Water is even more important with diabetes

Drinking water every day is important for everyone, but when’re living with diabetes you’re more susceptible to dehydration. Even a little dehydration during the day can impact your blood glucose levels.

If you don’t drink enough water, the glucose in your bloodstream becomes more concentrated and that leads to higher blood glucose levels.

Your kidneys then have to work overtime to deal with the excess glucose, eventually getting rid of it through your urine. The more you urinate the more likely you are to become dehydrated.

Our bodies are made up of around 60 to 65% water, the major component that makes up blood volume is plasma, which is approximately 90% water, and our muscles, around 70%.

When you consider these percentages, it’s easy to see the importance of staying hydrated.

Exercise

A major risk for dehydration is exercise – a 4% fluid loss can impair the way you think.

When you exercise your body loses heat through a variety of different ways, one of which includes evaporation (which requires water) in order to give off heat energy via sweat.

Sweating is an important process for ensuring temperature regulation during intense bouts of physical activity.

Guidelines

General guidelines suggest drinking around 3 to 3.5 litres per day for males and 2 to 2.5 litres per day for females. This includes water, food and other beverages.

You’ve probably heard the advice that we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day; however, when you’re exercising you might need to consider increasing your total fluid intake to account for the water lost through sweat.

It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout to replenish the fluids lost during exercise, particularly if you’re exercising in hot conditions which can cause further physiological stress.

Three tips to stay hydrated

Below are three simple tips you can try to ensure you’re drinking enough fluids while exercising.

  1. Carry a bottle with you. Find yourself a bottle (preferably BPA free) and carry it with you wherever you go. This is great way to stay hydrated when exercising, during outdoor activities, or in the warmer months.
  2. Keep a water journal. Keeping a record of how much you drink is a great way to understand if you’re staying well hydrated. There are plenty of mobile apps that can be helpful in tracking your water intake.
  3. Alternate beverages. Alternate between caffeinated and decaffeinated tea, coffee or other drinks throughout the day. Caffeine is a diuretic and increases the excretion of water from the body as opposed to hydrating the body. This may be an important consideration if you drink a lot of coffee.

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