by Grace Rivers, RDN, CDCES
You’re thirsty and looking for a refreshing drink. But then you start thinking about your blood sugar and remember that someone told you that you should only drink water. Believe it or not, there are beverages that you can take delight in.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends low-calorie or calorie-free beverages.
- Using a Soda Stream maker, you can create sparkling water at home. The maker uses a small carbon dioxide (CO2) cylinder in the machine to add fizz to your water. The bubbles provide a different experience than plain water.
- Diet V8 splash can give you an uplift on a hot day with only ten calories and 2 grams of carb in 8 ounces. The only caveat is that if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to look elsewhere because it does furnish caffeine from black and green tea.
- Diet drinks are a friendly option for you. You hear confusing messages about these, but they are a safe thirst quencher. While a large study found that an increase in type 2 diabetes occurs with the use of artificially sweetened beverages, the study didn’t look at what else the participants were consuming.
Also, diet beverages are waistline-friendly because you aren’t swallowing calories as you would from a sugar-sweetened drink.
- Quick and easy pick-me-ups are plain coffee or iced tea. If you want cream and sugar, which adds calories, try your favorite non-nutritive sweetener in place of sugar and decrease the cream. Also, almond milk in place of the cream furnishes less fat and calories.
- Drinking 8 ounces of Diet Ocean Spray cranberry juice will give you 20% of a day’s Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin C. You can choose from among several flavors.
- Calm your mind with an iced or hot herbal tea. There are many flavors to choose from, such as chamomile or hibiscus.
- Plain green tea is calorie-free and contains antioxidants to help with your immunity. If you want a ready-to-drink container, check the label for total carbs.
- Matcha tea prepared without sugar provides powerful flavonoids called catechins that act as armor for your immune system. Unlike other teas, you consume the entire leaf, making for potent health benefits. Sprinkle your favorite non-nutritive sweetener, such as stevia, into it if you want it sweetened.
- Wake up your taste buds with a glass of sugar-free lemonade. Squeezing a fresh lemon into a glass of water, unsweetened or with your favorite sweetener, always perks up the taste buds.
- Infusing water with cucumbers or fruit such as berries or citrus provides a different twist to your water. Allow berries to soak for a couple of hours so that the flavors can infuse into the water.
Cucumbers and citrus flavor water quickly. Squeeze the juice from the fruit, or you can use a few slices of the citrus fruit. Use more water than fruit to be mindful of your blood sugar. If you are too heavy-handed with it, you could have an increase in your sugar level.
Water is essential for proper hydration, but you should feel free to enjoy all these beverages. As with all things, try all or a few and see what works for you.