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 wit...

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 people’s 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 couldn’t sleep at night. Kaldi brewed the first cup of joy, and the rest, well, the rest is history.

Coffee and diabetes


Coffee was once considered bad for your health. But with time it grew to have a reputation as a beverage that with regular consumption it can protect you from certain varieties of cancer, disease and even depression.
There’s also compelling research to suggest that increasing your coffee intake may very well lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This is often excellent news for those who can’t face the day until they get in their cup of coffee.


However, for people who have already got type 2 diabetes, coffee could have adverse effects.


What is the difference in effects of coffee and caffeine on people with diabetes and people without diabetes? The research on it is still conflicting.


Recent study showed that coffee could be beneficial for protecting people against diabetes. Drinking three to four cups of coffee per day is associated with approximately 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


On the other hand, the study that was done in 2008, showed that your plain black coffee may increase risk for people who already have type 2 diabetes. This proves a significant difference in the effects of coffee and caffeine on people with diabetes and people without diabetes.


Why does coffee increase blood sugar? How does coffee increase insulin?


Scientists are still trying to understand how coffee affects your insulin and blood sugar levels. So far their research is showing that:

  • Consumption of caffeine raises levels of specific stress hormones, like epinephrine or adrenaline. That can prevent your cells from processing enough sugar.
  • It keeps your body from making as much insulin.
  • It blocks a protein called adenosine. The result is that you can’t clear sugar from your blood as efficiently.
  • Too much caffeine can keep you awake. Sleep loss may lower your insulin sensitivity.

Coffee consists of various compounds. Particularly caffeine, magnesium, chromium, and polyphenols which may play a role in increasing insulin sensitivity. That can counterbalance the effects of caffeine.

This is the reason that some experts suggest people with diabetes drink decaffeinated coffee. That way they will be able to get the benefits of components such as antioxidants and minerals without affecting insulin sensitivity.