Beverage Dos and Don'ts for Diabetes

Diabetes can be a tricky condition to manage, and while it is possible to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, many beverages can spike your diabetes or worsen its effects of it. One major factor is the beverages you consume. Drinking the right kinds of fluids and avoiding those that can cause harm is key to managing diabetes. In this guide post, we will learn about healthy beverages and beverages you should avoid for diabetes. Read on for invaluable tips on staying safe with your beverage choices!

What is Diabetes?

All diabetic patients can be divided into two categories: type 1 and type 2. In the former case, your body can't produce a hormone known as insulin, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is when your body doesn't have enough insulin, or your cells don't respond appropriately.

If you have diabetes, your body can't properly use glucose for energy. Glucose is the natural sugar present in foods we eat and one of our body's primary energy sources. When there is too much glucose in our blood, it can damage our organs and lead to serious health problems.

Best Beverages for Diabetes

Plain Water

Many beverages on the market claim to be suitable for people with diabetes, but plain water is the best choice. Here's why −

Water helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When you have diabetes, your body has difficulty controlling blood sugar levels. Drinking water can help to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Water helps to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can make it difficult for your body to control blood sugar levels and lead to other complications. Meeting your daily water intake goals will keep you hydrated and easily prevent these problems.

Water is calorie-free. Many other beverages, even those marketed as "healthy" choices, contain calories that can contribute to weight gain. Water is a calorie-free way to stay hydrated and quench your thirst without adding extra calories to your diet.

Skim or low-fat Milk

People with diabetes have a high chance of getting heart disease, so it is essential to choose foods to help reduce this risk. Skim or low-fat milk contains less saturated fat than whole milk, which benefits heart health. Milk gives you calcium and vitamin D, which are responsible for bone health. As diabetic patients are at increased risk for bone loss, it is essential to get adequate amounts of these nutrients. Skim or low-fat milk also has a lower glycemic index than whole milk; thus, they don't elevate your blood sugar levels.

Artificially Sweetened Drinks

They don't contain any sugar. Sugar is a significant problem for people with diabetes because it can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. By avoiding sugary drinks, you'll be able to keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Plus, artificially sweetened drinks tend to be lower in carbohydrates than other types of beverages, and this is important because carbohydrates can also cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Unsweetened Coffee and Tea

First, coffee and tea are both low in calories, which is important because people with diabetes need to be careful about their calorie intake. Drinking unsweetened coffee or tea instead of a sugary drink can help you save calories and control your blood sugar levels.

Secondly, coffee and tea are excellent sources of antioxidants, responsible for protecting your cells from damage and reducing your risk of developing certain chronic diseases. Diabetic patients are also prone to developing heart disease and stroke, so getting plenty of antioxidants from foods and beverages like coffee and tea can be very beneficial.

Worst Beverages for Diabetes

Sugar-Sweetened Sodas or Teas

There are many reasons why sugar-sweetened sodas or teas are the worst beverage for diabetes. First of all, these drinks are high in sugar. This is particularly problematic for people with diabetes, as they must carefully monitor their blood sugar levels. In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages can also lead to weight gain, which can further complicate diabetes management. Finally, these drinks tend to be very acidic, damaging the stomach lining and leading to other health problems.

Tomato Juice

One cup of tomato juice has about 12 grams of sugar, double the amount in a soda can. This can disturb ideal blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain. It is also high in carbohydrates. One cup has about 22 grams of carbs, which can again lead to blood sugar spikes. Finally, tomato juice is also acidic. This can lead to stomach issues and make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients properly.

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks

Sports and energy drinks are often marketed as healthy beverages, but they can be very harmful to people with diabetes. Both sports drinks and energy drinks are high in sugar, and they also contain caffeine, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes because it can lead to ketoacidosis, a severe complication that can require hospitalization.


It's no secret that alcohol is not the healthiest beverage choice for anyone, but it is hazardous for people with diabetes. Drinking alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to spike and lead to dehydration. Alcohol also interferes with the body's ability to process insulin, which can lead to serious health complications.

In addition to the immediate effects of drinking alcohol, long-term use can contribute to diabetic complications such as nerve damage and kidney disease. So if you have diabetes, it's best to avoid alcohol altogether.

Tips for living with Diabetes

The best way to manage diabetes is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet. Here are some tips for living with diabetes −

  • Eat a healthy diet − Add lots of fresh fruits, green vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and unhealthy fats.

  • Get regular exercise − Exercise helps your body use insulin more effectively and can help control blood sugar levels. Even just thirty minutes of simple exercise (e.g., speed walking) most days of the week.

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly − Note your blood sugar levels every day to know how well your treatment plan is working and whether or not you need to make any adjustments.

  • Take your medication as prescribed − If you are taking insulin or other diabetes medications, be sure to take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Missing doses can cause serious health complications.

  • Keep your appointments with your healthcare team −Seeing your healthcare team is essential for managing diabetes and preventing complications. Be sure to keep all scheduled appointments and follow up as recommended by your provider


With these eight beverage dos and don'ts for managing diabetes, you have a great starting point to begin making healthier choices. Everyone has different dietary needs and preferences when managing their diabetes. In this regard, consulting a healthcare provider before making any changes in your diet goes imperative. Remember, the goal is always moderation- not deprivation! You can manage your condition with the right combination of exercise, proper nutrition, and healthy beverage choices while still enjoying food and drinks.

Updated on: 17-Jan-2023


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