Coffee Does Not Seem To Raise My Blood
The graphs below show my blood-glucose levels over a 4-hour period for three separate experiments. The blue line is the blood glucose on a morning I drank coffee. The red line is on a morning without coffee.
The first experiment indicated that coffee may raise my blood sugar. But only slightly:
The graph above could suggest that drinking coffee prevents my blood-sugar levels from dropping to the same levels as the morning when I didnt drink coffee.
The second experiment indicates that coffee does NOT noticeably raise my blood sugar. Theres a lot of variety in my blood-glucose levels on these two days, but to us it seems that coffee does not raise my blood sugar relative to not drinking coffee .
The third experiment also suggests that coffee does not raise my blood sugar much. My blood-sugar levels are quite flat, both on the morning when I drank coffee and the morning I didnt, indicating that the coffee didnt impact my blood-sugar levels much.
Does Caffeine Affect Blood Sugar
The average U.S. adult consumes about two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day, which can contain around 280 milligrams of caffeine. For most young, healthy adults, caffeine doesnt appear to noticeably affect blood sugar levels, and consumption up to 400 milligrams a day appears to be safe. Some studies suggest that drinking coffee, caffeinated and decaffeinated, may actually reduce your risk of developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes, however, the impact of caffeine on insulin action may be associated with higher or lower blood sugar levels. For some people with diabetes, about 200 milligrams of caffeine or the equivalent of one to two 8-ounce cups of plain, brewed coffee may cause this effect. Caffeine affects every person differently. If you have diabetes or youre struggling to control your blood sugar levels, limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet may provide a benefit.Continue reading > >
Risk: Stroke And Heart Disease
Patients with diabetes already face an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Artificial sweeteners deal an added blow. An American Heart Association/American Stroke Association study found that drinking two or more artificially sweetened beverages per day increases the risk of stroke by 23 percent, and heart disease by 29 percent.
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Other Health Benefits Of Coffee
Various other benefits of intake of black coffee that arent associated with prevention of diabetes. Newer studies with measured risk factors have been showing other benefits of coffee. They involve potential defense against:
- Alzheimers disease
- liver disorder such as liver cancer
These recent studies have also found that black coffee appears to reduce the risk of depression as well as enhance the capacity of focussing and thinking clearly.
What Exactly Is Diabetes
With diabetes, your body is either not producing enough insulin or not using it efficiently . Insulin is a hormone that is normally released by your pancreas to help you take the sugar you eat and move it into your cells where its converted into energy.
If you cant make insulin or your body cant use it, your cells wont be able to absorb sugarand it builds up in your blood instead. This can lead to hallmark symptoms of diabetes like excessive thirst and urination, tiredness, and dizziness. Diabetes can also increase your risk for serious complications like kidney disease, vision loss, nerve damage, and heart disease.
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Why Does Coffee Affect Diabetic Patients Differently
Some people complain that their blood sugar spikes up after drinking only one cup of coffee. But that does not happen to everybody. The answer to this problem is metabolism. Metabolism refers to the processes that occur in the body once the food is eaten. If you metabolize the coffee fast, your body will be able to tolerate more and it will not spike your blood sugar. But if you are a slow metabolizer, the coffee intake will raise your blood glucose level.
If your blood sugar spikes after drinking coffee then you have to be careful. Always consume a balanced diet and avoid products that contain saturated fat. Try reducing the amount of sugar and creamers in your coffee. Add exercise to your daily routine. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and reduces blood glucose.
Ahmet Ergin, MD, FACE, CDCES, ECNU
Endocrinologist, Diabetes Educator
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Lattes And Syrups In Coffee
Some varieties of coffee need to be approached with caution by those of us with diabetes. Coffees with syrup have become a much more popular variety of coffee within the 21st Century but could be problematic for people either with or at risk of, diabetes.
If you have diabetes or are at risk of diabetes, it is advisable to reduce your exposure to too much sugar. If you wish to enjoy a syrupy coffee from time to time, pick the smaller sized cups and drink slowly to better appreciate the taste without dramatically raising your blood glucose levels.
Another modern trend in coffee is in the popularity of lattes, very milky coffees. Lattes present two considerations: the number of calories in the latte and the amount of carbohydrate in them.
Whilst skinny lattes are usually made with skimmed milk, some of them may be sweetened which will raise their calories. Milk, whether full fat or skimmed, tends to have around 5g of carbs per 100g. A regular, unsweetened skinny latte can typically contain anywhere between 10 and 15g of carbohydrate.
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How Much Caffeine Does Coffee Contain
Research indicates that 8ounce cups which is equivalent to 474milliliters contains approximately 280miligrams of caffeine.This is also the approximate amount of caffeine adults in the USA take every single day.
Some go up to 400miligrams of coffee without experiencing any change in both their insulin levels and blood sugar levels.
This is simply because a healthy human being has to drink an incredible amount of coffee for any changes to occur.
However, when a diabetic patient drinks a similar amount of coffee which contains 200miligrams of caffeine, he or she may experience some major changes since this will not only affect his glucose levels but also trigger a reduction in the amount of insulin hormone available in the body.
It is thus very important that patients with diabetes or those people who have prediabetes to monitor their caffeine intake and ensure they dont take more than certain milligrams.
At the moment it is not yet clear the minimum amount of caffeine in milligrams should be that a person with diabetes takes.
Coffee And Blood Glucose
Coffee has been getting a lot of attention lately, especially for its possible ability to help with weight lossâalthough you may want to take that with a grain of salt. Research suggests that its polyphenols may have health benefits, including increasing insulin sensitivity, lowering blood pressure, and even reducing liver damage caused by chronic alcohol use.
Caffeine is a stimulant, so you may expect it to cause a larger glucose response, as it can stimulate our central nervous system and increase adrenaline in the bloodstream. This is partially correctâa recent review of clinical trials showed that although caffeine causes a temporary increase in glucose, due to a temporary reduction in insulin sensitivity for some. Still, some research also suggests that long-term consumption can improve glucose responses over time.
So, what can we take away from all of this? For starters, we know that everyone responds differently to caffeine, and the effects may be dose-dependent. For some people, coffee may lower blood glucose levels, but it may do just the opposite for others.
Additionally, you may observe more benefits from drinking coffee long-term vs. acute increases in glucose. However, as with most things, its effects on blood glucose vary and are still being researched. It’s essential to track, monitor, and remember that if it’s negatively affecting your blood sugar levels or how you feel during the day, you should consider switching up your coffee intake.
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Why Caffeine Can Spike Your Blood Sugar
We often think that its the caffeine itself that gives us energy when we drink a cup of coffee, tea, or soda, but its actually related to what the caffeine triggers hormonally in our body.
Caffeine is a stimulant that tells gives you energy through a variety of ways, explains Science Direct:
We also tend to think of adrenaline as something that simply gives us energy, but like caffeine, its more complicated than that! Instead, adrenaline actually triggers your liver to release stored glucose, giving you the fuel you need to endure a soccer game, a rollercoaster ride, or your usual Monday morning.
Drinking Coffee When You Have Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that causes blood sugar levels that are higher than normal and the body cant properly create and use insulin.
- With type 1 diabetes, the body doesnt produce insulin. This is a hormone that helps glucose go from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.
- With type 2 diabetes, which is most common, the body doesnt produce insulin properly.
Diabetes can be controlled through proper diet, exercise, and medication or insulin that is prescribed by a healthcare provider.
Another type of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This can start when a womans body is not able to make and use all the insulin that it needs for the pregnancy. This diagnosis doesnt mean that a patient had diabetes prior to pregnancy or a diagnosis will happen after conception. Gestational diabetes can be a temporary condition.
The best way to manage diabetes is through diet, exercise, and creating a plan with your healthcare provider to keep your blood sugar controlled.
Although caffeine may help reduce the risk of diabetes, for those who have diabetes, it could create an issue. Studies show that caffeine can impair glucose tolerance and decrease insulin sensitivity.
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How Drinking Coffee First Thing After Night Of Poor Sleep Impacts Blood Sugar
Physiologists at Bath examined 29 men and women after each of them experienced three distinctly different nights of sleep. In one experiment, the participants enjoyed a normal night of rest. This was followed by a sugary drink which roughly equals the calories eaten during breakfast.
During the next two experiments, each volunteer was woken up every hour throughout the night to create a disrupted sleep. In one instance, the participants were given the same sugary drink after waking up. After the other bad sleep, researchers gave the group a strong black coffee 30 minutes before having their sugar. A blood test was then taken following each night of sleep and the drinks each person consumed.
The results show that one good or bad night of sleep makes little difference in a persons blood sugar/insulin responses. Researchers note that previous studies link several nights of insomnia to metabolic issues, but add a single incident where you cant fall asleep doesnt carry the same weight.
When coffee enters the picture, thats when the body sees a drastic change. Study authors report participants drinking coffee right after a bad night of sleep increased the blood glucose response to breakfast by around 50 percent.
We know that nearly half of us will wake in the morning and, before doing anything else, drink coffee intuitively the more tired we feel, the stronger the coffee, Prof. Betts explains.
The Long Term: Drinking Coffee Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk
If caffeines negative short-term effect on glucose metabolism is well established, so is coffees desirable impact on the risk of Type 2 diabetes. That coffee lowers ones risk of developing diabetes has been confirmed in multiplereviews, as well as in large population studies.
One study, which followed nearly 1900 adult men and women for a median duration of 5.8 years, found that adults who consumed at least one cup of coffee per week had a 22% lower risk for prediabetes and 34% risk reduction for Type 2 diabetes compared to people who didnt drink coffee. Another study, which followed around 88,000 women in the US with no history of diabetes, found that both regular and decaf coffee consumption for eight years seemed to lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, with regular coffee offering a slight edge over decaf. Drinking more cups was associated with lower riskwomen who drank one cup per day saw a 13% reduction in relative risk, while women who drank four or more cups saw a 47% reduction.
That decaf demonstrates nearly the same benefits as regular coffee suggests that something other than caffeine is driving the protective effect. The most likely candidate is chlorogenic acids, members of a group of antioxidant-rich micronutrients called polyphenols, abundant in plant-based foods.
Chlorogenic acids may improve glucose metabolism in several ways, according to studies in animals and cell lines:
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Learn To Manage Your Stress
We all have stress. However, some people can manage it better than others. Personally, Im a Type-A, and Ive had to work hard and learn ways to manage stress.
Chronic stress takes a toll on your immune system. It makes you more likely to contract a cold or flu, or even develop a chronic autoimmune disease. Stress also raises your cortisol levels, which in turn raises your blood sugar. Its a major cause of high fasting blood sugars.
To manage stress, try any or all of these things:
- Yoga or tai chi
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Use adaptogenic herbs like Tulsi or one of my favorites Ashwagandha
Adaptogens are class of herbs that help your body adapt to various types of stressors. They have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Tulsi is one of my favorites and it happens to be another ingredient in Herbaly Wellness Collection tea. Tulsi been shown to enhance your immune system, reduce cortisol levels, and improve blood sugar.
So What Are My Options
I would suggest switching to coffee or green tea because some studies have shown that they can actually help improve your blood sugar levels.
But if you just cant seem to live without your daily caffeine fix, you should definitely consider what my private clients have done.
First, dont drink your calories.
This means if youre going to have coffee, please just have it black dont add in sugars and creams. Dont have high calorie energy drinks, soda and similar products because the carbohydrates in these drinks will definitely shoot up your blood sugar levels.
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Caffeine May Be Essential To Your Life But Understanding Its Impact On Your Energy And Blood Sugars Is Critical To Your Diabetes Management
You are not alone if you view your morning cup of coffee as a magical gulp of happiness.
Coffee is such a strangely wonderful thing. So many of us across the globe feel as though we cant start our day without it and thats not such a bad thing in small quantities, right?
For people with type 1 diabetes, coffee is still magicalbut it can also be a little tricky.
Lets take a look at why and how coffee can quickly spike your blood sugar.
Coffee May Not Be To Blame
But what about the studies that show that coffee may protect against type 2 diabetes?
A year ago, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that people who drank at least 3-4 cups of coffee per day3-4 cups of coffee per day had a nearly 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Here’s the catch. In the new study, caffeine came from a pill. But most people get their caffeine from drinks that have other ingredients.
“Coffee contains many other substances besides caffeine, such as potassium, antioxidants, and magnesium,” write the researchers, who included Robert Ross, PhD, of Queen’s University. Perhaps those other substances are helpful, but that’s not certain.
The study appears in the March issue of Diabetes Care.
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Tips For Changing Your Coffee Routine
To hack your bodys natural metabolism and keep your blood sugar in check, try these tipsno matter what time you reach for that cup.
Add some calories to your coffee. Adding milk, cream, or a non-dairy alternative to your coffee may create what Smith calls the second meal effect, where the metabolic response to the calories now in the coffee primes our metabolism for the second meal . This may help slow the bodys absorption of blood sugar.
Have your coffee with breakfast. Just like the second meal effect, this might allow your body to process the caffeine at the same time it processes calorie-dense food. Still, this approach may not be a foolproof solution. Whether drinking coffee after breakfast or using cream to dilute its effects makes a difference in glucose levels is still unknown, Munir says.
Cut back on sweeteners. Love a sweet drink in the mornings? Just make sure it doesnt contribute to a blood sugar crash. Beware of flavored coffee creamers that may raise your blood sugar, says Angela Ginn-Meadow, senior education coordinator at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology at the UM Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore. Patients should see how their coffee choice affects their blood sugar. Heres an easy way to do that: Monitor your blood sugar before drinking the coffee and then two hours after, Ginn-Meadow suggests. If it significantly impacts your blood pressure reading, try changing the ingredients you put in it.