Nutrition

Are Energy Drinks Good For People With Diabetes - Sugar.Fit

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Energy Drinks for Diabetics

The purpose of an energy drink is to give you a boost and ensure you are active for the next few hours. Let us take a look at the various components of these drinks and how they affect the body post-consumption. Energy drinks for people with diabetes is still a gray area and hence recommended to practice utmost caution by consulting your doctor before consuming them.

Contents of Energy Drinks

Two of the main ingredients in a 330ml Can are Sugar and Caffeine, with some drinks containing up to 25 grams of sugar. Irrespective of the type of diabetes, this would cause an immense strain on the body because of the instant rise in blood sugars.The body’s response to sugar consumption is the production of insulin and since the body is unable to keep up with that demand, it can spiral into a dangerous situation.

Are Energy Drinks Safe for Diabetics?

Drinks that claim to be zero-sugar or sugar-free very often swap sugar with artificial sweeteners which come with their own list of issues. . There are various alternatives that have come up with energy drinks. You have the option to buy energy shots, which are up to 30 ml, and you are recharged and ready to go for a while. These shots generally have a lesser amount of sugar and are great for someone living with diabetes. However, they do have a large amount of caffeine. 

Along with diabetes, the body also undergoes various changes and one of the side effects of diabetes is high blood pressure. Although people with high blood pressure can have coffee in moderate amounts, the amount in energy drinks is relatively high and should be considered before consuming it. So, if we are looking for a definitive answer to this question, it is best to determine which energy drink you are looking to have. The best energy drink for diabetes depends entirely on the amount of sugar in the energy drink. 

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The Problem with Artificial Sweeteners

One of the major components in energy drinks made to cater to people with diabetes is the range of artificial sweeteners. Without any taste, the drink will be unappealing and most will not even opt for an energy drink. Companies add artificial sweeteners to enhance the taste of the product as well as make it more palatable.

Companies claim that Artificial sweeteners claim don't cause a rise in sugar levels, thus fit for anyone looking to reduce sugar intake. However, over the years research studies have shown that artificial sweeteners may not only affect you the same way sugars do, but may also cause permanent harm to your digestive tract.

The Problem with Caffeine

The most common thing that comes to our minds when we hear the word Caffeine is - Coffee. Yes, coffee does contain Caffeine, but it also gives us quite a few ways and options to minimize and control the quantity of caffeine that goes into our cups. This can be done in several ways including, choosing a low-caff or decaffeinated brand, limit use of decoction by diluting it with more water or milk. Whereas, when it comes to Energy Drinks, the caffeine present is usually in a concentrated form no matter what amount is consumed.

There are many problems associated with the consumption of excessive caffeine especially when your blood sugar levels are prone to fluctuations. Here are some issues that may arise.

  • Since the caffeine levels in an energy drink cannot be conditioned, it may be enough to cause issues with the insulin levels in the blood. 
  • If you have an ongoing issue of high blood pressure, it may spike due to the shock to your nervous system. 
  • Apart from these, people may experience nervousness, anxiety, irritability, and a faster heartbeat. 
  • The physical repercussions may be an upset stomach and stomach pain.
  • When the effect of caffeine subsides, it is possible that the blood pressure and the insulin levels may take time to stabilize causing a rift in the blood sugar levels.

Other Ingredients

Apart from these 2 ingredients, there are many others that are added to make sure the product is effective or tastes good, including Taurine, Amino acids, Vitamins, Preservatives etc. These rarely have an effect on the body, however, it is recommended to consult your doctor on the possibility of them clashing or interacting with any of the medications you are taking.

Bottomline

Every time you wonder, can energy drinks cause diabetes, here is the answer. It is not known to directly cause diabetes but it increases the risk to a great extent leaving you vulnerable. The consumption of energy drinks if you have diabetes should be done carefully and after understanding the ingredients that go in it. Even if it proves to be harmless in the first go, the intake should be moderated as it can cause harm over a long period.  If you are wondering,” Can energy drinks cause diabetes?” then the answer is no. Energy drinks exclusively are not responsible for causing diabetes. They may aggravate the symptoms and put stress on the body battling with unstable levels of insulin, but they cannot be the root cause. A good alternative to energy drinks is the decaffeinated version of energy drinks. 

FAQs

What are the best energy drinks for people with diabetes?

The best energy drinks for people with diabetes are the ones that have low sugars and are decaffeinated. However, even these energy drinks should be considered carefully and the ingredients should be checked before consumption. 

Can drinking energy drinks cause or push pre diabetes into Type 2 Diabetes?

Drinking energy drinks cannot cause diabetes. However, it leaves you more exposed to the risk as it affects your blood sugar levels and blood pressure as well. Caffeine can reduce the sensitivity of the body to insulin causing spikes in sugar levels. 

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