Q. I consumed alcohol and walked for one hour, my heart rate increased. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 19, 2019 and last reviewed on: Oct 22, 2019

Hello doctor,

I had wine and beer at a dinner party, after which I decided to go for a walk for about one hour. While walking, my heart rate increased to 133 bpm, then lowered to 116 bpm. I went home and sat down, waiting for my rate to recover under 100 bpm. It was 112 bpm after two to three minutes and dropped to 103 bpm. Then it took 17 minutes to drop down to 93 bpm.

I did stress echo, echo, ECG, full blood panel and holter monitor. All results are clear.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

This is likely due to the effect of alcohol, coupled with your baseline anxiety and activities. Normally, the heart rate goes up whenever one does activities like walking. But due to the effect of alcohol, heart rate elevation was persistent. Also, there must be some component of anxiety, as well. So mere heart rate elevation does not suggest any particular abnormalities. Most of the times, this is physiological and in response to the bodily factors.

However, alcohol may cause cardiac arrhythmia like atrial fibrillation, which also involves heart rate elevation. But it is unlikely to be fibrillation because fibrillation involves sudden elevation and sudden offset rather than gradual onset. One would have palpitations and irregularities in heart beating in this case. It will not follow activities. It would be associated with other symptoms like dizziness, chest pain, sweating, or shortness of breath.So, I do not think there is anything to worry about it.

If you also have a baseline elevated heart rate at other times as well, then you should do regular exercises to increase the vagal tone and lower the heart rate.

I hope this helps.

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