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The Best Liquids to Drink if You Are Diabetic

by
author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
The Best Liquids to Drink if You Are Diabetic
Small glass of lemon water with mint leaves. Photo Credit VeselovaElena/iStock/Getty Images

When you're diabetic, you need to be careful about not only the foods you consume but also about what you drink. A wide range of beverages are safe for diabetics, but many others are not. Pick the wrong type of drink, and you're apt to experience complications as a result of your elevated blood glucose. To stay healthy, keep a list of the best liquids to drink when you're at home, at work and even while traveling.

Quench Your Thirst

The American Diabetes Association suggests that diabetics commit to consuming drinks that have either no calories or that have a very low number of calories per serving. The healthiest choice is water, which does not have any calories and is also an ideal source of hydration. Other healthy drinks to consider adding to your meal plan include unsweetened tea, unsweetened coffee, diet soft drinks and low-calorie beverages such as club soda and vegetable juice. Low-fat milk and 100 percent fruit juice are also safe, but note each beverage's calories and carbs, and track this information in your meal plan.

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Spice Up Your Water

If you primarily drink water but seek variety, make a subtle change to your choice of beverage. Instead of plain water, add a few squirts of fresh lemon or lime. This changes the flavor without significantly boosting the drink's caloric value. Consider other alternatives such as a few pieces of peeled, fresh ginger, a slice of cucumber or even a few, diced mint leaves.

Look for Artificial Sweeteners

If you have an intense craving for a sweet, flavorful drink, don't give in to your urge to consume a soft drink. Instead, opt for a diet version that's sweetened with an artificial sweetener such as acesulfame potassium, aspartame or sucralose. A long list of sodas and fruit juices contain this type of sweetener and, as a result, have either no calories or a low number of calories per serving. The ADA notes that artificially sweetened drinks don't have carbohydrates and won't elevate your blood sugar.

Make Smart Alcohol Choices

During a night out with friends, you don't necessarily have to abstain from alcohol. Although sticking to drinks such as water or club soda is ideal, the ADA reports that it's safe for many diabetics to consume alcohol, provided they consume only a moderate amount. Women should have only one serving of alcohol per day, and men can have up to two servings of an alcoholic drink. One serving consists of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits such as rum or vodka. If consuming a mixed drink, ensure that the mixer is low in calories. For example, mix rum with diet cola instead of regular cola. Avoid drinking alcohol when your stomach is empty and consult with your doctor to ensure that alcohol is safe for you.

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