Coffee is a very refreshing beverage and many people’s favorite drink. However, it also becomes addictive. Some people who regularly drink coffee find it extremely difficult to work or function without it. Caffeine, the reason one gets addicted to coffee, often energizes the body and eliminates fatigue.
This effect allows us to work harder and start our day full of energy. Also, some of us like to drink coffee just to enjoy the taste. However, these beneficial effects of coffee are less well known due to its potential to exacerbate certain symptoms of high blood sugar.
Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a disease that affects the human body’s ability to process blood glucose to fuel cells. Diet plays a crucial role in managing diabetes, encouraging people to follow a healthy, balanced diet to keep their blood sugar levels within the target range.
You can use a tracking app, such as HealthifyPro 2.0 integrated with a smart scale, calorie counter, and a portable BIOS-based device, a CGM. Metabolic panel tests carefully examine your blood sample.
It includes more than 80 parameters to assess your metabolic health. After that, the CGM studies your blood sugar in real time. As a result, you achieve better metabolic health through dietary and lifestyle changes, such as cutting out a few extra cups of coffee.
Note from The Fitness Freak
Coffee contains thousands of natural enzymes, including caffeine, which have a positive effect on the body. However, for people with diabetes or prediabetes, coffee is definitely an unhealthy addition to the diet. It increases blood sugar and insulin levels, making you more insulin resistant. Additionally, consuming coffee or other beverages with an increased concentration of caffeine will give you an energy boost. Still, it will eventually crash or fatigue after the body components wear out.
Coffee and diabetes: the link
Coffee might not be suitable for people with diabetes. Additionally, countless studies have reported that drinking too much coffee is detrimental to your health. It affects the normal functioning of the kidneys and eventually causes irreversible damage. Because of this, caffeine is considered bad for health and it is advisable to consume the drink in regulated quantities. Additionally, new studies have been conducted on the effects of coffee on blood sugar.
People with diabetes or prediabetes need to know how different drinks affect their blood sugar levels. For example, coffee raises blood sugar and causes health problems in diabetics.
Unfortunately, there is little information on this claim, so one must understand the full implications of drinking coffee and its types to determine if they raise blood sugar.
Different ways to consume coffee
Coffee comes in different types with different levels of processing. Some of the top categories include decaffeinated, whole beans, and organic coffee. Additionally, the coffee husk turns into cascading drinks due to its high dietary fiber content.
Coffee bean processing generally affects caffeine levels which are not entirely related to blood sugar. However, the method of preparation may be important in determining whether coffee raises blood sugar.
Here are some ways to easily prepare your coffee for consumption:
Black coffee refers to the preparation of coffee drinks without milk or cream. The preparation of black coffee is made from powdered/crystallized coffee and water. Many prefer to add sugar or honey to sweeten black coffee and eliminate extreme bitterness.
Black coffee without sugar is safe to drink if you stay within the 3 cups per day range. However, adding sugar to black coffee can raise blood sugar levels since you will be ingesting a lot of sugar all at once.
It’s a cult favorite of people who like their coffee strong and bitter. Espresso is a pre-made coffee then brewed until a fine golden crema settles on top.
Espresso usually has a good flavor without sugar. Many enjoy the kick of the fine aroma and strong taste of rich coffee. However, people who like their coffee sweeter add small amounts of sugar to control bitterness. Although not very healthy in other ways, espresso should not affect blood sugar if taken without added sugar.
The latte is a popular coffee preparation for people who like to add milk to their coffee. Preparing the latte involves adding shots of espresso to the steaming hot milk.
It can be consumed with and without sugar, depending on your preference. If you’re using unsweetened dairy milk, lattes have little chance of raising your blood sugar.
Vegan milk such as soy and coconut usually does not contain sweeteners and can be enjoyed by people with diabetes. However, if your milk contains sugar or you drink prepackaged lattes that only require the addition of water, they may be packed with sugars. Additionally, consuming latte mixes can significantly raise your blood sugar if you drink more than one cup per day.
Cappuccino is a fattier version of coffee with milk. This coffee preparation consists of adding milk and cream to make the drink richer in taste and texture.
Cappuccino can have drastic effects on blood sugar if consumed with sugar. Sweet creams may also contain sugar additives, depending on the brand of your purchase.
Like lattes, ready-to-eat cappuccinos can include high levels of added sugar to make them taste better. Cappuccinos should be consumed in limited quantities so as not to affect your blood sugar.
Frappuccinos are another cult favorite among people, especially teenagers and young people. Frappuccinos come in different flavors and syrups are common in this drink. The drink is made by mixing ground coffee with cold milk and ice to produce a cold coffee drink.
If there is one type of coffee that raises blood sugar levels, it would be a Frappuccino. This coffee uses a high amount of sugar and sugar-based syrups, which makes it unsuitable for people with diabetes. Drinking a tall glass of frappuccino will significantly raise blood sugar in people of all age groups.
Filter coffee is an Indian version of a pourer where coffee is mixed with hot water and milk. This style of coffee does not always use sugar. However, it can be accompanied by a separate sugar.
Filter coffee is slightly better than lattes and cappuccinos because it’s more watered down and doesn’t taste as sweet. However, if you add sugar to your drip coffee, you need to watch your intake to prevent your blood sugar from skyrocketing.
Coffee and its effects on the body
The FDA has generally suggested 400 mg of caffeine (about 4 or 5 cups) as the limit for healthy adults to drink coffee daily. If you have diabetes, a lower limit will be helpful as the high concentration will negatively impact blood sugar levels.
Coffee and caffeine, in general, have various effects on the body. According to a recent study, regular coffee consumption directly affects insulin, where the impact varies depending on the individual’s health and overall caffeine consumption.
According to studies, coffee not only provides energy and promotes a faster metabolism. Here are some of the common substantial effects of coffee consumption:
- Caffeine affects the central nervous system and the brain in general. People like to drink coffee to feel energized and alert. Coffee eliminates the signs of fatigue because it speeds up your metabolism for a short time. However, too much coffee can cause headaches and make you feel unbalanced. Likewise, caffeine withdrawal can also make you restless as it is addictive.
- Caffeine influences the body’s metabolic rate and increases it significantly. According to studies, coffee speeds up your metabolism and makes it burn calories for energy. Therefore, the more caffeine you consume, the faster your metabolism rate will become. Additionally, caffeine promotes fat burning by increasing the metabolic rate.
- Caffeine does not stay in the body for long. Since drinks are mostly fluid, caffeine is filtered by the kidneys and quickly carried out in the urine. Too much caffeine can lead to long-term kidney complications because it overloads these organs.
Coffee Can Raise Blood Sugar Levels: Here’s How!
Sometimes coffee can indeed raise blood sugar levels. However, many contrasting studies show that caffeine may raise blood sugar or not affect it at all. You have to look at some of the research to know which opinion to take.
Most research on coffee raising blood sugar usually shows results in a very controlled but small setting. They will organize a large-scale analysis in the future. However, there are some instances where coffee can raise blood sugar levels in the body:
- Consuming coffee with added sugars will increase the possibility of having high blood sugar. Pre-packaged coffee drinks may contain flavoring syrups. Flavoring syrups often use high fructose corn syrup as sugar supplements. When you drink too much fructose, you may experience insulin resistance and your glucose levels may rise.
- Studies showed that diabetic patients can see a spike in blood sugar soon after consuming coffee. However, the study also showed that drinking coffee will not have any lasting implications for long-term blood sugar levels.
- Drinking only healthy amounts of coffee will not affect your sugar levels. In the long term, excessive coffee consumption can lead to health problems. However, a to study asserted that caffeine is probably not responsible for the rise in blood sugar since decaffeinated coffee produces similar results.
Ways to Regulate Your Coffee Intake to Prevent Side Effects
If you are a regular and avid coffee drinker, the blood sugar data may confuse you even more. Although it is not harmful to drink small amounts of coffee once in a while, you should regulate your coffee intake to avoid future problems.
Since there is no proper research to prove whether coffee raises blood sugar levels, you should consider its possible health implications and protect yourself. Here are some practical tips to implement if you want to consume coffee without side effects:
- Do not add sugar or other sweeteners to your coffee. Although coffee may raise your blood sugar slightly, the sugar you added to your coffee will drastically alter your blood sugar. Additionally, even sugar-free substitutes can be harmful because too much fructose is harmful to your health.
- Always brew your coffee at home or go to a good coffee shop to get your regular coffee. Do not drink bottled coffee drinks as they may contain added sugars. These sugars can raise your blood sugar if your coffee doesn’t.
- If you drink black coffee, drink no more than three cups a day. A single cup is enough for a day for lattes and creams or cappuccinos. Also, do not add sweeteners or flavoring syrups to your coffee. Coffee sweetened with syrups should be an experience once in a while, especially for people with diabetes.
Note from The Fitness Freak
Nevertheless, consuming coffee in limited quantities is vital because it has several other proven side effects on the body. If you avoid taking sugar and cream with your coffee and do not consume more than one or two cups a day, you will be safe from experiencing its side effects.
It is speculated that coffee alone may not be responsible for the rise in blood sugar. While some studies show that coffee can cause insulin resistance in diabetic patients, others show that the blood sugar spike will last for a short time.
Since so far all trials have been conducted on small numbers, it may take time to reach conclusions that cover all individuals. Studies have also suggested that regular drinkers accustomed to caffeine experience no side effects on their blood sugar. Again, however, it’s hard to say if the result applies to everyone.
With such mixed evidence on coffee’s impact on blood sugar, you should consult your healthcare professional to find out what’s best for you. Usually, a cup of coffee after an hour or two of breakfast might not be too bad for you.
However, each individual reacts differently to coffee. Therefore, drinking coffee should be safe (unless you have medical reasons to avoid the drink) as long as you monitor your blood sugar. Also, stick to drinking coffee with moderate and minimal sugar.