What importance does drinking water have for people with diabetes? A great one indeed, it is of utmost importance to stay well hydrated.
A French study proved that those who drank over 34 ounces of water a day had a far lower risk of developing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) than those who drank just 16 ounces or less.
The Connection Between Water and Blood Sugar
So, how exactly does staying hydrated help in controlling one’s blood sugar?
According to an article published in New York Times, dehydration causes the release of a hormone by the name of Healthline. What it does is tell one’s kidneys to store more water and one’s liver to release any stored blood sugars. This also serves to raise one’s blood pressure.
Ideally, any extra sugars should be flushed out of your body through your urine, but if you are not hydrated enough, your kidneys have a hard time making urine, especially if there is excess vasopressin present.
Also, since many tend to misplace their sense of thirst for hunger, constant dehydration can lead to overeating and weight gain. Moreover, dehydration tends to slow down the metabolism and can also be the reason you are constantly feeling fatigued.
How Much Water is Enough?
A very good question.
When one takes into consideration that the elderly are about 50% water and newborn babies as much as 75%, it’s more than clear that we need quite a decent amount each day.
The fact that we lose as much as 3-4 liters of water every day, through urine, sweat, bowel movement, and exhaled air should not be surprising. Even those who do not lead very active lives still lose water easily, and they need to replenish it constantly.
Caffeine and alcohol make you lose water more easily, and then there are plenty of outsides and inside factors that make you feel thirstier. Those can be high temperatures, fever, rigorous exercise, diarrhea, high blood pressure, dry air, and many more.
So don’t be surprised when we say that it is not too much to consume about 15 cups of water daily. Most people don’t even realize how much water they lose, so they expect the quantity to be far less. The thing is, when one’s blood sugars are higher than normal they also make one’s blood thicker.
If the blood is too sticky, it can make it hard for glucose to move through one’s blood vessels and reach the cells. This, in turn, can cause insulin resistance. So, in other words, the more water you drink, the less sticky your blood is, and the easier it will be for glucose to get into your cells.
Still, it’s not like the ideal amount of water one needs each day is the same for every individual out there.
But here are a few ways you can tell whether you need water or not.
Signs You Need More Water
Well, the first one is pretty obvious, you will feel the need to drink water by being simply thirsty. But the tricky part is that, as you get older, your body may not always send signals using the thirst mechanism.
And those with diabetes, can get used to the feeling of constant thirst or mistake it for hunger instead. And some individuals simply tend to ignore their thirst, which is a very big error. Quenching one’s thirst should be a top priority for everyone.
Another sign of dehydration is dark urine. It can mean that one’s body is low on water and conserves the supply it has. The healthy urine should be light-colored, and there should be plenty of it.
A third sign can be your skin tone. Here’s a nifty trick you can try: use your index finger and thumb to pinch some skin and then let it go. It should return to its place immediately. In case it returns more slowly, it means you need to drink some water as you are getting dehydrated.
Some other signs are those that anyone can guess.
If you are exercising, sweating, breathing hard, or even singing, you will lose water much more quickly and easily and will need to replenish your sources as soon as possible.
Not Just Water
You don’t have to get all your daily water intake from liquid alone. There are plenty of foods rich in water, such as watermelon, lettuce, cucumber, apples, and broccoli.
20% of your water intake should come from such foods. And while it’s all well to drink water, you should also take a little salt from time to time, as this could lead to your sodium levels quickly becoming depleted.
Some Extra Tips
Make sure to never drink bottled water; it does more harm than good. Always carry around a metal flask or container filled up with fresh water.
You can also squeeze in some fresh, organic lemons. Not only will that give it more of a taste but it is healthy for you in so many ways. Some aren’t keen on lemon water though, and that’s alright. But acquiring a taste for it will certainly benefit your health.