For people with diabetes, staying hydrated is key. Could these pickle popsicles be the answer? A dietitian weighs in.

Jaime Milan

Photo: Amazon

Over 100 million Americans are currently living with diabetes, according to the CDC. While everyone has their own unique experience with the disease, two common symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes include excessive thirst and increased urination.

When you have diabetes, too much glucose can build up in your blood. If your blood sugar is elevated for prolonged periods of time, your kidneys are forced to work double-time to absorb it. And when they can't keep up, that excess glucose gets excreted into your urine.

When you pee out that extra glucose, you also get rid of much-needed water from your blood and tissues, which can cause severe dehydration. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), if left untreated, severe dehydration can even lead to diabetic ketoacidosis-a life-threatening condition.

So, how do you stay hydrated if you have diabetes?

First, it's important to develop a plan with your medical team to help keep your blood sugar steady. But even if you have a solid plan in place, dehydration can still occur. To help combat this, some Amazon users with diabetes are turning to Van Holten's Pickle Freeze Pops for an electrolyte boost.

One Amazon reviewer said the pops are a "great low-calorie electrolyte replacement for me as a diabetic. I stay away from the traditional sports drinks as they are heavily sweetened."

Lisa Valente, MS, RD, says, "While pickle pops can't replace medication or offset an unhealthy diet, they will give you a boost of electrolytes from the sodium and potassium (these pops deliver 300mg sodium and 70mg potassium)."

Because we lose electrolyes when we sweat or pee, Valente says if you're exercising for more than an hour you need to replenish the electrolytes you've lost. "Sports drinks (or these pickle pops) can help because they have sodium and potassium. The pickle pops don't have carbohydrates like a sports drink will, but if you're exercising for a long time you may also need carbohydrates to make sure your blood sugar doesn't dip too low." (Learn more about blood sugar and exercise when you have diabetes.)

It's also worth noting that people with diabetes should watch their sodium intake, since high blood pressure and heart disease are both associated with diabetes. These pickle pops might make a nice treat (especially if you're into pickles), but most people wouldn't need to eat them regularly.

The bottom line: You may not want to Prime yourself a 48-pack of these pickle pops, but you can certainly drink lots of water (about 9-12 cups of fluids per day), try to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range and eat plenty of potassium-rich foods to help you stay hydrated.

Advertisement