A cup of strong coffee in the morning before breakfast might help to perk us up after a poor night’s sleep, but it also has an unexpected knock-on effect.
Drinking caffeinated coffee before breakfast imbalances blood sugar levels which results in developing insulin resistance.
However, coffee after breakfast seems to be safe as it doesn’t cause this negative metabolic effect.
Although one poor night’s sleep has little effect on our metabolism, a coffee before breakfast causes glucose intolerance, a study reveals.
Glucose intolerance is a metabolic condition that can lead to prediabetes and heart disease.
Our blood glucose levels must be kept within the normal range to minimize the odds of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Because of this, researchers emphasise the considerable health problems of drinking coffee before breakfast, given how popular morning coffee is across the world.
Previous studies show that lack of sleep over multiple nights or even over one night can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome (combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity).
This study suggests that one night’s sleep deprivation won’t elevate blood glucose and abnormal insulin response in the morning.
Yet, they found that a strong black coffee an hour after waking caused a 50 percent increase in blood glucose levels.
Previous research has shown that caffeine potentially can cause our body to become resistant to insulin.
Professor James Betts, study co-author, said:
“We know that nearly half of us will wake in the morning and, before doing anything else, drink coffee — intuitively the more tired we feel, the stronger the coffee.
This study is important and has far-reaching health implications as up until now we have had limited knowledge about what this is doing to our bodies, in particular for our metabolic and blood sugar control.
Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee especially after a night of disrupted sleep.
We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we feel we still feel the need it.
Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all.”
The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition (Smith et al., 2020).