People with diabetes recognize the importance of including exercise in their daily routines and staying hydrated during workouts. Lately it seems everyone is sipping on sports drinks while they exercise. Discover more about which sports drinks to choose when you have diabetes.
- Dehydration can cause high blood sugar, high blood pressure and other health issues for people with diabetes. It is essential to stay well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Sports drinks are made to prevent dehydration, boost performance and optimize recovery. Each drink contains different ingredients based on its purpose. The sports drink you sip should be in accordance with your dietary and fitness goals.
- Sport drinks made primarily for rehydration usually contain carbohydrates and electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. As a result, carbohydrate and rapid fluid absorption is faster. This can make them more effective than water by itself. Sports drinks typically have a high glycemic index. People with diabetes should check the carbohydrate and calorie content to adjust their nutrition and insulin intake as necessary. Most people with diabetes do not need the extra sugar or electrolytes in their drinks unless they are true fitness fanatics. Consult with your doctor if you have questions about adjusting your insulin and diet when exercising and sipping sports drinks or if you need them at all.
- People with type 2 diabetes should be cautious about consuming high calorie sports drinks. The various sports drink people at the gym are sipping might not be the best choice for people with diabetes. The average sports drink contains 120 calories, much like a regular can of soda. Glucerna shakes can be used in place of a sports drink made specifically for people with diabetes. Read the labels on sports drinks to ensure you are making an educated choice.
- If you exercise for a long period of time, you are more likely to develop dehydration. Dry mouth and fatigue are symptoms of dehydration that could also mean your blood sugar is low. Check your blood glucose with a glucose monitor to confirm whether you have dehydration. Dark urine and weakness are key signs that your body needs more fluid.
- Drink before, during and after exercise rather than waiting until you feel thirsty. Water is also an effective way to combat dehydration. Drinking cold water is better than warm water. Sports drinks have different formulas and tastes. Choose the one that works best for you
- If you exercise moderately for less than one hour, water is usually sufficient. When you exercise intensely for an hour or more, choose a sports drink with 6 percent electrolytes and carbohydrates. Chill sports drinks before drinking them. Remember to monitor your blood sugar before, during and after exercise. Record the results and share them with your doctor during routine health exams.
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can improve your overall health. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and get rid of excess body fat. A good fitness routine can lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Carefully select a sports drink that fits into your fitness plan. It should not contain excessive carbohydrates and calories, which would be counterproductive to your fitness efforts. The wrong sports drinks can add extra calories to your diet and cause your blood sugar levels to soar. Shop around to find one that fits into your diabetes self-management plan.
Sports drinks made for people with diabetes can be a great way to avoid dehydration and fuel long workouts. Remember to drink plenty of water and include sports drinks in accordance with your exercise regime. Read the labels on sports drinks to make the best possible choice based on carbohydrates and calorie content.