The Importance of Hydration
Last updated: September 2022
Why is water so important for people with diabetes?
The average adult contains approximately 5 liters of blood volume in their body, 90% of which is water. This means that at any given point in time, your blood vessels are transporting 4.5 liters of water throughout your body. Water is also essential to keep cells in the rest of your body happy and healthy, which results in the suggestion to take in around three liters of water a day.
Water is lost through sweating, and excreted from your body when using the restroom as your kidneys flush out toxins and filter your blood regularly. We have always heard the recommendations to drink water and prevent dehydration, but why is hydration especially important with regards to diabetes management?
Hydration and type 2 diabetes management
As the weather gets warmer, we tend to sweat more, losing extra water from our bodies. Through this loss of water, the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream increases, simply because with less water, there is now proportionally more glucose in the blood compared to the remaining volume.
Drinking water helps pump up your blood volume, and therefore lowers the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream, helping lower blood glucose values. Regularly drinking water helps lower your blood sugar levels and keep them within a more normal range. If you are exercising more or simply in a warmer climate, you may not notice that you are sweating more-so take some extra sips of water this summer.
Additionally, your body is constantly working, using your kidneys to filter your blood in removing toxins and trying to lower your blood glucose. When blood sugars are high, the kidneys work harder and filter your blood more frequently, pulling water out of your body as they filter your blood. In order to help replenish this liquid, it is essential to drink more water to keep fluid balance normal in your body.
Signs of dehydration
Many health care professionals claim that by the time you are thirsty, you are already on the path to dehydration. If you notice your urine is a deeper yellow, or that you are using the bathroom less frequently, these are additional signs that your body needs more water, and could also indicate that your blood glucose values are elevated.
How to stay hydrated
A simple way to make sure you stay hydrated this summer is keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times. Place a bottle in your car, a bag you take to work, or on top of your desk to remind yourself to drink water.
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?