Is Coffee Good for Diabetes? Spoiler Alert: Yes!

Is Coffee Good for Diabetes? Spoiler Alert: Yes!

Is coffee good for diabetes? Though some wellness influencers recommend avoiding the java gold, the research tells a different story. So how does coffee fit in diabetes care and remission, if at all?

Healthcare professionals say nearly 40 million Americans are living with diabetes and 1.2 million are diagnosed every year.[*] Diabetes management and prevention are now top priorities — especially since there’s a strong connection between type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s (what some experts call “type 3 diabetes”).[*]

So, let’s dive into the science to discover how your cup of Joe may affect your blood sugar levels, diabetes risk factors, and overall health.

What’s Under The Diabetes Umbrella

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that result in high blood glucose levels (too much sugar in the blood). The most common types of diabetes include:

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)

Over 2 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes.[*] It’s an autoimmune condition whereby your body destroys insulin-producing cells. Producing little to no insulin means people with T1D require lifelong insulin injections to manage their blood sugar.

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)

Roughly 95% of all diabetes cases are T2D.[*] It occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough. Obesity, physical inactivity, family history, ethnicity, and age can all increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Unlike type 1, T2D may be prevented or reversed with lifestyle changes like a low-carb, higher-protein diet and exercise.


Close to 100 million Americans are considered prediabetic.[*] Prediabetes is a warning sign that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range. Lifestyle changes can prevent or delay progression to type 2 diabetes.

All three conditions can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels because the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or doesn't use it effectively (type 2 and prediabetes). 

If not properly managed, the negative effects of high blood sugar can include serious complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and more.

So is it OK to drink coffee with diabetes? And, even more importantly, can drinking coffee help prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes?

Is Coffee Good for Diabetes? 4 Perks To Sip On

Coffee contains caffeine, antioxidants, polyphenols (molecules with antioxidant properties), and over a thousand other chemicals and bioactive compounds.[*] Scientists credit these compounds for all the health benefits of coffee — from chronic disease prevention to longevity.[*][*]

The effects of coffee consumption in the realm of diabetes align with that research. According to clinical trials, systematic reviews, and decades of follow-ups, we’ve learned that:

1. Coffee Lowers the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

While T1D is largely unpredictable, healthy lifestyle choices can prevent T2D and prediabetes. Experts even believe coffee drinking is as powerful for T2D prevention as physical activity, healthy dietary choices, and adequate sleep.[*]

Here’s what studies reveal:

  • Habitual coffee consumption is associated with a substantially reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.[*][*]
  • Drinking 3–4 cups of coffee per day provides a ~25% lower risk of developing T2D compared to consuming none or less than two cups per day.[*]
  • Participants in one study who decreased their coffee intake by more than one cup/day had a 17% higher risk of T2D.[*]

So, is there magic in coffee beans, or do these positive results stem from caffeine consumption?

2. Both Caffeinated & Decaf Coffee Deliver Perks for Diabetics

How does caffeine affect blood glucose control in diabetes? While most of us consume coffee for the brain fog-clearing mental clarity, caffeine can be a tricky dance partner for blood sugar and insulin levels.

Some studies show that the effects of caffeine may raise blood sugar levels and decrease insulin sensitivity.[*][*] However, other studies reveal only a modest rise, no significant impact, or even an improvement in blood sugar levels.[*][*] So what gives?

Scientists believe these results depend on many other factors, such as how many milligrams of caffeine were consumed and participants’ metabolism, blood sugar sensitivity, etc. 

There’s also evidence that habitual coffee drinkers may actually develop a tolerance to caffeine’s effects. So if there were potential blood sugar spikes, these would be minimized over time.[*][*]

That may be why research shows very little difference between regular brewed coffee and decaf:

  • In a review of 28 studies with more than one million participants, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee touted lower diabetes risks.[*]
  • The incidence of T2D decreased by 12% for every 2 cups/day of caffeinated coffee participants drank in one study and 11% for every 2 cups/day of decaffeinated coffee.[*]

3. Coffee Antioxidants are the Real MVP 

Though some studies may indicate a short-term rise in blood sugar after drinking coffee, long-term research highlights just the opposite: an improvement in blood sugar metabolism and insulin response.[*] So how is this possible?

According to scientists, the protective and beneficial effects of coffee come down to the anti-inflammatory properties of antioxidants. These play a vital role in blood sugar control but take weeks to work their magic.[*][*]

Most people get the majority of their daily antioxidants from coffee.[*][*] Coffee is also the richest source of the polyphenol chlorogenic acid.[*] Chlorogenic acid has been shown to:[*][*]

  • Reduce blood sugar levels
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Slow your body’s absorption of carbohydrates during digestion to reduce blood sugar spikes

Researchers even say we can compare chlorogenic acid to metformin, a popular medication for controlling blood sugar levels in people with T2D.[*]

Bonus: Antioxidants reduce chronic inflammation. This not only improves sugar metabolism and lowers T2D risks but also slashes your risk of cardiovascular disease.[*][*] Since people with T2D often have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, lower inflammation is a mighty win.[*

4. Coffee Supports Weight Loss To Prevent & Reverse T2D

Healthcare providers agree that modest weight loss (5-7%) can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.[*][*] But 10%? That prevents diabetes and significantly increases the likelihood of remission in people with T2D.[*][*]

Going on a low-carb or keto diet and getting more physical activity are proven winners in the weight loss game. Coffee’s another effective strategy to enhance your body’s ability to shed LBs. It has the power to:

  • Spark fat-burning [*][*
  • Boost your metabolism so you torch more calories at rest [*][*][*]
  • Suppress your appetite by decreasing hunger and increasing satiety [*][*][*]
  • Skyrocket calorie burning when exercising and make physical activity feel less difficult and more enjoyable [*][*]

Get this: in one meta-analysis, researchers learned that every doubling in caffeine intake resulted in a twofold reduction in weight, BMI, and body fat mass.[*] So you may want to repeat your morning coffee ritual post-lunch, too.

However, coffee for weight loss doesn’t work when you consume coffee with added sugar or artificial sweeteners. These raise blood sugar levels, contribute to insulin resistance, and trigger more sugar cravings.[*][*][*]

So what do you do if you’re not a fan of black coffee or espresso?

Meet IQJOE: The Perfect Diabetes-Friendly Brew

Psst! Did you know that instant coffee contains more antioxidants than brewed coffee, espresso, and coffee substitutes?[*][*] That means more anti-inflammatory protection to prevent or reverse diabetes.

IQJOE is our version of instant coffee that delivers on flavor and wellness wins without compromises. It’s keto, vegan, gluten-free-, dairy-free-, and soy-free. You won’t find any sugar or artificial sweeteners in our packets, just:

  • Organic caffeine from green coffee and Brazilian coffee. Our sustainable, non-GMO coffee blend provides 200 mg of long-lasting, crash-proof energy.
  • Magtein®️ (Magnesium L-Threonate). Low magnesium levels are often tied to diabetes.[*] But higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of T2D, lower blood sugar and insulin levels, and provide heart health benefits.[*] Magtein also supports higher mental performance.
  • 8X-concentrated Lion's Mane Extract. This adaptogen and “smart mushroom” lowers stress and enhances productivity.[*][*] It also takes the edge off caffeine, so adding more coffee to your wellness routine doesn’t come with jittery side effects.

It’s sweetness without sacrifice! Grab the IQJOE Variety Pack to taste test all four of our yummy, sugar-free flavors: Original Black, Vanilla Spice, Toasted Hazelnut, and Caffè Mocha.

Ditch the Guilt, Embrace the Good

So is coffee good for diabetes? All signs point to yes! Each mug offers a clear path to higher energy levels, weight loss support, and beneficial antioxidants to help you prevent, better manage, and even reverse diabetes. Now you can feel good about taking charge of your diabetes journey with each delicious sip.

🧜 Resist the sugary coffee shop siren song with IQJOE! Our decadent flavors —  combined with the best sugar-free coffee tipswill help you kick your sugar habit once and for all!


Written by Lauren Ciccarelli, a writer and research geek passionate about low-carb nutrition, mental health, and meditation. Her 2,500+ articles empower doers with science-backed tips for leveled-up living.