A man drinking a bottle of milk

Bottoms up! What to Drink with Diabetes

When you are a person living with type 2 diabetes, you are constantly watching, measuring, and tweaking the foods you choose to put in your mouth every day. But what about drinks? Some may contain more sugar than you realize and could be contributing to the high blood sugar spikes you see occasionally. Check out these hints and see if there are any changes you could make to improve your beverage status!

Why is hydrating so important?

Getting the proper fluid into your body daily keeps your organs running at high strength. “Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.”1 Because every cell needs nutrients, all of our organs need sufficient fluid including our heart, brain and lungs. If you have any specific questions about your hydration status, be sure to speak with your physician!

What are the best choices for hydration?

Water is always the best choice for hydration. Nothing else can offer the same perfectly well balanced fluid that is also carbohydrate-free. Sports drinks such as Gatorade®, even the low or no sugar options, are made for people undergoing intense athletic training that don’t just need to rehydrate with fluid, but rebalance electrolytes. They may not be the best option for a more sedentary lifestyle. Diet soft drinks are a better option than regular soft drinks due to their no-sugar value but they actually do not offer much rehydration due to their caffeine levels that may have the affect of removing more fluid from the body than adding to it.

Milk and juice are usually recommended in small amounts as they contain sugars that may cause a spike in blood glucose levels. If you plan to have milk or juice, check the serving size and take that amount into account when counting carbohydrates. One cup of fat-free milk provides about 12 grams of carbohydrate and 80 calories. Drinking these fluids with a meal is also a smart choice as the other proteins and fats ingested at that time will help to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream.

What options do I have besides water?

Plain coffee and tea are good options and can be part of a healthy diet. Remember that if they contain caffeine, they may cause you to urinate more quickly and not lead to hydration. And if you are adding cream or sugar you will also need to take that into account when counting carbohydrates for your meal. Some people also love adding cucumber or lemon slices to water to give a little extra flavor. Try filling a large water bottle with your favorite slices, lots of ice, and keep it with you all day long to help encourage you to meet your fluid needs.

Points to Remember:

  • Proper hydration is important for every part of our body
  • Water is the best choice for hydrating the body
  • Milk and juice contain carbohydrates that need to be accounted for
  • Caffeine may give a diuretic effect
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
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