Water remains the best for hydration when you have diabetes. Adding lemon juice can add some freshness without adding calories or sugar.

Sugar-free cold drinks are still recommended for most people living with diabetes as they don’t spike blood glucose. However, have these in moderation as there is evidence that they can negatively affect the bacteria in your gut.

Unsweetened tea and coffee are suitable. Caffeine does spike blood glucose in some people but the spike often drops back to normal. As a precaution, limit caffeinated beverages to a maximum of five cups a day. Herbal teas are great but make sure they are sugar-free.

Reduced-fat dairy is a nutritious choice. However, dairy options aren’t considered a low-sugar beverage since it contains the naturally occurring milk sugar, lactose, so this beverage must be considered in your total carbohydrate allowance for the day.

Avoid sugar sweetened drinks, energy drinks (even the sugar-free ones) and fruit juice as they are high in sugar and will increase blood glucose. If you absolutely must, have fruit juice but make sure it’s within your total carbohydrate limit for the day.


You can count a black herbal tea with no honey or sugar as a glass of water. Herbal teas that count are rooibos, camomile, peppermint and other herbal teas. Teas that contain caffeine, such as normal tea or green tea, won’t count as a water.

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