Caffeine and insulin resistance


It seems like everyone else but me experiences reduced hunger with coffee. I feel like an oddball because when I drink coffee, as much as I love the taste of a good, strong espresso, I get ravenously hungry. I wonder if caffeine affects different people differently. This study indicates that caffeine may increase insulin resistance, while other studies indicate the opposite. Maybe I’m one of those people who experiences an increase of insulin when consuming caffeine, and I wonder if the insulin response to caffeine is what makes me feel so hungry. I love my three or four daily cups of green tea and my once-a-day Americano, but I’m going to try cutting both out to see if I can shed some more of my BF percentage and if I can fast easier.

(Allie) #2

You’re not alone, coffee doesn’t reduce my hunger either. Caffeine doesn’t seem to have any effect on my at all, except give me a headache if I don’t have it.

(Erin Macfarland ) #3

The study does refer to a group that is consuming carbs so I would be skeptical to apply the results to those on keto


Do you mean the stimulation of insulin result?

You may be right, except there’s got to be some explanation for why I feel ravenously hungry as if my blood sugar has dropped too low if I drink coffee, especially on an empty stomach.

(Erin Macfarland ) #5

I believe that coffee can have a hypoglycemic response on some people . If you don’t “need” coffee (i.e. if I don’t have my coffee immediately upon waking it isn’t pretty, lol…) then try eliminating it. I think that it can cause a stress response and spike cortisol too, which in turn spikes blood sugar which then once those physiological processes clear out of your system, could lower your blood sugar.

(jilliangordona) #6

Thanks for sharing! I have tried and failed to cut coffee on multiple occasions… this study may help me cut it one last time for good!


@MelTar I have the same reaction with green tea and recently on keto I’ve noticed also with black tea. I get so hungry that I feel like I haven’t eaten for days, not so much with coffee though.

(Mark Rhodes) #8

@MelTar Perhaps you can test BG if you know your baseline. Just like with AS, you should be able to test BG at T30 & T60 minutes after ingestion. If you are having an insulin response to black coffee the T60 will be lower as there is no glucose for it to shuttle and the insulin response would grab what glucose Is available and thus lowering your overall BG.

I do not know this for sure however this was a test Richard recommended for AS and I cannot fathom why it should be different for a substance like tea or coffee. Currently I cannot find his link but I do believe it was in the welcoming page somewhere.

(Life is bacon, bacon is life) #9

Question: Is the issue coffee per se, or or caffeine? In which case tea would be a problem too?


Tea is also a problem, especially black tea. I usually drink jasmine green tea which had the lowest caffeine content but if I drink too much of it too quickly it makes me hungry.


Since going keto almost a year ago I have developed a severe sensitivity to caffeine. I never had an issue before so it took me a long time to realize what the problem was, I thought it was hypoglycemia, anxiety, electrolytes, etc. Once I figured out I was sensitive to caffeine my life improved a lot. I think I’m one of those slow caffeine metabolizers who is very sensitive. I think the carbage I used to eat dulled the effects of caffeine but once I went low carb it all changed. It gives me the jitters and heart palpitations so badly that I thought I was having a panic attack.

I love coffee so I’m thankful there are some quality decafs out there now. I’m sure one day we’ll discover something used in making decaf that is unhealthy if we haven’t already but I gotta draw the line somewhere.


What are the quality decafs? I’d like to try them.

(What The Fast?!) #13

I used to be able to drink coffee late at night and be totally fine. Lately I haven’t been able to have espresso at dinner…I hadn’t put it together til now!


I’m from Seattle so I’ve learned to love Starbucks and their “burnt tasting” coffee. That’s what a lot of people say anyway. But if you like Starbucks I’d suggest either Pike Place decaf or their house blend decaf. Their decaf espresso is also incredible.

I can’t say first hand but my mom swears by the Donut House decaf k-cups she gets but that’s going to be more of a medium roast I believe.


Exactly. If it’s not strong enough to put hair on my chest, I don’t bother. :smiley: I got into making cold brew for a while; it actually tastes like coffee smells.


I’ve been caffeine free since Oct 15. I found a good substitute for my morning cup of tea: 1 tbsp organic tamari mixed in a mug of hot water. It replaces my caffeine drinks and supplies sodium. Believe it or not it tastes really good.

Tamari is amazing!
(Brian) #17

It is interesting how coffee affects different people.

I’ve never notice additional hunger with coffee. For me, it’s closer to the opposite as if I drink a big mug of it, I get a more “filled up” kind of feeling and don’t really want to eat as much.

My wife insists that when I have too much coffee (of the caffeinated kind), I talk a lot more. And I’ve noticed the difference a few times. But I don’t tend to drink as much as I used to.

We tend to drink a blend of half regular coffee and half decaf, one 11oz cup in the morning most every day. Maybe a couple of times a month, we’ll have a decaf in the evening. So far, it’s not been something we’ve noticed keeps us awake, either. Then again, we’re probably pretty used to having it at about that level.


Glad to hear you’ve found a solution. I just saw your original post and was going to suggest that since caffeine is a diuretic you might be experiencing a bit of mild hyponatremia. I read Dr. D’s “The Salt Fix” and it really opened my eyes about salt intake, especially for Keto coffee-drinkers. My own salt issue is compounded by the fact that I am still on hypertension meds and a diuretic, and I really have to have salt with nearly everything I eat, including coffee.
I definitely noticed a difference in my caffeine sensitivity on Keto, I no longer drink coffee after 7:30 pm since I was really having an issue getting to sleep after I started LCHF.


I got the tamari idea after listening to Steve Phinney’s downunder lecture. He suggested bouillon cubes to increase salt intake. When I couldn’t find any bouillon that didn’t have crap in it, I remembered tamari. I prefer it over soy sauce because it’s made from fermented soy beans, it’s gluten free and has no sugar. I’ve been drinking my tamari beverage a few days now. I’ve already noticed an increase in energy and more regularity. I started reading The Salt Fix yesterday. Very eye opening.

(Edith) #20

These bouillon cubes are great: no added chemicals including MSG and they are organic.