Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Another heat wave seems to be upon us. It is summer, after all. Hopefully you’re staying hydrated, whether you feel thirsty or not. In the hot weather, it seems like the refrigerator is frequented mostly by people in search of something to drink. So, what beverages are in your fridge? Last week we looked at some of the common nondairy milk drinks. This week we’ll look at water and other related drinks.

One of the concerns with a lot of beverages has to do with their nutritional (or should I say, lack of nutritional) content. Many soft drinks are considered to be “liquid candy” due to the amount of sugar and calories they contain. Back in the 1970’s, Americans got 6% to 8% of their daily calories from beverages; today, that figure is up to at least 21% (and possibly higher, since this information comes from data analyzed only up to 2002). The majority of beverage calories come from sugar-sweetened soft drinks, but milk, fruit juice, and alcohol also account for liquid calories, as well.

It’s not just calories to be concerned with, either. Sweetened beverages contain carbohydrate, which has to be accounted for if you have diabetes. Dietitians like to say that people with diabetes can eat (and drink) anything; while that’s certainly true, carbohydrate-laden drinks can eat up a big chunk of your carbohydrate allotment for the day, so it pays to be choosey.

According to guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine, men should aim for roughly 15 cups of fluid a day and women should aim for about 11 cups a day (these figures include fluid from both beverages and food sources).

  • Water. Water is probably the best beverage to drink, given that it contains no calories, fat, or carbohydrate.There are different types of water based on source. For example, spring water, such as Poland Spring, comes from an underground formation; the water naturally flows to the surface of the earth. Purified water, such as Dasani, has been treated via processes such as distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis to remove bacteria and solids. Mineral water contains, well, minerals in the amount of at least 250 parts per million. Magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and others may be in mineral water. Perrier and San Pellegrino are mineral waters that are also sparkling, meaning that they’re carbonated. You obviously pay more for bottled water. Then, there’s plain old tap water, which is considered to be safe — and sometimes even safer — to drink than certain bottled waters. Check with your town or city to find out more about your tap water. The bottom line is whether you have a water dispenser, bottled water, or a pitcher of water in your fridge, try to make this your go-to drink as often as you can.
  • Seltzer water and club soda. If regular water just isn’t exciting enough, give seltzer water or club soda a try. Seltzer water, or sparkling water, naturally contains carbon dioxide, a gas that gives this water its fizziness. (Artificially carbonated forms of seltzer are also sold nowadays.) Beverage companies also add flavors to their seltzer, such as lemon, raspberry, and vanilla. These flavorings don’t contain calories or carbohydrate. Club soda is pretty much the same as seltzer, except that it doesn’t occur “naturally”; carbon dioxide has been added. You can jazz up your regular water or seltzer by adding slices of lemon, lime, or orange. Also try adding chunks of melon or cucumber for a cool, refreshing drink. Or try diluting a small amount of fruit juice with seltzer — this makes for a great drink on a hot summer day. By the way, tonic water isn’t the same as club soda — tonic water is a carbonated drink to which quinine, sugar, flavorings, and sometimes caffeine have been added. If you like tonic water, use the diet version.
  • Flavored waters. Flavored water is water that has had natural or artificial flavoring added. (Last year I wrote about enhanced waters, which have ingredients added that ostensibly provide health benefits, so I won’t go into too much depth about them here.) Keep in mind that flavored waters come in basically two versions: unsweetened and sweetened. Unsweetened flavored waters are simply water with flavoring added. There are no sugars or noncaloric sweeteners added. Examples of unsweetened flavored waters include Hint, O Water (which has electrolytes added), and Metromint, which contains essential oils from mint.

    As I noted, flavored waters may also be sweetened, meaning that they contain both calories and carbohydrate. They may also be “enhanced” with other ingredients, such as sugar, vitamins, caffeine, electrolytes, and/or herbs. The sugar-free versions of these drinks may contain sucralose (brand name Splenda) or stevia (PureVia, Truvia, and others) and erythritol, a type of sugar alcohol. And they may not be completely carbohydrate free if they contain fruit juice — which means that the more you drink, the more carbohydrate you’ll get. Also, keep in mind that serving sizes are usually based on 8 ounces, but bottles often come in 20-ounce versions. Flavored waters can get confusing, thanks to their clever marketing campaigns, so always read the Nutrition Facts label to see what’s really in the beverage.

More on beverages next week!

POST A COMMENT       
  

Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 2)
Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 1)
Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 3)
Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 4)
Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 5)
Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 6)


Comments
  1. Excellent advice to make water the go-to drink. It should be the primary beverage of the day. Other drinks in moderation - and water most of the day will produce healthy results.

    You have the choice to filter your tap water if it makes sense to do that. It is worth checking out since there can be all kinds of chemicals getting in to the water.

    And why not make carrying your own reusable, refillable water bottle the ‘cool thing’ to do?!!

    Vicki

    Posted by Vicki |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Nutrition & Meal Planning
Novel Method of Testing for Sucrose in Foods (09/19/14)
Test Your Nutrition Knowledge With Our Interactive Quiz! (09/15/14)
Brain Training: How You Can Learn to Like Healthy Foods (09/08/14)
Low-Carb Diet Benefits Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Health, Studies Show (09/03/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.


Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring — Part 3: Smart Monitoring

10 Keys to Long-Term Weight Loss

Take Your Best Shot: Stay Up to Date on Vaccines

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions