Our Review Process
Our articles undergo extensive medical review by board-certified practitioners to confirm that all factual inferences with respect to medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, and protocols are legitimate, canonical, and adhere to current guidelines and the latest discoveries. Read more.
Our Editorial Team
Shifa Fatima, MSc.
Dr. Apoorva T, MHM.
Water Consumption For People With Diabetes
Table of Contents
How Much Water Should an Individual with Diabetes Drink Daily?
For individuals with diabetes, their daily consumption of carbohydrates and calories is essential to maintaining a healthy weight, optimal blood sugar control, and reducing risk factors that can lead to complications of diabetes. For this reason, an individual with diabetes has to be knowledgeable about the food and drink that they consume. As water has no calories or carbohydrates, it is the perfect drink for individuals with diabetes.
Furthermore, water has also proved beneficial in controlling blood glucose levels. As we are all aware, one cannot survive without water. It is of special consequences for individuals with diabetes. This article will shed more light on the importance of water for individuals with diabetes, the effects of dehydration on individuals with diabetes, and drinks other than water that a person with diabetes can consume.
Water Consumption for Individuals with Diabetes
During warm weather, due to excess sweating, we tend to lose more water from our bodies. The deficiency of water in the blood leads to an increase in blood glucose levels. Given the inability to manage the glucose, this excess glucose causes water to be drawn out of the cells. This causes the kidneys to work harder, which increases urination.
Due to this loss of fluid from the body in the form of urine. This leads to an increase in thirst and, consequently, may risk individuals with diabetes to dehydration if not appropriately treated. Dehydration can further escalate blood sugar levels, causing life-threatening risks for individuals with diabetes. Therefore, drinking water helps to rehydrate the blood and prevent the escalation of blood glucose levels. Individuals with diabetes should be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration to take preventive measures, should this occur.
Headaches, tiredness, dizziness, low blood pressure, and confusion are some signs and symptoms of dehydration. These need to be swiftly identified and treated to prevent further diabetes-related complications like kidney failure, eye-related complications, nerve damage, and heart disease. Thus, water helps individuals with diabetes regulate their blood glucose levels by rehydrating the blood when excess fluid is lost from the body due to high glucose levels. Water increases the blood volume, which lowers the blood glucose concentration and blood sugar levels. Therefore, water is an essential component for individuals with diabetes.
Though fluids are essential to preventing dehydration and maintaining blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, not any fluid is preferred. Drinks like energy drinks and fizzy drinks have a high sugar content and are not suitable for treating dehydration. Instead, they can be the fluids of choice for treating low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. Also read about how to prevent diabetes
Besides water, which other drink can be consumed in diabetes?
When choosing what drinks to substitute for water, considerations like how much the drink will affect my blood sugar and how many calories are present in the drink should be borne in mind. Since water is tasteless, adding a slice of fruit such as lemon or orange can enhance its flavour for individuals with diabetes. However, ready-made flavoured bottles of water can include a large amount of sugar, so do read the label before purchasing them.
is carbonated without the addition of sugar, making it a healthy substitute for water. However, be aware that tonic water contains sugar and should be avoided. Coffee and tea are also good beverages, but
It is a good source of energy. Skimmed milk can be an option for those who wish to reduce their calorie intake. Milk without sugar after working out, is a good option.
3. Fruit juice
Has a high carbohydrate content, hence should only be consumed fresh and unsweetened. Before undertaking strenuous exercise, it is an excellent choice to help balance out the increased blood sugar from the juice.
4. Fruit Squash and Cordials
Though they may have high sugar content, they are lower in carbohydrates and calories when compared to fruit juices. However, they do not provide many nutritional benefits compared to fruit juices.
5. Sugary soft drinks
They are high in calories, carbohydrate content and lack nutrition. However, they are a good option in the case of low blood sugar and before and after exercising.
6. Diet soft drinks
As they are low in carbohydrates and calories, diet soft drinks are a popular choice among individuals with diabetes. However, they use artificial sweeteners, colour and artificial agents that can lead to potential health issues. Therefore, it would be advised to consume them in moderation.
Non-milky tea has been seen to improve insulin sensitivity and helps in maintaining blood pressure. Therefore, tea without milk and sugar is beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
Consuming a moderate amount of coffee (not more than 2-3 cups per day) can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, adding milk to coffee can be high in calories (around 100 to 300 calories) and should be avoided. Keep a check on how much sugar you will be adding
Water is a necessary component for preventing dehydration and its harmful consequences. Water is especially useful for individuals with diabetes to prevent a rise in blood sugar levels and to combat the loss of fluid from the body due to high blood glucose levels. Other than water, other healthy alternatives like tea and coffee with no milk, fresh fruit juices, and skimmed milk can be safely consumed by individuals with diabetes. People with diabetes should limit their total` fluid intake to no more than ten glasses for men and no more than eight glasses for women per day. Having a portable water filter bottle can help one increase their fluid intake and be aware of how much fluid one is consuming
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.