What Does Water Have to Do with Diabetes?
Constant dehydration causes inflammation which makes diabetes worse. Since weight loss is imperative in order for people with type 2 diabetes to be able to reverse, people who drink more, eat less. This will help with weight loss. In addition, thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Therefore, if you think you are feeling hunger, drink a glass of water before eating. But it’s more about staying hydrated than it is how much you drink.
What fluids will keep me hydrated?
Water is the best fluid to keep you hydrated, period. Elevated blood sugar draws fluid from the tissues making a person with diabetes prone to dehydration. Studies have shown that people who stay well hydrated have less long-term problems with blood sugar control. Although coffee and tea are considered by some to be good hydrating fluids, they contain caffeine which is a powerful diuretic. Diuretics cause you to lose fluid. In addition, they are frequently sweetened with sugar which can increase blood sugar levels, causing loss of even more fluid. Sport drinks may be a good idea if you have been working out hard and sweating a lot because they contain electrolytes. But beware! They also contain sugar and will raise your blood sugar levels, leading to more dehydration. Fruit juices also contain sugars so are not a good source of fluid for someone with diabetes. Diet drinks will not spike the blood sugar but often contain caffeine; so the person loses more fluid than they take in. They also contain artificial sweeteners which increase hunger and insulin resistance, making diabetes worse.
How Much Water Do I Need to Drink?
The classic answer is that you need to drink at least 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water a day. However, people are made differently and weigh different amounts. A better way to evaluate your daily need of water is to multiply your weight in pounds by 0.67 to get the number of ounces of water you should drink every day. For example,
if you weigh 150 pounds, 150 X 0.67 = 100 ounces of water.
Divide 100 ounces by 8 ounces/glass to see how many 8-ounce glasses of water you need to drink a day.
100 ounces / 8 ounce glass = 12.5.
If it is a hot day, that number should be higher. If your blood sugar is elevated, you need to drink more. Since people lose their thirst drive as they get older, they need to become mindful about how much water they need to be drinking.
The Bottom Line
- Water is the best fluid to drink to stay hydrated.
- Aim for at least 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water a day on average.
- Avoid caffeinated or sugar sweetened beverages.
- Increase your consumption of water if you do use any caffeinated beverages.