People with type 2 diabetes should avoid caffeine, researchers say

Although previous research has indicated that drinking caffeine may yield a protective effect against type 2 diabetes, a recent study published in the Journal of Caffeine Research (JCR) indicates that the stimulant may exacerbate the negative effects of eating sugary foods.

The researchers explain that among individuals who have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, caffeine may cause irregularities in glucose metabolism, making it more difficult for these people to monitor their blood sugar levels.

The study's results show that spikes in blood glucose that occur when people consume carbohydrates increase even more dramatically when a person also drinks a caffeinated beverage with his or her meal. Scientists note that this effect may counteract some diabetes treatments.

"More than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. The links that have been revealed between diabetes and the consumption of caffeine beverages, especially coffee, are of monumental importance when it is acknowledged that more than 80 percent of the world's population consumes caffeine daily," said Jack E. James, editor-in-chief of JCR.

Sugary drinks such as soda, as well as sweetened coffee and tea, may contribute to obesity, which is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

According to the National Coffee Association of U.S.A., young adults consume more than three cups of the drink per day, on average. The organization notes that 61 percent of people who consume coffee believe that it improves their mental focus.

Individuals who have type 2 diabetes and want to boost their energy levels may consider eating more protein, as opposed to drinking caffeinated beverages. A recent article published by CNN Health explains that the amino acid tyrosine, which is found in plant- and animal-based protein, stimulates dopamine and norepinephrine production in the brain and may enhance alertness.