From Cape Town, South Africa:
What effect does Sugar Free Red Bull have on blood sugar levels for a type 1 diabetic? Does the consumption of so much caffeine influence insulin? Is it advisable to drink a can before or after sport? Or, is okay to use for a big night out, which is why most people consume it?
Large doses of caffeine can activate adrenline-like symptoms. Some of these might be expected to have short-term effects to increase blood sugars. However, it should be pointed out that any drinking of alcohol is so much more potent, in terms of glucose metabolism. Alcohol inhibits glucose output by the liver and can cause serious hypoglycemia after three to four hours of drinking. Taking caution not to overindulge and watching blood sugars is still quite important. This cannot be overcome by drinking beverages high in caffeine.
Additional comments from James Michael Schurig, RD, LD, CDE:I would advise you to speak with your physician and/or health care team about consumption of this type of "energy" beverage with diabetes. From what I was able to see on the web site, the sugar free version is sweetened with acelsulfame K and aspartame which should be safe enough for diabetes, but I somewhat skeptical that they are not providing everything in their ingredient listing on the web site. And, as the old saying goes, "If in doubt, leave it out," which is what I would say.
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