The crucial role of hydration in diabetes care

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Managing diabetes involves monitoring food intake, exercise, and medication, but one often overlooked aspect is the importance of staying hydrated.

Proper hydration is essential for everyone, but for individuals with diabetes, it can play an even more significant role in managing their condition.

This review explores why staying hydrated is crucial for those with diabetes and how it can impact their overall health.

Why Hydration is Key for Diabetes

Water is vital for all bodily functions, and its importance is magnified in diabetes management for several reasons:

Blood Sugar Control: Water helps to dilute the blood and leads to a reduction in blood sugar levels. Not drinking enough water can cause blood sugar levels to rise.

High blood sugar can lead to more frequent urination, which can result in dehydration if those fluids are not replenished.

Kidney Health: Diabetes can put a strain on the kidneys, which are responsible for filtering and cleaning the blood. Adequate hydration helps the kidneys to function correctly and flush out excess glucose through urine.

Chronic dehydration can lead to kidney disease, which is a common complication of diabetes.

Calorie Control: Water is a zero-calorie drink. Staying hydrated can help control caloric intake by providing a sense of fullness and replacing sugary drinks, which can contribute to weight gain and higher blood sugar levels.

Research Evidence on Hydration and Diabetes

Numerous studies highlight the relationship between hydration and diabetes management. For instance, research published in the Diabetes Care journal found that people with diabetes who consumed more water had better blood sugar control than those who drank less.

Another study indicated that proper hydration is linked to a lower risk of developing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can complicate diabetes management.

Furthermore, dehydration has been shown to impair glucose metabolism in the body.

A study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reported that dehydration could lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the body does not use insulin effectively, increasing blood sugar levels.

Practical Tips for Staying Hydrated

Given the importance of hydration in diabetes care, here are some practical tips for individuals with diabetes to ensure they are adequately hydrated:

Monitor Fluid Intake: It’s generally recommended that adults drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, but needs can vary based on body size, activity level, and climate. People with diabetes should talk to their healthcare provider to determine their optimal daily water intake.

Choose Water Over Other Drinks: Water is the best choice because it hydrates without adding calories or sugars. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks, which can cause blood sugar spikes.

Use a Water Bottle: Carrying a water bottle is a helpful reminder to drink regularly throughout the day. Setting reminders on a phone or computer can also prompt regular water intake.

Pay Attention to Your Body: Thirst, dry mouth, and darker urine are signs of dehydration. People with diabetes should drink water regularly, even before they feel thirsty, as thirst is a late sign of dehydration.

Be Aware of Diuretics: Some medications for diabetes can increase urination. If using such medications, additional fluids may be needed to compensate for this loss.


Hydration is a critical but often neglected aspect of diabetes management. Drinking enough water each day can help regulate blood sugar levels, protect kidney health, and assist in managing overall health.

By making hydration a priority, individuals with diabetes can improve their disease management and enhance their quality of life.

As with all aspects of diabetes care, it’s important to consult with healthcare providers to tailor hydration needs to individual health profiles and treatment plans.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that MIND diet may reduce risk of vision loss disease, and Vitamin D could benefit people with diabetic neuropathic pain.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that Vitamin E could help reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetes, and results showing eating eggs in a healthy diet may reduce risks of diabetes, high blood pressure.

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