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Diabetes and Drinks: What Beverages Can People With Diabetes Drink?

Medically reviewed by Mia Dacumos, MD · Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jun 21, 2023

    Diabetes and Drinks: What Beverages Can People With Diabetes Drink?

    People with diabetes know they need to monitor their carb intake closely. They need to focus on whole grains instead of refined sugars, and be mindful of their portions. But what about drinks? Are they confined to drinking nothing else but water? Experts say, no. In fact, people with diabetes can enjoy a variety of healthy, tasty drinks. Learn more about the diabetic drinks list here. 

    Diabetic Drinks List

    If you’re looking for flavor but don’t want to mess up your blood sugar levels, consider the following drinks:

    1. Flavored Water

    The first practical tip to add flavor to your drinks is to prepare flavored water. Simply add slices of fruits to your drinking water or squeeze some lemon into it. 

    Of course, you can also buy flavored water in the market. However, be sure to choose those with no added calories or sugars. Unsure of a certain brand? Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. 

    2. Tea

    Next on our diabetic drinks list is tea. And before you worry about not being a “tea person,” remember that teas are healthy! Not only are they low in calories and sugar, but they also have benefits that other drinks do not have. 

    For instance, some studies show that green tea can lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels²

    As always, when drinking tea, do not add sugar or other sweeteners — even honey. For a change, you can squeeze lemon into it or serve it cold. 

    3. Coffee

    From time to time, you can also drink coffee. Still, experts say its effects vary from one person to another. Some people may experience lower blood sugar with caffeine consumption, while others may have higher blood glucose. 

    In times when you choose to have coffee, stick to plain, brewed ones. Don’t drink flavored coffee or those with added cream, sugar, and milk. As for quantity, limit each intake to 1 to 2 8 ounce cups. 

    4. Milk

    While some people are doubtful about drinking milk because they are generally rich in carbohydrates and fats, experts say diabetics can still safely drink milk. Hence, we included it on our list of diabetic drinks list. 

    One study even suggests that having milk in breakfast helps reduce blood sugar throughout the day⁴

    To be on the safe side, choose low-fat or skim milk. Also, don’t go beyond the suggested serving size. 

    What About Fruit Juices?

    As a general rule, we don’t include fruit juices on our list of diabetic drinks list. Fruit juices usually raise the blood glucose quickly due to their high sugar content. 

    Instead of consuming fruit juice, experts recommend eating a whole fruit instead. 

    Should you decide on drinking fruit juice, make sure that it’s 100% fresh fruit juice with no added sweeteners. Another tip is for you to dilute it with water. 

    Diabetic Drinks List: Additional Tips

    Besides knowing that you can drink flavored water, coffee, tea, and milk, you might also find the following tips useful:

    • Make ice cubes out of whole fruits like grapes and watermelon. They can add flavor to your water or sugar-free drinks. 
    • Experiment with different kinds of tea. Mint tea, for instance, can be quite refreshing. 
    • Always check food labels when buying drinks. Choose brands with the lowest sugars and calories. 
    • Avoid sweetened soda or flavored fruit juices at all costs. Not only are they high in sugar, but they also offer little to no nutritional value. 

    Nowadays, too, there are many diabetic drinks available in the market. There are milk, coffee, tea, and juice products for diabetes claiming they have low glycemic indices. Before jumping into these products, however, consult your doctor first. 

    Having their approval reduces the risk of going beyond your blood sugar targets and having food-drug interactions. 

    Learn more about Diabetes here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mia Dacumos, MD

    Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jun 21, 2023

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