Sports drinks for diabetics

What Can I Drink If I Have Diabetes?

Drinks to avoid

  1. Regular soda
  2. Energy drinks
  3. Diet soda
  4. Sweetened fruit juices
  5. Alcohol

Avoid sugary drinks whenever possible. Not only can they raise your blood sugar levels, but they can also account for a significant portion of your daily recommended caloric intake.

1. Regular soda

Soda takes the top spot on the list of drinks to avoid. On average, one can has a whopping 40 grams of carbohydrates and 150 calories.

This sugary drink has also been linked to weight gain and tooth decay, so it’s best to leave it on the store shelf. Instead, reach for fruit-infused water or tea.

2. Energy drinks

Energy drinks are also high in both caffeine and carbohydrates. Research has shown that energy drinks not only spike your blood sugar, but they may also cause insulin resistance. This can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Too much caffeine can cause nervousness, increase your blood pressure, and lead to insomnia. All of these can affect your overall health.

3. Diet soda

Artificial sweeteners, such as those found in diet soda, may negatively affect the bacteria in your gut. In turn, this may increase insulin resistance, which can cause or worsen diabetes. More research is urgently needed.

A 2009 study linked increased diet soda intake with a risk for metabolic syndrome. This syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions, including:

  • high blood pressure
  • high levels of cholesterol
  • high levels of triglycerides
  • increased weight gain
  • high blood sugar levels

A 2016 study confirmed that those drinking diet sodas had increased blood sugar levels and waist circumference.

4. Sweetened fruit juices

Although fruit juice is fine in moderation, sweetened fruit juices can add a high amount of carbohydrates to your diet. This can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and increase your risk for weight gain.

If you have a fruit juice craving that won’t fade, be sure you pick up a juice that’s 100 percent pure and contains no added sugars. You can also consider adding a splash or two of your favorite juice to sparkling water.

5. Alcoholic beverages

If you have high blood pressure or nerve damage from your diabetes, drinking alcohol worsens these conditions.

You should check with your healthcare provider to determine whether alcoholic beverages are safe for you to drink. Alcohol breaks down to sugar, so it’ll spike your blood sugar.

One 2012 study found that men who drank alcoholic beverages had an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

However, the results for women varied depending on high consumption showing an increased risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, while a moderate intake of wine had a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.

Some studies have shown a beneficial effect of red wine on diabetes, though the evidence remains uncertain. If you’re planning to drink an alcoholic beverage, red wine may be a good choice as it has some antioxidant properties and is low in carbohydrates.

Moderate consumption of red wine as part of a healthy diet didn’t promote weight gain and didn’t increase any harmful metabolic effect in persons with type 2 diabetes.

More research is needed to understand the potential relationship between diabetes risk and alcohol consumption.

Are Sports Drinks Safe for Diabetics?

While it is important to prevent dehydration and replace electrolytes that you might lose through excessive sweating, you must also consider the amount of carbohydrates and calories that you are consuming throughout the day. Below is information on some common sports drinks. You can see the difference in the amount of carbohydrates and calories.

  • Gatorade: 50 calories, 14 carbohydrates (grams)
  • Mountain Dew Sport: 95 calories, 24 carbohydrates (grams)
  • All Sport: 70 calories, 19 carbohydrates (grams)
  • Rehydrate: 40 calories, 10 carbohydrates (grams)
  • Performance: 100 calories, 25 carbohydrates (grams)

So for example, if you consume four 8-oz bottles of Gatorade, you have taken in 200 calories and 56 grams of carbohydrates — and those values double if you are drinking 16-oz bottles. The calories and carbohydrates can add up quickly, causing high sugar levels.

The best practice is to look at each brand’s calorie and carbohydrate counts and the number of drinks that you are consuming a day to determine if it is within your daily caloric and carbohydrate requirements. It’s also a good idea to supplement sports beverages with plain water.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Diabetes Center.

Is Gatorade good or bad for you?

Share on PinterestSugary drinks, such as Gatorade, may increase the risk of diabetes.

The manufacturers have designed Gatorade for serious athletes and those involved in extended, vigorous activities. In addition to adding electrolytes to the person’s fluid consumption, it also adds sugar.

Typically, serious athletes and people involved in long, strenuous activities can handle the added sugar, as they will burn it off, during their normal routines. Extra sugar is more likely to cause health complications in people who exercise less often or only for an hour or less.

Central Washington University compared calorie counts of Gatorade and other drinks per serving:

  • Gatorade contains 50 calories
  • Powerade and All-Sport contain 70 calories
  • Coca-Cola contains 103 calories
  • orange juice contains 104 calories

According to the same information, Gatorade offers 14 grams (g) of carbohydrates per serving compared to 27 g in Coca-Cola and 25 g in orange juice.

The University of California, Berkeley’s 2014 paper concludes that children’s increase in sugary drink consumption, including energy drinks, may be contributing to weight gain in adulthood. They also link this to chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The researchers suggest sports drinks may be using misleading labels and advertising to promote health benefits that science has not fully proven.

For most people, including children and adolescents, the extra sugar, sodium, and calories found in sugary drinks are not necessary. In fact, these calories may be replacing calorie intake from more nutritious sources.

In addition to calories, people should conside some other factors. Lower calorie versions of Gatorade contain artificial sweeteners that some research indicates may lead to ongoing weight problems.

One study published in 2010 suggests that artificial sweeteners may increase weight when consumed regularly.

A final consideration, especially for those with allergies and sensitivity, is the presence of food dyes in Gatorade and other sports drinks. This caution is because some research has linked artificial dyes to health issues, such as hyperactivity and, potentially, cancers.

Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes 2020

If you have diabetes and you are looking to stay hydrated with an electrolyte drink, you know it can be difficult to find one that isn’t too high in sugar and carbohydrates. The best elecrolyte drinks for diabetes will not include cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, or acesulfame potassium.

If you have started an exercise regime, it can also be challenging to keep your blood sugar from getting too low. Exercise removes glucose from the blood without using insulin, and is crucial in getting diabetes under control, but it is a delicate balance for your blood sugar being too high when you are inactive, and too low when you are active. It is important that the electrolyte drink matches your activity level, and you are not drinking an electrolyte drink with 25 carbohydrates while you are sitting inside, or one with zero carbohydrates while you are combining Zumba, Jazzercize and CrossFit.

In regards to these parameters, perhaps you were advised to choose an electrolyte drink that uses artificial sweeteners. While writing The New Menu for Diabetes, I did some research on artificial sweeteners and was shocked that these were recommended for diabetics. The studies clearly showed that these in fact should be avoided, and I wanted to go more in depth in this article regarding why you should avoid Splenda and Acesulfame K.

The Worst Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes

The following is based on my research and opinion.

1. Powerade Zero

After doing some research, I noticed that Powerade Zero was the drink of choice for many diabetics due to it having zero calories. What’s in Powerade Zero?

UK Label: Water, citric acid, mineral salts (sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium phosphate), natural berry flavouring with other natural flavourings, acidity regulator (E332), sweeteners (sucralose, acesulfame K), colour (E133).

Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose is an organochlorine. It has been found to wreak havoc on intestinal bacteria (up to 50% destruction) and express two p-450 enzymes. Your beneficial bacteria is responsible for up to 80 percent of your immune system, your ability to lose weight, and emerging research is connecting anxiety and depression to low beneficial bacteria populations.

Acesulfame K

Acesulfame K (K is the symbol for potassium) seems to go under the radar quite often. It’s almost as if it’s hiding behind the other artificial sweeteners and sneaking in the back door into your drink. It’s often blended with other artificial sweeteners to yield a more sugar-like taste, which is why it gets less attention. It also shares a similar bedtime story as aspartame, being discovered by accident when the scientists dip their finger(s) in the chemical solution and lick it off, only to find it to be very sweet. As with sucralose, you have to really rifle through the studies to try and discover where the potential problems may lie.

Methlyene chloride is a solvent used in the beginning step of creating Acesulfame K. What is methlyene chloride? According to the EPA, it is predominately used as a solvent in paint strippers, removers and pharmaceutical drugs, and as propellent for insect sprays and aerosol paint sprays. Exposure from the inhalation of methylene chloride have been linked to headaches, nausea, memory loss, liver and kidney issues, visual and auditory dysfunction, cardiovascular problems and an increased rate of cancer.

According to this FDA 2003 document, “methylene chloride, a carcinogenic chemical, is a potential impurity in ACK resulting from its use as a solvent in the initial manufacturing step of the sweetener. In the past, FDA has assumed that methylene chloride is present in Acesulfame K at the LOD of 40 ppb (worst-case scenario) and has evaluated its safety by performing a risk assessment for methylene chloride based on this level. No new information has been received to change FDA’s previous risk assessment for methylene chloride.” You know how much of this should be considered safe for human consumption? Zero parts per billion.

According to the 2013 Code of Federal Regulations, Asulfame K also cannot have a fluoride content of more than 30 parts per billion. Fluoride? If you have been following any research regarding fluoride in our water supply, you know that ingesting too much can cause many problems. Compounding chemicals from different sources always need to be considered when looking at actual safety parameters for ingestion.

2. Gatorade

Gatorade is owned by PepsiCo, the makers of Pepsi and who dominate the sports drink market at 69 percent. Gatorade has 21 grams of sugar and dextrose per 12 oz serving, which should obviously be avoided by diabetics. Many of the colors and flavors seem a little extreme with their bright blues and reds. How are these made? The artificial colors and flavors are derived from aromatic hydrocarbons from petrochemicals. In other words, oil. Manufacturers are not required to divulge this information because artificial colors and flavors are considered intellectual property.

These food dyes have been found to inhibit mitochondrial respiration; the ability of the powerhouse of your cells to convert nutrients to energy. Red 3 causes cancer in animals, with evidence that other dyes also are carcinogenic. Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. At least four dyes (Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) cause hypersensitivity reactions, and numerous studies found Yellow 5 positive for genotoxicity. Depending on the flavor, Gatorade uses Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40 and Blue 1.

3. Pedialyte

PediaLyte is a drink marketed to kids, for hydrating during times of diarrhea and vomiting, and may even be recommended if you have diabetes. As you can see from the label, there isn’t anything that makes PediaLyte stand out. It uses the same common cheap formula of dextrose, salt, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners and food color dyes. They even have a bubble gum flavor. It also missing magnesium and calcium. But their marketing is what makes PediaLyte the first thing people think of when they are sick.

The main headline at the top of each PediaLytes drink is “Pedialyte helps prevent dehydration and quickly replaces fluids, zinc, and electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting.” They have taken it a step further and added prebiotics which help probiotics colonize, yet they use sucralose. From a sucralose study, the total numbers of bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and other probiotics were significantly decreased. These strains of bacteria are what help keep you well and prevent diarrhea.

Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, and numerous studies of Yellow 5 have been positive for genotoxicity. And Pedialyte is being marketed to children? Or anyone when they are sick?

Ingredients: Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Zinc Gluconate, and Red 40, Blue Dye 1 or Yellow Dye 6 depending on the flavor. The AdvancedCare product also uses acesulfame K.

4. Electrolyte Drinks Using Sodium Benzoate

I originally had NUUN Active Hydration listed here due to the ingredients sodium benzoate and acesulfame potassium. It was brought to my attention that NUUN has now removed these two ingredients from their formula. If you didn’t see your drink listed here, check for sodium benzoate.

The concern is that when you combine sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid you create benzene, especially in the presence of heat and light (common with storing citrus flavored soda in a warm garage). Citric acid may act as a catalyst for this process in the presence of ascorbic acid. NUUN Hydration contains vitamin C in the active ingredients, making this a prime candidate for this reaction.

Benzene damages the cells mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell where you are generating energy in the first place! It has been found to cause cancer – leukemia and other cancers of the blood – by disabling a cell’s DNA. Benzene is also found in cigarettes, pesticides, car exhaust, paints and certain laundry detergents. Runners and bikers exposed to car exhaust should be especially mindful of this since vitamin C is an important antioxidant to protect against oxidative stress and promote tissue repair. As a diabetic, you may be taking vitamin C along with Metformin.

5. Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is also owned by Coca-Cola. You may have noticed that the bottle contains “2.5 servings” which means you need to multiply everything by 2.5, a deceiving way to lower the amounts on the label from first glance. There are 32 grams of sugar in most of the products, crystalline fructose and sugar. Crystalline fructose is even higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup, and often tainted with heavy metals. Compare 32 grams of sugar in a bottle of Vitaminwater to 35 grams of sugar in one can of Coke.

You may have even read the about the lawsuit against Vitaminwater for calling itself a healthy beverage, and Coca-Cola has since acknowledged that it is indeed not. Too much refined sugar will make you cramp while you’re competing, upset your stomach, lower your immunity, deplete minerals and actually dehydrate you. As for the vitamins, they are cheap forms with questionable origin, and worthless to the body.

The Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes Guidelines

What is the criteria for the best electrolyte drinks for diabetes? I’m looking for a drink that contains all of the electrolytes, is sweetened with stevia or Lo Han Guo, does not contain any artificial sweeteners or colors, and is low in carbohydrates. A bonus is given if it contains chromium and vitamin C, both which are very beneficial for diabetics.

Stevia has been found to regulate blood sugar and prevent hypertension, decrease blood glucose and improve carbohydrate metabolism. Lo Han Guo has been found to improve insulin response, reduce blood sugar, lower lipid peroxidation and reduce protein spilling (better kidney function). When chromium is available in sufficient amounts, lower amounts of insulin are required to move glucose into the cells. One randomized, double-blind study found that after 12 weeks, vitamin C with metformin increased ascorbic acid levels, reduced fasting blood sugar, post-meal blood glucose and improved HbA1C compared to the placebo group.

The Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes (Store or online)

1. Coconut Water: A study from 2012 and a study from 2015 found that coconut water has anti-glycation properties, kidney protection, prevented hyperglycemia and oxidative stress. It is an excellent source potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, sodium, b-vitamins, enzymes and vitamin C.

The best way to enjoy coconut water is to buy a young coconut, take a hammer to the top, and enjoy it fresh and raw. If you want to buy coconut water in the store, you need to be more selective since many companies are going out of their way to deliver cheap coconut water that lasts for two years on a shelf, often from concentrate and with added sugar and flavors. That should make you suspicious.

What you want to look for is coconut water in the refrigerated section, that uses young coconuts, is not pasteurized and does not contain any added ingredients like natural flavors, fruit juice or sugar. The companies I have found that follow these guidelines include: Harmless Harvest, Unoco, Liquitera, Vital Juice and Juice Press. Many of these use a process called HPP, which sterilizes the juice with pressure instead of heat. This keeps the vitamins and enzymes in tact.

2. Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water

I did some traveling this summer (2015) and tested out numerous mineral waters and took pictures of each of the labels. While some mineral waters were very low in minerals, there were a few that were impressively high in all the electrolytes, including bicarbonate which is often missing and important for pH balancing. What stood out to me about Gerolsteiner from Germany is that it collects minerals from the dolomites, making it very high in calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate. And it tastes amazing, especially if you crave carbonated drinks. Add the juice of two lemons and powdered stevia to taste for a drink that tastes very close to a lemon lime soda.

That combination is perfect for those with headaches, nausea, fatigue and digestive issues. So if your doctor has recommended that you drink an electrolyte drink that isn’t necessarily to be used for exercise and sweating and needs to be low in sodium, this is the best choice straight from nature. If you are an athlete, keep it in the fridge and enjoy it later in the evening to supply more calcium and magnesium for sore muscles. If you want more energy and hydration while sitting at your desk, this is the best option. In the US, you can find it in liter bottles in Trader Joes or Whole Foods for $1.49 to $2.00, but if you can’t then online is the way to go.

The Best Electrolyte Drinks Diabetes (Liquid and Powder)

1. DayLyte

DayLyte was launched in May 2018 and has become my favorite liquid mineral electrolyte drops. DayLyte does not contain any sugar or carbohydrates and can be simply added to your water to enhance its electrolyte profile. DayLyte contains a higher level of magnesium (65mg) which improves blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health. It also contains 1mg of lithium. Lithium has been found in research to encourage remyelination of peripheral nerves. Further research has found that lithium can inhibit colon cancer metastasis and prevent metastasis to the lungs, liver, and lymph nodes.

While DayLyte now has lemon stevia flavored version now, you can make your own without any sweetener below:
16 oz. water
1 orange, lemon, and 1/2 cucumber sliced
1 serving DayLyte

2. Vega Electrolyte Hydrator

Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator is recommended if you want a broader mineral profile and a zero-calorie electrolyte drink that is sweet. This one is pretty sweet, so you will want to dilute it quite a bit in my opinion,

Ingredients: Potassium, natural lemon and lime flavors, magnesium, citric acid, malic acid, stevia extract, calcium, chloride, phosphorus, sodium, vitamin C, silicon dioxide, zinc, copper, selenium and chromium.

Calories: 0

Carbohydrates: 0

Sugars: 0

3. Electrolyte Energy Formula

Pure Encapsulations Electrolyte/Energy Formula is recommended only for exercise lasting 1-2 hours if you are needing to prevent low blood sugar. The carbohydrate level is low, but it is important to monitor glucose after the first trial dose to see how you respond. Choose the other options if you are wanting an electrolyte drink while you are inactive or taking part in light to a moderate exercise regime.

Ingredients:

calories: 30

carbohydrate: 7 g

sugars: (glucose): 3.5 g

Suggested Reading

The Best and Worst Multivitamins and Why to Design Your Own
The Best and Worst Multivitamins for Seniors

Summer is quickly moving along, and soon the leaves will be turning. Hopefully you’ve been able to get out and enjoy the fine weather, and maybe take advantage of the longer days to walk, swim, golf, or play tennis. All great ways to be outside and do your body some good at the same time.

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Physical activity, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, can often leave you sweaty and parched. So what should you drink, and when? Do you really need those fancy sports drinks? Or is plain old water just as good? Read on to find out how to stay hydrated before, during, and after being physically active.

Why rehydrate?
The answer is pretty obvious: to avoid becoming dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. You lose water through sweating, breathing, crying, salivating, urinating, and having bowel movements. When you’re exercising, water is primarily lost through sweating and heavy breathing. If you’re an athlete or playing a sport, for example, being dehydrated can impair your performance. More importantly, dehydration can cause a number of symptoms, and some of them are potentially dangerous.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include:

• Dry mouth
• Being thirsty
• Headache
• Muscle cramps
• Dark urine

Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

• Dizziness
• Rapid heartbeat
• Rapid breathing
• Feeling confused
• Feeling very sleepy
• Heat stroke

Severe dehydration is a medical emergency, and needs to be treated promptly. Also, keep in mind that high blood sugar levels can increase the likelihood of becoming dehydrated: When blood sugars are high, you’ll end up urinating more often.

How to rehydrate
Your body can lose more than a quart of water in one hour of exercise, depending on the intensity of your exercise and the air temperature. However, fluid needs vary from person to person; for example, someone training for a triathlon will have greatly different fluid needs compared to someone walking around the block for 30 minutes. It’s important to start off your physical activity in a state of hydration. In other words, aim to drink about 8 ounces of fluid roughly 20–30 minutes before you start your workout. During activity, shoot for about 7–10 ounces every 10–20 minutes. And don’t forget to replenish afterward by drinking at least 8 ounces of fluid. If you want to be more accurate about figuring out your fluid needs, weigh yourself before and after your workout. For every pound of fluid that you lose during your workout, drink 16–24 ounces of fluid afterwards. Note, too, that the amount of fluid you lose is based on the duration and intensity of your exercise, as well as the climate.

What to drink
Now comes the decision. What do you drink? It’s very tempting to turn to sports drinks to meet your fluid needs. After all, professional athletes swig Gatorade, so maybe you should too. And ads for sports drinks have us all worried about electrolytes, protein, and such. But do you really need a sports drink? Here’s a rundown on what’s out there, and what you really need.

Water: Water is hardly exciting, but the reality is that for most people (meaning, everyone other than elite athletes), water will keep you hydrated just fine. And according to the American College of Sports Medicine, for physical activity lasting less than one hour, there’s really no evidence that drinking a sports drink will provide any more benefit than good old H2O.

Enhanced water beverages: OK, so if water is the best choice for activity lasting less than 60 minutes, surely a water fortified with vitamins or other supplements is a good thing, right? Not necessarily. If you’re eating healthfully and including a variety of foods in your diet, you likely aren’t going to need extra vitamins. And if you are taking vitamin supplements, there’s no need to drink them in your water. Furthermore, there’s always the risk of getting too many vitamins, as well. Also, watch out for some enhanced water beverages, as they can contain a hefty amount of carbohydrate.

Protein water: It was bound to happen sooner or later: Protein has now been added to water. A 500-milliliter bottle of For Goodness Shakes protein water contains 20 grams of protein (the equivalent of eating about 3 ounces of chicken) in the form of whey and casein protein. It also contains 86 calories, but surprisingly, it contains no sugar. Protein2O is another brand, containing 70 calories, 15 grams of protein, and 0 grams of sugar. But do you need protein water? Well, if you’re a competitive body builder or serious about your strength training, you likely do need a little more protein. However, you can easily get your extra protein from food sources.

Flavored water: If plain old tap water is less than appealing, there’s nothing wrong with having a little flavor in your water, especially if it helps you drink more. But choose your flavored water carefully. In other words, scrutinize the Nutrition Facts label. Avoid flavored waters that are high in calories and carbs. You can choose a flavored water that contains a nonnutritive sweetener, but even better is to flavor your own water with fresh lemon, lime, berries, cucumber, or mint (called infused water).

Sports drinks: Sports drinks go beyond water — they contain electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, along with sugar and, sometimes, vitamins. Sports drinks have their place, but generally aren’t necessary unless you’re working out for more than one hour. Also, these drinks typically contain about 14 grams of carb per 8 ounces, so consider the effect on your blood sugar. Sugar-free sports drinks are available, and contain nonnutritive sweeteners such as sucralose. Examples of sports drinks are Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, and BodyArmor.

Energy drinks: Energy drinks are similar to sports drinks in that they contain sugar and sodium. They also are jacked up with caffeine, which can boost performance and alertness, and depending on the drink, may have other ingredients, including taurine (an amino sulfonic acid) and herbs, such as gingko biloba, ginseng, and guarana. The downside of energy drinks? Besides the calories and carbs (8.4 ounces of Red Bull has 110 calories and 28 grams of carb), the caffeine can cause jitteriness, heart palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia. Sugar-free versions are available, although you’ll still get the caffeine jolt. Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Full Throttle are popular brands.

Chocolate milk: Only kids drink chocolate milk, right? Well, some athletes may, too. Research shows that chocolate milk is a good way to replenish after a workout. Like sports drinks, chocolate milk contains electrolytes, and its carb and protein balance help to repair muscle tears and replenish glycogen stores, too. In addition, chocolate milk seems to boost performance. However, consider the calories and carbs: 8 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk will set you back about 160 calories and 26 grams of carb. Fine if you’ve just run a 10K, but probably not necessary if you’ve ridden your bike for 30 minutes.

Coconut water: You’ve probably seen coconut water displayed on grocery shelves and maybe even sipped some. Popular brands include Vita Coco, Zico, and O.N.E. Coconut water is the juice that’s found inside a green coconut. It’s not the same as coconut milk. On average, 8 ounces of coconut water contains about 50 calories and 9 grams of carb. It’s touted as being a good choice for a “recovery” drink because, like sports drinks, it contains electrolytes, along with fiber and a little protein. Is it a good choice for you? That depends. If you’re a serious athlete, you’d probably be better off with a sports drink. If you’re a weekend warrior, water should be your go-to fluid. However, if you like the taste of coconut water and it helps you drink more fluids, it can be a good choice. But keep an eye on those calories and carbs.

Bottom line
Staying hydrated and avoiding dehydration is key when you’re being active. The best beverage for you will depend on the amount and intensity of your activity. Plus, if you have diabetes, you’ve got your blood sugars to think of, too. If you’re not sure about how to balance your blood sugars with activity, or if you have questions about nutrition and athletic performance, check with a registered dietitian for individualized guidance.

Want to learn more about what to drink with diabetes? Read “What’s to Drink? Staying Hydrated in the Heat,” then check out our beverage recipes.

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