Caffeine vs Sugar: Which Is Better? Diabetes, Tolerance, and The Relevant Research

Today we are going to give you the relevant health research concerning the age-old question of: Caffeine vs Sugar.

In this guide we will go through some comparison information:

  • Energy
  • Sugar Blood Levels
  • Addiction
  • Tolerance
  • Hyperactivity

We couldn’t find a guide that compares caffeine vs sugar, so we decided to make the ultimate comparison article ourselves, with the help of research studies and relevant medical publications.

Caffeine vs sugar we did the research and comparisons for you crash and we did the research

Table of Contents

Sugar vs Caffeine Energy

Sugar vs caffeine can be broken down in various ways when it comes to giving you energy. While our research suggests that sugar is extremely addictive (Lenoir et al., 2007), caffeine comes out on top when it comes to giving you a reliable source of energy. The World Health Organization suggests adults and children consume sugar below 5% of their total energy intake.

Although sugar is the most abundant source of energy in human food, the sweet receptors in our brain are over-stimulated by sugars, because most mammals (human included) evolved in environments with limited sugars, thus are not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants (Lenoir et al., 2007).

Caffeine on the other hand when metabolized quickly offers benefits such as increased athletic performance, decreased stress and depression, and even stimulates the autonomic nervous system.

When faced with the question of sugar vs caffeine, taking caffeine regularly is less risky than dosing sugar too frequently. As always, if you have blood sugar levels that are very high, we at recommend you consult your physician. 

Blood Sugar Levels (Caffeine vs Sugar Health)

Caffeine vs sugar women with cupcake addiction coca cola with it

Removing processed sugar from your diet will improve your blood sugar levels and keep your gut bacteria healthy.

Caffeine does not appear to affect blood sugar levels, and having up to 400 mg a day of caffeine is safe (Mayo Clinic).

We can recommend caffeine if you have issues with your blood sugar levels if the options are sugar vs caffeine.

Sugar vs Caffeine Addiction (Giving up Caffeine vs Sugar)

Sugar vs caffeine energy balancing coffee on head

The research (Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 2010) clearly states that caffeine creates dose-dependent symptoms, which is another way of saying that caffeine is heavily addictive to the human brain.

On the other hand, research (Lenoir et al., 2007) defines that sugar is on the same addiction pattern as schedule one drugs such as coke. We also published a post on the lasting power of caffeine gum.

Our recommendation would be to stick with caffeine, as the addiction seems to be less detrimental to your body. Sugar addiction can rapidly decrease your health and blood sugar levels may suffer. While caffeine has long-term negative effects on your body, the studies seem to show that sugar’s negative health effects out weight caffeine.

READ MORE OF OUR ARTICLES: Best Silicone Cupping Set

Caffeine Tolerance

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There is good caffeine. Green tea for instance is a positive form of caffeine, in a natural chemical environment. When you get a caffeine crash, this is a symptom that occurs around 3-4 hours after consuming caffeine when the patient is dehydrated, exhausted, and hungry. The central nervous system stimulant can only work for so long before the positive effect of caffeine wears away.

Caffeine is even absorbed better through mouth tissue, so caffeine gum or caffeine tablets is a more effective product for consuming caffeine according to our research.

In fact, if you are looking for a review of the best caffeine supplements: Caffeine Gum is a review article we wrote specifically for you about this topic.

Tolerance can be measured based on how much caffeine you’ve ingested in a weekly pattern. If you have any further questions regarding caffeine tolerance, we suggest you contact your local physician and ask them.

Coffee and Diabetes

Caffeine vs sugar for caffeine crash can with sugar

Coffee diabetes research concludes that there is a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes when consuming caffeine in moderate amounts (European Journal of Nutrition). When answering the question of is coffee good for diabetics, our recommendation would be to moderate your coffee and blood sugar levels by paying close attention to how much caffeine you are consuming.

It may be beneficial for you to limit your caffeine and coffee intake if you are already consuming large amounts. You should monitor your results with the consultation of a doctor or physician to come to a solid conclusion that works for your body. Being a diabetic and coffee consumer, you may run into the risk of altering your blood sugar levels consistently, which will be unnatural for your body and exhibit unnatural symptoms.

Bringing coffee blood sugar levels to an even equilibrium sounds hard. Really, it’s just consulting your doctor to find out where your blood sugar levels are normal, and changing a few dietary things here or there. You can even ask them: does caffeine affect blood sugar? The doctor will have an answer for you.

Does caffeine spike insulin enough to make a difference? We would also recommend you bring that to your physicians’ attention, as we are not qualified to tell you one way or another. Caffeine insulin resistance and coffee and hypoglycemia are topics that should be highlighted in your talks with the doctor as well.

Is Caffeine the Same as Sugar?

Vending machine caffeine tolerance crash diabetes with sugar vs caffeine

We get asked all the time: Are caffeine and sugar the same thing? The answer is no. Sugar is a sweet-tasting soluble carbohydrate compound also found in table sugar named sucrose. Caffeine is a separate stimulant of the methylxanthine class. Caffeine blocks adenosine on its receptors and stops drowsiness induced by the adenosine chemical.

There are good sugars, like natural environment sugars in fruits and vegetables. In moderate quantities, they are much easier to digest than processed sugars.

When it comes to sugar women usually ask if it affects them differently than men, but truly, there are not intrinsic sugar issues that come with moderate amounts of sugar, especially when contrasted with men. You don’t have to worry!

How energy drinks work, is that they usually combine a type of sugar with large amounts of caffeine. This combo, together, works as a double stimulant that packs quite a punch to your body’s system but has bad health problems associated with large quantities of energy drinks. Large drink companies have even been fined and forced to recall entire brand names of energy drinks because of these dangers (Food Safety Helpline).

Frequently Asked Questions

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Does sugar actually make you hyper?

Refined sugar is reported to increase hyperactivity when consumed in high amounts (Current Psychiatry Reports).

Does coffee raise blood sugar?

Coffee can raise blood sugar, but it can also lower it. There is no abnormal blood sugar level difference up to 400mg of caffeine according to research (Mayo Clinic).

Caffeine vs sugar which is more addictive?

Depending on the dose and person, the psychological effects can vary greatly. We recommend staying away from sugar addiction more due to the more severe health problems associated with sugar addiction.

Caffeine is also highly addictive, but if you have more questions, we suggest you consult a physician that can delve into your specific use case for either caffeine or sugar.

How much caffeine is in a 12 oz sugar free Redbull vs Coffee?

One 12 oz sugar free Redbull contains 114 mg of caffeine, while a cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine. There is a caffeine difference of 19 mg per drink in favor of the Redbull.

Sugar vs Caffeine which is worse?

While they have different reactions based on any chemical makeup difference of each person, we would recommend using caffeine instead of sugar because of the ill effects of sugar listed above in this article.

Does sugar make you hyper?

Refined sugar can increase hyperactivity according to a study by “Current Psychiatry Reports”.


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. (2010). Caffeine Intoxication and Addiction.

M, Lenoir. (2007). Intense Sweetness Surpasses Drug Reward.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 25). Caffeine. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 27). Sugar. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches