I am a self-proclaimed coffee junkie. Somedays it goes even beyond coffee & I dive into the world of energy drinks (desperate times, amirite?). Caffeine and type 1 diabetes are an interesting combination! I’ve been noticing that even when I drink black coffee or sugar-free energy drinks, my blood sugar still goes up even if I haven’t consumed sugar/carbs.

Naturally, I did some research to try and figure out if this is normal or if I was completely imagining things. Turns out, I was not imagining and it’s a real thing. So why the hell does drinking a calorie/carb-free drink screw around with blood sugars? Let’s dive into what I’ve found.

(also please note that I only know from my own experience what happens – I am not nor have ever been a medical professional so please ask your doctor if you have any questions/concerns)

According to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, caffeine consumption can cause the blood sugars to rise or fall and it affects every person differently. If you’re looking to manage blood sugars more effectively, limiting the amount of caffeine that you consume can help! And we know that drinking too much coffee can actually cause us to have insomnia or just poor sleep, and when people with type 1 diabetes don’t get enough sleep it can cause insulin resistance in our bodies.

On the flip side – we could be accusing our sweet, sweet caffeine of something it’s not responsible for. Have you ever heard of the “dawn phenomenon”? Long story short, our bodies release a bunch of hormones between the times of 2 am and 8 am each night and if you don’t know it or how it affects you, when you wake up and have a cup of coffee your sugars might be high and it’s not even the poor coffee’s fault. Sad face.

The last thing with coffee is to make sure that you are taking enough insulin to counteract whatever it is that you put in your coffee. If you take it black – you good. If you use cream/milk + sugar, you’ll have to take extra insulin for it or else your blood sugars will go high! I use cream so I take a bit of insulin to counteract that.

Coffee makes me happy. Have you noticed that caffeine raises or lowers your blood sugar? Leave a comment below and tell me how you handle it! 🙂