower blood pressure are celery, garlic, quercetin, organic tomato paste, fish oil and olive oil. Oh, also a vitamin D deficiency can raise BP.


First, I'm all for trying to avoid all medications if possible; having said that though, high BP is nothing to mess around with. To the extent that there's ANY credible evidence to support claims for supplements like Hawthorn berry etc., natural remedies tend to only be effective in helping to maintain BP that is alrady within the normal range.

Usually, by the time it's elevated only lifestyle modifications and/or medications will lower it. Brook is correct, a family history of high BP almost assures you will develope it at sometime in your life--the correlation is very strong.

However, the risks of not correctly controlling high BP can be devastating--10-20 year decrease in lifespan, a 5-30 fold increase in the risk of stroke for BP >160/98, acceleration of atherosclerosis, retinal and renal damage, peripheral vascular disease, heart disease. The fact is, most cases of high BP are of unknown etiology (or primary hypertension). Of course we know many of the risk factors, nevertheless usually the exact cause is unknown. So, while I dislike the thought of having to take any medication (I think we all do, after all we're healthy, we workout and watch our diet, we're not like those other lazy bastards), the alternative is even less appealing. Not to mention that the newer classes of anti-hypertensive drugs (e.g., the angiotensin II antagonists) are well tolerated by most individuals and produce far fewer side effects than older drugs such as the beta blockers.



Be funny to see some big guy walking around with it stuck on his arm in the store looking for someone to help him get out of it.


Thanks for the replies.

I'm 5'8'ish, only put on ten-fifteen pounds of muscle, and it has increased my BP. I'm really curious if any giants or other muscle heads out there have high BP and have gotten it treated. They must. Some pro BBers are my height and weigh almost 100lbs more than me. They gotta be hypertensive.

I'm taking the ACE inhib and can't even tell I'm on anything except my BP is lower.


It's not necessarily weight gain per se that will cause an increase in BP. Although increased weight (even in the form of LBM) tends to increase peripheral vascular resistance, and thus BP, fat gain has a much more profound effect. Cardiovascular conditioning will, obviously, affect the equation rather dramatically also.

Again, sometimes genetics kicks in and regardless of overall conditioning high BP occurs--although lifestyle modifications can,of course,reduce this likelihood (and the severity should it arise).

Yes, I would think many of the truly huge pro bodybuilders walk around either constantly on BP meds and/or with high BP. THe human body can only withstand so much weight before you WILL exhibit high BP. Combine this with the fact that they are using high doses of multiple drugs, many of which increase BP,the relative lack of cadiovascular conditioning (at least for long periods of tome)--hell, the fact that it's stressful for them to even move much--and you've got a prescription for not only high BP but a host of other problems.


P.S. I know; at one time when I was "using" I weighed over 300 LBS. It was a chore to move very much. While I'm still 270 lbs., the difference is tremendous.


I am also twenty-one, I can not comprehend that at our age you would need to take any BP meds. I'm in the minority here, I have not seen a doctor since high school and am A-okay. If you eat a clean diet and work out I have no idea how your BP could be high.


Genetics? Or maybe clean diet doesn't mean someone couldn't get fat(ER) if they were eating too much.




I'm 49, been treated since 17. Been on a few different meds over the years. They all suck except one, Benicar. I'm on 40 mgs and love it, zero sides


I'm 23 and had high BP since 16. Been skinny all my life too. I self diagnosed myself with pheochromocytoma, a tumor on the adrenals, just a few months ago while learning about it in class. Doctor never even thought about it until I told him. Chance of having this is very rare tho.

Your blood pressure is ok right now, although the diastole(bottom number) is sitting close to stage 1 hypertension. Try to lower your blood pressure by cessation of smoking (if you do), decrease caffeine intake, clean diet, fruits, relaxing etc. Supplements may play role in blood pressure elevation so be cautious. Also, tell your doc if you are planning on taking any herbals so if he starts you on some BP meds, there are no interactions.

Many complications can be avoided by lowering blood pressure, so check your BP regularly and if it gets over 140 or 90 consistently, you need to go back to the doc. Take care.


Things to be wary of: Blood cuff size. Medical professions are advised to use a larger cuff if your arm takes up 80% or more of the bladder of the cuff. How they did it: I'm in Physical Therapy school right now, and we are instructed that the following factors give abnormally high readings: taking BP with arm at/above heart level, when patient is not at rest, if clothing (i.e. shirt sleeve) covers arm and gets in the way of the cuff, and if the patient's arm is not relaxed (i.e. they make you hold your arm mid-air). If all this was okay, then...

Supplements: Red yeast rice, fish oil, Vitamin D, garlic (ex/kyolic brand), and coq10 all have literature supporting their efficacy. I used to work at a Vitamin Shoppe a few years ago, and customers taking red yeast rice and fish oil nearly always had the problem alleviated by a substantial degree. Everyone before me kinda said the same thing. This is my .02.

Good luck with this.


I have lifted weights, aerobics and exercised for 40 years, and I have high blood pressure. HBP is the silent killer, cement those words in your head, as it cannot be ignored. The red rice yeast, fish oil and others are all good ideas. A mental change we have to make is to realize that we do have to handle the HBP. Go to your local book store and buy the book "Younger Next Year". It will help your mind come up with ideas as to how to exercise, weights & aerobics for life.

I do a lot of walking, and lift light weights 2 or 3 days a week.

I am much more into higher reps than any one I know. Some time ago I worked out at a public gym. A College kid asked to work out with me, "But could we use heavier weights?". No, use the same weights I do for todays chest day. Several days latger he came in, and I called to him that today was my arm day. He said get away from me, today is the first day I can move my chest. You will learn too.

Remember HBP is the silent killer. Learn and deal with it.