If you happen to be a diabetic, you’ve probably been told to stay away from sugar, and that sweet consumption isn’t the best.
This can be irritating at times when you crave something sweet and are not able to consume it because you have to keep a tab on your intakes especially if you’re a diabetic.
If you’re looking to try energy drinks as a diabetic, you won’t have to worry as there are options out there that consider your condition!
Let’s look into how these are helpful, but first a run-through of the disease itself.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood sugar levels in our body get too high. All of our food consumption is converted into glucose which insulin then turns into energy.
The average blood sugar level of a healthy adult ranges from 70 to 99mg/dL.
For most diabetic individuals, their pancreas struggles to secrete insulin or stops producing it altogether, leaving the glucose unconverted and filling up in the system. This is also why most diabetics are low in energy as the conversion process isn’t going through.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes deals with a lack of insulin which is why insulin shots are the common supplement for diabetics. Besides that, a diet is often set, one that is void of any additional glucose. This can make it difficult to maintain an enjoyable diet especially if you’re already looking for a boost.
What gives diabetics good energy?
A diabetic can maintain energy with regular exercise, nutrition, and weight management.
The common reason why a diabetic might experience tiredness and lethargy due to very high levels of blood sugar is that cells need insulin to fulfill the conversion process, and the lack of insulin means glucose isn’t converted to energy.
Besides the aforementioned, energy drinks are also one to consider in your diet. Although you might have heard that these powdered energy drinks contain huge amounts of sugar but that, since recently, is no longer true.
Brands are coming forward with formulas that have little to none of the sugar. But are energy drinks safe for diabetics? How much of this and other ingredients in an energy drink can we trust?
If these are some of your questions, stick with me as I answer your queries and help you choose the best energy drink powder for a diabetic.
What should diabetics look for in an energy drink?
Energy drinks powders usually contain caffeine and sugar in significant amounts, whereas other ingredients such as carbohydrates, vitamins, and calories may vary on the brand.
If you’re diabetic, it’s best to look for a brand with minimal amounts of these. Better yet, something sugar-free! It’s also suggested to scan over any vitamins present to know which nitrifying ingredients they have and what exact benefit you’ll be getting.
Let’s look deeper into each of these.
Caffeine is one of the core ingredients of powdered energy drinks. It can be found in tea leaves, coffee, and cocoa.
This ingredient works by blocking adenosine receptors, therefore suppresses the feeling of fatigue and supplies you with a boost that makes you feel alert and energetic.
According to the FDA, a healthy adult can consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day.
Overdosing on caffeine can have its own risks and can lead to caffeine withdrawals so it’s better to keep a tab on your caffeine consumption to avoid potential health effects as you are already facing a chronic health disease.
In extension, caffeine tends to raise blood sugar levels so it’s better to opt for a lower amount and to keep a close watch on your body’s response to this.
Caffeine and Diabetes
For healthy people, consuming caffeine daily is harmless. But for those with diabetes, caffeine can make it harder for you to keep your blood sugar levels equal.
Caffeine can affect every individual differently, and if you’re diabetic, you may or may not be able to consume caffeine. This is dependent on how adapted your body is to it but nonetheless, caffeine changes how your body responds to insulin.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body is already not producing insulin well, and caffeine can make sensing insulin a lot more difficult thereby raising blood sugar levels.
Either way, caffeine, and diabetes aren’t normally a good mix and it often leads to spikes. But this is dependent on a lot of other factors that I think you should be taking with medical advice instead.
How much caffeine can a diabetic have?
As stated above daily, caffeine intake should be, at the maximum, around 400mg so if you are a diabetic you might want to cut this in half and consume 200mg of caffeine to prevent any health crisis. I’d say aim lower so as to not risk it further.
It can only take 200 mg of caffeine to raise your blood sugar, which could normally be found in one or two cups of coffee or any energy drink powder.
Your body reacts to caffeine in certain ways depending on your age, weight, height, or lifestyle. You may be able to have less or more caffeine according to your body preferences.
Regular caffeine takers who are diabetic tend to have lower blood sugar levels than those who don’t. This means your body gets used to the amount of caffeine over time, thus, won’t affect your sugar levels now.
Your best bet is to watch closely how caffeine changes your blood levels and take it up with your doctor.
Does caffeine affect blood sugar?
Yes. If you already have diabetes, the impact of caffeine on insulin can cause high or low blood sugar levels. This effect can often be caused within 200mg of caffeine per serving.
Caffeine can cause spikes in your sugar level. Thus it is important to note down your caffeine intake just in case you are feeling a spike in your blood sugar levels.
This study looked into people with type 2 diabetes and made them take a 200mg caffeine pill at breakfast and then another one at lunchtime. The result turned out that their blood sugar was 8% higher than on days when they didn’t have caffeine. Their reading also jumped after every meal.
This happened because caffeine changes how your body reacts to insulin. In blocking off adenosine, caffeine also blocks off insulin production making sugar in the blood a lot more present.
Sugar is another core ingredient of energy drinks. It is found in abundance in some energy drinks as it can provide an instant boost of energy as well as significant sweetness.
However, too much sugar can lead to sugar-crash, or worse, diabetes.
According to the AHA, the maximum daily intake for men is 37g, for women, it is 25g, and for children under age six is 19g.
If you are a diabetic and are looking to try energy drinks, you can opt for less or sugar-free energy drinks to prevent further illness.
I highly recommend checking in with your doctor before consuming any drinks and see if it’s safe for you or not.
Sugar and Diabetes
Sugar on its own is mostly harmless. Its addition to most consumable goods is often to an extreme and this can lead to health complications. One of those is diabetes.
Sugar and diabetes are in most cases not mutually exclusive. Sugar in the blood is the reason for diabetes, which is why it’s strongly discouraged to steer clear of sugary foods or drinks if you have diabetes as this makes it worse.
Here’s a video explaining the side effects of too much sugar and what does sugar does to your body.
Can a diabetic consume sugar?
Yes! Diabetics can consume sugar in moderation. This means they have to closely monitor their sugar intake. For milder cases of diabetes, a strict sugar diet isn’t often acquainted.
As mentioned above, the daily maximum intake of healthy adults according to AHA for men should be 37g, for women 25g. This includes sugar in anything you consume.
As for diabetics, the AHA has recommended about 4g or around one teaspoon of sugar. It is important not to exceed these limits to avoid any spike in blood levels if you’re diabetic.
Do artificial sweeteners raise blood sugar levels?
No, they don’t raise blood sugar levels in fact they regulate your blood sugar levels.
There are two types of sweeteners: Nutritive and non-Nutritive. The non-nutritive ones are the ones for diabetics as they can be used to reduce both your calorie and carbohydrate intake.
Low calories sweeteners are sugar substitutes and do not increase blood sugar levels.
In extension, artificial sweeteners are definitely suitable as they are calorie-free, and are 200 to 600 times sweeter than sugar. This means that a small amount can sweeten a lot.
The best artificial sweetener for diabetics is said to be sucralose as it is said to have zero effect on blood sugar levels and insulin, but it is advised to consume it within limits to avoid health conditions.
Sucralose may raise blood sugar levels in the ones who don’t consume it regularly, however it may have no effect on people who consume it daily depending on body preferences.
Are energy drink powders good for a diabetic?
Yes! Diabetics can have powdered energy drinks as long as they opt for ones with proper amounts of sugar and caffeine. This can enable you to drink a variety of energy drinks.
My advice is that you look for drinks that are sugar-free, zero-calorie, and have low levels of caffeine.
It’s important to consult your doctor about energy drink consumption and discuss any you’ve chosen based on the criteria mentioned above.
Are zero-sugar energy drinks good for diabetics?
Yes! Zero-sugar energy drinks are good for diabetics as long as they’re consumed in moderation with caution.
In addition, zero-sugar energy drinks are more effective in terms of providing you the energy that you need without you having to worry about any spike.
Best Energy Drink Powders for Diabetics
As mentioned, a diabetic’s best choice for an energy drink is one that’s zero-sugar, low-calorie, and has a sensible amount of caffeine.
Here, I’ve gathered some energy drinks for you that follow this standard. Keep in mind to read the nutritional label before trying any drink to be cautious of your limits:
These brands are, for diabetics, the best ones out there for their considerable amount of caffeine, and they’re completely free of sugar! These even have the suggested sweetener which is Sucralose.
Let’s look closer into each drink.
Ghost Gamer is a powdered energy drink with about 150mg of caffeine per serving and is also sugar-free with zero calories. It’s still sweet with its sucralose which is a good one for diabetics.
Ghost Gamer is available in sachets and tubs for $1 and $39.99 respectively. At the moment there are a total of 7 different flavors of Ghost Gamer which can be a limited option if you are too picky.
You can check out this article for more details on Ghost Gamer’s ingredients.
G Fuel Energy
G Fuel is another great energy drink powder with a moderate amount of caffeine up to 150mg. Diabetics can opt for this drink as it’s sugar-free and calorie-free. Just like Ghost Gamer, this drink also uses sucralose instead of sugar.
This powdered drink is available in tubs and sachets for $35.99 for the tub and $2 for sachets with is a little on the costly side. It has a variety of 40 flavors that you can choose from.
Here is an article for more on G Fuel.
Rogue has about 175mg of caffeine per serving, which means having one drink a day will cover your daily limit if you are a diabetic.
Just like its peers, Rogue is sugar-free and calorie-free, and also uses sucralose as an artificial sweetener.
In terms of availability, Rogue comes in tubs and sachets too, ranging from $32.99 for the tub to less than $1 per sachet.
For more information about Rogue energy check this out.
With this discussion, energy drinks are still available for you as a beverage option even if you’re diabetic given you observe proper precaution.
Every energy drink is packed with caffeine, sugar, and calories. It is important to be mindful and keep the daily given limits in mind to avoid any health side effects.
The best-powdered energy drinks for diabetics are Ghost Gamer, G Fuel, and Rogue Energy.
Before picking up an energy drink, you must read what the nutritional label says the drink contains and consider taking a second opinion from a specialist to know whether energy drinks might be suitable for you or not.
With this, I hope you got all your queries answered and are able to make a spontaneous decision.