Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Heart Pounding Stimulants

Palpitations will often worsen with the consumption of foods and drugs that stimulate the heart.

Avoid common stimulants and substances such as:

Caffeine is a very common stimulant that is present in a variety of beverages. Avoiding caffeine is important for most people with cardiac arrhythmias.

Caffeine Content in Beverages
BeverageCaffeine Content
8 ounce cup (240 cc) of brewed (drip) coffee65 to 120 mg
8 ounce cup (240 cc) of instant coffee60 to 85 mg
8 ounce cup (240 cc) of decaf coffee2 to 4 mg
1 ounce (30 cc) of expresso30 to 50 mg
8 ounce (240 cc), brewed US tea25 to 110
8 ounce (240 cc), brewed imported tea24 to 31 mg
Instant iced tea9 to 50 mg
Caffeinated 8 ounce (240 cc) soft drink20 to 40 mg
Cocoa, 8 ounce cup (240 cc)3 to 32 mg
Chocolate milk, 8 ounce cup (240 cc)2 to 7 mg

Continue to Heart Pounding Stress

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Heart Pounding References
  1. Abbott AV. Diagnostic approach to palpitations. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Feb 15;71(4):743-50. [15742913]
  2. Mayou R. Chest pain, palpitations and panic. J Psychosom Res. 1998 Jan;44(1):53-70. [9483464]
  3. Nehgme R. Recent developments in the etiology, evaluation, and management of the child with palpitations. Curr Opin Pediatr. 1998 Oct;10(5):470-5. [9818242]
  4. Summerton N, Mann S, Rigby A, Petkar S, Dhawan J. New-onset palpitations in general practice: assessing the discriminant value of items within the clinical history. Fam Pract. 2001 Aug;18(4):383-92. [11477045]
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