How Alcohol Consumption is Related to Increased Heart Rate?

There are two vital parts to the cardiovascular system: the heart and blood vessels (arteries). We have capillaries (the smallest), arteries (the largest), as well as veins (the largest). Alcohol use can cause an increase in blood alcohol levels, which are subsequently transported throughout the body by way of digestion and small intestines.

The consumption of alcohol negatively impacts the heart and circulatory systems. When drank in high quantities, alcohol can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Excessive alcohol intake can have long-term effects on the heart, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, heart muscle weakness, and an irregular pulse. Those who have a history of drinking are more prone to suffer from heart attacks and strokes.

How Drinking Alcohol Affects Heart Beat?

What is the mechanism by which alcohol causes an increase in heart rate? Isn’t there a type of alcohol that is good for your heart?

According to new research, a trace amount of alcohol appears to have some favorable benefits on heart circulation. When you drink frequently, the favorable effects of drinking are outweighed by other factors that place a strain on your heart.

A small-scale,real-time study looked at the impact of one versus two drinks on healthy persons. According to the findings, one drink appeared to enlarge blood vessels, lessening the workload on the heart. Two beers had an opposite effect, appearing to lower dilation while increasing:

  • Sympathetic nervous system activity (involved in the fight or flight response)
  • The ability of the heart to pump blood
  • The heart rate increased as the amount of alcohol ingested increased. This could also explain why heavy drinking can cause “holiday heart,” an abnormal heart rhythm.

There was no difference in health advantages between red wine and other types of alcohol.

Here are some other harmful effects of alcohol consumption on the cardiovascular system:

Hypertension (higher than normal blood pressure)

If you habitually consume more alcohol than is suggested, you may develop an increase in blood pressure, a condition known as alcohol-induced hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood against the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure indicates that the heart is pumping blood at a faster rate than usual.

Alcohol consumption reduction has been shown in studies to lower blood pressure, and numerous factors are likely at work. High blood pressure causes artery hardening and thickening, a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Drinking more than two standard drinks per day has been associated with elevated blood pressure and the development of hypertension.

Myocardial Dysfunction

The fundamental function of the heart is to pump oxygen and nutrients throughout the body by generating the pressure required for blood to flow in a single direction. The frequency and intensity of heart contractions vary according to the body’s needs. The muscular layer within the heart wall, which is complicated in its architecture, is responsible for the heart’s ability to contract. Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, and the myocardium is the muscle of the heart. Excessive alcohol use can result in cardiomyopathy.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disorder in which the heart’s four chambers enlarge due to cardiac muscle weakness (this makes it harder for the blood to circulate the body). Congestive heart failure should be addressed seriously because it is an indication of cardiomyopathy.

Irregular Heartbeat

An arrhythmia is a change in the rate of the heartbeat. Arrhythmias in the heart’s electrical system can be caused by blocked signals, abnormal pathways, irritable cardiac cells, medications, and stimulants. Two common arrhythmias include bradycardia and ventricular fibrillation (tachycardia). Arrhythmias can cause cardiac arrest and stroke.

Alcohol has been linked to the occurrence of acute cardiac rhythm abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation. These disturbances were more common after weekends or holidays, such as Christmas or New Year’s, which are known for their heavy alcohol use.


If a person consumes alcohol, he or she is more likely to suffer from two types of strokes. A stroke can impact the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems. Reduced blood supply to the brain can impair neurological functions, resulting in a loss of motor and sensory abilities.

Ischemic Stroke

This happens when the brain’s blood supply is cut off. A clot may have formed in the artery, or a foreign object (such as a fat globule) may have broken off and been lodged in the artery, impeding blood flow. 30

Alcohol increases the risk of ischemic stroke since it can trigger it.

  • Cause a blood clot to form in a brain blood artery due to irregular heartbeat and heart muscle weakness.
  • As a result of high blood pressure, a foreign body, such as plaque, can break off, enter the bloodstream, and become stuck in a blood artery in the brain.
  • If the levels of fat (bad cholesterol) in the blood rise, a stroke can occur.

Haemorrhagic Stroke

This is the result of a ruptured and bleeding artery supplying brain tissue. Alcohol increases the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke because it raises blood pressure. High blood pressure may weaken the walls of the arteries in the brain, increasing the risk of bleeding.

Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the Best Cardiologists in Islamabadthrough Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

1- Does alcohol affect heart rate?

Alcohol is depressive, slowing your brain’s control of your body. It can affect vital functions like speech and mobility. Constantly drinking big amounts might cause dangerously low heart and respiratory rates.

2- How much does alcohol raise your pulse?

The amount of alcohol consumed elevated the heart rates of these adults. Rising breath alcohol concentrations were associated with over 100 beats per minute sinus tachycardia in almost 25% of individuals.

3- Why does alcohol raise my heart rate?

The effect of alcohol on heart rate is dosage-dependent. So, the more you drink, the more likely you are to stress your heart. Heavy drinking raises the risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.