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The #1 Best Drink to Have Every Day for Diabetes, Says Dietitian

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, making sure you're drinking this beverage regularly.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

People with diabetes often hear about what they shouldn't eat, or to have all foods in small portions. But having diabetes doesn't mean you're reserved to a life of restriction. In fact, there are many foods—and drinks—that people diagnosed with diabetes can have regularly. Specifically, there is one beverage that someone with diabetes can have daily and plenty of it. What's that flowing beverage? It's water, of course. Here's a look at how much you can drink and the different forms of the beverage you can have.

Why water?

water in glass
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All adults, including people with diabetes, need to stay hydrated. The best way to do so for a person with diabetes is to consume a calorie-free beverage. According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which were developed also for people with chronic diseases, like diabetes, "Beverages that are calorie-free—especially water" is the primary beverage of choice.

Water won't affect blood sugar levels and will keep you hydrated without adding anything else except good old H2O.

The dietary guidelines continue and say that you can also opt to have beverages that contribute beneficial nutrients, such as fat-free and low-fat milk, but that should be consumed keeping portions and grams of carbohydrates in mind. You can also opt to have sparkling water or zero-calorie flavored water, sparkling or still. As long as it's calorie-free, it will help keep you hydrated without having to worry about blood sugar levels.

RELATED: 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives

How much should you drink?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women should consume about 11.5 cups of water per day and men should consume about 15.5 cups per day. However, these are estimates that account for fluids consumed from both beverages and food. You typically get about 20% of the water you need from food, especially from vegetables and fruit. Taking that into account, it's estimated that women should take in about nine cups of fluids per day and men should take in about 12.5 cups of fluids per day.

These amounts of water aren't the same for everyone and can vary depending on someone's activity level, the environment (like hotter or more humid weather, you need more fluids), overall health, and if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

Below are a few tips to make sure you're getting enough water throughout the day:

  • Listen to your body. Thirst is your body's way of telling you to sip on some water, especially if you're active or live in a hot or humid environment.
  • Sip throughout the day. Take small sips of water with your meals and in between meals.
  • Carry a water bottle. A refillable water bottle can be a physical reminder to drink some water and it can also be a good measurement tool.
  • Add flavor to your water. You can also add some very low-calorie flavors to your water such as cucumber slices, lemon slices, or mint. Opt for sparkling or still water—whatever works best for you.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award winning dietitian and Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more
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