Hydration and Diabetics

Every part of your body, from your cells to your brain, relies on water to function properly. Roughly 60% of the human body, including vital organs and even bones, is comprised of water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial for optimal health.

Diabetics in particular have a higher risk of dehydration. When glucose levels spike, the kidneys go into overdrive to eliminate excess glucose from the body. This process draws even more water from various parts of the body, including the bloodstream, tissues, and saliva.

Keeping an eye on your hydration and blood sugar levels is imperative to prevent severe and even life-threatening symptoms. How much water should you drink if you have diabetes? What factors increase the risk of dehydration for diabetics? Are there hydration sources other than plain water? Keep reading for answers to all the important questions about hydration and diabetics.

Understanding hydration and the different types of diabetes

In addition to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which both involve impaired insulin and pancreatic function, there is a third, lesser-known form of diabetes called diabetes insipidus. Several subtypes exist within this type of diabetes, all of which have different causes and the same result: abnormal kidney function. People with diabetes insipidus don’t experience high glucose levels and the symptoms associated with them. More frequent urination is the most prominent symptom of diabetes inspidus. Despite this key difference, dehydration is also a problem for people with this type of diabetes. Because the kidneys flush fluids from the body so quickly, they must be replenished more often.

How much water should diabetics drink daily?

The standard recommended amount of water per day is eight glasses, or two liters. This isn’t exactly a hard-and-fast rule, considering everyone’s needs are different. Diabetics might like to drink more, especially those with diabetes insipidus.

Are there ways to stay hydrated other than drinking plain water?

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, but not everyone likes the taste of plain water. Many sports drinks and flavored water options also contain sweeteners and added sugar that could increase your glucose levels, like high fructose corn syrup and sorbitol.

Searching for a hydrating beverage that tastes great, but without all the sweeteners, added sugars, and artificial colorants found in popular sports drinks and flavored waters? Try one of BrightFox’s three tantalizing flavors, available in both sparkling and still, for a blast of essential nutrients. Fortified with electrolytes that optimize hydration, BrightFox is an excellent choice for diabetics who prefer to stay hydrated with a refreshing dose of natural flavors.

Factors that increase the risk of dehydration for diabetics

Exercising, going out into the warm weather, and drinking heavy amounts of alcohol are just a few factors that can increase your risk of dehydration. 

We lose fluids through sweat as we exercise. That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise, even for people without diabetes. Itching to hit the gym? Swap that sugary sports drink for your favorite BrightFox flavor. Packed with three times the electrolytes and zero of the sugar, sweeteners, and artificial additives of other sports drinks, BrightFox helps you achieve peak performance, whether you’re practicing yoga, lifting weights, or running laps.

Most people love sunbathing and spending time in the great outdoors when the warm weather hits, but these fun summer adventures can be somewhat problematic for people with diabetes. Because we lose water and electrolytes through sweat and urine, we must hydrate more frequently in the summer. This is just as true for people without diabetes.

Diabetics must also carefully consider the way they enjoy some of life’s greatest pleasures, including their favorite alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is a diuretic, which increases the risk of dehydration, making it a double whammy for diabetics. It may also interact with diabetes medications and impede liver function. Certain alcoholic beverages, like beer, are rich in carbohydrates, which raise blood sugar levels. Conversely, other beverages cause glucose levels to drop sharply.

What does this mean for diabetics who like to indulge in a sip of vino now and then? Ultimately, it means consulting your doctor for personalized advice and sticking to it. Stay safe and check your glucose levels before and after drinking alcohol.

Symptoms of dehydration in people with diabetes

You’ve probably already experienced the mild signs of dehydration before. These include thirst, dry mouth, and fatigue. Confusion, dizziness, and headaches are a sign that you should hydrate as soon as possible.

Severe signs of dehydration include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and rapid heart rate. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, as they could lead to kidney failure if left untreated.

Protecting your kidneys

Staying hydrated is important to optimize kidney function. Your body’s ability to stabilize your glucose levels is compromised when you’re dehydrated. Consequently, your kidneys need to work double-time to remove excess glucose. To do this, your kidneys will draw water from your bodily fluids, including saliva, tears, urine, blood, and tissues, which also increases the need for hydration.

It’s important to replenish your fluid levels as soon as you start to notice even mild symptoms of dehydration, like thirst or dry mouth. Left unchecked, dehydration can take a severe toll on your kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure within just a few hours.

Hydration and diabetics: the bottom line

Although staying hydrated is essential for everyone to stay healthy, it’s especially important for diabetics to protect kidney function. For diabetics who aren’t fond of plain water, BrightFox is a refreshing alternative packed with nutrients and electrolytes. And, with zero sugars or sweeteners, it also won’t affect your glucose levels. We’ll toast to that!

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