Quenching Your Thirst

August 6, 2018

We’ve been talking about heat and staying hydrated.  Water is the best drink for staying hydrated for most of us, but what about those who work outside or exercise for more than one hour every day?  If you are sweating a lot, you may need to replace some electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.  These minerals are very important for keeping your body running smoothly.  Sodium helps move water and other nutrients in and out of your cells.  Magnesium, potassium, and calcium work together to help your muscles move without cramping.  There is a blog post at Diabetes Daily that gives a great breakdown on electrolytes.  Check it out if you want to learn more about how electrolytes work.

So, how do you get these electrolytes back?  The easiest, tastiest way is to eat a piece of fruit after exercise.  Fruit has all these minerals, plus vitamins and soluble fiber.  The fiber will help keep your blood sugar more stable.  Fruits also contain natural sugar.  If you are working hard, you will need this sugar to prevent low blood sugar.

Sports drinks can also be a good option if you work outdoors or exercise more than 1 hour each day. Regular sports drinks may be better for you than sugar-free drinks, in this case. The sugar helps move the electrolytes around your body. Keep your drinks cool for better absorption (ADW Diabetes).

Shakes designed for diabetes are also a good source of electrolytes. These drinks also contain diabetes-friendly carbohydrates and protein.  Sports drinks, commercial shakes, and milk can all be used by people with diabetes to rehydrate after intense exercise. These drinks may prevent low-blood sugar after exercise (Hernandez, et. al., 2000).

Whichever drink or snack you chose, be sure to read the label.  You will need to add the carbohydrates to your eating plan.  Finally, remember to check your blood sugar often and adjust the carbohydrates you eat as needed.


Hernandez, J. M., Moccia, T., Fluckey, J. D., Ulbrecht, J. S., & Farrell, P. A. (2000). Fluid snacks to help persons with type 1 diabetes avoid late onset post-exercise hypoglycemia [Abstract]. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,904-910. doi:10.1097/00005768-200005000-00005

Sports Drinks and Diabetes | ADW Diabetes. (2017, November 28). Retrieved July 22, 2018, from http://www.adwdiabetes.com/articles/sports-drinks-diabetes

Bibliography from www.bibme.org

Rehydrating with diabetes

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