Skip to content

4 Drinking Habits Secretly Increasing Blood Sugar, Says Dietitian

You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been sipping on
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

If you're dealing with problematic blood glucose, you're probably doing what you can to keep it low. From exercise to watching what you eat and drink, there are many ways to steady your blood sugar levels. Something you may not know, however, is that certain drinks you're consuming that you consider healthy, are actually the drinks wrecking your blood sugar.

What you believe to be helping you balance your levels could be the reason you're feeling sugar crashes and aren't feeling level. Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook sheds light on the drinking habits that you thought were working, but are the ones causing the drama. Read on, then be sure to check out 4 Drinking Habits Secretly Increasing Your Blood Pressure.

Sipping on fresh-pressed juice. 

Freshly squeezed orange juice

"Can fresh-pressed juice be healthy and full of nutrients? Yes! But if there is more fruit than veggies, can it cause a spike in blood sugar? Absolutely!" says Goodson. "Because fresh-pressed juice is just that, juice pressed from the fruit, you are missing the fiber, which can help slow down digestion."

Goodson suggests that fruit juice can cause a spike in blood sugar, especially if consumed on an empty stomach. It would also wreak more havoc if you consume it with another carbohydrate or without protein.

To get around the potential blood spike, Goodson suggests blending whole fresh or frozen fruit into a smoothie, as the fiber is still intact.

Adding a mocha latte something to your daily routine.

iced blended coffee drink

As far as coffee goes, Goodson says regular coffee is fine. Even a spoonful of sugar in your coffee can be manageable. However, many "fancy" coffee drinks are loaded with sugar.

"From whips, powders, syrups, and drizzles, the sugar calories can add up quickly, which can contribute to a spike in blood sugar," says Goodson. "Many people drink these coffees first thing in the morning or as a snack. If there is no protein present these little cups of joe might spike your blood sugar more than you think."

Instead, opt to start your morning with regular coffee. Black coffee can help prevent some diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and heart disease.

Cooling off with smoothies.

woman holding smoothie

Be careful when you're sipping smoothies. As good as they can taste, they could come with some negative effects.

"Smoothies can be a fantastic, nutrient-rich way to hydrate, serve as a meal replacement or even help you refuel after a workout, but ideally these are smoothies made from home," says Goodson.

Goodson says that smoothies with cow's milk, Greek yogurt, fruit, veggies, and even nut butter provide protein, as they are nutrients and fiber without added sugar.

"Many store-bought smoothies, or those purchased from smoothie shops, have sugar added to them," says Goodson. "If the smoothie is low in protein, this could quickly contribute to a blood sugar spike."

 8 Best Smoothie Recipes to Manage Blood Sugar, Say Dietitians

Drinking fruity, frozen cocktails.

Frozen cocktail

When looking for something to cool you off in the warm weather, these drinks may not be your best option.

"Whether you are at the beach, the pool or simply cooling off on a patio, a nice cocktail, mojito, or frozen beverage (alcoholic or virgin) might sound delightful, but watch out for how much sugar these beverages might have," says Goodson. "If it's swirly, fruit, frozen, or served with an umbrella, ask what's in it."

Goodson further states that many of these mixed drinks have lots of added sugars, mixes, honey, agave nectar, and the like. These ingredients can make your refreshing cocktail a "blood sugar rollercoaster."

Kayla Garritano
Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla