9 Refreshing & Diabetes-Friendly Summer Drinks

It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer months. For people with diabetes who have unique needs when it comes to hydration, it’s particularly important!

It might be difficult to find hydrating drinks that are both refreshing and diabetic-friendly without sacrificing blood sugar stability. But fear not! In this article we’ll suggest a variety of hydrating and diabetic-friendly beverage options that not only taste good and are refreshing, but also support proper hydration and blood sugar management.

Summer & Diabetes

High temperatures throughout the summer can have a significant impact on people’s daily lives and health.  Everyone needs to stay hydrated in the summer, but people with type 1 diabetes need it even more due to the following factors:

1. Risk of Dehydration

High temperatures and hot weather can cause excessive sweating, which can cause fluid loss from the body and increase the risk of dehydration. Dehydration can result in high blood sugar levels, making it harder to successfully manage diabetes. Staying hydrated is an important piece in the puzzle that is managing type 1 diabetes.

2. Insulin Absorption and Heat

Insulin must be absorbed for people with type 1 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. However, heat can hinder this process. Insulin may be absorbed more quickly at higher ambient temperatures (which results in more exertion and effort from the body to stay cool), which could result in hypoglycemia. On the other hand, if insulin is exposed to extremely hot conditions, it may become ineffective and cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

It may be more difficult to handle high temperatures if diabetes interferes with the body’s capacity to regulate temperature. Type 1 diabetics may be more prone to heat-related conditions such heat exhaustion or heatstroke.  These conditions have the potential to negatively impact blood sugar levels and general health.

Being aware of the effects of high temperatures on diabetes management and prioritizing hydration allows you to maintain optimal blood sugar control while regulating body temperature, kidney function, and the transportation of glucose and insulin throughout the body. 

9 Diabetes-Friendly Summer Drinks

n the summer, a refreshing drink can make all the difference for staying hydrated and cool. People with diabetes can choose from a variety of energizing options while being conscious of their unique dietary requirements. Here are nine refreshing diabetic-friendly drink options to help you beat the summer heat and fully enjoy the season.

1. Sparkling Berry Spritzer

Combine a little unsweetened berry juice with sparkling water. For added flavor add a few fresh berries. Count out your carbs yourself, but aim for a handful of blueberries or raspberries that are around 8-10g of carbs – easily manageable. Berries’ high fiber content can also assist to stabilize blood sugar levels, making them the ideal beverage for diabetics.

When you do arrive at a carb estimate, you can log it in Gluroo by simply typing, for example, “10g berry spritzer”. Logging your meals is a great way to see how different food types affect your body, since every T1D is different in some ways.

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2. Cucumber-Mint Limeade

Blend lime juice, mint leaves, and fresh cucumber. Serve the mixture over ice after straining it. This hydrating beverage also benefits from the cooling qualities of mint and cucumber.  The cucumber is diabetic-friendly due to its high fiber content and low glycemic index. Also, it includes healthy minerals including potassium, fiber, and vitamins K and C.

3. Iced Coffee with Almond Milk

Brew your favorite coffee and let it cool. Add unsweetened almond milk and ice cubes. This beverage gives you a caffeine boost while having less carbs than standard iced coffee. Almond milk has fewer carbohydrates and can be a dairy-free alternative for people who have dietary preferences or lactose intolerance. Take it one step further and use unsweetened almond milk for a true low-carb drink. Don’t forget, though, that caffeine has been thought to have an effect on insulin sensitivity.

4. Basil-Blueberry Lemonade

Combine fresh blueberries, basil leaves, lemon juice, and sparkling water to create the perfect beverage. Blueberries are a wonderful source of nutritional fiber and have a low glycemic index (GI), which helps slow down the absorption of carbs and causes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels after eating. 

Basil adds a touch of herb, making it the ideal combination. Also, it has a lot of manganese, vitamin K, and C, all of which are great to have.

5. Mint-Raspberry Sparkler

Crush some fresh raspberries and mint leaves and add sparkling water and lime juice. Since raspberries have a low sugar content and mint has a cooling effect, it’s ideal for summer.

6. Coconut Water Smoothie

Blend unsweetened coconut water with a few pieces of pineapple or other fruit of your choosing. Coconut water hydrates and supplies necessary electrolytes.

7. Detox Juice

Combine spinach, cucumber, celery, green apple, a slice of ginger, ice cubes, and lime juice.  This detox drink has nutrient-dense ingredients that are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while being relatively low in carbohydrates (depending on how many apple slices you use, of course). 

8. Herbal Iced Infusion

Make the herbal tea of your choice, such as peppermint or chamomile, and let it cool. Serve with ice and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Herbal infusions can be calming and rejuvenating and typically don’t contain sugar. 

Chamomile can help in controlling blood sugar levels. The anti-hyperglycemic properties of chamomile extracts have been believed to help reduce blood sugar levels. Additionally, it contains relaxing qualities that may reduce stress and encourage relaxation.

Peppermint is naturally free of sugar and caffeine, making it a good beverage option for people with diabetes. It doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or extra sugars, which can have an impact on blood sugar levels.

9. Chia Seed Lemonade

Water and freshly squeezed lemon juice are combined with chia seeds. Let the mixture stand for a while so that the chia seeds can absorb the liquid. Be careful not to use too much lemon juice, and measure it out when you add it. 

Chia seeds have a low glycemic index (GI), which indicates they don’t significantly affect blood sugar levels. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber, which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and is essential for controlling blood sugar levels.

Remember to Stay Hydrated

Every person, but especially those with diabetes, need to stay hydrated. To control blood sugar, promote general health, and avoid issues, it’s crucial to maintain optimum hydration levels. People with diabetes can support healthy kidney function, improve digestion, and improve cognitive function by putting water first.  

Water should always be the first option for hydration, but unsweetened herbal teas, infused water, and low-sugar electrolyte drinks are great and fun alternatives.

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