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How does caffeine cause your heart to skip a beat?

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Have you been hitting the caffeine hard? You may have more of it in your system than you think. You'll find caffeine not only in coffee and tea, but also in:

  • Coffee-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos
  • Sodas (even some non-cola ones)
  • Energy drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Some over-the-counter cold medications -- especially the "non-drowsy" formulas Caffeine causes your brain to release adrenaline, and that speeds up your heart rate. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. If you had a lot of caffeinated drinks in one day -- and you're also feeling tired and stressed out -- you could end up with heart palpitations and extra, early beats.

From: What Are Heart Palpitations? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Heart Palpitations: Frequently Asked Questions."

Main Line Health: "Heart Palpitations: How Common Are They and Should You Worry?"

American Heart Association: "Warning Signs of a Heart Attack," "What is Atrial Fibrillation?" "What's the link between chronic stress and heart disease?"

National Library of Medicine:  "Heart Attack First Aid," "Atrial Fibrillation."

Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute: "When to Evaluate Heart Palpitations."

Brown University Health Promotion:  "Caffeine." 

Harvard Health Publications:  "Skipping a beat - the surprise of palpitations."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 2, 2018

SOURCES: 

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Heart Palpitations: Frequently Asked Questions."

Main Line Health: "Heart Palpitations: How Common Are They and Should You Worry?"

American Heart Association: "Warning Signs of a Heart Attack," "What is Atrial Fibrillation?" "What's the link between chronic stress and heart disease?"

National Library of Medicine:  "Heart Attack First Aid," "Atrial Fibrillation."

Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute: "When to Evaluate Heart Palpitations."

Brown University Health Promotion:  "Caffeine." 

Harvard Health Publications:  "Skipping a beat - the surprise of palpitations."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 2, 2018

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How can you know what's causing your heart to skip a beat?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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