People with diabetes have to watch what they eat and drink all the time. For example, alcohol consumption – it is really better for a diabetic to stop drinking alcohol. But if there are instances that social drinking cannot be evaded, then, you must drink in moderate amounts. You need to understand that alcohol can directly affect your blood sugar levels in a not-so-good way.
Please explain why and how alcohol can spike your blood sugar.
Do you know the composition of alcohol? Well, it is made of organic compounds that contain – guess what – carbohydrates. So, what does carbs do for you? Spot on! It can indeed increase your blood sugar levels.
Let’s talk about beer.
Ok, let’s say you just want to drink 1 bottle of beer. How many grams of carbohydrates does beer contain? It has at least 13 grams of it. Actually, that is for a 12-ounce size glass of beer. One ounce means one gram of carbs.
As for hard drinks, it doesn’t have that much carbs but if mixed with juice or soda, it becomes a sugary-drink. So, it really is up to you – are you willing to take the risk? Will you succumb yourself to an event wherein your blood glucose level will raise?
Let’s talk about weight issues.
So, as you know, some diabetics find it hard to lose excess weight. Now, if you drink beer or any type of alcohol mixer, you will take in unnecessary calories. It may not be that big if you consume one glass or one shot. But if this one glass turns to two, three, four or five – that’s the problem.
But, then again – alcohol can “tame” your blood sugar level.
This is not to be taken as something positive but in light of scientific studies, there is a truth to the statement – ALCOHOL CAN LOWER BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS.
Alcohol is being metabolized in your liver and it is known that the liver contains glucose. There will come a time that you need the extra surge of energy and your liver is able to deliver that need. But if you drink alcohol, you will go into a hypoglycemia for as long as 12 hours post-alcohol consumption. So, yes – alcohol can lower your blood sugar levels for a short period of time.
Now, if you drink alcohol, it is a must not to take insulin injections or other oral medicines within the specified time. Your blood sugar will go much lower if you do that – for your information.
But again, this is temporary. This is not a permanent solution and it must not be done regularly. If alcohol is regularly consumed, in the long run, it will spike up the blood sugar count.
Now, how can you balance the situation? You may drink to lower your blood sugar level but you cannot drink more because your blood sugar level may go up. This is so confusing!
Here are some tips to create a balance when it comes to “drinking” and your blood sugar level:
1. Before you take a glass of beer, be sure to check your blood sugar count first.
2. Even if it’s not beer, learn how to be conscious of the carbs content in each drink. For example, how many carbohydrates in grams are there in a frozen margarita glass? A Sex in the Beach? A Rhum and Coke? If you learn how to count, you will be more mindful of what you’re putting inside your mouth.
3. To manage your blood sugar level, list down the carbs content of the drinks. Then correlate it with your insulin requirement. Remember that alcohol has a 12-hour effect on your body. Use it to you advantage.
4. Eat something with carbohydrates before drinking alcohol. It is not recommended to drink without eating first.
5. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 states that a woman can drink one serving of alcohol per day and for men, it is two servings. What is one serving? For beer, it is 12 ounces. For wine, it is 5 ounces. And for hard drinks, it is 1.5 ounces. As the slogan says – DRINK MODERATELY.
I cannot stress this enough – always check your blood sugar and a 12-hour window is just right. You have to be within normal blood glucose level rate.