Diabetics are not to consume energy drink because it may raise blood sugar level. So which energy drink is good for diabetics?
Health, Fitness & Dieting, a blog category we all know and love, carries interesting topics like this one. With my personal experience as a diabetic and the fact that many diabetics are big fans of energy drinks, it’s easy to see why this article is popular among search engine users. But not just any energy drink — the best energy drink for people suffering from diabetes. The article offers tips on choosing the right kind of energy drinks based on one’s preferences, specific ingredients in the beverage (if there are any) and other factors that should help make this decision easier. I also plan on providing information about diabetic complications caused by excess sugar intake and ways one can avoid developing those issues.
If you have diabetes, the best energy drink for you is the one that doesn’t contain sugar or any sweeteners.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try energy drinks that have low sugar. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic patients can still eat foods that contain sugar as long as they’re taken in moderation with a balanced diet and exercise.
Yes. There are many kinds of artificial sweeteners, and most of them can cause your blood glucose levels to increase.
Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes that you can use to make your food and drinks taste sweet. They are a no- or low-calorie sugar substitute for those who are monitoring their sugar consumption or worried about having diabetes.
Some artificial sweeteners have been linked to diabetes. Sweeteners that can increase blood sugar levels include:
- Aspartame. Aspartame, when ingested, is quickly metabolized into smaller molecules – phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Unlike saccharin and sucralose, aspartame includes calories.
- Saccharin. Saccharin is a non-digestible artificial sweetener with no calories and no carbohydrates.
- Sucralose. Splenda is a brand name for sucralose. They developed this no-calorie sweetener by changing the chemical composition makeup of sugar.
Aside from their low or non-existent sugar, carbohydrate, and calorie content, artificial sweeteners are often recommended for individuals with diabetes for their nutritious effects; you use them in replacement of sugar and to regulate blood sugar levels.
Conversely, certain artificial sweeteners may increase blood sugar levels if used long-term. That’s why I recommend you to research more about this so you can choose the appropriate artificial sweeteners.
Can You Drink Caffeine When You Have Diabetes?
If you have diabetes but still like to have caffeine in your diet, know that it’s okay for you to have caffeinated drinks, but you have to control your intake.
Coffee, in particular, can lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Also, individuals who drank four or fewer cups of coffee a day had a reduced chance of developing diabetes than non-coffee-drinkers.
Still, if you have diabetes and love to take caffeinated beverages, make sure that your caffeine and sugar intake are limited if you don’t want to experience any adverse effects.
Recommended Drinks for Diabetic Patients
Here are five different types of drinks you can consume even if you have diabetes!
Drinking water is the most effective and simple method of removing excess glucose from the bloodstream. Water actually lowers blood sugar levels by diluting the quantity of sugar present in the body.
When you are adequately hydrated, your blood glucose levels are properly balanced, containing the exact quantity of sugar that our bodies need to function. However, if you do not drink enough water, your sugar levels will get concentrated rapidly, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
Coffee includes polyphenols, a molecule with antioxidant characteristics that help prevent inflammatory diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. High concentrations of Polyphenols are found in coffee.
As long as the coffee is unsweetened, with no calories, and is taken in moderation, it’ll not cause trouble.
Compared to plain water, green and herbal teas have a flavorful taste and provide various health advantages. When looking for something a little more refreshing, unsweetened teas are an excellent choice.
Tea has been shown to offer various health advantages, including increasing insulin sensitivity and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Sugar-free carbonated drinks
Although carbonated drinks are one of the worst things you can consume if you have diabetes, diet soft drinks are becoming more popular due to their reduced carbohydrate and calorie content.
Here are some sugar-free carbonated drinks you can try:
- Diet Coke
- Bubbly Sparkling Water
- Pepsi Zero
Diet soft drinks are sweetened with artificial sweeteners and other artificial agents to give them their taste, color, and sweetness.
While soft drinks are generally considered safe, some individuals may choose to restrict or minimize their consumption of soft drinks as a safety measure.
Sugar-free Energy Drinks
Energy drinks sold in stores include more than 20 grams of sugar in certain instances. Despite their very low sugar content, these beverages are off-limits if you want to lower your blood sugar levels.
Energy drinks may cause ill effects to a person’s health, especially when misused, but these effects can be more harmful to those with diabetes. That’s because energy drinks tend to raise your blood sugar levels, induce insulin resistance, and can raise your blood pressure.
Here are some sugar-free energy drinks you can try:
- 3D Energy
What Drinks Should You Avoid When You Have Diabetes?
If you’re serious about keeping your blood sugar levels under control, you’ll want to stay away from these drinks.
What Is An Energy Drink?
Energy drinks include bio-active chemicals, like caffeine or taurine, that may stimulate the brain and other essential organs of their users. It is important to note that there are several other ingredients found within energy drinks that provide energy, which include B vitamins like Niacin, Riboflavin, and B6. B-Vitamins are nutrients that the body needs to convert food into energy. Since the body cannot produce its own B-Vitamins, it is important to consume B vitamins through diet or supplements.
How Do Energy Drinks Give Energy?
Energy drinks are high-caffeinated beverages that are consumed to increase alertness. The primary ingredient in all energy drinks is caffeine. Excessive amounts of caffeine block the body’s ability to produce adenosine, a neurotransmitter that induces sleep.
Can People With Diabetes Take Energy Drinks?
Diabetic drinks should be sugar-free energy drinks i.e. without artificial sweeteners. Always monitor your blood sugar levels after consuming a sugar-free energy drink to ensure that it does not negatively affect your blood sugar level. To avoid high blood sugar levels, you must limit your sugar intake.
Consequences of Having Energy Drinks For Diabetic Patients
In addition to monitoring protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake at each meal, proper monitoring of drinks is mandatory for a diabetic. As energy drinks have been shown to spike blood sugar levels and may even cause insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals resulting in symptoms like;
- Increased heart rate
- Dehydration with electrolyte imbalance
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Usually, energy drinks come loaded with sugar, which is a must for your brain. Having high sugar-energy drinks is not a good idea for a diabetic, as it can raise the blood sugar level.
- The FDA recommends that adults with diabetes consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.
- Energy drinks with high sugar are not recommended for diabetics. They may cause a sudden spike in blood sugar that may lead to a hypoglycemic attack.
- Best diabetic drinks include sugar-free low-calorie energy drinks. But it is not recommended for people with diabetes and high blood pressure, and people who are on medications and suffer from anxiety and insomnia.
- Many patients with diabetes claim to consume diabetic-specific energy drinks, but the issue here is caffeine, which produces increased diabetes symptoms and poor glycemic control. So be cautious with your sip!
- Use Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate Accu-Chek instant and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Let’s treat diabetes together.
How Much Caffeine Is Safe for Diabetes?
It’s only natural that life is hard, and we need all the help we can get. Our bodies are always running on fuel, which sometimes gets depleted faster than it should. And when that happens, hormones like norepinephrine have a negative effect on the brain by depleting energy levels. We need to feel superhuman from time to time to achieve our goals. That requires enough energy to think outside of one’s comfort zone and use multiple cognitive processing centers simultaneously.
Consuming caffeine is not a problem for people with diabetes as long as it is consumed in moderation. The FDA created a guideline that an average adult should not exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.
Since I am very sensitive to caffeine, I always test first how much my body can take. Start with lower intakes of a caffeinated drink like coffee, Cola Zero, green tea, or others. I recommend you also test where your limit is and make sure you don’t feel any negative sides from your caffeine consumption.
Test your blood sugar levels with a blood glucose meter every day when consuming energy drinks with caffeine. Energy drinks might cause a spike in blood sugar levels if the energy drink contains sugar. If your energy drink doesn’t contain sugar but still makes you feel bad and causes high blood sugar levers or high blood pressure, stop drinking energy drinks altogether.
Consuming energy drinks with sugar will lead to blood sugar spikes, but energy drinks without added sugars are a better option.
Are Sugar-free Energy Drinks Safe for Diabetics?
Canadian researchers have found that sugar-free, energy drink shots can lead to an increase in glucose and insulin levels amongst teens.
Therefore, this question is difficult to answer because energy drinks provide energy, and a sugar-free energy drink might contain other ingredients that could be harmful to those with diabetes. When you drink energy drinks in moderation, they have been found safe enough by the FDA approval process to not list them as unsafe for consumption on the market.
Most sugar-free drinks still contain artificial sweeteners that are not always the best option for people with diabetes. They don’t cause direct blood sugar spikes but might be harmful to your body. The issue is that most sugar-free energy drinks contain artificial sweeteners, which are not always that healthy.
Regular energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster Energy contain sugar in the form of high fructose, corn syrup, or sucrose. These sugars are terrible for your body because they will cause blood sugar spikes, leading to many health problems related to diabetes. The best option is a sugar-free energy drink if you want to drink one.
Which Energy Drink Is Best for Diabetics?
There are many reasons why regular energy drinks may not be right for you, but the main one is the high sugar content. Therefore sugar-free energy drinks are a great option for diabetics.
The energy drink that got favored by my friends is the one from Red Bull that contains 0% sugar. Down the line, they found Monster Energy drink and C4 Smart Energy very enjoyable.
It also helped them immensely because they needed an energy boost to get through the day when their energy levels were low. The downside of these energy drinks is that you should only consume them in moderation. 400mg of caffeine per day is the maximum, according to the FDA guideline.
Do Sugar-free Energy Drinks Spike Blood Sugar Levels?
It depends. Sugar-free energy drinks without artificial sweeteners usually won’t raise your blood sugar levels, but these energy drinks could impact your blood sugar levels. To avoid an energy drink-induced blood sugar spike, be sure to read your labels carefully and consume them in moderation, as you would treat any other food or beverage containing sugar, caffeine, or artificial sugars.
People with diabetes should know that energy drinks can affect their glucose levels due to the high level of caffeine and sugar found in many energy drink formulations. And while some natural sugars present in energy drinks might not raise blood glucose levels, there are still plenty of other sugars out there, leading to spikes if you have diabetes.
Can a Diabetic Drink Red Bull or Monster Energy?
The answer is no, energy drinks with sugar content will raise blood sugar levels. Sugar-free energy drinks without artificial sweeteners are safe to consume for diabetics. So if you choose the sugar-free versions of Red Bull or Monster Energy you are fine.
Always test your blood sugar levels once after you consume a sugar-free energy drink to make sure it doesn’t affect your blood sugar level negatively. It’s important you reduce your sugar intake to avoid high blood sugar levels.
What Other Drinks Can Diabetics Consume?
Diabetics can drink sugar-free diet drinks, sugar-free sodas, coffee, tea, sugar-free hot cocoa, coconut milk, coconut water, and more. But above all, the best drink is plain water.
You can always add mint, lime, cucumber, or aloe vera pulp to your water during summer to give it more taste. Making a homemade iced tea is an excellent substitute for your regular drinking water.
Avoid drinking sparkling water and stick to flat water, alcoholic beverages, and drinks with high sugar and caffeine content.
If you have a low blood sugar level, you can drink drinks with sugar content to regulate your blood sugar or glucose packets.
Zero- or low-calorie drinks are typically your best bet when choosing something to quench your thirst. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into your drink for a refreshing, low-calorie kick.
Keep in mind that even low sugar options, such as vegetable juice, should be consumed in moderation.
Reduced fat dairy contains the naturally occurring milk sugar, lactose, so this beverage must be considered in your total carbohydrate allowance for the day.
Dairy options are also not considered a low-sugar beverage.
Whether you’re at home or at a restaurant, here are the most diabetes-friendly beverage options.
When it comes to hydration, water is the best option for people with diabetes. That’s because it won’t raise your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause dehydration.
Drinking enough water can help your body eliminate excess glucose through urine. The Institute of Medicine recommends adult men drink about 13 cups (3.08 liters) of day and women drink about 9 cups (2.13 liters).
If plain water doesn’t appeal to you, create some variety by:
- adding slices of lemon, lime, or orange
- adding sprigs of flavorful herbs, such as mint, basil, or lemon balm
- crushing a couple of fresh or frozen raspberries into your drink
2. Seltzer water
Seltzer water is a great fizzy, sugar-free alternative to other carbonated beverages, such as soda.
Like regular water, seltzer water is free of calories, carbs, and sugar. Carbonated water is a great way to stay hydrated and support healthy blood sugar levels.
There are many different flavors and varieties to choose from, or you can try adding some fresh fruit and herbs to give your drink a delicious twist.
ResearchTrusted Source has shown that green tea has a positive effect on your general health.
A large 2021 cohort study of more than a half million people suggestsTrusted Source that daily consumption of green tea may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed.
Whether you choose green, black, white, or oolong tea, avoid those with added sugars. For a refreshing taste, make your own iced tea and add a few slices of lemon.
4. Herbal tea
Herbal tea varieties like chamomile, hibiscus, ginger, and peppermint tea are all excellent options for people with diabetes.
Not only is herbal tea free of carbs, calories, and sugar, but it’s also rich in disease-fighting antioxidant compounds, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
5. Unsweetened coffee
Drinking coffee might help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by improving sugar metabolism, according to a 2019 review of studiesTrusted Source.
As with tea, it’s important that your coffee remain unsweetened. Adding milk, cream, or sugar to your coffee increases the overall calorie count and may affect your blood sugar levels.
Many no- or low-calorie sweeteners are available if you choose to use them.
6. Vegetable juice
While most 100 percent fruit juice is 100 percent sugar, you can try tomato juice or a vegetable juice alternative.
Make your own blend of green leafy vegetables, celery, or cucumbers with a handful of berries for a flavorful supply of vitamins and minerals. Remember to count the berries as part of your carbohydrate total for the day.
7. Low fat milk
Milk contains important vitamins and minerals, but it does add carbohydrates to your diet. Always choose unsweetened, low fat, or skim versions of your preferred milk and stick to no more than two to three 8-ounce glasses a day.
8. Milk alternatives
Milk alternatives like almond, oat, rice, soy, rice, or coconut milk are dairy-free and low in carbs.
They are also sometimes fortified with important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, both of which play a key role in bone health.
Be aware that soy and rice milk contain carbohydrates, and many nut milks contain a minimal amount of protein, so check the packaging carefully to pick the right product for you.
9. Green smoothie
Green smoothies can be an excellent way to squeeze some extra fiber and nutrients into your diet while staying hydrated.
Try making your own using green vegetables like spinach, kale, or celery and pair with some protein powder and a bit of fruit for a healthy, homemade smoothie.
Keep in mind that fruits contain carbohydrates, so remember to count them toward your daily carb intake.
10. Sugar-free lemonade
You can easily whip up your own sugar-free lemonade at home using just a few simple ingredients for a refreshing and delicious low carb beverage.
To get started, combine sparkling water with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Top it off with some ice and your choice of sugar-free sweetener, such as stevia.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage typically made from black or green tea.
It’s a great source of probiotics, which are a type of beneficial bacteria found in the gut that have been well studied for their ability to improve blood sugar controlTrusted Source for people with type 2 diabetes.
Although the exact nutritional content can vary depending on the specific type, brand, and flavor, a 1-cup serving of kombucha typically contains about 7 grams of carbs, making it a great choice on a low carb diet.
How do energy drinks differ from sports drinks?
Both energy drinks and sports drinks have added ingredients that are intended to do something, such as make you feel more alert and energized, as in the case of energy drinks. Sports drinks contain ingredients that are intended to increase or enhance athletic performance; for example, sports drinks typically contain carbohydrate and electrolytes, including potassium and sodium. They might also contain vitamins.
Who usually drinks energy drinks?
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that “men between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the most energy drinks, and almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly.”
Energy drinks are one of the fastest growing products in the beverage market. Monster Beverage Corporation, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Rockstar Inc., and PepsiCo are a few of the many companies with a high market share in the energy drinks segment, and these companies promote their beverages through advertising, and sports players and celebrity endorsement. These drinks are marketed towards teens and young adults and are often promoted in conjunction with sporting events, such as extreme skiing, motorsports, and skateboarding. It’s not surprising, then, that adolescents and young adults are drawn to energy drinks. The CDC notes that many school districts sell these beverages in vending machines, school stores, and snack bars.
Adults, too, are often drawn towards energy drinks as they serve as an alternate way to get caffeine and that “pick me up” without needing to drink coffee, tea, or soda.
Downsides of energy drinks
Grabbing a can of Red Bull or Burn can seem like a good idea when you’re trying to stay awake after a sleepless night or are feeling the need for a mid-afternoon energy burst. But while energy drinks may increase alertness, they have a dark side, too:
- The large amount of caffeine can cause heart rhythm disturbances, an increased heart rate and blood pressure, sleep problems, anxiety, and dehydration. People with diabetes are already at risk of high blood pressure and sleep problems.
- Guarana, a plant native to the Amazon, also contains caffeine — in fact, up to three times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans. Guarana, then, can cause the same side effects as caffeine.
- A 16-ounce container of an energy drink can contain between 54 to 62 grams of added sugar, which is more than the maximum recommended amount of added sugars for an entire day. This amount of sugar, which is carbohydrate, can be problematic for people with prediabetes and diabetes in terms of both blood sugar and weight control.
Emergency room visits have increased in adults age 40 and older as a result of seizures, dehydration, and high blood pressure due to the caffeine in energy drinks.
Caffeine content of energy drinks
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, making you feel more awake and alert. It’s also a diuretic and can increase blood pressure and the release of acid in the stomach. Some people should limit or avoid caffeine, including those with:
- Sleep disorders
- Chronic headaches
- Acid reflux or ulcers
- High blood pressure
- Fast or irregular hear rhythms
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to limit caffeine, as well.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends no more than 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day — roughly 4-5 cups of coffee. However, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others and may need to consume less than that.
Here’s an approximation of how much caffeine is in common beverages, such as coffee, tea and cola:
- Brewed coffee, 8 oz.: 80-100 mg
- Black or green tea, 8 oz: 30-50 mg
- Caffeinated soda, 12 oz: 30-40 mg
Here’s how much caffeine is in certain energy drinks:
- Red Bull, 8.4 oz: 80 mg
- Red Bull Zero, 8.4 oz: 80 mg
- Burn, 12 oz: 112 mg
- RUNA, 12 oz: 150 mg
- Monster Energy, 16 oz: 160 mg
- Hiball Energy Sparkling Water, 16 oz: 160 mg
- Bang, 16 oz: 300 mg
- Spike Hardcore, 16 oz: 350 mg
Energy drink nutrition
Energy drinks can contain upwards of almost 300 calories per serving. Note that 16-ounce cans may list a serving size as 8 ounces (2 servings per container).
Rockstar, 16 ounces
- Calories: 278
- Fat: 1 gram (g)
- Carb: 61 g
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Sodium: 77 mg
- Caffeine: 158 mg
Redbull, 12 ounces
- Calories: 168
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Carb: 40 g
- Protein: 0.9 g
- Sodium 140 mg
- Caffeine: 111 mg
You might be wondering if there are any sugar-free or lo- carb energy drinks. The answer is yes — here are some examples:
- Red Bull Sugarfree
- HiBall Energy Sparking Water
- Monster Energy Ultra Blue
- Monster Energy Zero Ultra
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
RUNA Berry Boost, 12 ounces
- Calories: 10
- Fat: 0 g
- Carb: 3 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Caffeine: 150 mg
Hiball Energy Sparkling Water, 16 ounces
- Calories: 0
- Fat: 0 g
- Carb: <1 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Caffeine: 160 mg