WHAT TO DRINK TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST?
Plain water is best to quench your thirst: it is the most refreshing drink, provides zero kilojoules plus a few minerals, and has no effect on your blood glucose levels. It doesn’t have any taste, although the minerals that are sometimes found in water naturally, or that are added (e.g., fluoride), can give it an unusual flavour. If that’s an issue for you, try a water purifier and/or adding some ice and a slice or two of lemon or lime.
MINERAL WATER Depending on the source, mineral water contains relatively small amounts of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium and is a suitable alternative to plain water for people with diabetes and those at risk.
LOW JOULE SOFT DRINKS These are OK to drink occasionally, but not on a daily basis. Carbonated beverages have a low pH (they are acidic), and in theory, frequent consumption may increase the risk of developing tooth decay. However, they have no effect on blood glucose levels, and provide very few kilojoules (calories).
FRUIT JUICES AND FRUIT DRINKS Enjoy occasionally, but not on a daily basis. They are a source of kilojoules (calories) and carbohydrate. On average, they provide 400kJ per 250ml serve (1 cup), and are an important source of vitamin C providing on average 113mg per cup), which is more than twice the RDI (45mg per day). Most fruit juice contains a small amount of dietary fibre. As they have a low pH and are a source of fermentable carbohydrate for cariogenic bacteria, frequent consumption may increase the risk of developing tooth decay.
Fruit juices and drinks raise blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. On average, they provide 22g of carbohydrate per cup (250ml). All fruit juices made from low GI fruit and most fruit drinks have a low glycemic index, however a 250ml serve of most has a medium glycemic load.
What about hypos? Because gastric emptying, intestinal motility and absorption rates increase when a person is having a hypo, fruit juices and drinks are suitable for treating the condition despite the fact that most varieties have a low GI.
SUGAR SWEETENED SOFT DRINKS Save these for special occasions. Like fruit juices and drinks, sugar sweetened soft drinks have a low pH and are a source of fermentable carbohydrate for cariogenic bacteria, and consumption is positively associated with increased risk of tooth decay.
On average, a 250ml glass (1 cup) of sugar sweetened soft drink provides around 440 kJ, 27g available carbohydrate (that’s about 2 exchanges), and most have a medium glycemic index, and a medium-high glycemic load, and consequently they will raise blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
What about hypos? Like fruit juices and drinks, sugar sweetened soft drinks are suitable for treating hypoglycaemia despite the fact that most varieties have a medium glycemic index, because gastric emptying, intestinal motility and absorption rates increase when a person is having a hypo.