Picture a glass of water. Mix in a little sugar and stir until it dissolves. Now place it outside on a hot, sunny day. As the water evaporates, the remaining water gets sweeter and sweeter.
If you have diabetes, this happens to your blood when you’re dehydrated. Because your blood is 83% water, when you lose water, the volume of blood decreases and the sugar remains the same. More concentrated blood sugar means higher blood sugars.
The lesson: stay hydrated to avoid unnecessary high blood sugars.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
The average person loses about 10 cups of water per day through sweat and urination. At the same time, you gain fluid from drinking liquids and eating food.
So how much you need to drink is a tricky question. You may have heard the “drink 8 glass of water a day” rule. Where did this rule come from? As Barbara Rolls, a nutrition research at Pennsylvania State University says: “I can’t even tell you that, and I’ve written a book on water!” It turns out that there’s no basis for this in the medical literature.
The easiest way to tell is looking at your urine. If it’s a little yellow, you’re probably hydrated. If it’s darker, then you need to drink more fluids.
You can also go with your own intuition. Are you thirsty? Drink! If you’re busy or stuck at a desk for long periods, make sure you have a water bottle so you can easily answer when your body calls for water.
Does Coffee or Tea Count?
Yes. Although consuming caffeine can cause your body to shed some water, you still gain more water than you shed. And studies have shown that this effect is practically non-existent for people who drink caffeine regularly.
Can I Drink Too Much Water?
Actually, yes. A few years ago, a woman died in a water drinking contest. For the average person, it’s more important to guard against under-hydration than over-hydration.
Have you noticed that hydration affects your blood sugars? How much fluid do you drink a day?