The Best Drinks to Lower Blood Sugar, Say Experts
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your chances of hyperglycemia are unfortunately very high. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, can become extremely severe if left untreated, but thankfully there are many things you can do to help keep your levels at bay.
Along with exercise and certain medications, you can also change your diet to help you lower your blood sugar.
While there aren't any specific foods or drinks that automatically help with blood sugar, "the best thing to do is choose drinks that won't elevate your blood sugar—in other words, any beverage without carbohydrates," says Meredith Mishan, MS, RDN.
We spoke with Dr. Seema Bonney, MD, founder and medical director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia, to learn more about drinks that can help you control your blood sugar. Here are the drinks to have on hand, and for other helpful tips regarding your blood sugar, check out The Best Eating Habits to Reverse Prediabetes.
This one may seem a bit boring, but water is the best drink you can ever consume for your health.
According to Bonney, "water actually helps the kidneys excrete excess blood sugar, and a 2017 study published in Nutrition Research demonstrated that a person with low water intake had an increased risk of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)."
Bonney also suggests that if you get tired of drinking water, you can try flavored carbonated water to change it up.
Unsweetened tea is another drink you can have that won't increase your blood sugar levels.
"A 2016 study demonstrated that people who drank chamomile tea three times per day for eight straight weeks had better glycemic control," says Bonney. "Another interesting study published in the Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society demonstrated that people who drank black tea had blood sugars that were lower than those who received a placebo."
Bonney also notes that many types of tea also provide plenty of powerful antioxidants that can help boost your overall health as well.
Bonney suggests drinking one to two cups of coffee a day if you're wanting to help prevent blood sugar spikes, but she notes that this is more effective without adding cream and sugar.
"A 2019 systematic review showed that long term studies (lasting two to 16 weeks) on coffee and glucose response were favorable due to the antioxidants found in coffee, which over a long period of time improved inflammation and oxidative stress," says Bonney.
Lastly, Bonney suggests opting for unsweetened plant-based milk like soy, almond, or coconut, because "studies have shown that animal-based proteins are linked to insulin resistance."
She also notes that you may want to limit most rice milk, as those usually come with much higher levels of added sugar than other alternative plant-based milk.