If you are diabetic or prediabetic, you should know about two new studies that point to simple, nondrug methods to control your blood sugar.
The first looked at the effects of hot baths. Researchers in Japan divided 1,297 diabetics into three groups.
One group took less than one bath a week. The second group took between one and four baths a week. The third group took more than four baths a week. The baths lasted for an average of 16 minutes.
After six months, the researchers found that more hot baths were associated with:
- Better blood sugar control
- Lower body weight
- Smaller waist size
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol
The authors concluded: “Hot-tub bathing has beneficial influences on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.” 
Hot Bath and After-Breakfast Coffee Lower Blood Sugar
The second study found that drinking coffee before breakfast can dramatically increase your blood sugar level.
Researchers in England gave glucose response tests to 29 subjects shortly after they woke up in the morning, before they had eaten anything. The test involves consuming a sugary drink and then checking the subject’s blood sugar level.
The scientists found that when participants drank coffee before consuming the sugary drink, their blood sugar levels spiked by about 50%.
“Our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with in the morning is coffee,” said Professor James Betts of the University of Bath. “We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee.”
If you are having trouble keeping your blood sugar under control, try the morning strategies suggested by these two studies:
- Take a daily hot bath. If you take a shower in the morning, take a hot bath instead. You don’t need a hot tub to get results. A regular bathtub works fine. But make sure the water is hot.
A previous study found that a water temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit was effective in reducing subjects’ blood sugar levels.
You should immerse as much of your body as you can. It’s best if just your head is out of the water. And you should soak for at least 15 minutes.
- Eat something before having your morning coffee. But don’t interpret the findings of this study to mean that you should reduce the amount of coffee you drink. It’s the timing that’s important.
Previous research shows that drinking more coffee actually helps prevent type 2 diabetes. The definitive study on coffee and diabetes was published by Harvard University researchers in 2014. It tracked more than 100,000 people for 20 years.
The scientists found that people who increased their coffee consumption by a cup a day had an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who reduced their coffee intake by a cup a day increased their risk by 17%.
If you struggle with high blood sugar, you may find that your readings improve if you delay having your coffee until after breakfast and take hot baths.
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