Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

What are the effects of caffeine or coffee on Type 2 diabetics. I am a heavy coffee drinker and at times feel that it is not helping my situation.

Your feelings are not without a basis. Caffeine is a stimulator of the central nervous system and does have an effect on releasing sugar into the bloodstream. Not only this, but it also depletes the body of important minerals, such as magnesium--critical for proper nerve functioning. In addition, caffeine is a great dehydrator -- a diuretic. It takes 6 molecules of water to move one molecule of sugar through the body and out the urinary tract. For every 6 ounces of coffee you drink, it is necessary to drink 8 ounces of water to just be at a baseline. How much water do you need a day? It is safe to assume 6 to 8 glasses after replacing for any caffeine intake.

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