Sweet Relief: Ditch the Soda, Sip These Diabetes-Friendly Beverages

Living with diabetes means being keenly aware of what you put into your body. The foods you eat and the beverages you drink play a pivotal role in raising or lowering blood sugar and in how well you can control blood glucose levels.

If you’ve been living with diabetes long enough, you’ve undoubtedly heard from your doctor and care team about the importance of drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. This helps flush excess blood sugar out of the system and keeps the body running smoothly. There’s little argument that pure water is the best drink for diabetes health and management. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has plenty of information about staying hydrated.

That being said, you’re also human, and sometimes water just isn’t going to satisfy your tastebuds. In this post, we’ll look at some excellent and flavorful alternative beverages you can try and point out a few that you probably should steer clear of or, at the very least, greatly minimize.

7 Tasty Beverage Choices for People with Diabetes

  1. Flavored Sparkling Waters (Seltzers)

Okay, we snuck in the water. But that’s because sparkling water contains zero calories, carbs, and sugars, just like regular water. That means it won’t elevate blood sugar and will also help you stay hydrated. Plus, plenty of zero-calorie flavored sparkling water options are on the market. Better yet, cut up a fresh lemon or add some fresh berries or cucumber to your sparkling water for a great-tasting beverage that’s also great for diabetes health.

  1. Unsweetened Tea

Believe it or not, a recent study suggests that green tea may lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. But, even if you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, tea is a great beverage option. You can choose classic Earl Gray or a caffeine-free herbal tea that won’t give you the jitters. Avoid adding sweeteners, but a small dash of honey should do the trick if you must. A squeeze of fresh lemon is also a tasty and tart addition.

  1. Coffee

Like with tea, keeping your java unsweetened is a good idea. Drink it black if you can, as adding cream or high-fat milk can also impact blood sugar. Feel free to add zero-calorie sweeteners in moderation. If you need a bit of cream, go with unsweetened oats or almond milk, as they contain nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D that can contribute to bone health.

  1. Make A Smoothie

You can go to a local juice bar and overpay for a fresh blended health drink. Or, you can make your smoothie and know precisely what’s going into your body. All you need is a blender and the right ingredients. Here’s a start: try fresh kale or spinach with half a banana and some berries. Add a bit of water and blend away. It’s delicious and darn good for you!

  1. Kombucha

This fermented beverage, usually made from black or green tea, is also loaded with probiotics. These contribute to gut health and may even improve blood sugar control for those with Type 2 diabetes. One cup of Kombucha usually contains only about 7 grams of carbohydrates, which makes it a great low-carb choice that should not significantly impact blood sugar.

  1. Tomato or Vegetable Juice

You're getting a substantially filling and healthy beverage if you drink 100% tomato or vegetable juice. Be sure to choose brands without any added sugar or salt. The catch is that an average serving of tomato juice contains about 10 grams of carbs, so you must factor that into your daily planning.

  1. Low-fat or Fat-free Milk

Milk is packed with vitamins and minerals that can promote bone health and improve overall well-being. It’s best to avoid whole-fat dairy as it contains calories and carbs. Instead, go with low-fat or fat-free milk and limit your consumption to 1 or 2 glasses daily. You should avoid flavored milk as it tends to be high in sugar, which can throw your blood sugar for a loop.

3 Beverages to Stay Away from If You Have Diabetes

  1. Regular Colas

You don’t have to take our word for it; listen to the ADA. They quickly point out that sugary sodas contain roughly 150 calories and about 40 grams of sugar in every 12-ounce can, which is the same as eating ten teaspoons! So, you will almost certainly see an impact on your blood sugar. On top of that, sodas contribute to weight gain, and with obesity being a leading risk factor contributing to Type 2 diabetes, soda is the last thing someone who is overweight and living with diabetes needs.

  1. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks like Red Bull are usually high in caffeine and carbs, with one study conducted in 2018 showing that energy drinks alone can cause blood sugar to spike. Additionally, too much caffeine and sugar can contribute to other diabetes-related conditions, such as high blood pressure. These drinks are also known to disrupt sleep patterns, which is detrimental to sound diabetes management. Getting enough sleep is critical to maintaining the focus to stay on track and maintain proper blood sugar control.

  1. Sweetened Fruit Juices

These sugary drinks like to masquerade as healthy fruit punches and tropical fruit juices, but they are processed drinks often packed with added sugars and artificial flavors. Essentially, they’re about as bad for diabetes management as soda. It is okay to enjoy 100% fruit juice once in a while as a sweet treat, but you will be getting a good amount of carbs and will need to factor them into your daily count. But try to avoid those sweetened juices as they are not what they seem.


For those of us living with diabetes, it’s nothing new to watch what we eat and drink. This is simply part of our daily routines. But we’re also human, which means we will want to indulge now and again. We hope you found some of these suggestions helpful. Also, the truth is if your blood sugar is under control and you’re on track with your diabetes management, a little indulgence is probably not going to throw things out of whack. Still, as a general rule, sticking with the good stuff and minimizing the bad stuff will go a long way to improving blood sugar control and overall health.

 It’s also worth noting that sugar fruit drinks – which often claim to have vitamins the body needs – are also packed with added sugars. Read the labels to know what you’re ingesting.


We hope you found this post informative and insightful. At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to helping those with diabetes manage their blood sugar by offering a complete selection of testing and treatment supplies at prices up to 65% less than those found at most pharmacies and other suppliers.