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High blood sugar (aka hyperglycemia) is defined as a blood glucose level exceeding 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) two hours after a meal; this is too much sugar in the blood. In most cases when you have hyperglycemia this usually means you have diabetes.
High blood sugar levels & diabetes can cause various symptoms, including increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, and slow wound healing.
If left uncontrolled, can lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage (neuropathy), eye problems (retinopathy), and an increased risk of infections.
There are many ways to improve the health condition of high blood sugar and one especially effective, easy-to-implement, and natural solution option is through staying properly hydrated – drinking more water!
We know adequate amounts of water in the body are vital to daily function and survival. Water is required in just about every part of the body including the blood.
Does drinking water lower blood sugar?
Drinking water does help manage blood sugar levels, though it should not solely be a substitute for medical management of hyperglycemia or any other health conditions. Here’s how drinking water can help lower blood sugar:
Increases insulin sensitivity
Staying properly hydrated is important for overall health and can help improve insulin sensitivity. When you are well-hydrated, your cells are better able to utilize insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Improves kidney function
The kidneys play a crucial role in filtering waste products, including excess glucose, from the blood. Adequate hydration ensures that the kidneys are functioning optimally to remove waste efficiently.
Helps dilute blood
Consuming water helps dilute the concentration of glucose in the blood, which can lead to a temporary decrease in blood sugar levels. This effect is more pronounced when combined with proper hydration and a balanced diet.
Helps excrete excess glucose from the body
Water acts as a natural diuretic, increasing urine production and promoting the elimination of excess glucose from the body through urine. This can help reduce blood sugar levels, especially in cases of mild hyperglycemia.
Prevents intake of excess sugars
Choosing water over sugary beverages can help prevent the intake of excessive added sugars. Sugary drinks can rapidly raise blood sugar levels, while water provides a calorie-free and sugar-free option.
How much water do I need to drink to lower my blood sugar?
The amount of water you need to drink to lower your blood sugar levels can vary depending on various factors, including your individual health, activity level, climate, and overall hydration status. There isn’t a specific quantity of water that can be universally recommended to lower blood sugar levels.
However, Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests a general guideline of around 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of total water intake per day for adult women and 125 ounces (3.7 liters) for adult men. This includes water from all sources, such as beverages and foods.
Additionally, you can aim to achieve about half an ounce of water per body weight and set that as your goal. For example, a 180 pound person would drink at least 90 ounces of water a day.
What drinks lower blood sugar quickly?
While there is no magical drink that can rapidly lower blood sugar levels, certain beverages may help in managing blood sugar levels. Here are a few examples:
- Drinking plain water is always a good choice for hydration. It doesn’t contain any calories or carbohydrates, and staying hydrated can help support overall health and potentially assist in blood sugar management.
- Herbal teas, such as chamomile, mint, or cinnamon tea, can be enjoyed without adding sugar or sweeteners. Some studies suggest that certain herbal teas, like cinnamon tea, may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar control.
- Green tea is known for its potential health benefits, including its antioxidant properties. Some research suggests that green tea consumption may help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which can indirectly assist in blood sugar management.
- Plain black coffee, without any added sugar or cream, is a low-calorie beverage that may have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. However, individual responses to coffee can vary, so it’s important to monitor your own body’s reaction.
- Carbonated or sparkling water can be a refreshing alternative to sugary beverages, providing hydration without any additional sugars or calories. Some brands offer flavored sparkling water options without added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
5 key nutrients to improve hydration levels
While water is the primary nutrient for maintaining hydration, certain electrolytes and minerals play a crucial role in supporting hydration at the cellular level. These nutrients help maintain fluid balance, regulate water movement across cell membranes, and support proper hydration.
Here are some key nutrients that contribute to cellular hydration:
Sodium is an essential electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance within cells. It facilitates the movement of water across cell membranes and maintains proper hydration.
Potassium is another important electrolyte involved in fluid balance and cellular hydration. It helps maintain proper water distribution within cells and contributes to overall fluid balance.
Foods rich in potassium include bananas, leafy greens, avocados, and potatoes.
Magnesium is involved in numerous cellular functions, including the regulation of water movement. It helps maintain cellular hydration by supporting the transport of water and electrolytes across cell membranes.
Foods rich in magnesium include nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.
Calcium is essential for many physiological processes, including cell signaling and fluid balance. It helps regulate water movement in and out of cells, contributing to cellular hydration.
Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified plant-based milk alternatives are good sources of calcium.
Chloride is an electrolyte that works in conjunction with sodium to help maintain proper fluid balance. It aids in the transport of fluids across cell membranes and supports cellular hydration.
Chloride is commonly found in table salt and processed foods.
It’s important to note that achieving proper hydration involves a balance of these electrolytes and minerals, along with adequate water intake. Consuming a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can help provide these nutrients.
Drinking water can help manage blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity, improving kidney function, diluting blood glucose concentration, and promoting the excretion of excess glucose through urine. Choosing water over sugary beverages helps prevent excessive sugar intake.
Herbal teas, green tea, plain black coffee, and carbonated or sparkling water without added sugars or artificial sweeteners are examples of beverages that can support hydration and blood sugar management. Additionally, fruits & vegetables with high-water content can contribute to your water intake while also providing essential vitamins & minerals. Here are great options to add into your diet for increasing your body’s water percentage.
In addition to water, certain electrolytes and minerals play a crucial role in cellular hydration. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride contribute to fluid balance and regulate water movement across cell membranes. Consuming a balanced diet with sources like bananas, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and dairy products can provide these nutrients.
In summary, drinking water, maintaining hydration, and considering electrolyte-rich foods are important strategies to support hydration, manage blood sugar levels, and promote overall health. However, it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and management of high blood sugar or diabetes.