The Importance of Fluid Intake: What Every Diabetic Should Know

The Importance of Fluid Intake: What Every Diabetic Should Know

All too often, attention to quality and volume of fluid intake takes a back seat to other topics for people with diabetes. With so much else going on, you have to remember that the amount and type of fluid you drink can make a huge difference in your blood sugar and energy levels!

For example, if you have recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and you find yourself drinking a 6 pack of diet soda each day, a change in your soda habit could actually improve your lab numbers and prevent you from having to start medications. This is not the case with everyone, but it has worked for many individuals and it might work for you.

We also know that one positive habit leads to another, so if decreasing your intake of artificially sweetened sodas and increasing your water intake is your first positive step, there may be some more phenomenal steps ahead!

Research is finding that those who consume artificial sweeteners in diet drinks exhibit the same traits of obesity, elevated blood sugars and unhealthy fats as those who drink sweetened drinks like sodas and commercially-sweetened teas. This is not meant to encourage the consumption of sweetened drinks, but rather to encourage drinking fresh water, brewed tea, or all natural lime or lemon water instead.

It's been shown that those who consume drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners also tend to crave more sweets and more calories overall than those who avoid them. Drinking naturally unsweetened liquids then can help control those sweet cravings.

So just how much liquid does the body need? The amount usually depends on exercise level, age, body size, and blood sugar level.

You need 1 cc of fluid intake per calorie eaten. If you consume 2000 calories in a day, you should be drinking about 2000 cc’s of fluid.

One 8oz cup contains about 240 cc's of liquid - meaning you should drink about 8.5 cups of water a day.

(2000 ÷ 240 = ~8.5)

If you exercise rigorously, then the standard during that time period is a cup of water or liquid every 10 minutes. Of course, there are many health conditions that warrant variations of this intake and your physician can guide you accordingly.

The most important time for a diabetic to consider increasing his or her fluid intake is when their blood sugar is high. Can you imagine why?

The fluid you consume helps dilute the sugar in your bloodstream and urine. This helps carry the sticky sugar out of the body. The extra fluid goes a long way in helping this process!

So remember, if you measure your blood sugar and it is elevated, consider drinking a big glass of water. This big glass will do wonderful things to help normalize your blood sugar level, while helping your blood vessels recover.


Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

I am a type 2 diabetic, and I can tell by the color of my urine if I am drinking enough water, if it is any other color then clear( like water), then I am not drinking enough water,...Water in.... Water out. Is my motto
Comment by pamdob
October 22, 2015
A thought - provoking article, I'll take it on board to help control m blood sugar. Hank you.
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