About 70% of the human body contains water, which we require to maintain healthy bodily functions. Your body can maintain a healthy fluid balance by keeping your blood sugar levels within a reasonable range. But keeping hydrated is also beneficial. Drinking water can assist your body in getting rid of excess glucose while preventing dehydration.

If you have diabetes, you should drink a lot of fluids. Drink a few sips of water every hour to stay hydrated, even if you don't feel thirsty. Since the thirst reaction isn't always reliable, especially for diabetics, taking a few proactive sips of water is preferable to dehydrating. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests that adult women drink around 9 cups daily (2L), and adult men drink about 13 cups daily (3L).

However, while water is a terrific all-purpose beverage, and increasing fluid intake to reduce dehydration is advised, other beverages can also cause dehydration.

It would be best to avoid sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks. These drinks can raise your blood sugar because they are loaded with sugar.

Key Facts

  • Our bodies are mostly water (about 70%), which is crucial for overall health.
  • Balancing fluids helps control blood sugar, eliminate toxins, and stop diabetes-related problems linked to dehydration.
  • Women should drink 9 cups of water daily (2L) and men 13 cups of water daily (3L).
  • Sugary drinks like sodas worsen dehydration; watch for signs like thirst and dark urine.
  • Keep water handy, flavor it, eat water-rich foods, and seek medical advice for severe dehydration or diabetes management challenges.

How Much Water Do You Need to Drink as a Diabetic Each Day?

While there is no set rule for how much water is ideal, there are rules we may adhere to.

The most crucial advice is always to have water on hand and to hydrate whenever you feel thirsty. You can't drink 8 cups at once; instead, aim to consume smaller ounces consistently throughout the day.

You should drink a little water every hour, even if you don't feel thirsty, to stay hydrated to control blood sugar. It's preferable to take a few proactive sips of water rather than run the danger of dehydration because the thirst reflex isn't always reliable, especially for those with diabetes.

A person with diabetes should take this advice to heart since the average non-diabetic is encouraged to drink eight cups of water daily. For people with diabetes, the effects of mild dehydration are more noticeable in our blood sugars level.

Diabetes and Dehydration 

Diabetes and dehydration are often related. Moderate dehydration symptoms like dry lips and thirst are frequently the early signs of diabetes. But how do dehydration and diabetes relate to one another? How the body reacts to elevated blood sugar is directly related to diabetes and dehydration.

Sugar can accumulate in your bloodstream if your body doesn't utilize insulin appropriately. When your blood glucose level stays high for an extended period, your kidneys must work harder to filter and eliminate the extra glucose. The mechanism used for this is urination. This increase in urination causes dehydration, mainly if you don't replenish lost fluids.

Dehydration is dangerous for patients with diabetes mellitus and can raise the likelihood of high blood sugar levels.

Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes insipidus, wholly distinct from diabetes mellitus, can arise from either a problem with the pituitary gland's incorrect production of the hormone vasopressin or the kidneys' inability to react to it. Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone that impairs kidney water retention.

Your kidneys will excrete a lot of pee, leading to dehydration.

Diabetes thirst

Excess thirst is an early sign of diabetes and a symbol of mild dehydration.

When your body loses too much water through urination due to high blood sugars, diabetes, and thirst increases, you might still feel thirsty or dehydrated even if you drink frequently. This is because your kidneys will make more urine to wash out excess glucose. As long as your blood sugar is elevated, this cycle keeps on. Increased water consumption instead of diet soda may reduce insulin resistance.

Diabetes ketoacidosis 

Diabetes complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which are more frequent in type 1 diabetes, develop after high blood sugar levels. Your body will begin to burn fat for fuel if your cells cannot absorb sugar for energy.

Ketones are an acid created during this process, and having an excessive amount of them in your system can have significant adverse effects.

Your body could experience significant fluid loss due to this disease, resulting in shock. The following are severe signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis: flushed face, muscle stiffness, headaches, vomiting, dry skin, and diabetic coma.

What Are the Symptoms and Causes of Dehydration

Dehydration Signs And Symptoms

Dehydration signs and symptoms include:

  • Thirst
  • Tiredness
  • Urine is a dark yellow color.
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Having a dry mouth and eye

Signs of severe dehydration

  • Recessed/Sunken eyes
  • Feeling perplexed
  • A slow heartbeat or a fast heartbeat
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lethargy

The causes and risk factors for dehydration

The following elements may cause dehydration. The risk of dehydration can increase when more of these are present at once:

  • Hot weather
  • High amounts of blood sugar
  • Difficult exercise
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Alcohol
  • Diabetic insipidus
  • Insufficient hydration

How to Avoid a Lack of Water

  • Keep bottled water on you at all times. Keep it filled!
  • When possible, choose water over sweetened beverages, even during meals.
  • Add taste. Plain water might be tastier and more enjoyable with a wedge of lime or lemon! Also available are flavored drink mixes, but beware of the sugar content!
  • Consume foods with high water content. This is true of many soups , fruits, and vegetables.
  • Try smaller dosages throughout the day if you don't enjoy drinking much water at once.

Should You Limit Your Water Intake?

For those with diabetes, water is the most incredible beverage choice for hydration. Because it won't cause your blood sugar to rise, that is. Dehydration can result from high blood glucose levels. Water intake aids in maintaining your body temperature and eliminating pollutants from your body.

If you drink enough water, your body can clear extra glucose through urine. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests that adult women drink around 9 cups daily (2L), and adult men drink about 13 cups daily (3L).

If you don't like the taste of just water, add some variation by:

  • Incorporating lemon, lime, or orange slices
  • Incorporating a few sprigs of fragrant herbs like mint, basil, or lemon balm
  • Add a few raspberries, either fresh or frozen, to your beverage.

Water Alternatives

If a person wants to drink more than just plain water, what else can they drink?

Seltzer water

Seltzer water is a fantastic effervescent, sugar-free substitute for other carbonated drinks like soda.

Seltzer water lacks calories, carbohydrates, and sugar like ordinary water. A fantastic approach to maintaining healthy blood glucose levels and remaining hydrated is with carbonated water.

You can choose from various tastes and kinds or experiment by adding fresh fruit and herbs to your beverage for a delectable touch.

Herbal tea

People with diabetes would do well to choose herbal teas, including chamomile, hibiscus, ginger, and peppermint tea.

Herbal tea is devoid of carbohydrates, calories, and sugar and has a high concentration of antioxidants, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, that fight diseases.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Drinking extra water and controlling your diabetes might help balance your fluid level and improve hydration if you show moderate dehydration.

However, consult a doctor if you cannot manage your blood sugar with medicine or lifestyle modifications. Your medication for diabetes may need to be changed by your doctor.

Additionally, you should visit a doctor if you experience severe signs of dehydration, such as confusion, low blood pressure, a weak pulse, or if you get diabetic ketoacidosis symptoms. These signs consist of the following:

  • Dizziness or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breath with a fruity aroma
  • Bewilderment

Also, consult a doctor if you are showing signs of dehydration but your blood sugar is still within the usual range.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you flush sugar out of your system fast?

Drinking lots of water is the quickest approach to getting your blood glucose levels back to normal. Drinking the standard amount of water daily will keep your blood sugar controlled. Water aids the kidneys in removing insulin and toxins from the body.

Does peeing lower blood sugar?

The kidneys must work very hard to reabsorb sugar into the bloodstream when excessive sugar is in the blood. Urination aids in the removal of a large portion of the glucose from the body when the kidneys cannot reabsorb all of the sugar properly.


Diabetes is a chronic disease that, if unchecked, can result in severe complications. Dehydration is indicated by increased urination and thirst, so it's critical to rehydrate your body as soon as possible to keep your high blood glucose levels within a healthy range. Drinking water or other fluids helps with rehydration.

Dehydration increases the risk of kidney failure, convulsions, and possibly coma if it is not treated in time.

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About the Author

Inez Briand

Inez Briand is the partner of a type 1 diabetic (Ely). She has always been interested in traveling and cooking, and now that she has a partner with diabetes, her interest in cooking even more healthily has skyrocketed. She loves finding new recipes for her partner and family and sharing any food and nutrition-related articles on Diabetic & Me.

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