T Nation

Blood Pressure

What are some ways to reduce blood pressure without meds?

Don’t see why I have slightly elevated levels as they say. I’m pretty healthy and shit…

The things that come to mind right away are fish oil and aerobic exercise. If you’re salt sensitive (most people aren’t), you’ll want to lower your sodium intake. Any particular supplements or OTC/prescription drugs you’re taking?

Another consideration is white coat hypertension.

Good luck.

Is white coat hypertension associated with a rise in heart rate? The last time I went to donate blood, my blood pressure was borderline high, but my pulse was right around 60.

No supplements and/or OTC drugs I’m taking. I eat loads of fish oil. Probably 3-4 tbsps daily minimum. Not to mention lots of monos like olive oil and natural PB.

I eat a lot of protein though…how or why would I be salt sensitive?

bump to the watching your sodium intake. Use sea salt not white table salt–that shit reaks havoc on your body. The polyphenols in green tea have been shown to help regulate blood pressure. need to get the best quality and drink plenty though

greekdawg,

You and I are in the same boat. I do nothing but eat healthy, always have. Yet, my blood pressure is slightly elevated.

I have tried fish oil, oat bran, olive oil…you name it! Only one thing brings my BP down. That is cardio training. If I do four cardio sessions per week my blood pressure comes down.

Meditation and deep breathing exercises will help. try taking a long walk each evening and take deep breaths through your nose. This will help calm you down and lower blood pressure.

Mike Mahler

Greekdawg, there are a few things you can do, a few things I’ll throw out for your consideration, and a few supps that may help with high blood pressure.

  • If you’re overweight, go on a diet – but only if you’re overweight. I don’t know that you are. Changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure are generally proportional to the amount of weight lost (in those that are overweight).

  • The fish oil is an excellent investment in your cardiovascular health (and in reducing BP), but is obviously not doing the job for you in and of itself.

  • I’m with Eric on the cardiovascular exercise!! How much cardio do you do and how often? Also, what’s your resting heart rate (taken before you get out of bed in the morning)?

An added benefit of cardiovascular exercise is that it reduces stress. How are your stress levels currently? High BP and stress are strongly correlated. In fact, more than correlated, stress is actually causitive.

  • Alcohol consumption is linked with high BP in some people.

  • Excessive use of stimulants can cause high BP. This includes coffee, diet pills, ephedrine, etc.

  • Supps that will help with high BP are magnesium, Vitamin C, CoQ10, garlic and niacin. I’ll include a little information on the supps I mentioned below.

MAGNESIUM

It has been estimated that as many as 60 percent of Americans may have magnesium deficiency. Studies have been done which show that people with high BP have significantly less magnesium in their blood cells than normal people do, and that magnesium supplementation is effective in lowering BP.

Magnesium, along with sodium, potassium, and calcium, appears to have a relaxing effect on the blood vessels. Magnesium is nature’s “calcium channel blocker,” and it actually functions in much the same way; it relaxes the arteries, and some people notice an overall calming of the nerves. Some believe that magnesium is the most underutilized natural therapy there is where high BP is concerned.

Most studies include from 250 to 600 mg (while many products on the market contain 12mg or less).

GARLIC

Several studies have shown that garlic decreases both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular health. Garlic has been shown to inhibit human platelet aggregation and in vitro platelet aggregation. This natural “blood thinning” tendency offers protection against stroke, coronary thrombosis, and atherosclerosis.

CALCIUM

Calcium has many beneficial effects upon the human body. Calcium is very important to health at the cellular level and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of high BP. One recent study in which 48 men with high BP were given calcium supplements showed that 44 percent had a statistically meaningful reduction in BP, similar or superior to that achieved with BP pharmaceuticals, but without the negative side-effects.

Another study of women with high BP included giving some BP medicine, and others the medicine plus calcium. The group with the calcium had lowered BP. The group with medicine only actually experienced increased BP!

Another study in which 1000 mg of calcium were given daily to hypertensives produced a 48 percent reduction in systolic BP. Of 17 nutrients examined in one study, low calcium was most consistently associated with high BP.

Oral calcium supplementation can lower BP. Salt-sensitive hypertensives may be benefited the most.

CoQ 10

Coenzyme Q10 has proven to be one of the most beneficial nutrients for a healthy heart, and part of the reason may be due to its ability to lower BP and cholesterol. Several studies have indicated that supplementation with at least 100 mg can reduce BP. It’s not a cheap supp. An effective dosage is often as high as 300mg in divided doses. CoQ10 is best taken with meals that contain a little fat.

VITAMIN C

Vitamin C helps lower BP in many different ways. It reduces serum cholesterol and helps move it from the arteries to the liver, eliminating it from the body. It helps repair damaged arterial walls and prevents cholesterol deposits from forming. It prevents the deposition of lipoprotein(a) in the vascular wall. It reduces the oxidation of LDLs and thus prevents damage from being done to the cell walls in the first place.

Okay, Greekdawg. That’s the best I’ve got on the subject, other than to mention that if all else fails, I’ve known people who were able to reduce high BP with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Exactly.

LOL

i think tampa should write a book!

I don’t drink alcohol. I do little to no cardio. I’m definately not overweight. Right now I’m like 10-12% BF.

I also snore/mouth breathing at night, I read somewhere this might have something to do with it?

I’m sorry, GD. I don’t know anything about high BP as it relates to snoring. I’d start with the cardio and take it from there. If you decide to test out some of the different supps, you might want to purchase a blood pressure monitor so that you can check your numbers on a daily basis to see how you’re responding.

I kind of have high blood pressure with normal to lower pulse rates, even though I lift 3-4 days a week, and get enough cardio from playing intramural ball, and walking up these damn hills all the time. I think mine is from my type A personality where I am constantly trying to maximize my time, and tend to be a workaholic at times, which creates stress. The hostility factor of Type A’s also plays the biggest role in causing stress, and thus increased blood pressure levels. I don’t know if things easily irritate you - I tend to get irritated and impatient at times, and as such that’s what i attribute the elevated levels too. Of course maybe high bp is has a genetic factor in your family, which would give you a higher predisposition to elevated bp levels. I know a woman who ran like 10km probably 5 days a week, and still had bp levels over 200 b/c of a family history and the stress from her job.

I believe creatine can also raise BP.

Greekdawg, there is a connection between high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnea. Not all snoring is sleep apnea.

The research on this is relatively new, and scientists are still debating whether there is a causal link. However, it has been found that even low levels of sleep apnea cause an elevation of blood pressure in the following 24 hours. Also, a certain treatment for sleep apnea causes a reduction in blood pressure for the following 24 hours. (I use the term “cause” because these were controlled experiments.) There is enough evidence to be concerned if you have sleep apnea, and to treat it.

Several of my students (college-age) lowered their blood pressure to healthy levels through cardio. If I were you, I’d do some cardio and get checked for sleep apnea, stat.

Creatine has no effect on blood pressure.

Snoring would only really be a problem if it were associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Generally these are very big guys who chronically occlude their airways while sleeping and suffer the sequelae of chronic intermittent hypoxia. You’re young and otherwise healthy, so I doubt that your snoring has a thing to do with it.

What is your blood pressure anyway?

DocT, how the hell are ya?

Greek, I agree with the suggestion to do some cardio.

Scrub, I’m alive. Busy as hell but alive.

A lot of my training has to happen at home even though I’m not horribly set up for it, so I’m improvising and doing what I can. Can’t let something as trivial as work get in the way of my training. :slight_smile:

Tampa Terry,
You are always right on target.One other consideration, especially this time of the year is decongestants, most all of them(most brands) will contibute to higher BP.

Oh, boy, Tony, what a great point!!! I never thought of that one. For those that are not aware of the ingredients, a lot of decongestants have pseudoephedrine in them.

That was a great catch there, Tony!!!