In the United States, about 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration which can cause certain medical conditions and worsen them as well. The human body is composed of 70% water and it helps with different functions in the body. Drinking water has a plethora of benefits in the body as it helps maintain a normal temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, protects different tissues, and eliminates waste through urination, sweat, and bowel movements. Consuming water can even help both lower blood sugar levels and aid in maintaining healthy levels as well thus making it an essential task for people with diabetes to pursue daily.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body uses or processes blood sugar (glucose). Normally, glucose is an important source of energy for the body’s cells and insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, aids in the process by allowing glucose molecules to go into the cell to be used for energy thus also regulating the amount of sugar levels in the bloodstream.
Type 1 and Type 2 are the two basic varieties of diabetes mellitus. Whereas, Type 2, the most common form, occurs when the cells cannot uptake glucose molecules leading to high amounts of sugar levels in the bloodstream. This is also called insulin resistance, a critical factor in the cause of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is also diabetes insipidus which has to do more with the kidney function than insulin and glucose.
How does drinking water improve diabetes?
Drinking water, in general, is helpful for overall health, but can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes. Excessive water loss occurs more often in people with diabetes because of frequent urination or polyuria due to more sugar in the body. This dehydration can further lead to kidney issues in the long run and the main reason 1 in 3 adults with diabetes also suffer from chronic kidney disease. In addition to preventing dehydration, water can also act as an appetite suppressant which leads to less eating and more weight management. This is helpful because people with diabetes tend to be more overweight or obese than people without the condition.
How does drinking water help with diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus?
For the most part, water is critical in the management of both diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus.
In diabetes mellitus, the issue arises when there is either not enough insulin being produced, or none is being produced at all by the pancreas thus creating a high level of blood glucose. The body tries to overcome this by getting rid of the excess sugar molecules through urination which will lead to more water loss and dehydration. Therefore, people with diabetes must implement a low-carb diet as well as consume enough water throughout the day to lower blood sugar levels and replace fluids that are lost through urine.
However, people with diabetes insipidus differ because there is a low amount of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), a hormone that tells the kidneys to hold on to water whenever there isn’t enough in the body. People with diabetes insipidus tend to become more dehydrated because, like diabetes mellitus, they also frequently urinate as well. Drinking water as well as consuming less salt and protein in the diet is critical for people with this condition in order to accommodate for the water loss in the body.,
How can drinking water lower blood sugar levels?
Drinking water can help lower blood sugar levels in several ways. One way is by helping the kidneys flush out excess glucose through urine. When there are high concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream, the kidneys are not able to filter them out, thus having increased amounts remain in the bloodstream and leading to more diabetic complications (i.e., diseases of the heart and kidney, eye, and nerves). Drinking water allows the kidneys to remove the excess glucose molecules thus lowering blood sugar. In addition, it also reduces the appetite which will lead to less overeating and lower blood sugar levels.
Why is drinking water important and how much water should we consume daily?
Aside from lowering blood sugar levels, drinking more water also has other health benefits.
- Avoids dehydration. Being hydrated helps to regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, remove waste, cushion joints, and allows kidneys and colon to filter waste efficiently which leads to less likelihood of developing kidney stones and constipation.
- Promotes healthy metabolism. Drinking water serves as an appetite suppressant and can help curb overeating since it will promote fullness in the stomach thus leading to eating less and further lowering blood sugar.
- Improves brain function. Being dehydrated can impair function and can cause a worsening of mood, memory, and brain performance.
The amount of water you should drink each day depends on several factors, including your age, gender, body weight, activity level, medical condition, and climate. General guidance is to aim for at least 8 glasses (237mL) of water per day, but individual needs may vary.
How does dehydration affect blood sugar levels?9
Dehydration can have a significant impact on blood sugar levels, especially in people with diabetes. Being dehydrated leads to a higher concentration of sugar in the blood because of the lack of water in the system. The high levels of sugar also lead to frequent urination which can cause further dehydration since the kidneys have to work harder to remove the excess glucose from the bloodstream. Furthermore, insulin sensitivity can also arise from dehydration thus leading to high blood sugar levels and worsening the condition of those that have diabetes as energy levels will decrease due to lack of energy from cells.
5 Tips to increase your water intake
- Avoid or limit artificial sweeteners drinks. Artificial sweeteners may not be
- If hungry try reaching for water instead of snacks. Dehydration is often confused with hunger.
- Get a reusable bottle. There are a variety of water bottles that can be reused and refilled almost anywhere. This will keep you not only hydrated but full as well, which can lessen snacking throughout the day.
- Infuse your water. Adding fruit or herbs to your glass, pitcher or bottle makes drinking water easier.
- Try carbonated or sparkling water. These beverages do not add sugars or artificial sweeteners and can make it easier to drink more water and keep you hydrated.
How does drinking water prevent a high level of blood sugar?
Water can prevent high blood sugar levels in several ways.
- Hydration. Drinking water helps keep the body hydrated, preventing the blood from becoming too concentrated with sugar molecules thus lowering the levels in the bloodstream.
- Promotes kidney function. Helps the kidneys remove excess sugar from the bloodstream.
- Appetite suppressant. Drinking water can help to suppress the appetite which will reduce food intake, especially in carbs and sugar, which will lower blood glucose levels.
- Improves insulin sensitivity. Consuming more water may help to improve insulin sensitivity since there will be less need for ADH, thus will allow for insulin to transport glucose molecules into the bloodstream to be used for energy and lower blood sugar levels.
Staying hydrated can help reduce blood sugar levels in several ways: by promoting kidney function, improving insulin sensitivity, preventing dehydration suppressing appetite, and improving insulin sensitivity.
It's important to note that while staying hydrated can help reduce blood sugar levels, it's not a substitute for other diabetes management strategies such as medication, diet, and exercise. If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, it's important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely and work with your healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive plan to manage your blood sugar levels effectively.
Although infusing water with fruits, such as lemons, is a great way to drink more water, lemon water has not been proven to directly reduce blood sugar levels, but for those who have diabetes, it might offer some advantages.
For one there is some evidence that lemons can slow the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar which will prevent spiking in blood sugar. Lemons are also low in glycemic index, which further proves that it will be less likely to raise blood sugar levels. In addition, lemons in general are a good source of vitamin C and fiber which is needed in people with diabetes.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of lemon water on blood sugar levels. It's also important to note that lemon water should not be considered a substitute for diabetes medication or other diabetes management strategies.
When it comes to flavored water for diabetes, it's important to choose options that are low in sugar and carbohydrates.
- Infused water: Infusing water with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs can add flavor without adding sugar. Try adding cucumber, mint, lemon, or berries to your water for a refreshing, low-sugar drink.
- Unsweetened herbal tea: Unsweetened iced tea can be a refreshing and flavorful option for people with diabetes.
- Tea and coffee: These can help meet your daily water intake limit but just be sure to not take too much caffeine and added sugars.
- Sparkling water: Sparkling water can add a fun and fizzy twist to your water without adding sugar or calories.
It's important to remember that while flavored water can be a good option for people with diabetes, it should not replace plain water as the primary source of hydration.
There are several foods that can help lower blood sugar levels.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and kale are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
- Whole grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds are high in healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which can help slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Legumes: Legumes such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Berries: Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are low in sugar and high in fiber and antioxidants, which can help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Fatty fish: Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.
- Gluctose: A supplement helps lower blood sugar levels and encourages weight loss while using natural ingredients.
Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining good health, particularly for people with diabetes. Drinking water can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, promote healthy metabolism, and reduce the risk of dehydration-related complications. It’s important to aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day and to choose low-sugar and low-carbohydrate options when selecting flavored water or other drinks. Additionally, incorporating foods that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats into a balanced and healthy diet and adding a supplement such as Gluctose, can also help regulate blood sugar levels. It is important to work with your healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive plan to manage your blood sugar levels effectively.