Alcohol contains carbohydrates and result in an increase of blood sugars. It is important to factor in the carbohydrates you drink from alcohol when planning your insulin requirements. Drinking excessive alcohol can result in blood sugar spikes and drops if you are not prepared. If you are drinking moderately you will have better blood sugar balance than if you drink excessively.
If you have diabetes you should make sure to only drink when you have food and can monitor your blood glucose levels. Never choose to omit food because you are drinking extra carbohydrates, instead make sure and eat some protein to balance out your alcohol. Include your alcohol as a carbohydrate in your meal and snack planning.
When mixing your favorite alcoholic drink make sure to use calorie free soda. You could also use club soda, sparkling water, tonic water, or ginger ale. These substitutes for sugary sodas will give a delicious base to add any of your favorite alcohol flavors to. Some of these typical drinks include vodka tonic, rum and coke, scotch and soda.
1. Vodka Tonic
2. Rum and Diet Coke
3. Sugar Free Margarita
4. Light Beers
5. Wine Spritzers
6. Dry Wines
7. Vodka Cranberry
8. Scotch and Soda
11. Gin and Tonic
When getting your drink from the bar, make sure to ask about substitutes for high sugar simple syrups that are often included in mixed drinks. Ask about splenda based products if the bar has them or sugar free options for your simple syrup. There are some brands that specialize in low calorie and low carbohydrate drinks which you can ask for specifically by name these include: Skinny Girl brand drinks, Baja Bob’s and others that might be specific to your area. These two come in a variety of options and are very low in calories and carbohydrates.
Fruit juices are also used in a variety of mixed drinks and can be very difficult for a person with diabetes to drink and still maintain their blood sugars. Try using less fruit juice than you typically use and more sparkling water or plain water. Fruit juices can quickly increase your overall carbohydrate amount for a drink and should be looked at closely when you are deciding which drink will work best for you.
Before you start drinking, it is important to make sure to check your blood sugar levels and then again about one to two hours after you have a drink. Take notes so you know what drink you had and the effect it had on your blood sugar levels. You can make adjustments to your favorite drink by trying less fruit juice or more water so you can have a great tasting drink without a huge change in your blood sugar levels.
Talk with your doctor to discuss any concerns you have about drinking alcohol with your diabetes diagnosis. It might also be helpful to keep a journal on your phone or paper to show your doctor. This journal should include all of the food you eat during the day and your glucose levels before and after your meals. Make sure to take notes also on your blood sugar levels when you are drinking alcohol. Moderation is the key to being able to consume alcohol when you have diabetes, limiting your intake will benefit you and your blood sugar levels.