Picture of Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!


Does Coffee Raise Blood Sugar? (+ Blood-Sugar Friendly Coffee Recipes)

Article Overview

does coffee raise blood sugar

This post is sponsored by Good Measure, a blood sugar friendly snack brand.

If you’ve ever wondered, “Does coffee raise blood sugar” keep reading for more information!

Coffee by itself does not contain any carbohydrates, but it’s possible to experience a rise in blood sugar levels after drinking it. So, let’s dive in and answer the question: Does coffee raise blood sugar levels or is it something else causing this?

Does coffee raise blood sugar?

A quick Google search and you’ll see many people wondering about this question. 

The short answer: Yes, coffee can raise your blood sugar.

The more nuanced, longer answer: Coffee may raise blood sugar levels for some people but not for others. And, it’s likely not the coffee itself causing your blood sugar to rise. It’s the caffeine and what you eat while drinking it.

Blood sugars and caffeine: Does caffeine raise blood sugar?

So, yes, whether it’s coffee, tea, or an energy drink, caffeine can raise blood sugar levels. The exact mechanism of why and how isn’t fully understood, but research has shown that caffeine’s effect on our bodies can cause:

  • Increased insulin resistance
  • Decreased glucose uptake by cells from the bloodstream

But, don’t worry. I love my coffee just as much as the next person and there are several tools and strategies we can use to help minimize these effects, and still promote more stable blood sugar levels. 

does coffee raise blood sugar

How much does coffee raise your blood sugar?

Now that we’ve answered our main question: Does coffee raise blood sugar? … let’s look at how much coffee may raise your blood sugar.

How much coffee can raise your blood sugar level will depend on a variety of factors:

  • What time of day you’re drinking it
  • What you’re adding to your coffee
  • Other foods you are (or aren’t) eating with it
  • Your body’s unique attributes and response (e.g., age, health)
  • How regularly you consume caffeinated beverages

Also, caffeine does not raise blood sugar levels for all people. Some people may not notice an impact on their blood sugar levels at all, while some will.

Does decaf coffee raise blood sugar?

Research shows that decaf coffee does not have the same effect on blood sugar levels as caffeinated coffee. So, if you like coffee simply for the taste (and not the caffeine), you could consider switching to decaf. Or, maybe you don’t need a full dose of caffeine and just want a little? Try one of the many “half caff” coffee options on the market. 

Does coffee raise blood sugar? 3 tips for balanced blood sugars.

  1. Pair your coffee with a  blood sugar friendly creamer .
  2. Have your coffee with a meal.
  3. Pair your coffee with nutrient dense snacks.

Does black coffee raise blood sugar?

If you are sensitive to caffeine and notice a rise in blood sugar levels when you consume it, yes, black coffee will raise your blood sugar levels. And, this leads us to our first tip for consuming coffee in a blood sugar friendly way…

cup of coffee with good measure nut butter bar

Tip 1: Pair your coffee with a  creamer. Look for varieties with one or more of the following:

  • Low/no added sugar
  • Added protein
  • Added fiber

Many coffee creamers on the market contain added sugar. But, there are also options that utilize other sweeteners that don’t add additional sugar to your coffee, like unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. 

Does coffee on an empty stomach raise blood sugar?

Drinking your coffee on an empty stomach can not only contribute to possible gastrointestinal distress, but it may also mean you’re more likely to experience a rise in blood sugar. 

Tip 2: Have your coffee with a meal that contains fat, fiber, and/or protein.

Since blood sugar levels can run higher in the morning, eating a meal that will help initiate an insulin response   may help your body tolerate the caffeine in your coffee better. 

Snacks and foods to have with coffee

If you’re wanting to enjoy a cup of coffee and it’s not around a mealtime, think of some of your favorite blood sugar friendly snacks you could pair with it! One of my favorites are Good measure Almond Crisps!

Good Measure Almond Crisps come in two savory and satisfying flavors:

  • Cheddar Almond Crisps
  • Sriracha Almond Crisps
Good Measure Almond Crisps

Tip 3: Pair your coffee with nutrient dense snacks.

If I’m in a rush in the morning and don’t have time for a full meal, or trying to enjoy an afternoon pick me up cup of coffee, I love to pair my coffee with a Good Measure Nut Butter Bar!

Good Measure Bars are made with nutrient dense ingredients and have little impact on blood sugar. They come in three delicious flavors:

cup of coffee with good measure nut butter bars

The Good Measure Almond Butter & Blueberry Bars are my favorite, but honestly, they’re all so good! Each bar has 7-8g protein, 4g fiber, and plant based fat.

You can grab some for yourself here, and use code MARYELLEN20 on over allingoodmeasure.com on your first order. 

How to make blood sugar friendly coffee drinks

And, if you’re looking to make some blood sugar friendly coffee drinks at home, check out some of these great recipes:

latte in glass coffee cup with whipped cream and caramel sauce energy boost for diabetes

Low Sugar Caramel Brûlée Latte 

If you’re looking for a delicious low sugar version of your favorite caramel brûlée latte this is the recipe for you!
View Recipe
healthy pumpkin spice latte in glass mug

Low Carb Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

My healthy pumpkin spice latte is ideal for someone with diabetes or anyone looking for a lower sugar version of this classic fall beverage. And, you don’t even need an espresso maker to make it at home!
View Recipe

More to explore...

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Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice

This recipe for Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice is a perfect flavorful side dish and a great way to get in your veggies any day of the week.

slow cooker lentil soup with red pepper flakes and parsley

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Soup

Slow cooker lentil soup make delicious and nutritionally dense. Loaded with fiber and protein, it provides a blood sugar friendly and satisfying meal!

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