What Can Diabetics Drink?-Its A Tough Choice

What Are Good Substitutes

A big question I often hear is what can diabetics drink? So I decided to take the time and see what people are drinking that we are not allowed to drink as diabetics. I also thought I would look into some substitutes.

Of course, we know the best and most healthy drink for anyone with or without diabetes is water; Water has zero calories, zero carbs and no sugar. How much healthier can we get than that?
The thing about water is no matter how healthy it is, it is also pretty boring. It truly is nice once in a while to have some options with taste.

The thing is that most drinks that taste good just aren’t good for diabetics. Even some drinks that you think are healthy aren’t always good for us. So in this post I am going to try to show you some drinks that can be swapped with healthier choices.

Chocolate Milk

Mmmmmm, who doesn’t like chocolate milk? I remember my mom giving it to me at lunch and in some cases it is even a bit healthy because it is rich in calcium. Lots of lunch room athletes even like to indulge in a nice cold glass of chocolate milk after a good work out.

The crappy part about chocolate milk is that the ones you buy from the local grocery store or convenience store are loaded with sugar. But do not despair because there just may be a solution.

Let’s have some home made chocolate milk. Mix a cup of 1% milk, next mix in 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder and lastly you can add 2 packs of no calorie sweetener. First off this will cut out at least 70 calories or more. It will knock the carbs back by 16 grams and it also kicks but on fat.
So feel free to try this as a healthier alternative to chocolate milk in our list of what diabetics can drink.

Sweet Tea

Because you hear the word tea doesn’t mean you are drinking something healthy. When you go to the fast food place and order a sweet tea it usually comes in a 16 ounce cup and along with that cup is usually 16 grams of carbs. Even if you are not diabetic that still results in a lot of sugar.

So why not try some choices which are sugar and carb free. for example try sugar free iced tea crystals. And if you really want you can mix up your own brand.

Make some tea, mix in some crushed fruits like strawberries. once mixed you will need to strain any pulp or seeds. Then you will want to chill the tea and when you go to drink it you can add a no calorie sweetener. You won’t believe how good this tastes.

Orange Juice

Here are one of those that we would naturally think are very good for us. Well I’m here to tell you that just isn’t the case. If you drink a cup of orange juice you are drinking 26 grams of carbs. Honestly it would be much healthier to eat an orange.

If you really feel the need for orange juice then try one of the flavored orange drinks. You will have to do some label reading and find the one with the lowest numbers. these numbers are usually about 3 or 4 grams of carbs, under 15 calories and 100% vitamin C.

Chai Latte

Why wouldn’t you love Chai Latte, it smells so good, it is sweet and beautifully creamy. I know I know, you don’t want me to take that away as well. I’m sorry but when you order one of these at your favorite coffee house you are also ordering 33 grams of carbs and that is way too much.

OK, here is an alternative and please don’t knock it until you try it. Take two chai tea bags and mix it with a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Throw some cinnamon in and add a bit of black pepper to add some kick to it. Then you are not only having a great tasting drink but you are only drinking one carb. Now that’s the way to do it.


Its summer and its hot outside so what drink goes best with that? Let’s order a glass of lemonade. Stop!!! This may not be the best choice because that glass of lemonade that you are about to drink has 60 grams of carbs and that’s way too much. So obviously that is a poor choice and we need to make a different choice.

So the best choice is to make home made lemonade. This is actually quite easy. Pour some water into a pitcher, squeeze some lemons and drop the lemons into the water. Add a few packs of no calorie sweetener. Then just to make it just right you add some ice and there you go. You now have a great glass of lemonade without any carbs or calories.

Hot Chocolate

It is one of the most popular drinks anywhere and is so loved on a cold winter morning. I am speaking of hot chocolate. The bad thing is the ones you get at your local cafe or coffee house is so bad for you.

Even if you get a medium made with low fat milk you are still looking at consuming 60 carbs. 60 carbs just isn’t going to go well with your diabetes.

The bright side of things is if you want you can make a great cup of hot chocolate that has less than half the carbs.

You need 1 cup of low fat milk and 2 squares of dark chocolate. Mix those two together and add a bit of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon. Next all you have to do is melt this all together and you can enjoy a great cup of hot chocolate with less than 23 grams of carbs.

Apple Cider

When you think of the fall time you think of nice hot apple cider in the evening around a nice blazing fire. Unfortunately now you are diabetic so some things need to change.

You might want to consider a nice light apple cocktail and drink around a dozen carbs instead of 25 or so.

Energy Drinks

So now you want to drink energy drinks. Well all I want to say is that everyone should just plain stay away from energy drinks. It doesn’t matter if you are diabetic or not.

All you are doing is guzzling your life away. These things raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
Honestly I hesitate to offer any alternative other than maybe a strong cup of coffee. Just stay away from energy drinks.

Fruit Smoothie

Of course you are going down the aisles at the grocery store and in the cooler section you see fruit smoothies. So of course you think these are healthy and you buy some thinking you are doing the right thing. Well I’m sorry to break the news to you but these are full of carbs and sugars and are not good for you.

So now you should substitute it with a home made smoothie. Mix blue, black and strawberries with some ice and all of a sudden you have a much healthier drink.

Ginger Ale

This is a real winner especially if you love ginger ale like I do. You defiantly want to stay away from the soda you get in a bottle. It may seem healthier but at the end of the day its soda pop and has at least 60 grams of sugar.

What I love is you can have a much tastier and healthier option.
Grab a glass of seltzer and add a spoon of finely grated ginger. Now all you need is some zero calorie sugar and you are set to go.

I do have to admit this is one of my favorites.

The Final Word

So what can diabetics drink? At the end of the day anything a diabetic puts into their mouths have to be monitored. Yes water is great but some times its nice to have something with taste. So I hope I helped you so you can enjoy some healthy alternatives.











  1. Hey there, thanks for sharing.
    I Didnt know there were so much things that diabetics couldnt drink. Im not a diabetic but my father is but I dont think he knows all this stuff so I’ll definitely refer this site to him and I know he’ll be grateful. I do agree that their options are limited.

    • Hi there thanks for stopping by and yes let your dad know because I will be posting all kinds of neat things.  When I was diagnosed I made a commitment to learn as much as I could and then made the commitment to try and help others.

  2. Fruit smoothies and hot chocolate have been my major drinks and I didn’t realize that I shouldn’t been having them in my diabetic condition.,

    This means that I have added a whole lot of carbs and sugar in my system as I have been doing them for months now.

    What do you recommend I use in place of them which has a taste as good?

    • Hi there Dave.  A homemade fruit smoothie is ok.  Use berries.  Strawberries, raspberries, blue and black berries and mix with ice.  If you need a little consistency add a little greek yogurt or almond milk.  They are actually quite delicious.

      As for the hot chocolate please have a look at the page again.  It has a great recipe for hot chocolate.  All I do different is add a teaspoon of low fat whipping cream.  Only 2 grams of carbs for 2 tablespoons.

  3. I don’t have diabetes but know a few people that do. Found this website to be very informative. I love that you put alternative drinks. Feel I would enjoy these healthy alternatives also. Great information for people who want to learn more about diabetes especially since Ive heard its on the rise.

    • you are right it is on a huge rise.  So it doesn’t hurt to be proactive and not have to be reactive.  The more you can do today to avoid this disease the better for you in the long run.  Trust me while it is doable it’s sure a lot tougher now that I put myself behind the 8 ball.  Thank you for stopping by.  Feel free to ask me any questions at anytime.

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