Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:
Since I work and play outdoors a lot in a hot climate, I am looking for a "low sugar" or "sugar free" sport drink. Can you recommend any? How about a homemade concoction?

A:
If your outdoor activity is very intensive, such as athletic training, a sports drink, replacing electrolytes, may be indicated. Otherwise, refueling with appropriate foods and keeping well-hydrated with lots of water would be a better route. For prolonged activity, fat works well. For milk drinkers, this is the time for a full-fat milk. Others may take a tablespoon of olive oil before activity (yes, often "straight"). Plant-based protein foods (nut butters/legumes) provide both carbohydrate and more easily digested protein for "spacing out" the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Of course, checking your blood sugars to find out if you are striking the right balance between intake and output will be a key.

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