Coffee before breakfast can lead to diabetes: drinking caffeine first thing in the morning can raise blood sugar by 50%, experts warn
- Drinking coffee regularly before breakfast can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes
- Researchers from the University of Bath asked volunteers to have coffee when they woke up
- They found that their blood sugar was 50% higher than without coffee
- According to the British Journal of Nutrition, high blood sugar could often lead to diabetes
For millions of us, it’s no reason to start the day without coffee.
However, experts warn that it is better to stop caffeine consumption until after breakfast, as drinking coffee regularly in advance can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in the long term.
University of Bath researchers asked 29 volunteers to have a strong black coffee about an hour after waking up to understand how it would affect their post-breakfast blood sugar.
After a sugary drink – similar in calories to muesli or toast with jam – your blood sugar was around 50 percent higher than without coffee. It is believed that the caffeine in the drink prevents muscles from absorbing the sugar.
Experts warn that it is better to stop caffeine consumption until after breakfast, as drinking coffee regularly in advance can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes in the long term
This may not be an immediate problem, but frequent increases in blood sugar over the years can lead to diabetes and heart disease, the study found in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Professor James Betts, lead author of the study, said, “Almost half of us will wake up in the morning and drink coffee before doing anything else – intuitively: the more tired we feel, the stronger the coffee.
“I love coffee too, and I don’t necessarily tell people to go without it as it has some benefits.
“Maybe people should wait a little later or until they get to work so they don’t have caffeine in their system when they eat a breakfast with carbohydrates and sugar.”
It is believed that around 40 percent of people in the UK have a coffee right when they wake up.
The researchers wanted to see the effects on people with sleep deprivation and asked study participants to set an alarm that goes off every hour during the night.
University of Bath researchers who asked volunteers to have a strong black coffee about an hour after they got up found that their blood sugar was about 50 percent higher than without coffee
When they woke up, the researchers would send them questions like simple sums every 30 seconds that they had to answer to make sure they didn’t fall asleep.
The study looked at people’s blood sugar and insulin levels three times – after a full night at home without coffee, after sleep disorders in their bed without coffee, and after sleep disorders and coffee.
That was 300 mg of strong black coffee – roughly the equivalent of two standard cups.
Participants’ blood sugar was tested after the breakfast drink they had about 30 minutes after they had coffee.
The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found no effects of coffee or sleep deprivation on insulin levels.
However, strong black coffee consumed before breakfast increased the blood sugar response significantly, as shown by repeated blood tests over two hours.
Professor Betts said, “This study is important and has far-reaching health implications as we previously had limited knowledge of what coffee does to our bodies, particularly for our metabolic and blood sugar control.”