The Best Things for Diabetics to Drink (And Not to Drink)

Best Things for Diabetics to Drink

Know the best things for diabetics to drink and which to avoid in order to keep blood sugar under control.

What are the best things for diabetics to drink, and what are the determining factors involved? If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes you know that you now have to pay attention to your diet to keep your disease in control. Whether food is nutrient rich or not isn’t the only factor to pay attention to, but also how your body reacts to the food you eat or drink. Liquid calories can either be good or bad for your diabetes, because specific drinks can raise or lower your blood glucose levels. You can learn what liquids are acceptable to drink by studying our diabetic drinks list below:

1. Water

Water is nature’s best hydrator and is essential to your good health. The water content of an adult human is between 50 to 65% and is held in many areas of the body including the tissues, bones, blood and elsewhere. It is recommended that drinking 2 ½ to 3 ½ liters (6 to 9 glasses) of water daily is necessary to maintain homeostasis. Water is one of the best things for diabetics to drink to stay well hydrated. If the body becomes dehydrated, the hormone vasopressin will induce the liver to produce more blood sugar,which can result in hyperglycemia or high blood sugar.

2. Milk

Another important liquid on our diabetic drinks list is milk. Milk provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals, and research has shown that it may be a factor in assisting weight loss. Although some sources recommend that diabetics drink only low or no fat milk, this advice seems to be unsupported by scientific research. Much of the nutrient value in milk is found in the fats, and some important research has shown that whole milk can actually prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. Whole fat milk reduces the risk of insulin resistance (diabetes), lowers the body mass index, reduces triglyceride levels, lowers C-reactive protein levels (that cause inflammation), and lowers fasting insulin levels. So if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic it is suggested that you drink whole milk.

On the other hand, milk caseins are linked to Type 1 diabetes, and it is recommended that mothers breastfeed their child up to one year old. Some studies have suggested they refrain from giving their child any other form of animal milk for the first year of life.

3. Tea

What can diabetics drink besides water and milk? Tea is another great liquid choice for diabetics and is an asset to diabetes management. Teas come in a variety of favors and provide powerful antioxidants for the body. Of all tea types, black tea is shown to have the highest level of polysaccharides, which are carbohydrate molecules that slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Drinking four cups of black tea daily can lower your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, blood clots and stroke. Bottled or sweetened teas should be avoided.

4. Coffee

Another great addition to our diabetic drinks list is coffee. Having a few cups of coffee per day is recommended for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics because the compound chlorogenic acid in coffee assists in slowing down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. But the caffeine in coffee can pose a temporary increase in insulin and glucose levels that diabetics should be aware of. Research has shown that people who drink more than one cup of coffee per day are at a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but adding a sweetener to coffee can actually increase the risk of developing diabetes.

The liquids listed above are the best things for diabetics to drink. Liquids that diabetics can drink in moderation include: juices, soda, and sugary fruit drinks. Drinking moderate amounts of sweet wine, beer or other types of alcohol will increase your blood glucose level, but drinking alcohol in excess can dramatically lower your blood glucose level causing hypoglycemia. Knowing what can diabetics drink besides water is important so diabetics can better manage their blood glucose levels. Learn more at


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