Is Black Coffee Good for Diabetes?

Medically Reviewed By: DR. Rashmi GR, M.B.B.S, Diabetologist January 6, 2022

Last updated on December 22nd, 2023

In a world buzzing with coffee enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals, the question of whether black coffee is a friend or foe to those managing diabetes brews with curiosity. As the aromatic smell of a freshly brewed cup reaches both experts and those mindful of their health, the spotlight falls on black coffee. This beverage has lately earned a reputation for being your best work companion. Black coffee also is used as a pre-workout drink. Join us on a journey through the steamy realms of coffee culture and scientific insights as we unravel the question: Is black coffee good for diabetes? It’s time to sip into the rich blend of caffeine and contemplation to decode the relationship between that steaming mug and diabetes management.

Coffee and Possible Prevention of Diabetes

The health advantages of black coffee for diabetes vary from person to person. A 2014 published Harvard research found that individuals who increased their coffee consumption by above 1 cup each day had an 11% reduced risk of developing diabetes type 2. On the other hand, individuals who lowered their coffee consumption by 1 cup each day enhanced their risk of developing diabetes by 17%.

In addition, there is convincing research suggesting that when coffee consumption is increased, the risk of developing diabetes type 2 is reduced. This is good news for people who can’t get in shape for the day without a coffee mug. These weird findings of the study did spark a debate, but there is still no evidence to date as to why coffee has such an influence.

In a research study involving males, decaffeinated coffee presented a short-term rise in blood glucose levels. There are limited studies, and more research is required to be performed on the effects of diabetes and caffeine.

Read More: Is Sweet Potato Good for Diabetes?

Why Caffeine Exerts These Effects?

Black coffee for diabetes patients might reduce a person’s insulin sensitivity. That implies that the body cells fail to respond to the hormone by as much as they once did. They fail to absorb as much glucose from the bloodstream after a person consumes or drinks. This makes a person’s body produce a large amount of insulin. Hence, the levels become higher after meals. Studies say caffeine affects a person’s insulin and blood glucose levels in the following ways:

  • Caffeine increases the levels of various stress hormones, such as epinephrine (or adrenaline). Epinephrine helps in preventing the body cells from processing as much glucose. Also, it might keep a person’s body from producing as much insulin.
  • It inhibits a protein named adenosine. This protein plays a huge role in how much insulin a person’s body produces. Moreover, it helps in regulating how the body cells react to it. Caffeine keeps adenosine, which is responsible for producing insulin in a person’s body.
  • It takes a toll on the sleep patterns. An excess of caffeine keeps a person awake. Lack of sleep might reduce his or her insulin sensitivity.

If a person has type 2 diabetes, his or her body already doesn’t make use of insulin appropriately. After meals, the blood glucose elevates higher than the standard limits. Caffeine might make it harder to bring it down to a healthy range. This might give rise to too-high blood glucose levels. With time, this might increase the chance of diabetes complications, such as cardiovascular problems or nerve damage.

Read More: Is Carrot Good For Diabetes?

Is Black Coffee Good for Diabetes Patients?

Now it’s time to answer the question, is black coffee good for diabetes patients? While black coffee for diabetes prevention seems to be beneficial. Few research studies have found that plain black coffee might pose dangers to individuals who already experience type 2 diabetes. Coffee depletes insulin sensitivity, which brings an upsurge in their blood sugar. Coffee is an acidic beverage, and acidic foods increase inflammation, according to a study by the National Institute of Health. An increase in inflammation is not good for diabetic patients.

A recent study by ADA examined a few hardcore coffee drinkers with type 2 diabetes and constantly monitored their blood glucose. They continued to perform their everyday activities. Throughout the day, it was found that right after they consumed black coffee, their level of blood glucose would upsurge.

Comparing their blood sugar on days they went without coffee revealed a surprising pattern. The blood glucose was seen on a higher trend on days that they took coffee as compared to days they didn’t. Therefore, the answer to whether black coffee is good for diabetics is that one should try to avoid having black coffee in diabetes. Black coffee and diabetes don’t have a good relationship.

Read More: Normal Blood Sugar Levels

Caffeine, Blood Sugar, and Insulin (Pre & Post-meal)

When talking of the pre-meal effects of coffee, one research study by the ADA (American Diabetes Association) exhibited that consumption of caffeine prior to your meal resulted in greater increased post-meal sugar in type 2 diabetic patients. It also demonstrated an upsurge in insulin resistance. Moreover, as per a recent study, genes have a role to play here. People who metabolized caffeine at a slower pace experienced a greater upsurge in blood glucose. When compared people who genetically metabolized caffeine at a faster rate experience less blood sugar upsurge.

Intake of caffeinated coffee over a long duration might also alter its effect on insulin and glucose sensitivity. Another study published in the National Library of Medicine demonstrated that chronic effects of coffee and caffeine might be associated with reduced risk of prediabetes as well as diabetes in non-diabetics.

Read More: Is Apple Good for Diabetes Patients?

Black Coffee Effects on Fasting Blood Sugar

An ADA study explored the effects of coffee on non-diabetics who had been consuming medium quantities of coffee or who had completely withdrawn. After evaluating the subjects for a month, people who took more coffee had greater quantities of insulin in their blood. This was the situation even while fasting in non-diabetics. So when talking of type 2 diabetic patients, their bodies are already incapable of utilizing insulin efficiently drinking coffee will only make it worse. Interestingly, the “tolerance” effect seen in chronic black coffee for diabetes patient intake takes a lot longer than 4 weeks to progress.

Coffee only good in its plain form

When talking of black coffee in diabetes prevention definitely you could go for it. As said earlier, if a person is non-diabetic but is worried about developing it, the consumption of black coffee can help prevent it. There might be a positive effect from black coffee in its pure form. However, these benefits only affect when consumed in plain and pure form. The more you add different condiments like sweetness, diary supplements, etc., the lesser the benefits get.

Read More: Can diabetics eat mango?

Daily Diabetes Tip

Coffee might be more prevalent than ever, but consuming it regularly isn’t the finest way to manage diabetes, even though there’s increasing evidence that it could aid in diabetes management. Creamy, sugary beverages found at cafe chains are repeatedly packed with unnatural carbohydrates. In addition, they are rich in calories.

The impact of the fat and glucose in loads of black coffee and espresso beverages might balance the good from any defensive effects of the black coffee. The same can be said in relation to glucose-sweetened as well as even artificially syrupy coffee or other drinks. Once sweetener is included, it enhances the risk of developing diabetes type 2. Intake of too many extra sugars is directly associated with obesity and diabetes.

Intake of black coffee beverages rich in saturated fat or sugar often may augment insulin resistance. It might also add to type 2 diabetes. Many big coffee chains offer drink alternatives containing a smaller number of carbohydrates and fat. “Skinny” coffee beverages let a person the morning wake-up or afternoon refreshment deprived of the sugar rush.

Few healthy tips to flavour black coffee such as:

  • include cinnamon and vanilla as a healthy, zero-carb alternative
  • opt for an unsweetened vanilla milk alternative, including flax, coconut, or almond milk
  • demand ½ the quantity of flavoured syrup while ordering from coffee shops, or forbidding syrup in total

Read More: Is Banana Good For Diabetes Patients?

Diabetes-Friendly Alternatives for Black Coffee

Diabetes-Friendly Alternatives for Black Coffee

Since black coffee and diabetes don’t go well together, we are suggesting some healthy beverages that can replace black coffee for diabetes patients:

  • Herbal Smoothie
  • Meethi dana water
  • Neem water
  • Amla juice extract mixed in water
  • Chamomile tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Black tea
  • Buttermilk
  • Coconut water
  • Dalchini Water

Risks and Warnings

Even for healthy people, the caffeine content in black coffee might exert few side effects. The common ill effects of caffeine are headache, nervousness, and agitation. As with most everything, self-control is very important in the intake of black coffee. On the other hand, regardless of moderate intake, coffee does have risks that a person must speak to a doctor.

These risks include:

  • an enhanced cholesterol with unfiltered or espresso form of coffee
  • an enhanced risk of heartburn
  • augmented levels of blood sugar following a meal

Other things to note:

  • Adolescents must consume below 100 mg of caffeine on a daily basis. This involves all caffeinated beverages, not just coffee.
  • Young kids must not consume caffeinated drinks.
  • Adding an excess of sweetener or cream might enhance the risk of diabetes and obesity as well.


No food or supplement delivers total defence against diabetes type 2. If a person is prediabetic or is at risk for getting diabetes, exercising, losing weight, as well as taking a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is an excellent approach to lowering a person’s risk. Concluding we can say black coffee is good for diabetes management prevention. However, if you already have diabetes, you should avoid it. Even if you occasionally drink coffee, lowering the quantity of sugar or milk will do less harm. Also discuss with your diabetologist regarding diet options, exercise, as well as the effects that coffee intake may have.

Read More: Are Dates Good for People With Diabetes?

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can diabetics drink black coffee?

Black coffee and diabetes don’t have a positive relationship. Therefore, diabetes patients should avoid drinking coffee. Studies have shown coffee increases insulin resistance and sugar levels in diabetics. There its best for diabetes patients to avoid black coffee.

Does coffee have sugar?

No, coffee doesn’t naturally contain sugar. However, coffee is consumed with added sugar and milk to enhance its taste. Coffee for diabetes patients is no good therefore, they should avoid it.

Does coffee elevate blood glucose in a fasting state?

Morning brew has been found to impair blood glucose response by 50% when taken on empty stomach.

Does black coffee elevate blood glucose level?

For many young, healthy adults, caffeine doesn’t seem to markedly impact the level of blood glucose, and consuming up to 400 mg each day seems to be safe.

Does black coffee have an effect on the blood test results?

Although, a person consumes it black, coffee has been found to hinder with blood test results. That’s due to the reason that it consists of caffeine as well as soluble plant matter, which may twist the test results. In addition, coffee is a diuretic, which implies that it would enhance the amount of urine. Also, this might have a dehydrating effect.

Is it good to have black coffee one hour before the glucose test?

Avoid having or drinking anything except water for at least 8 hours prior to the test. Plain water is suggested only. Avoid having tea, coffee, soda (regular or diet) or any other drinks.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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