The Mayo Clinic has reported that recommended daily water intake is influenced by climate, exercise and health factors. The best way to know the specific amount of water that a diabetic should consume is by consulting a doctor. Nevertheless, there are a few guidelines all people can follow concerning hydration.
Benefits of Water
Water supports all of your body's functions. If your body is not properly hydrated, it is not able to work at full capacity. Being fully hydrated will boost energy and help raise your metabolic rate.
A diabetic's body does not always work at its full potential, and fatigue can be a common ailment. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent fatigue and improve your body's physical performance. Water is especially useful for hydration for a diabetic because water has no calories, no fat and no cholesterol, things a diabetic needs to avoid.
Required Water Consumption
According to the American Diabetic Association, unless otherwise specified by a personal physician, a diabetic's daily water intake requirement is the same as a that of a healthy person.
The Institute of Medicine suggests that men drink about 13 cups, or 3 liters, of liquid a day; women should drink about 9 cups, or 2.2 liters. This amount includes water and other beverages. However, carbonated drinks and caffeinated drinks should be kept at a minimum. Opt instead for herbal teas or water to help keep the body hydrated. Herbal teas and water are always the best choice for the diabetic.
Ways to Stay Hydrated
Begin by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. An 8-ounce glass is equal to a cup, and 8 cups is about 1.9 liters. Remember that this is only a starting point for meeting your daily fluid requirements. When tracking daily water consumption, keep in mind that many common household drinking glasses come in 16- to 24-ounce sizes, making them two or three servings of liquid, respectively.
Dangers of Dehydration
Diabetes can cause dehydration, so it is important for a diabetic to consume at least the daily recommended amount of water. Frequent urination caused by the buildup of sugar in the blood can cause dehydration. Severe dehydration can cause a person with type 2 diabetes to develop a hyperosmolar nonketotic diabetic coma. This life-threatening condition often occurs when a person is not able to drink enough water to keep himself hydrated. The importance of drinking at least the minimum recommendations water daily cannot be overemphasized.
Overhydration is possible, but it is more common in athletes than in a healthy person or a person with diabetes. Overhydration prevents the kidneys from excreting excess water so the mineral content in the blood is diluted. This condition is called hyponatremia. Even though rare, this condition is another reason why it is important to consult a doctor about how much water should be consumed in an individual diabetic's diet.
- Photo Credit Jorge Barrios, Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons
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