If you follow this blog you know I have Type 2 Diabetes and I’ve reversed my diabetic symptoms through the adoption of a Paleo lifestyle but there has been a nagging question in my mind over the last few months about how much alcohol consumption relates to my blood sugar measurements.
I normally consume a moderate amount of alcohol (one bourbon or a couple of beers) after dinner and have found, on the days when I do not drink alcohol, my following morning blood sugar measurements were higher than normal.
There are plenty of medical studies that show moderate consumption of alcohol in the evening leads to lower blood sugar measurements in the morning (and throughout the day). The apparent chemical mechanism for this is the liver is so pre-occupied with metabolizing the alcohol that is ‘forgets’ to produce glucose and thereby drops our body’s blood sugar levels.
The science seems sound but I’ve never designed a controlled experiment to prove the causal relationship between alcohol and lower morning blood sugar measurements.
So I decided to put that theory to the test on my own body.
Here was the design of my experiment – For 2 weeks I’d intentionally build in two blocks of consecutive days where I would consume no alcohol and compare my morning blood sugar measurements to the days I would consume alcohol. My exercise and diet routine was not varied during this 2 week time frame so the only variable was alcohol consumption.
The graph below shows the results and note that I provided the morning blood sugar measurements for the week prior to this experiment to show that the data from days I drank alcohol were not outside the norm for what I normally measure in the morning.
You can see that the mornings following a no-alcohol day have blood sugar measurements that are significantly higher than the mornings following a day I consumed alcohol. So I can conclusively say that I was able to manipulate the output variable (morning blood sugar measurements) quite dramatically with alcohol consumption.
The standard deviation of both the control data (days I drank alcohol) and the test data (days I didn’t drink alcohol) were very similar – 4.82 mg/dL for the control and 4.88 mg/dL for the test but the averages differed by 25.3 mg/dL (87.9 mg/dL for the control and 113.2 mg/dL for the test).
Don’t get me wrong – I am by no means advocating type 2 diabetics become alcoholics! But what this data has proven to me is that moderate alcohol consumption does help improve morning blood sugar measurements for this type 2 diabetic.
That’s so interesting.
I’ve never seen any studies or opinions on this.
Wonder if there is a rebound blood sugar jump later in the day.
For me there was no rebound later in the day. I linked to a published study in the post above and you can check that out.
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What bourbon were you drinking?
I’m curious about this too. I recently tested an A1C of 5.7 and have been monitoring my blood glucose. I notice that the days after when I drink alcohol (weekend nights) I don’t have spikes above 120. On the weekdays when I don’t drink at all, I have had spikes up to 130-150 mg/dl 40 minutes after lunch.
First off, congrats on your good A1C! And yes, I think there is something to this and the study linked in this post seems to support it. For me it’s more of a lower morning blood sugar level and the measurements during the day are not effected.
Since I wrote this my fasting blood sugar levels are lower now and when I don’t have alcohol the night before I have readings in the high 90’s to around 110 but that is still higher than the mornings after I had alcohol the night before (80’s and low 90’s).
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What is your bgl at bed time the night that you drink compared to the nights you do not?
They are lower at night just like the morning measurements. Sometimes the evening blood sugar measurements are under 100.
like 1 shot of bourbon or what exactly? quantity and type of alchol please sir