If none of you have ever watched South Park, you may not get the reference in the title. There’s a character called “Mr. Mackey,” and he’s big on using the line, “Drugs are bad, mm-Kay?” If you have time to Google or go on YouTube to hear how he says it, you’ll get why it’s funny. But i digress…. Today’s post is about alcohol, as it relates to Diabetes and the difficulty that can be associated with trying to enjoy an adult beverage without sending blood sugars and one’s overall system into fits.
I don’t usually endorse specific products, services or items here, besides talking about my pump and the fact that it’s manufactured by Medtronic. It’s a little hard to hide that fact and STILL talk about it, which is why I allow it. But in general, my blog isn’t a platform to advertise for others. But when it comes to my personal use and review of something, especially if it makes Diabetes easier for me.
As most Type-1 Diabetics are aware, consuming alcohol can be a difficult concept for a number fo different reasons. If you’re a beer drinker, you need to consider the amount of carbs you’re consuming and be able to bolus accordingly for them. The biggest issue is knowing how many carbohydrates are in any particular alcoholic drink. For example, the average 355mL can of beer contains between 6 to 12 grams of carbs. Interestingly enough, “non-alcoholic” beer contains anywhere between 9 to 17 grams of carbs, as well.
Wine is certainly a better option, considering some of the anti-oxidant aspects and the fact that an entire bottle of red wine is only between 10 to 14 grams of carbohydrates (not that I’m suggesting you drink an entire bottle at once, mind you). And keep in mind that pure spirits that haven’t been mixed with anything else have absolutely no carbohydrates. There are some exceptions, of course. Because why would life be simple? Here’s a chart by Diabetes.ca for some basic reference.
This brings me to the product I tried last week…. While visiting my in-laws last week, my mother-in-law introduced the above-shown product as “something new” for my father-in-law to try. He had a can, but preferred his beer. I decided to try one, since it boasts zero sugar and zero carbs (a discernment that ins’t always made). I tried a can and I have to say that considered its ingredient content, it was pretty good. It became my vacation go-to beverage for my week away.
Sitting at 5% alcohol content, this is a vodka-soda drink that’s light, refreshing and easy to drink. There were a variety of flavours that included lime, lemon, raspberry and grapefruit. I tested my blood prior to drinking the first one and was sitting comfortably in the 5’s, and was still sitting in that range after two cans and a couple of hours’ elapsing. I was tickled pink (the vodka MAY have had something to do with that) and it was nice to find something that ACTUALLY allows me to enjoy a drink without affecting my blood sugars.
The can you see above is one of a case I purchased once we got back home to Regina. Sitting at 7% as opposed to 5%, these come in three flavours: black cherry, blackberry and raspberry. they’re pretty good and the added 2% DOES make a difference. But I once again, they seem to have no measurable effect on my blood sugars, which is nice. While looking for a case of this stuff, I realized that there are a few of these drinks that fall into the same category. I’ve spent so much time getting on the “making fun” bandwagon against White Claw, I never stopped to recognize that a can of the stuff is only 1 gram of carbs!
Anyway, I wanted to offer up this brief review of this product. As anyone with Type-1 Diabetes is aware, enjoying a drink is painful at the best of times, so this is definitely a helpful aspect that allows T1D’s as much normalcy as possible. One simply needs to remember all the other fun details, such as the consumption of booze ties up your liver as it processes the alcohol, so it can cause your blood sugars to drop, carbs or not. No matter what your plans or what you’re drinking, remember to make certain to check your blood sugars regularly and have a safe plan for administering some fast-acting carbs if needed. ☯️