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Beating the Heat with Diabetes: Creative Ways to keep Hydrated during Hot Weather or when Physically Active

By Donna Moodie, RD CDN CDE

According the CDC (Center for Disease Control), sensitivity to heat and how your body uses insulin can change in high temperatures. People with diabetes can be more vulnerable to dehydration, have elevated blood sugar, and suffer from heat exhaustion and stroke. The CDC provides a list of tips for preventing heat exhaustion, elevated blood sugar, and dehydration. Follow this link to CDC article:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesheattravel/index.html

The most important tip to prevent dehydration and prevent heat exhaustion is to keep hydrated. Here are 5 low carbohydrate, diabetes friendly ways to meet your fluid needs during hot weather:

  1. Add chunks of flavorful fruit like strawberries or oranges to water. Refrigerate overnight and add to an ice filled or to a thermal water bottle to take with you. Lemons can act as a mild diuretic so avoid them during really hot weather.
  2. Brew some low caffeine tea like decaffeinated green tea or decaf black tea. Add lemon or fruit of your choice and chill. Avoid caffeinated beverages which can increase the risk of dehydration.
  3. Try seltzer with orange or strawberry slices for a refreshing carbonated drink. Seltzer has 0 calories and 0 grams of carbohydrate, and now comes in many different fruit flavors.
  4. Put water bottles in the freezer the night before an outing and take with you the next day.
  5. Try the new waters with natural flavorings. Some of the brands don’t have artificial sweeteners and are all natural.

Donna Moodie is a Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at dm258@cornell.edu

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