Don’t Drink That! 4 Beverages Diabetics Should Avoid Having

Categories: Diabetes

Ordering a drink or two can’t be helped whenever you’re out with your friends. However, if you’re diabetic, you should be aware that along with regularly taking medicines for diabetes as well as insulin shots, you must lead a healthy diet and lifestyle in order to maintain your wellness. On that note, there are some drinks you should avoid to prevent your blood sugar from spiking up or going too low, like the four beverages mentioned below.


various type of alcoholic drinks isolated on white

In any case, excessive alcohol consumption is dangerous for the health. If you have high blood pressure or suffer from nerve damage due to your diabetes, drinking alcohol is even more dangerous for you. Apart from this, it’s even more hazardous for diabetics since there are certain medications which can cause severe blood sugar swings when mixed with alcohol. Before enjoying a couple of drinks with friends, check with your doctor to see if you can safely consume alcoholic beverages. Beware of mixed drinks and cocktails that are made with sugar-loaded sodas or juices that can cause a spike in your blood sugar.

Consuming alcohol can also stimulate your appetite, which, in turn, will lead you to overeat. And you should remember that too much alcohol can affect your thinking, leading you to make bad choices that would lead to negative, if not devastating, consequences.

Even if you’re in good health, you should be wary of drinking too much alcohol. A study conducted in 2012 showed that men who drank alcoholic beverages had an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

There are mixed results for women, however. Women who consume large amounts of alcohol have been found to show an increased risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, although women who drink only a moderate amount of red wine showed a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.

Studies remain unclear, though, if red wine is beneficial for those who already have diabetes, so better be on the side of caution. Choose a dry red wine over a sweeter one, as these have less carbohydrates and sugar in them.

Remember to limit your consumption to just 1 drink per day for women, and 2 drinks for men (for those who do not have diabetes).

Energy Drinks

energy drinks

Energy drinks give you that midnight fuel you need to pull out an all-nighter and study for those menacing final exams. Heck, it even kept you awake when coffee failed! However, one sip of this beverage is loaded with more sugar than a diabetic can handle (most energy drinks have 29 grams of sugar in one serving). In short, consuming it would eventually lead to a blood sugar spike that would send you reeling with pain.

Apart from being loaded with sugar and caffeine, it also has a ton of carbohydrates which also contributes to spikes in your blood sugar level and can cause insulin resistance. Because energy drinks, in effect, create a temporary “high,” you’ll inevitably experience a crash once these effects wear off. Too much caffeine in your system can lead to:

  • Anxiousness and nervousness
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Sugar crash

Fruit Juice

fruit juices

Everyone’s general impression of fruit juices is that it’s one of the healthiest drinks they can ever have. But for diabetics, it’s best to be careful with these beverages as it happens to be laden with sugar. You should know that most juice products in the market have been processed and numerous chemicals and additives may have been mixed in them. And if you’re thinking of making your own fruit juices, be aware that the fruits you’re mixing naturally have high amounts of sugar. So you should either try to lessen your juice consumption or go for those fruits that are known to have low glycemic index like tomatoes. Make sure you limit your portion to 120 ml, which reduces your sugar intake to only 3.6 teaspoons or 15 grams.

Steer clear of fruit flavored juices or punches as they contain just as much soda as a full-calorie or “regular” soda.

Soft Drinks

soft drinks

Even as children you might have been told by our elders often not to have too much soft drinks because of the chemicals it has. Well, they’re not totally wrong; sodas do contain some unhealthy ingredients, including excessive amounts of sugar. And for diabetics, these ingredients can be downright dangerous if not deadly! If you’re wondering just how much sugar one can of soft drink typically has, it’s a lot. Think 40 grams of carbohydrates and 150 calories. That’s the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, or the same as 6 doughnuts!

So if you’re prone to have high blood sugar levels, then stay away from these beverages. And no, don’t even go for those colas that claim to be sugar-free and diabetic-friendly; they’re just as unhealthy for you as its “normal” cousins, if not more. Apart from contributing to type 2 diabetes, soft drinks have also been linked to tooth decay and obesity, so it’s best to avoid it whenever you can. Having too much soft drink can also lead to other health problems, like ulcers and kidney infection.

What beverages are good for diabetics?

Diabetes may feel like the end of the world, especially when you’re enjoying a night out with friends, and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything you can drink. While you do have to be more conscious about your drink choices, there are beverages that diabetics can safely enjoy.

Here are some diabetic-friendly beverage choices you can have without worrying about a sugar spike.

  • Water (plain or sugar-free flavored versions)
  • Sugar-free sparkling water
  • Coffee (black)
  • Hot tea or iced tea (naturally brewed)
  • Low-sugar cranberry juice cocktail
  • Low-sugar juice drinks

It’s so much easier to go overboard with sugar when it comes to drinks as compared to eating sugary food because we don’t realize just how much sugar is in one drink. We normally stop after eating a cupcake or two, not realizing that a store-bought bottle of fruit juice has just as much if not more sugar than half a dozen cupcakes. Making more mindful choices and knowing what beverages are good for diabetics helps you avoid sugar spikes without making you feel like you’re depriving yourself of good and flavorful things in life.

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