Depending on who you ask… proper hydration for a healthy adult amounts to 64 ounces (8, 8oz. glasses) up to a gallon (16, 8oz. glasses) of water every day. Going to leave the argument about which end of the spectrum
is better up to the science professors. Bottom line? Who wants to drink that much water if it doesn’t taste good?
Goodbye sweetened drinks
One of the few things we’ve almost completely given up, and any diabetes educator will tell you to eliminate if you can, is sweetened beverages and fruit juices.
They enter the bloodstream too quickly for the insulin to keep up with, and bring too little nutritional value to make it worthwhile. He still has a juicebox (we use
fruitables) occasionally when his blood sugar’s low (15 carbs) and I’ve found a nutritional supplement that he likes with his lunch called
Good Belly (12-13 carbs), but that’s it. This one was really difficult, he’d always loved fruit juices, and I’d bought into the hype that they were good for you, even opting for the “all natural” and “100% juice” brands
that I thought would be better for him. Doesn’t matter really, any liquid full of carbs will hit the bloodstream like a rocket.
So what to do?
Growing up in “upstate” NY, we had some of the best tasting water in the country. Then 10 years ago my job moves me to the ATL. Anyone who lives here knows what I’m
talking about… the municipal water tastes HORRIBLE. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to love about Atlanta (it is a great place to raise a family), but the water is NOT one of them. So, what to do? Bottled? Filters? Every caretaker for a type 1er should
know how important adequate hydration is.
Even with the
PUR ultimate faucet filter,
it still tastes… bad…
ZERO water filter.
It tastes a little bit better but still doesn’t really make me want to drink it in any volume. Reading ensues… turns out the filters actually target different things in their filter mechanisms, neither does them all. Ugh. Finally, it occurs to me: why not
combine them? Pour the water from the PUR filter through the ZERO filter and presto… not bad at all.
The bottles, the winners & peeH
While my brain was background processing all of this (it takes me a while), I am still thirsty. So began the bottled water taste test challenge… The best bottled
bang for the buck (couldn’t resist) of unflavored water for my taste buds is a brand called
which is actually a 9.5 pH and electrolyte infused. Both things are very good for everyone (except those with already high pH), and especially good for diabetics seeking better blood sugar control.
What is pH anyway, and who cares? It’s a measure of acidity/alkalinity, and you should! Average pH for healthy people is around 6. Below that and the body starts
to become more acidic. More acidic means more prone to infection, inflammation, poorer blood sugar control, and flare ups of any autoimmune disorders. Type 1 diabetes is not the only one out there. lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
and vitiligo are all autoimmune conditions, and there are many more. Just in case you didn’t know… if you have one, you are more likely to have others as well… and they all make for a miserable time! It’s thought that having a slightly alkaline pH (between
6 & 7) actually helps to provide a proactive measure of health and protection. Too high for too long, however, (in the 7’s and above) causes its own set of problems as many nutrients in the body can only be absorbed within certain pH ranges.
How do you find out what your pH is? Urine test strips give a good indication. I prefer the
TECO URS-10, and find them online at American Diabetes
Wholesale. Hey, if you gotta test for ketones anyway, might as well test for other stuff
too, right? You might catch another problem early. These strips test for leukocytes, nitrite, protein, blood, ketone, bilirubin & glucose, all of which should be negative in a healthy person. Also tested are urobilinogen, pH, and specific gravity. The instruction
packet inside details what to watch out for with those, so make sure to read those instructions! Then if you’re feeling a little off, you can run a quick 2 minute test to see if certain foods or situations are putting you more frequently in harms’ way by leaving
you more susceptible to infection, and follow up with your doctor if something is consistently coming up hinky. Think about how impressed he’ll be when you tell him “I’m concerned that I’m consistently finding leukocytes in my urine and would like to come
in for some further tests to help determine why”, instead of “my stomach hurts”! First trip to the restroom of the day is likely to yield more acidic pH (<6) results than later in the day. That’s also normal.
Even though I’ve now got the filters now figured out, I may still pick up some Essentia now and again, especially if I find my pH slipping. The test strips will just
expire if they don’t get used, so I test myself too, especially when I’m feeling off (I also have an autoimmune issue). If I don’t take care of myself it’s harder to take care of my type 1er!
What about flavored waters? My type 1er’s favorite is
Kirkland Brand VitaRain. It’s super cheap and we go through cases of it. It does have artificial sweetener in it, which is not helpful… but it is also infused with many vitamins, which it
is hard to get him to take, and it does taste good! Many of the vitamins it contains support a healthy metabolism and research has shown to improve glycemic control, lessen blood vessel complications and reduce inflammation.
Another favorite discovered fairly recently, which doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners (yay!), but doesn’t have any vitamins either (boo!), is
MetroMint. It was the hottest summer since the
1800s in the ATL this year, so we were looking for any way to stay cool! MetroMint flavors have different coolness rating based on the degree and type of mint infusion (and also come in chocolate mint for a guilt free way to satisfy your chocolate cravings
at the same time!) Mint is also a natural anti-inflammatory (yay!). This one would be higher up on our thumbs up list if it weren’t so darned expensive!
Ever the experimenter… and not wanting to pay through the nose for a pittance of mint infused water, a thought occurs to me… why not try to make my own using the
above mentioned double filtered water? The results… fabulous… the best of the best, and so simple!
Beat The Heat Water
Step 1: start with stinky ATL muni water (if you are blessed enough to live somewhere with good tasting water, be grateful and skip to step #4)
Step 2: run water through PUR filter
Step 3: run PUR filtered water through ZERO filter
Step 4: drop 3-4 sprigs of your favorite fresh mint in the ZERO carafe or pitcher of your choice
Step 5: place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight
Step 6: drink and be refreshed from the inside out!
Step 7: replace the mint sprigs after a few carafe refills or whenever your taste buds prefer!