Have you ever witnessed a subtle difference within your blood sugar after drinking a big cup of
coffee or tea? As indicated by numerous studies, caffeine can have an impact on your blood
glucose levels causing sugar spikes, which is why limited consumption is widely
recommended for better control.
Other studies that were established recommend that individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
can decrease their risk of hypoglycemia amid the night by having small or moderate amounts of caffeine before going to bed. A significant amount of people likewise state that side effects of
hypoglycemia become more visible while adding caffeine into their eating regimen.
The effects of caffeine on each person are varied. Although the added factor of tolerance to the stimulant (caffeine in this case) can build up as quantity increases. While some people claim that they see a noticeable difference in their blood glucose levels when they drink caffeine, others say that they don’t have any issues incorporating caffeine with food.
Let’s explore some variables that could contribute to the spikes in blood glucose level in relation to caffeine consumption.
Certain common side effects of caffeine consumption may often explain spikes in blood glucose levels.
Lack of sleep
Not enough sleep has proven to contribute to insulin resistance in the body for people with Type
1. Too much caffeine could certainly contribute to insomnia, especially since caffeine tolerance
decreases as we grow older.
Elevated heart rate / “the jitters”
Two common effects if too much caffeine is in the system, or if the body is not accustomed to it.
These are also symptoms of hypoglycemia, which might cause someone with Type 1 to check
their blood glucose levels more frequently if mistaking the symptoms for a low.
Heartburn / Upset stomach / Dehydration
Some people are less tolerant to coffee and other caffeinated beverages than others, so these
symptoms can often occur. The body’s hormonal responses from these symptoms (and feeling ill in general) can always cause spikes in blood glucose level.
The dawn phenomenon (or “dawn effect”) is the term used to describe an abnormal spike in blood glucose level in many people, between the hours of approximately 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Most researchers believe this effect to be the result of hormone surges – the body’s overnight release of cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine, which all increase insulin resistance.
Of course, the phenomenon could also be in part due to management factors such as high carb consumption before bedtime or insufficient insulin dosages. Nevertheless, we could very well be inaccurately accusing caffeine of morning blood glucose spikes, but in reality, the dawn phenomenon is the actual cause.
Of course, if you plan on sweetening your caffeinated beverage with sugar, cream or milk,
always check the carb count and bolus or take your injections accordingly! Even some artificial
sweeteners have been known to cause a spikes in blood glucose level due to its ingredients.
So – what is the takeaway from all of this? Everyone’s body reacts differently to foods and
beverages – Type 1 or no Type 1! It is important to keep in mind that studies thus far on caffeine
and blood glucose levels remain inconsistent. Knowing exactly how much affect it could have on you will take some experimentation, and could be dependent on many things – including time of day, carb counts, physical activity, hormone levels and the amount of caffeine ingested.