Why You Should Skip Caffeine Before a Calcium Scoring Test

Understanding the Impact of Caffeine on Calcium Scoring

Drink water instead of coffee before a calcium scoring test

Caffeine, a natural stimulant found in various beverages, foods, and medications, has the power to affect your heart and blood vessels. Large amounts of caffeine can lead to rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular symptoms. These effects can interfere with the accuracy of calcium scoring, a non-invasive medical test that measures calcium build-up in the coronary arteries.

Research has revealed that caffeine intake can result in false-positive results in calcium scoring. False-positives wrongly indicate the presence of calcium in the arteries when there is actually none. This may lead to unnecessary testing and treatment, potentially costing patients both financially and in terms of their well-being. To ensure accurate outcomes, it is crucial to avoid caffeine consumption before calcium scoring.

Aside from false-positive results, caffeine can also impact the sensitivity of calcium scoring. By increasing heart rate and blood pressure, caffeine can cause the arteries to appear narrower than they truly are. Consequently, the amount of calcium build-up may be underestimated, resulting in a false-negative outcome. False-negatives can be dangerous, as they can provide patients with a false sense of security, leading them to neglect their health.

Understanding the Calcium Scoring Test

The calcium scoring test is a simple and non-invasive procedure that provides valuable insights into an individual’s risk of heart disease. This test measures the amount of calcium accumulation in the coronary arteries, a known risk factor for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.

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During the procedure, you will lie on a table while a computed tomography (CT) scanner captures detailed images of your heart and surrounding arteries. These images are then analyzed by a radiologist or cardiologist who assigns a calcium score based on the detected calcium. This entire process typically takes less than 30 minutes and requires no preparation or recovery time.

One of the significant advantages of calcium scoring is its ability to detect heart disease in its early stages, even before symptoms manifest. This allows for timely intervention and treatment, which can prevent or delay further damage to the heart. Additionally, calcium scoring is a safe and cost-effective way to assess an individual’s risk of heart disease, as it is a non-invasive procedure with minimal risks.

Risks of Consuming Caffeine Before Calcium Scoring

Consuming caffeine prior to calcium scoring can lead to several negative consequences, including false-positive and false-negative results. False-positive results occur when the test detects calcium build-up where none exists, leading to unnecessary testing and treatment. On the other hand, false-negative results occur when the test fails to detect calcium build-up, providing patients with a false sense of security and potentially delaying necessary treatment.

Moreover, caffeine consumption before calcium scoring can also result in result misinterpretations. Caffeine can cause the arteries to appear narrower than their actual size, leading to an underestimation of the extent of calcium build-up. This can result in misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

Overall, the risks associated with consuming caffeine before calcium scoring far outweigh any potential benefits. To ensure accurate results and a proper diagnosis, it is essential to refrain from consuming caffeine at least 24 hours before the test. At Marmalade Cafe, we urge individuals to prioritize their health and adhere to the necessary preparations for medical tests like calcium scoring.

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Other Pre-Test Preparations

To obtain accurate results from the calcium scoring test, there are a few additional steps you should follow. Firstly, avoid consuming any food or drink, including water, for at least four hours before the test. Even a small amount of water can affect the test’s accuracy. Secondly, inform your doctor about any medications you are taking, as some medications can interfere with the test. Lastly, wear comfortable clothing and avoid any metal objects such as jewelry or belts that may interfere with the imaging process.

During the test, you will lie down on a table while a technician uses a computed tomography (CT) scanner to capture images of your heart. The procedure is painless and usually lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. After the test, you can resume your normal activities immediately, as there is no recovery time required.


In conclusion, avoiding caffeine before undergoing a calcium scoring test is crucial for obtaining accurate results. Caffeine consumption can lead to false-positive and false-negative outcomes, which can result in unnecessary testing, inappropriate treatment, or a misguided sense of security. By following the necessary pre-test preparations and abstaining from caffeine, you can ensure the accuracy of your results and assist your doctor in determining the best course of treatment.

At Marmalade Cafe, we recognize the significance of maintaining good heart health. That’s why we encourage our customers to make informed decisions about their well-being. By refraining from consuming caffeine prior to calcium scoring and following the recommended preparations, you can take control of your heart health and secure a healthier future.

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Visit Marmalade Cafe for more information.