Best and Worst Beverages for a Diabetic

Photo of author

By Staff Writer at

If you are a diabetic it goes without saying that you need to be very careful about not just what you eat, but also what you drink! Pick the wrong type of drink, and your sugar levels will spike in no time!!! Beverages will sneak in those extra sugars and carbs that you need to monitor when on a diabetic diet. Fret not, for help is at hand! Today, we will share with you a list of beverages for a diabetic that you can guzzle down with confidence and some that you rather pour down the sink!!

Best and Worst Beverages for a Diabetic

So, what are you waiting for? Read on!

Before we get started, here are some basics you must know.

The human body is made up of close to two-thirds water, so it is important that you drink enough water to stay healthy and hydrated.

Do tea, coffee, milk, juices and smoothies count? Yes, they do. In fact, we also get fluids from the food we consume, especially from veggies and fruits.

Now to the question that crosses just about every mind. Does it matter what we drink. Hell yes! Particularly when it comes to sugary drinks, colas and fruit juices. The more you drink these beverages the more sugar and calories are you adding.

Feeling thirsty? Drink these!!!

Super Safe to Drink-

  • Water
  • Low-fat milk
  • Unsweetened coffee 
  • Sugar-free fruit juice

Water- Guzzle down more water. When it comes to hydrating your body, there is no better option than water if you are suffering from diabetes. This is because water does not raise your blood sugar levels. Drinking more water will help your body eliminate excess glucose in your blood stream through urine.

If clear water does not entice your taste buds, you can jazz it up by-

  • Adding slices of lemon, orange, or lime
  • Adding a few sprigs of herbs such as mint, lemon balm, or even basil
  • Crushing a few frozen or fresh strawberries or raspberries in a cool glass of water

Note- Men should drink at least 10 glasses of water, while women should drink up at least 8 glasses every day.

beverages for a diabetic

Low Fat Milk- Contrary to common belief, you can drink milk if you are diabetic. But, it is important that you choose a low fat variant. Dairy products contain essential minerals and nutrients, but they do add carbs to your diet. Be sure to choose unsweetened, skim versions of your preferred brand. Limit yourself to no more than two glasses a day. You can also try out low sugar diabetic friendly drinks such as coconut milk and fortified nut milk.

Note- Soy milk and rice milk contain copious amounts of carbs.

beverages for a diabetic

Sugar Free Fruit Juice- Yes, you can drink fruit juices, but make sure the label says 100 percent juice with no added sugar. If you are on a fixed meal plan, you should check with your dietician and account for the juice you consume. Generally, 4 ounces of juice contain approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates and give your body about 50 calories. Blend a few sprigs of green leafy veggies, berries, celery or even cucumber to spruce up the flavor as well as give your body a boost of vitamins and minerals.

Note- Do not drink packaged or preserved juices as they are high in sugar. If you like to have juice in the morning but don’t want the carbohydrate from fruit juice, try low-sodium vegetable juice.  At just 50 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrate in 1 cup, it is a great alternative.

beverages for diabetics

Unsweetened coffee- Experts in the field of medicine vouch that drinking coffee may help in reducing your risk of developing diabetes (type 2). Research has proved that the level of risk dipped low for people who drank as less as two cups a day while it also held true for those who downed more than four cups. The best is yet to come! This applied to not just caffeinated but also decaffeinated coffees. So, if caffeine makes you feel jittery in your head, simply make yourself some decaf.

Note- Resist the urge to add milk, sugar and cream to your coffee as it increases calories.

beverages for a diabetic

Drinks That You Need to Avoid!

  • Regular soda
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Energy drinks

Regular soda- One can of regular soda contains a whopping 40 grams of carbs and over 150 calories. This drink that we all resort to quench your thirst has been linked to weight gain. As tempted as you may be, it is best you leave the soda on the store shelf.

Note– Soda has also been linked to tooth decay. Opt for fruit infused water instead.

beverages for diabetics

Alcoholic beverages- Make smart alcohol choices. You do not have to necessarily abstain or say no to alcohol. But, sticking to beverages such as club soda with no more than a peg or two of alcohol is the way to go. If you have high blood pressure or extensive nerve damage due to diabetes, drinking a peg too many may worsen these conditions. Check with your doctor as to which alcoholic drinks are suitable for you.

Note- Do not drink more than two drinks a one-day if you are a man, and no more than one drink if you are a woman.

beverages for diabetics

Energy drinks – Energy drinks are a big NO-NO, as it is high on not just carbohydrates but also caffeine. According to research energy drinks not only spike up your sugar levels, but also can cause insulin resistance and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes if you aren’t a diabetic already.

Note- Too much of energy drinks can also cause insomnia

beverages for diabetics

Having diabetes means that you need to keep a watch over everything you eat or drink.

When it comes to selecting a beverage, especially if you are diabetic, keep it simple!


Photo of author

Staff Writer at

Leave a Comment