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What Nutritional Drinks for Diabetics Are Out There?

Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2023
by Jenna Picascio
nutritional drinks for diabetics

What nutritional drinks for diabetics are out there? What can I drink now that I’m diabetic? Are there drinks I should stay away from? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), you should stick to zero-calorie or very low-calorie drinks. These drinks include:

  • Water
  • Sparkling or Seltzer Water
  • Tea (Hot or Iced)
  • Unsweetened Coffee
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Low Fat Milk & Milk Alternatives
  • Protein Shakes

Even though many of these drink options seem boring, there are many ways to “spice” them up and make them just as enjoyable as drinking some of your favorite high-calorie drinks.


This is the simplest and most easily accessible option out of all the nutritional drinks for diabetics on this list. Water provides hydration, and it won’t raise your blood sugar, which makes it the best option for people with diabetes. Water plays an important role in helping your body eliminate excess glucose. The more water you drink, the more you urinate, and the more your body regulates your glucose levels. Not a fan of plain water? Try these all-natural add-ins to make your water more fun:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Herbs (Mint or Basil)
  • Fresh or Frozen Berries (Raspberries, Strawberries, etc.)
  • No or Low-Calorie Drink Mixes


Sparkling or Seltzer Water 

Sparkling or seltzer water are the best alternatives to sugary, carbonated beverages like soda. They are a good option for nutritional drinks for diabetics. They have many of the same benefits as regular water but have the added benefit of being bubbly. There are a wide variety of flavors to choose from, and there are just as many add-in options as well.

Tea (Hot or Iced)

My personal favorite out of these nutritional drinks for diabetics is tea. There are many options to choose from:

  • Green
  • Black
  • White
  • Oolong
  • Chamomile
  • Hibiscus
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint

According to some studies, green tea may help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Herbal teas like chamomile and hibiscus are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. No matter which tea option you choose regular or herbal, hot or iced, you can’t go wrong!

Unsweetened Coffee

You may not have thought of coffee as one of the nutritional drinks for diabetics, but there are studies from 2019 that show otherwise. Unsweetened coffee might help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by improving your sugar metabolism. Even with diabetes, you can still have your caffeine fix. Just be mindful of additives like whole milk, cream, or sugar. These can increase the calorie count of your drink and could spike your blood sugar. Look for better alternatives like low-fat milk and no or low-calorie sweeteners.

Vegetable Juice

When it comes to nutritional drinks for diabetics, you can’t get much better than vegetable juice. Whether store-bought or home-made, you can’t beat the nutritional value of juiced veggies. Tomato juice is an excellent store-bought option, but be mindful of the sodium content, stick to low or no-salt-added varieties. If you are feeling adventurous, try making your own blend of leafy vegetables, celery, or cucumbers. Adding a small amount of berries or apple can provide an additional sweetness that you may crave when making this juice.

Low Fat Milk & Milk Alternatives 

Milk puts the nutrition in nutritional drinks for diabetics. Milk is loaded with vitamins and minerals like thiamin, riboflavin, B12, and calcium. It strengthens your bones and provides brain power. However, whole milk can be filled with sugar and carbs, so choose unsweetened, low-fat, or skim varieties of your favorite milk. If you struggle with lactose issues, look to milk alternatives such as almond, oat, rice, soy, or coconut milk. They are all dairy-free and low-carb. Be mindful that certain milk alternatives like soy and rice are higher carb options and should be consumed in minimal amounts, and many nut milks are low in protein compared to skim milk and the like.

Protein Shakes

Nutritional drinks for diabetics peak with protein shakes. They are filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals. They can be used to supplement a meal like breakfast or lunch. Be sure to choose varieties that are low in carbs and sugar; that way your blood sugar doesn’t spike. With so many delicious flavors to choose from, there’s always a way to add a protein shake to your daily routine.

This article intends to educate and inform. It is not meant to take the place of expert advice from a physician. Always consult with your doctor before changing your diet, especially if you are diabetic.

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