Your heart rate, also known as your pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in one minute. Your resting heart rate is defined as the number of times your heart beats per minute when you are calm and relaxed.
A normal resting heart rate (or RHR) is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute. A lower resting heart rate is typically associated with better fitness and suggests your heart muscles are in good condition to easily keep a regular beat.
Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, breathing exercises, and certain foods and drinks can help lower your heart rate if it's too high.
This article will discuss the best beverages to drink to help your overall heart health.
Drinks for Heart Health
Studies show that certain beverages may lower your heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and improve your overall heart health. Below, we look at 10 drinks to incorporate into your diet for overall heart health.
Tea is chock-full of heart-healthy compounds like catechins and polyphenols that can work to fight inflammation. One study followed more than 80,000 people over six years and found people who drank tea more than once a month had a 1% per year slowing of age-related declines in HDL (the healthy cholesterol) levels when compared with those who do not drink tea. Researchers hypothesized that this could lead to an 8% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk but expressed caution in interpreting the results and recommended further study of the effects of tea drinking on heart health.
Matcha tea is a Japanese green tea powder that may protect you against heart disease.
In one review, researchers found drinking green tea may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in men while green tea consumption (more than three cups a day) may reduce the risk in women. The study also noted green tea consumption may also lower cholesterol and reduce diastolic blood pressure (DBP).
Another study found that green tea produced a small (1 to 2 millimeters of mercury [mmHg]) systolic and diastolic blood pressure in short-term trials. However, it isn't clear if drinking green tea can lower the heart rate.
Hibiscus tea not only has a tart, vibrant flavor, but it’s also good for your heart.
It’s been used for years as a natural way to treat common ailments. Studies show that hibiscus can prevent high blood pressure by allowing blood to flow more easily. It can also fight against inflammation and reduce overall heart rate.
An observational study of Japanese patients found that drinking one cup of unsalted tomato juice could improve heart health. Research suggested tomato juice could improve both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a few millimeters of mercury in addition to lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by about 3%. However, it isn't clear if drinking unsalted tomato juice can lower your heart rate.
You'll want to avoid tomato juice with added salt. Excess dietary sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is associated with an elevated heart rate.
Cacao is essentially cocoa in its purest form. Not only does it taste delicious, but moderate cacao or cocoa intake can also improve heart health.
An observational study from Denmark found that consumption of cocoa or cocoa-containing foods between one to three times a month was associated with a reduced risk of developing atrial fibrillation (Afib) by up to 10%.
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants work to fight oxidation and can help protect against heart disease and other chronic diseases.
A small study found that eating 200 grams (about one cup) of blueberries every day can reduce systolic blood pressure and improve overall blood vessel function. However, it isn't clear if eating blueberries can lower your heart rate.
To keep your berry juice as nutritious as possible, opt for fresh berry juice and avoid adding sugar.
Beetroot is naturally rich in nitrate, which can reduce blood pressure and improve overall heart function. A small study showed that short-term nitrate-rich beetroot juice supplementation can reduce systolic blood pressure in both younger and older adults. Moreover, it reduced diastolic blood pressure to a greater degree in older adults.
Prune juice is made from dried prunes or plums. It is rich in many nutrients such as potassium that benefits heart health. Potassium helps your heartbeat stay regular and can lessen the negative impact of sodium on your blood pressure.
A study found that daily consumption of 50-100 grams of dried plums can lower inflammation, total cholesterol, and oxidative stress in postmenopausal women.
Drinking water infused with citrus fruits is a great way to increase your daily water intake. It may also protect your heart.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. They are also rich in flavonoids, which can protect against heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and improve blood pressure.
Next time you fix a glass of water, consider adding extra flavor and health benefits with citrus fruits.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help lower your heart rate. When you are dehydrated, you lose too much fluid in the body. This can lead to a rapid heartbeat because the heart has to work harder.
One study found drinking 335 milliliters of tap water led to a small decrease in blood pressure and heart rate over a 30-minute period, but the effect was temporary and resolved after one hour.
Drinks to Avoid
If you’re experiencing a rapid heartbeat, some beverages can make it worse. Below are some drinks you’ll want to avoid if your heart rate is high.
- Energy drinks
- Excess caffeine
Your resting heart rate is an indicator of how well your heart is working. When your heart rate remains elevated, it can put you at risk for chronic disease and negative health outcomes.
The good news is, making lifestyle changes, eating a healthful diet, and including heart-healthy drinks into your day can help you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as help improve your overall heart health.
A Word From Verywell
Experiencing an increase in your heart rate can be frightening. Fortunately, there are ways to naturally bring your heart rate down.
Exercising, practicing breathing techniques, eating a healthful diet, and drinking heart-healthy drinks can help your heart. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco products can naturally reduce your heart rate.
If your heart rate remains elevated, contact your healthcare provider. It could be a sign of an underlying health condition or medical emergency.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I quickly lower my heart rate?
The best way to quickly lower your heart rate is by practicing slow, deep breathing, or guided breathing techniques.
What is an unsafe heart rate?
Generally speaking, if your heart rate stays above 100 beats per minute or below 60 beats per minute and you are not an endurance athlete, it could be dangerous.