Does Caffeine Affect Blood Sugars?

It goes without saying that we’re talking about caffeine alone and not a caffeine infused hot fudge Sunday or Red Bull, which obviously have tons of calories. Caffeine does not have any calories, however it can raise the blood sugar levels through a complicated biochemistry pathway which I won’t talk about here because it would put you to sleep.

It is very important to note that caffeine affects everyone differently. In sensitive folks, too much caffeine can cause their heart rate and blood pressure to go up and cause insomnia. Others are resistant to these potential effects of caffeine, and they can drink 3 pots of coffee a day without symptoms.

Up to 400 milligrams per day should not have any noticeable effects on most people. Two 8 ounce cups of black coffee have approximately 280 milligrams of caffeine. If you love coffee like I do, you should not stop unless your health care provider has some other medical reasons why you should limit your intake.  Caffeine intake is like many things in our life, use with moderation and your symptoms should dictate how much caffeine you should have per day. If you’re concerned about how it may be affecting your blood sugars, you can remove it from your diet for a couple of weeks and see if you notice a difference. For now I am going to finish my hot fudge sundae!

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    I have heard that diabetics with Type 1 Diabetes and on ACE inhibitors are at higher risk for the COVID-19 virus due to the ACE receptors in the lungs. Do you know anything about this? Are we at higher risk due to being on ACE inhibitors? Thank you!

    • This statement is absolutely not true and not substantiated. DO NOT STOP YOUR ACE INHIBITOR unless your HCP tells you to. Be careful of misinformation.

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    I was having caffeine withdrawals on weekends because I only drank coffee at work. So, I stopped drinking it. After retirement, I’m diagnosed with diabetes and now being isolated, I started enjoying an occasional cup again – Hazelnut Cappuccino – or black- and I see this post. I take my glucose tests 4x daily and not seeing any significant high. Caffeine never kept me up at night. I will check to see what my doctors have to say, but for now I too will enjoy an occasional cup. Thanks for this info.

    • Thanks for sharing Peggy! Caffeine affects everyone differently and if it isn’t affecting your blood sugars, that’s great! 🙂

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    What about pre-diabetes? I mean for someone who isn’t checking their glucose AT ALL and aren’t taking meds? Is it OK to drink a few cups a day for them? How about decaf? And where do we fall on sugar substitutes in the coffee vs sweetened creamer in moderation? Asking for my neighbor who has just found out they’re pre-diabetic.

    • Coffee does not adversely affect your blood sugars, caffeinated or not. Artificial sweeteners are great. Creamers will raise your blood sugars because they have calories (and some have fat) so you need to be careful there. I’ll see ya at Starbucks. If you get there first, get me a grande latte with whole milk and an extra shot.

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