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Coffee’s Influence on Glucose Levels: What You Need to Know

Caffeine, often found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can affect blood sugar levels, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. Let’s look into this more:

  1. How Caffeine Affects Blood Sugar:
    • What Research Says: Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes have different reactions to caffeine. Drinking caffeine can increase both blood sugar and insulin levels in these people.
    • A Specific Study: In one study, people with type 2 diabetes took a 250-milligram caffeine pill (like two cups of coffee) at breakfast and lunch. Their blood sugar levels were 8% higher on days they had caffeine compared to days they didn’t. The increase was bigger after meals.
    • Insulin Sensitivity: Caffeine might lower insulin sensitivity, which means cells don’t react to insulin as well. This leads to less sugar being taken from the blood after eating, causing more insulin to be made.
  2. Why Caffeine Has This Effect:
    • Stress Hormones: Caffeine increases levels of stress hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine can slow down sugar processing in cells and decrease insulin production.
    • Blocking Adenosine: Caffeine blocks a molecule called adenosine, which affects insulin production and how cells react to it.
    • Disrupting Sleep: Too much caffeine can mess up sleep, which might lower insulin sensitivity.
  3. How Much Caffeine You Should Have:
    • About 200 milligrams of caffeine can change blood sugar. This is about the same as one or two cups of brewed coffee or three to four cups of black tea.
    • How people react can change based on things like age, weight, and how used to caffeine they are.
  4. Keeping Balance:
    • While caffeine can increase blood sugar, it’s important to think about overall health. Regular checks, changes in lifestyle, and taking medication correctly are still very important.
    • If you have type 2 diabetes, be careful of how much caffeine you have and how it might affect your blood sugar levels.

In short, while that morning cup of coffee gives a nice boost, people with type 2 diabetes should know how caffeine affects their blood sugar.

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