10 Best Drink Alternatives for People With High Blood Sugar
If you’re concerned about your blood sugar and you’re trying to kick a soda habit, we’ve got you covered with an expert-approved list of best drinks for blood sugar! We spoke to dietitians to give you their expert take on their favorite recommendations for beverages that won’t have your blood sugar climbing.
What to look for when shopping for healthy drink alternatives for better blood sugar:
- Added sugar: The recommended intake is 25 grams of added sugar or less per day, and focusing on low sugar beverages can help you satisfy your craving for a fun drink without sacrificing healthy blood sugar.
- Nutritionally balanced: Added fiber or protein can help manage blood sugar by slowing down the rate of absorption into your bloodstream. If you can’t find an option that has fiber in it (some beverages on our list do!) then we recommend pairing a high-fiber or high-protein food with your healthy beverage.
- Portion size: Even if a serving size appears low in sugar and carbohydrates, there might be more than one serving per container. This can be easily overlooked if you’re not reading the label and paying attention, so be sure to give the serving size a glance.
Read on to learn exactly what the experts recommend when it comes to alternative beverage options for better blood sugars.
1. Sunwink Immunity Berry Tonic
For those individuals who prefer to avoid sugar substitutes this product is a good alternative to the regular high sugar content sodas you see in the market, says Joanna Ayalloore MS RD LDN CNSC. “One bottle of this tonic water contains 45 calories and 8 grams of sugar out of which 6 grams is added sugar. The ingredient blend of strawberry, elderberry & goji berry is an additional bonus to help with immune support especially as we begin the flu season,” she shares.
Buy now: Sunwink Immunity Berry Tonic
Prebiotic sodas are becoming more mainstream, and OLIPOP has now surpassed name brand sodas in certain grocery stores in the US. Consumers are looking for healthier alternatives now more than ever and OLIPOP delivers.
If you’re looking for an alternative to soda to help manage your blood sugar levels, I’d recommend a functional soda like OLIPOP that contains just 2 to 5 grams of total sugar per serving, says Melissa Boufounos, CHN, sports nutritionist and owner of MB Performance Nutrition. “In comparison, a standard cola has 39 grams of sugar per can. You can enjoy classic flavors like Vintage Cola or Ginger Ale and innovative flavors like Strawberry Vanilla, Tropical Punch, or Watermelon Lime without worrying about a sugar crash while also supporting your gut health with OLIPOP’s blend of prebiotics, botanicals, and 9 grams of plant fiber,” she says.
Buy now: OLIPOP
Made with revolutionary new technology, Oobli uses sweet proteins that are 2,000 times sweeter than table sugar. With no aftertaste or weird flavorings, we think this is going to change the game for artificially sweetened beverages.
Their iced tea flavors include Lemon, Peach, Mango Yuzu and they do contain small amounts of added sugar. However, when you compare the nutrition label to a classically sweet tea, you’ll find this option is hard to beat.
Buy now: Oobli
4. Mango & Peach Sparkling HOP WTR
Mango Sparkling Hop Water is a fizzy alternative to soda that can boast 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, explains Michelle Rauch MS RDN , Registered Dietitian at the Actors Fund.
“Hop Water is non-alcoholic, and contains no sugar or calories. Think: fruity, juicy and hoppy in flavor! Furthermore, Hop Water contains adaptogens and nootropics, such as L-Theanine. Adaptogens are natural herbs with their history traced back to Ayurvedic medicine that are believed to help enhance energy and reduce fatigue. Nootropics have been studied for their positive effect on mood, memory, focus, and other cognitive functions,” Raunch explains.
Buy now: Mango & Peach Sparkling HOP WTR
5. Lion Heart Kombucha
We love a fun beverage that also comes with gut health benefits, and kombucha is a great place to get probiotics to bolster your gut health from the natural fermentation process in the beverage.
Lion Heart Kombucha is a great bubbly alternative to soda or pop that’s blood sugar friendly with only 4 to 6 g of total carbohydrates per serving, says Celine Thompson, MS, RDN, of Fueling Fertility. “This is one of my top picks because it’s a fermented drink that may promote a healthy gut, it’s flavored with organic fruits and herbs, made with antioxidant-rich green tea, and is low in added sugar,” Thompson shares.
Buy now: Lion Heart Kombucha
Sparkling water is a great way to increase your hydration game without the added sugar.
“Sometimes all we crave is a bit of fizz. These flavored sparkling water beverages come in a variety of flavors and are sugar free without any sweeteners. Flavored water can help you to stay well hydrated and lower your blood sugars, while diluting the amount of glucose in your bloodstream,” says Justine Chan, MHSc, RD, CDE.
Buy now: Bubly
7. Moment Lemon Turmeric Adaptogenic Drink
Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD shares her expert take with us on the best alternative drink options for folks watching their blood sugar: “Moment Lemon Turmeric Adaptogenic Drink is not just a carbonated drink without sugar; it contains beneficial ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, ashwagandha, and L-theanine. One noteworthy ingredient in this drink is turmeric, which has a compound called curcumin. Curcumin has been linked to reduced fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and inflammatory markers.”
If you’re looking for an alternative to regular soda try Zevia, says Amanda Liptak, RDN, CLT, CA of Nutrient Rich Life Nutrition Coaching. “It’s available in a variety of flavors like Dr. Pepper, Cola and Cream Soda. Zevia is a healthier alternative to regular soda as it does not contain dyes, preservatives or sugar, but instead is flavored with Stevia and natural citrus,” she adds.
Buy now: Zevia
The sugar content in a can of Spindrift varies depending on your selection from the 17 flavors available. However, with added sugar ranging from zero to just three grams, all derived from real squeezed fruit, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to know your blood sugar won’t skyrocket after drinking these.
For a refreshing, bubbly drink sans all the unnecessary added sugar, I love sipping on Spindrift sparkling water, Catherine Karnatz, MPH, RD, owner of Nutrition Education RD tells us. “Enjoying this lightly sweetened drink can ensure peace of mind when managing your blood sugar levels. My favorite summer flavor has been Mango Black Tea, but I’m excited to try their seasonal Spiced Apple Cider and Cranberry Raspberry flavors this fall,” she comments.
Buy now: Spindrift
10. GOOD IDEA
I recommend a beverage that will actually help keep blood sugar lower, says Toby Smithson, RD, CDCES, and nutrition consultant for Good Idea. “Good Idea is a no-calorie, no-sugar, flavored sparkling water that has been formulated with amino acids and chromium picolinate, a mineral that helps insulin do its job in your body. GOOD IDEA doesn’t just lack sugar or carbs; it offers a potential health advantage, which is an interesting distinction,” she adds.
Buy now: GOOD IDEA
Disclaimer: We only recommend products we seriously love and want to share. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which includes affiliate links.
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