Fizzy? Bubbly? Gassy?

Trying to find something enjoyable to drink when you have Type-1 Diabetes can be somewhat difficult. Despite the fact that the best thing a person can drink (and the easiest) is water, sometimes you just wanna gulp down something flavourful and different. Having a cold beer during my down time isn’t ideal, since beer is totally loaded with carbohydrates and tends to bloat a guy. Plus after one or two of them, you feel full and uncomfortable. There’s a reason why they call it “beer gut.” But I digress…

For the most part, health professionals don’t recommend consuming carbonated beverages regularly because of the sugar content. After all, the average red-canned drink (you know the one) contains 39 grams of sugar. if you decide to over-consume and drink one of those 500 millilitre bottles, you’re looking at over 50 grams. It’s great if you’re suffering a low and want to boost your blood sugars. Not so great if you care about things like weight gain and tooth decay. But what if you’re consuming sugar-free carbonated beverages? That should be fine, right?

Maybe not. The problem doesn’t just lie in the sugar content (or toxic artificial sweetener). Some of the issue may lie in the carbonation itself. Willingly ingesting carbonated liquids can lead to a number of nasty side effects that most people don’t usually consider prior to pouring them down their gullet. For myself, I’m a big fan of these sugar-free carbonated waters I get from Costco. Despite the great flavours and sugar-free option, there are certain things you need to consider when gulping down carbonated beverages.

First and foremost, it can cause heartburn. Since carbonated beverages are loaded with CO2, they can cause an increase in stomach acid reflux due to the pressure it places on the abdomen. That same pressure will cause bloating and excess gas. Also, artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain and Type-2 Diabetes (do some research), none of which are a good thing. The best bet would be to simply not consume any carbonated beverage at all, sugared or not.

So, what about some non-carbonated, non-carbohydrate “adult” beverages? Well, a snippet of red wine can have some definite positive properties, as long as you don’t down full bottles at a time. Pure alcoholic spirits are carb-free and can offer a tempting option to substitute on a day off while relaxing in one’s garage during a sunny Sunday afternoon. But an excess of these drinks (besides the liver damage) will also cause an increase in one’s potassium levels, which can be hard on cardiac health.

At the end of the day, water is still the best overall go-to drink for something that won’t cause a bunch of issues on the side. You can get some sugar-free water flavourings that won’t break the bank and will let you stay hydrated without all the pitfalls of carbonated beverages. And should you opt for the carb-free and carbonated-free option like whiskey, remember that moderation is key. Food for thought. Or rather, drinks for thought… ☯️

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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