Coffee causes Insulin Resistance (Don’t Panic)

Coffee causes Insulin Resistance (Don’t Panic)

Coffee causes Insulin Resistance (Don’t Panic)

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I’m gonna show you how you can specifically time your coffee and time your caffeine to get the most powerful effect out of your body not only from a fat loss standpoint but from a performance standpoint and even a cognitive standpoint as well you see we truly can manipulate the timing a little bit if we know a little bit about how our body’s hormones work you are watching the Internet’s leading performance and nutrition channel so make sure that you keep it locked in here for new videos every single Tuesday Friday and Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time there’s also a bell button that you can click that’ll help you turn on notifications so you know whenever I go live and additionally check out highly calm so you can get the apparel that I’m always wearing in my videos at an awesome price so to understand how we can manipulate coffee a little bit to our advantage we have to understand a little bit about the hormones that it plays a part with so the main ones I want to focus on are gonna be insulin and then of course the catecholamine known as adrenaline you see it all comes down to insulin when we’re talking about fat loss when we’re talking about blood sugar in general and believe it or not caffeine / coffee actually has an effect on blood sugar now you may have heard that before you may have heard that having a cup of coffee or having some caffeine is gonna cause an increase in blood sugar and that might have scared you before but believe it or not this actually works to our advantage and I’ll explain a lot more in detail in this video because later on in this video I’m gonna give you specific times to use coffee so that you can get more out of your workout or so you can get more fat burning etc etc so just make sure you pay attention so to lead off this entire video I want to reference a study that was published in the journal diabetes care this is a pretty straightforward study it was a randomized crossover study and it took a look at two groups of participants okay one group consumed a caffeine supplement the other group consumed a placebo and what they wanted to measure was their overall insulin sensitivity what insulin sensitivity is is simply like the name implies how sensitive the body is to insulin in terms of when you consume a carb how much does your insulin respond like a diabetic person for instance wouldn’t respond very much but someone that’s very insulin sensitive would respond to a very powerful degree okay so what they found was that a group that consumed coffee had a decrease in insulin sensitivity fifteen percent they became a little bit insulin resistant whoa that sounds bad right No hold your horses for just a second it’s actually a good thing and I’ll get to it in a second but they also found that there was a five-fold increase in adrenaline okay also known as epinephrine they also saw that there was a big increase in the mobilization of free fatty acids meaning fat was burned a little bit more okay so now let’s talk more months for a second so now we know coffee causes an adrenaline spike a significant internal in spike and what is adrenaline it’s the fight or flight hormone the fight-or-flight catecholamine and when we’re talking about any kind of fight or flight situation the body needs energy really quick so this explains why we have a little bit of a rise in blood sugar whenever our adrenaline spiked because our body is in the situation where we need to demand energy quickly so it mobilizes fat which is exactly what caffeine does and it releases glucose from our stores like from our liver and from our glycogen stores in our muscles and it does this so that we have the ability to burn it fast but it does this with a really cool caveat the caveat is it blunts insulin so we have an increase in blood sugar without the subsequent increase in insulin which means the body is forced to burn that glucose which is one of the reasons why you get physical energy when you consume caffeine that rise in blood sugar in a way sort of inherently encourages you to get moving so you can burn it so here’s how it sort of looks in sort of a sequence you consume a cup of coffee okay it raises your adrenaline levels five times okay then it decreases your insulin sensitivity and it decreases your insulin levels overall which therefore triggers the release of another hormone known as glucagon glucagon turns on fat burning and free fatty acid mobilization but it also triggers glucose to release so that’s exactly the sequence and how it occurs so to piggyback off of this we look at some of these other studies and these other studies have found that caffeine consumption triggers a temporary insulin resistance response now again this probably scares you right but you know what you’re doing so if you apply this right you can really get some powerful advantages insulin resistance is most commonly known through diabetic patient insulin resistance is where someone consumes carbs but they don’t produce insulin so their blood glucose remains elevated they have high blood sugar right okay well why on earth when insulin resistance ever be a good thing well having a little bit of insulin resistance if it can be controlled and it’s only temporary can make it so that you can get away with a little bit more sort of lackadaisical aspects of your diet so what I mean by that is if you are insulin sensitive meaning you are the opposite of insulin resistant so after a fast or when you’re on a low-carb diet or after you just had strenuous exercise you’re very insulin sensitive which is great if you know that you’re 100% dialed in with your diet you see insulin sensitivity means that you are in a position to consume something and it’s gonna get absorbed really quick which can be great if you’re spot-on with your diet but what if you slip up a little bit well then all that’s getting absorbed to you see the way that I like to reference it is with great power comes great responsibility so when you’re super insulin sensitive you have a lot of power you have the power to absorb a lot of really cool nutrients but you also have the power to really screw it up and quite honestly we’re not totally dialed into what’s happening in our bodies so we’re pretty apt to screw it up quite frankly at least most of us are the other thing we have to remember is high levels of insulin equals less fat loss so if we’re insulin sensitive and we consume something our insulin levels spike which again can be good but it also stops fat loss so caffeine elicits a temporary that being the operative word here temporary increase in insulin resistance meaning for a short window of time we have the ability to have a little bit more sort of lackadaisical attitude with our diet so basically caffeine isn’t stopping insulin so it’s not actually having an effect with the production of it or not gonna make yourself diabetic with it but it prevents it from binding to the receptor which I can’t bind the receptor insulin cannot allow those nutrients into the cell other than to just be burned for energy really quick so with all this it leads us to what when should you be consuming your coffee when should you be consuming caffeine okay the main times you want to consume are when your insulin levels are at their lowest okay so if your insulin levels are already and you consume caffeine it’s going to instigate more of a fat-burning response so this means when your fasted like first thing in the morning or when your during a workout or anything like that another good time that obviously consume caffeine is pre-workout that’s an obvious one and it’s simply because you’re mobilizing fat and that is allowing you to burn that fat during a workout but again since insulin allows glucose to release into the bloodstream you’re gonna burn that glucose immediately because you’re working out so you’re not gonna have any negative effect there now caffeine post-workout I actually talked about this in another video so I’ll just paraphrase it here caffeine post-workout actually encourages the uptake of glycogen what that means for you is that if you have a little bit of caffeine post-workout it allows the carbs that you consume post-workout to go into the muscle at a rate that is 66% higher than without caffeine so small amounts of caffeine post-workout are very powerful here’s the really important one I guess the end-all be-all of this video so make sure you’re paying attention here remember that caffeine allows a spike in blood glucose to occur so if you consume caffeine with carbs you’re in for a world of hurt and this is where the problems occur this is where the crashes occur envision this for one second you just had a bunch of carbs you just had a bunch of hashbrowns okay so your glucose is already elevated your blood glucose is already elevated okay then you had some coffee and that coffee overrides everything and triggers adrenaline and that adrenaline says oh my gosh we need to release more glucose so it released more glucose so you just took your blood sugar from already being high from having carbs to being even higher but you’ve got some jet fuel behind that because you’ve got adrenaline causing your body to burn it fast so what just happened is you just caused a huge spike in blood glucose because you’ve had caffeine with your carbs then all of a sudden what happens in that blood glucose drops boom you crash we may have just helped identify why you feel so good when you have things like bulletproof coffee because usually you’re not having them with carbs right usually you’re having some fats and you’re in having your caffeine and maybe a little bit of protein and you’re like I felt like I never crashed well we’re now finding through research that the cult of the crash could be the combination of caffeine and carbs now again take it with a grain of salt but if you have caffeine in the absence of carbs you’re going to have a more powerful effect at fat-burning and less likelihood of a crash which means higher cognitive function so I know this was a long in-depth explanation of relatively simple topic but a lot of people have been wondering when the best times to consume caffeine are so in short right when you wake up pre-workout immediately post-workout and never with carbs okay so again as always make sure you’re keeping it locked in here on my channel ideas for future videos put them down in the comment section below and I’ll see you in the next one

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Coffee causes Insulin Resistance (Don't Panic)

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Coffee causes Insulin Resistance (Don’t Panic) – Thomas DeLauer

Study – Diabetes Care

Caffeine or a placebo was administered intravenously to 12 healthy volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design – glucose clamps were used to assess insulin sensitivity

Measurements included plasma levels of insulin, catecholamines, and free fatty acids (FFAs)


Caffeine decreased insulin sensitivity by 15% vs. placebo
After caffeine administration, plasma FFAs increased and remained higher than during placebo

Plasma epinephrine (adrenaline) increased five fold, and smaller
increases were recorded in plasma norepinephrine and blood pressure (4)

Caffeine & Adrenaline

Adrenaline is a key hormone in the ‘fight or flight’ response, whereby it stimulates the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream in the case that we need quick energy

It does this via two physiological processes; glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis – the liver breaks down stored glucose in the form of glycogen, and it also breaks down non-glucose sources of energy such as fat sources

In other words, and similarly when stressed, the body prepares itself by ensuring that enough sugar or energy is readily available

Insulin levels fall, glucagon and adrenaline levels rise and more glucose is released from the liver – as a result, more glucose is available in the blood stream

Note: Can decrease insulin sensitivity, but does not have an effect on insulin signaling

Adrenaline Increases Lipolysis

Caffeine breaks down fat tissue and releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream to be used for energy

*Also interesting because one of the properties of insulin is that it inhibits lipolysis

Adrenaline Causes Temporary Insulin Resistance

This might seem like a bad thing considering we want increased insulin sensitivity, but it’s actually beneficial

If insulin levels are high, it inhibits the exact mechanisms of fat burning that caffeine is stimulating

So as a result, our body finds a way to allow for fat burning to occur by becoming temporarily insulin resistant

In a state of impaired insulin sensitivity, insulin can’t bind to its receptor properly which prevents it from triggering its anti-fat-burning effects

Insulin vs Adrenaline – Summed

Caffeine increases adrenaline, which increases lipolysis – an increase in free fatty acids shooting around your body causes a subsequent, but necessary, drop in insulin sensitivity to allow you to actually burn the fat

So caffeine has a “negative” effect on insulin sensitivity, but not on insulin itself

Drink Coffee Post Workout

Coffee Efficacy

A study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
Analyzed data on 126,000 people over 18 years in regards to coffee and caffeine consumption,

Results showed that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than one cup per day (median change=1.69 cups/day) over a four-year period had a 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent four years compared to those who made no changes in consumption

Those who lowered their daily coffee consumption by more than one cup (median change=2 cups/day) had a 17% higher risk for diabetes


1) Does Coffee Decrease Insulin Sensitivity? (2013, July 31). Retrieved from
2) Is Your Daily Coffee Making You Insulin Resistant (And Fat!)? (2017, March 14). Retrieved from
3) Effects of Coffee Consumption on Fasting Blood Glucose and Insulin Concentrations. (2004, December 1). Retrieved from
4) Keijzers GB , et al. (n.d.). Caffeine can decrease insulin sensitivity in humans. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
5) Thong FS , et al. (n.d.). Caffeine-induced impairment of insulin action but not insulin signaling in human skeletal muscle is reduced by exercise. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
6) Increasing daily coffee consumption may reduce type 2 diabetes risk. (2014, April 30). Retrieved from
7) Sherwin RS and Saccà L. (n.d.). Effect of epinephrine on glucose metabolism in humans: contribution of the liver. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
8) Blood Sugar & Stress :: Diabetes Education Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from /

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