Caffeines Buzz Is Common
Just about everyone has at least some caffeine every dayeveryone has at least some caffeine every day, and the numbers are rising for people aged 2-54 years.
Nearly 90% of U.S. adults and 76% of children have caffeine on a daily basis. Soft drinks are the top source for kids for adults, coffee is No. 1, followed by soft drinks and teas. Thats according to a study in Januarys Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Checking nutritional labels doesnt always help. Food and drink makers dont have to list the amount of caffeine on the Nutrition Facts label.
Want to start tracking your caffeine? Heres how much caffeine is in popular drinks:
- Coffee : about 135 mg
- Diet Coke : 46.5 mg
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!
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.
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What About The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index of foods is a rating of how individual foods raise blood sugar. The daily carbohydrate total is one way to manage blood glucose levels. Consequently, eating beans and whole grains that have a lower glycemic index than white bread or pasta can help keep blood sugars lower. So, if you want a small amount of high glycemic index foods , it would be better to have the rest of the daily carbohydrate total made from low glycemic index foods. The ADA has glycemic index ratings and offers diet suggestions for people with diabetes.
How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.
Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES, a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.
According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.
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Can Caffeine Affect Diabetes
You know that whatever you eat, it directly affects your blood sugar. But what are the effects of caffeine in this case, many studies show that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. If you are already a diabetic patient, its effects may vary from person to person. Apart from this, the impact of caffeine also depends on the amount consumed. If your blood sugar level is already high, then you should reduce caffeine intake. Consumption of caffeine in moderation without sugar may be healthy for diabetes patients.
The Theory Behind Coffee Increasing Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels
Research seems to show in those with preexisting diabetes and those without any diagnosis coffee can raise blood sugars and affect insulin levels.
One study demonstrated that a single serving of coffee, containing 100 mg of caffeine, negatively affected blood sugar control in healthy but overweight men.
Other studies showed that consuming caffeinated coffee impaired blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity after meals.
However, this does not happen with decaf coffee, which suggests that caffeine might be what causes the spike in blood sugar.
In fact, most of the studies on caffeine and blood sugar look at caffeine directly, not coffee.
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How Soon After Should We Expect A Blood Pressure Rise With Coffee
Age, sex, habitual coffee consumption also need to be taken into consideration here. However, from the research the blood pressure effect begins at around about the 30 minutes mark. Certainly after 1 hour of coffee consumption, you should see the blood pressure effect of coffee quite vividly.
If you check your blood pressure at 30 minutes and 1 hour mark you should know if your coffee has increased your blood pressure or not.
The Short Term: Caffeine Reduces Insulin Sensitivity
Since coffee on its own doesnt contain carbohydrates, simply drinking a cup shouldnt raise glucose levels. To test its effect on glucose metabolism, researchers typically ask study participants to consume either caffeine or coffee with a meal or an oral glucose tolerance test and then monitor their insulin and glucose levels. What theyve found is that insulin and glucose levels tend to rise. That suggests that caffeine causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity since the elevated insulin isnt bringing down the glucose increase from the ingested carbs. In other words, caffeine seems to impair insulins effectiveness. Research has shown that insulin sensitivity drops in response to a single dose of caffeine following 72 hours of caffeine avoidance. It also drops after high coffee consumption over four weeks, suggesting the body does not build a tolerance to caffeines effect on insulin over time.
Research shows the same effects in people with Type 2 diabetes, but the impact may last longer given their existing metabolic impairment. One study at Duke University looked at how consuming the caffeine equivalent of about five cups of coffeehalf at breakfast, half at lunchimpacted participants glucose levels throughout the day. It found that caffeine raised their glucose responses to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as causing an increase in their overall average glucose for the day.
What About The Caffeine In Coffee
Thereâs another twist to the story. Studies show that coffee may lower your odds of getting type 2 diabetes in the first place. Experts think thatâs because the drink is high in antioxidants. These compounds reduce inflammation in your system, which can raise your chance of having the disease.
If you already have type 2 diabetes, this may not hold true. The caffeine in a cup of java makes it tougher to control your blood sugar. If yours spikes after your morning cup, you may want to switch to decaf. Even though this drink has a tiny amount of caffeine, it doesnât have the same effect on your blood sugar or insulin.
FDA: âMedicines in My Home: Caffeine and Your Body.â
Diabetes Care: âAcute Effects of Decaffeinated Coffee and the Major Coffee Components Chlorogenic Acid and Trigonelline on Glucose Tolerance,â âCaffeine: A Cause of Insulin Resistance?â âCaffeine Can Decrease Insulin Sensitivity in Humans,â âCaffeine Increases Ambulatory Glucose and Postprandial Responses in Coffee Drinkers With Type 2 Diabetes,â âCoffee, Caffeine, and Type 2 Diabetes.â
Mayo Clinic: âCaffeine Content for Coffee, Tea, Soda and More,â âCaffeine: Does It Affect Blood Sugar?â âDiabetes: Complications,â âNutrition and Healthy Eating.â
Joslin Diabetes Center: âWhat Is Insulin Resistance?â
American Diabetes Association: âType 2.â
Sacha Uelmen, director of nutrition, American Diabetes Association.
Caffeine: Does It Affect Blood Sugar
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 3, 2020.
The average U.S. adult drinks about two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day, which can contain around 280 milligrams of caffeine. For most young, healthy adults, caffeine doesn’t appear to noticeably affect blood sugar levels, and having up to 400 milligrams a day appears to be safe.
Some studies suggest that drinking coffee whether caffeinated and decaffeinated may actually reduce your risk of developing type 2 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 you’re struggling to control your blood sugar levels, limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet may provide a benefit.
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High Blood Pressure And Coffee
Now, let me say a word about coffee and people with high blood pressure. Should you drink coffee if you have high blood pressure?
Of course, you can drink coffee if you have high blood pressure. But you need to be careful.
When your blood pressure rises with coffee use, the effect is not responsive to high blood pressure medications. It is a sustained effect that is not easily reversed with high blood pressure pills.
Secondly, the effect of coffee or caffeine on people with high blood pressure is much more dramatic compared to people without high blood pressure .
So, whereas, you may have a rise of 6 mmHg systolic in someone without high blood pressure, you who has high blood pressure may experience a systolic rise of 12 mmHg or higher.
Now remember, I said earlier on that BP increase with coffee does last up to 3 hours. Imagine, if you are one of those people who drinks several cups of coffee a day.
Imagine a situation where youre constantly topping up your coffee fix when you are experiencing a caffeine crash every 4 hours or so. What do you think will happen?
Your elevated blood pressure reading will be sustained. Because whenever your blood pressure is beginning to settle, you spike it again with your top-up coffee.
Can you see how you can sabotage your blood pressure control efforts by your coffee drinking habits?
Heres something else
Everyone is different when it comes to coffee and blood pressure. How?
Which one are you?
Suggested further reading:
What Is It About Coffee That Affects Blood Sugar
The majority of people with diabetes see a spike in their blood sugar when drinking coffee, and its not a mystery that a lot of the cause can be attributed to the caffeine content in your morning cup.
According to the Mayo Clinic, for people with diabetes, about 200 milligrams of caffeine can cause a spike. Caffeine causes insulin resistance and can negatively affect postprandial blood sugar levels, essentially requiring you to take more insulin for foods eaten when you drink caffeinated beverages. Some people even need to bolus for drinking plain, unsweetened, black coffee that has no carbohydrates.
Ironically, long-term coffee consumption is associated with higher insulin sensitivity and lower rates of type 2 diabetes, but in the short term, the caffeine content causes a spike in blood sugars and lower insulin sensitivity. Caffeine is also an appetite suppressant, so its overall effect is sometimes balanced out.
The best option for people with diabetes who are struggling with blood sugar spikes post cup, however, may be to opt for decaf: drinking decaffeinated coffee seems to curb blood sugar spikes in individuals.
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Randomized Controlled Trials In Healthy Volunteers
Coffee And Blood Sugar
According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking up to two 8-ounce cups of coffee per day has no noticeable effect on blood sugar levels in healthy adults. Two regular cups of coffee contain, on average, about 280 milligrams of caffeine, safely under the 400 milligrams deemed safe.
The Mayo Clinic also reports that some studies found evidence that regular coffee consumption reduces a persons risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those studies attribute the effect to chemical compounds in coffee and not caffeine since both caffeinated and drinkers showed the same lowered chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
However, there is a caveat. For individuals with diabetes, drinking coffeeor, more specifically, consuming caffeinecan disrupt insulin function and lead to changes in blood sugar levels. While 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is the recommended healthy limit for healthy people, 200 milligrams is recommended.
Everyone is different, and even two cups of average-strength coffee can be problematic for people with diabetes. The safest option for diabetic people is to cut coffee entirely or only drink one small cup per day. Ask your doctor for personalized recommendations tailored to your specific circumstances.
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Coffee And Blood Sugar Or Diabetes
The relation between coffee and diabetics is a cause of concern. However, with the rumors spreading about its negative effect on health. More than 5 or 6 separate studies were done to come to a conclusion on the effects of coffee on blood sugar. Now, here is the most important conclusion, consuming coffee so far has no negative effect on health, but it has shown a tendency to reduce the risk of certain diseases like cancer, tumor, depression, and diabetics.
When it comes to coffee and diabetics, it is not the coffee that matters, it is the caffeine that matters. It is said that an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 280mg of caffeine. A majority of the people think that caffeine is bad for health and according to the studies, caffeine does not increase the sugar level in an adult. The studies also suggest that consuming coffee that adds up to 400 mg caffeine to your system per day will not have any effect on your health.
Caffeine Gives You Energy In Three Ways
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So What Should You Do
- If caffeine is part of your current routine, either in your morning coffee or before a workout, be aware that it is likely decreasing your acute insulin sensitivity. Try not to pair it with high-carb meals.
- Given that the apparent benefits of long-term coffee consumption appear to outweigh the short-term effects , you probably dont need to cut it out.
- Switching to decaf appears to offer many of the same benefits but with a lesser short-term effect than regular coffee.
- If youre not a coffee person, dont start drinking coffee just for the long-term metabolic benefits. You can get the same beneficial chlorogenic acids through several fruits and vegetables, including apples, artichokes, carrots, and tomatoes. Drinking green tea also appears to have long-term positive effects.
- Remember to avoid adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to your coffee, and skip the sugary energy drinks.