Managing Your Blood Sugar Around Coffee And Other Caffeinated Beverages
In general, youd have to consume around 200 mg of caffeine to see a blood sugar impact. Thats about 1-2 cups of regular black coffee or 3-4 cups of black tea
However, we are all different and some of us may see a blood sugar impact from just a single cup of coffee while others may be able to drink several cups without any blood sugar changes.
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Diabetes And Your Immune System
When your blood sugar is higher than it should be, that defense system starts to break down. One effect is increased inflammation throughout your body and especially in your blood vessels, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.
A weakened immune system also means you have an increased risk of contracting common infections like colds, flu, skin infections or pneumonia, and more serious ones like bone, joint, or heart infections. In fact, a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that people with diabetes are twice as likely to be hospitalized or die from a serious infection compared to those without diabetes.
Thats an important reason to manage your blood sugar. The closer to normal it stays throughout the day, the easier it is for your immune system to do its job. Heres what to aim for:
- If you have prediabetes, try to keep your fasting sugar below 100 mg/dL, and your A1c below 5.7%. Those numbers are considered normal no diabetes.
- If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends working to keep your fasting or premeal blood sugar under 130 mg/dL, and your A1c under 7.0%.
Luckily, there are a few natural ways to improve your blood sugar and support your immune system at the same time. And hey, anything that kills two birds with one stone is good in my book!
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You Could Always Switch To Decaf
Caffeine is, of course, an addicting thing. Quitting a coffee habit means enduring pretty intense withdrawal headaches for at least a week or two.
But if youd like to remove this caffeine variable from your diabetes management, you could always switch to decaf coffee.
There is a little bit of caffeine in decaf coffee but likely not enough to impact your blood sugar.
Either way, its all about balance like everything else in life with diabetes!
Coffee And Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Coffee drinkers will be happy to know that drinking their favorite coffee concoction could have an added benefit for their health. Data suggests that coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, says Aleem Kanji, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist at Ethos Endocrinology in Houston, Texas.
One systematic review that looked at 28 studies found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee was associated with reduced diabetes risk.
Coffee contains antioxidantsmolecules that may help to prevent or delay some types of cell damage. A diet high in antioxidants may lower risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee also contains minerals such as magnesium which has been shown to help the body break down sugar.
The news is promising, but more research needs to be done before we know just how much coffee correlates with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Currently, there is no formal recommendation for coffee consumption as a method of reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and thus, a certain number of cups cant be recommended, Dr. Kanji says. However, currently available studies suggest three to four cups per day resulting in reduced risk.
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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.
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How Does Caffeine Affect Blood Sugar Levels & Diabetes
Coffee has truly become an element of our culture and daily routine. People within the UK drink roughly 70 million cups of coffee per day, and with…
Coffee has truly become an element of our culture and daily routine. People within the UK drink roughly 70 million cups of coffee per day, and within the U.S. about 83% of adults drink coffee.
Though most people drink coffee, we each have our relationship with the famous cup of joy. One would grab a coffee very first thing in the morning, some before or at work and a number of other people take additional coffee breaks during the day. But how does it affect our blood sugar levels?
Blood sugar levels are directly stricken by our consumption of foods and drinks. This implies that dietary choices are especially important for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Family history of diabetes, exercise choices, other medical conditions and daily diet are components that are also influencing your blood sugar. High habitual coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.The History of Coffee
Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia almost a millennium ago, and since then has become a staple part of many peoples daily routine. The legend goes that a herder named Kaldi noticed that whenever his goats would eat the coffee beans they would become very energetic and couldnt sleep at night. Kaldi brewed the first cup of joy, and the rest, well, the rest is history.Coffee and diabetes
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Data Synthesis And Analysis
Data summary of the studies are presented in , . The studies are organised as short-term and long-term effects . The units of glucose and insulin were standardised according to the International System of Units: mmol/L for glucose and pmol/L for insulin. Data are presented as mean±SEM . SEM was used to standardise the study data variability. For studies reporting standard deviation , the SEM was calculated dividing the SD by the square root of the sample size of the corresponding arm of the trial.
Using The Spike From Coffee To Prevent Lows
If you tend to go low during or after exercising, you can use coffee as a way to limit that risk
Drink a cup of coffee about an hour before an intense cardio workout, for example, could prevent low blood sugars without requiring you to eat food, calories, carbs, etc. But remember not all types of exercise drives blood sugar down so you want to combine the coffee with the right type of exercise.
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Is It Okay To Drink Coffee If You Have Diabetes
Those living with diabetes dont have to go without their favorite coffee drink, but how much caffeine they consume could matteras does the amount of sweeteners that are added.
Research has mixed findings on the effect of coffee, insulin levels, and blood sugar control, says Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator and owner of entirelynourished.com. Some studies show that coffee can cause insulin insensitivity, meaning it impairs the bodys ability to utilize blood sugar and place it into the cell where it belongs, leading to high blood sugar readings. While other studies show that coffee over a long-term period may actually help with insulin levels.
According to Routhenstein, an average cup of coffee contains about 70 to 350 mg of chlorogenic acid, a polyphenol that may cause a reduction in blood sugar by inhibiting carbohydrate digestion while also stimulating insulin secretion.
It appears that regular coffee can have an effect on insulin, but the impact varies based on the individual and their overall daily caffeine consumption.
Some studies suggest improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose response when insulin and blood sugar markers are measured one and two hours after consumption, Dr. Kanji says. There are also a few studies that show worsened glucose metabolism, especially after caffeinated coffee. One study testing 126 people with four cups of caffeinated coffee over 24 weeks found no significant effect on insulin sensitivity.
Planning The Coffee Experiment
I designed the following experiment: I would drink a cup of coffee and measure my blood-sugar levels two hours prior to and after drinking it. Then I would analyze the data to see if drinking coffee seemed to raise my blood-sugar levels.
To increase the reliability of the experiment, I made sure of four things:
1. I would drink the coffee black nothing would be added to it.2. I wouldnt eat or drink anything else, feel stressed, nor do any form of exercise, 2 hours prior to and after drinking the coffee.3. I would eat ketogenic.4. I would go to bed and wake up around the same time as I normally do.
It was coffee time.
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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.
Drink Herbaly Wellness Collection Tea Each Day
I recently discovered Herbaly Teas Wellness Collectionand its like a secret wellness weapon especially if you want to improve your blood sugar and support your immune system. I cold-brew a pitcher, keep it in my refrigerator, and sip it throughout the day.
Its a tasty and refreshing organic herbal blend thats formulated to support healthier blood sugar. The herbs and ingredients in Herbaly Wellness Collection tea may also strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation. They include:
- Ginger which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to naturally enhance the immune system. Theres research that shows some compounds in ginger have antibacterial properties.
- Fennel seeds which contain vitamin C and antioxidants. They also have antimicrobial properties.
- Dandelion root which can help fight inflammation. Some research on compounds in dandelion root suggests it can lower blood sugar levels.
- Sencha a type of green tea which contains powerful antioxidant compounds called catechins. Theyve been shown to reduce inflammation, maintain insulin sensitivity and support healthy blood glucose levels.
- Turmeric root, a source of curcumin. Its the compound with a wide range of superpowers including anti-inflammatory and immune system supporting benefits. Research suggests it may both reduce inflammatory damage caused by high blood sugar and also help to lower glucose levels.
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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:
Coffee And Prevention Of Diabetes
Coffee and its effect on risks of developing type 2 diabetes have been studied a number of times and has indicated a notably lower risk of type 2 diabetes being associated with coffee drinkers.
A study of healthcare professionals in the US and UK, published in 2014, showed that those that increased their consumption of coffee experienced an 11% decrease in risk of type 2 diabetes over the next 4 years.
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Drinking Coffee Before Blood Test Affect The Results
Drinking coffee before blood test can affect the results of tests that measure blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Coffee contains caffeine that is easily absorbed into the system at a fast rate. Caffeine can temporarily raise blood sugar levels resulting to an inaccurate fasting blood sugar result. This happens as a result of caffeines stimulation of the pancreas to release insulin hormone that regulates blood sugar level. Fasting blood sugar, commonly known as blood sugar level test, is used to diagnose diabetes and monitor hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia . Besides from caffeine, coffee contains sugar in the form of polysaccharides.
Drinking coffee before blood cholesterol test should also be avoided. Coffee can alter the level of cholesterol in blood resulting to inaccurate result. Blood cholesterol test measures the level of bad cholesterol and good cholesterol in the blood. Higher level of LDL than HDL is considered unhealthy. Bad cholesterol plaques are deposited on the inner surfaces of the arteries obstructing blood flow. Many cases of heart attack and stroke are due to the obstruction of blood flow in arteries.
Other drinks that contain caffeine should be avoided before blood sugar and cholesterol tests. There are also other blood tests that will require you not to take coffee or other drinks. Normally, your doctor will tell all the dos and donts before any test. Water is the recommended fluid to take before blood test.
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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