All people (especially people with diabetes) should avoid drinking carbohydrates. Liquid carbohydrates do not help satisfy appetite, can sneakily increase your body weight, and wreck havoc on blood glucose levels. This includes sodas, juices, energy drinks, sports drinks, and alcohol. You should be drinking mostly water (about 64 ounces a day)

Why you should avoid sugared sodas, juices, and energy drinks

I know what you’re thinking. You already know that soda has a bunch of sugar in it, and killjoys like me say that you shouldn’t drink it. But if you drink soda, you almost certainly don’t realize just how bad it is for you. 
Just one soda has 39 grams of sugar, about 8 teaspoons. Over a month, one soda a day adds up to a little over 4.8 cups of sugar, or 2.5 pounds. Over a year, that little can of soda habit snowballs.

Just one soda a day...

Calories per year
Pounds of sugar per year
Potential pounds of weight gain per year

Why you should drink less alcohol if you are trying to lose weight

Many patients are not comfortable talking about their alcohol consumption for fear of being judged. I’m certainly not going to judge you, but I do want you to be aware of how it may impact you if you are trying to lose weight and decrease the number of drugs you need to control diabetes. 
Most beer has about 15 grams of carbohydrate per 12 ounces, and wine has about 5 grams of carbohydrate per glass. Drinking a beer per day or a glass of wine will not have a large impact on carb totals, but the habit will add up when it comes to weight. 
You can estimate the weight impact with this calculator. 

Why you need to drink an adequate amount of water

Water is your body’s primary chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Inadequate water intake leads to dehydration, and even mild dehydration can drain your energy, increase your appetite, and make you feel tired.


How much water is needed?

You need to drink enough water to compensate for the daily loss of fluids that naturally happen to our bodies. We lose water from urine, bowel movements, sweating, and even breathing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that most women consume about 78 ounces (2.3 liters) of total water per day, and men drink about 112 ounces (3.3 liters). “Total water” includes water from any beverage and water from food. While we don’t usually think about water from food, it is estimated that we get about 20% of our water intake from this source.

Do non-water fluids count toward water intake recommendations?

Yes. All drinks (Tea, coffee, milk, soda, etc) are primarily composed of water. It is a myth that caffeinated beverages cause dehydration by acting like a diuretic. Research has shown that caffeinated beverages do not have a significant diuretic effect. For people with diabetes, I strongly recommend choosing beverages with no carbohydrates. See below for examples of a few common beverages.





2% milk 

8 oz



Whole milk (3.25% fat) 

8 oz




12 oz



Almond milk, unsweetened 

8 oz




4 oz



Hot chocolate (swiss miss)

8 oz



Coconut water

11 oz



I've been told that everyone should drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. Is that true?

This is just a general rule of thumb to try to promote more water intake, there is no proof that specifically drinking 64 ounces of water a day is beneficial. While in general, 64 ounces of fluid per day is reasonable for any adult to drink, you certainly don’t need to force yourself to drink that much water if you are also drinking other drinks as well. 
With that said,  I do encourage people to drink 16 ounces of water/tea at the beginning of each meal and 8 ounces between meals. My recommendation for this is primarily to help with minimizing hunger and possibly assisting with weight loss (see below). Outside of that purpose, I trust your body’s thirst mechanism to keep you safely hydrated. 

Can drinking more water help you lose weight?

It is plausible, and there are a few studies that have shown a benefit. For example, one study showed that over a 12 week low calorie diet, the addition of 500mL (16.9 ounces) of pre-meal water consumption increased weight loss by 44% (about 4.4 pounds more during the study).

Are diet sodas OK to drink?

Yes. And yes, diet sodas are better for you than sugared sodas.That does not mean that there is no possible downside to artificial sweeteners. There is evidence that artificial sweeteners increase sugar cravings and there may be negative impacts on the gut microbiome and metabolism in some people. However, I am not aware of evidence that links them to weight gain. Here is one study and another study on this topic. The most conservative thing to do would be to eliminate artificial sweeteners from your diet. But, I would rather you drink diet drinks than sugared drinks or juice if you need something sweet.

Is milk OK to drink?

A cup of milk (2% or whole) has about 11gm carb. Skim milk has the same flavor as water yet has the same carb content as whole milk, so I see no reason to drink skim milk. For those that want to limit carbs and/or need to avoid lactose, I recommend unsweetened almond milk. This has only 1 gm carb per cup and tastes pretty darn good too. It also has 450mg calcium per serving, which is excellent for your bones (I routinely recommend this to my post-menopausal female patients for bone health).

What if I am working out. Don't I need to drink sports drinks for the electrolytes?

For most of us, routine amounts of exercise do not require electrolyte replacement. Water is just fine. But if you want something along those lines, there are low-carb options. You can check Nuun and E-boost as examples .