Is Vodka a Good Drink for People with Diabetes?

Last Updated on September 17, 2020 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Vodka is one of the purest forms of alcohol with minimal sugar content. Although Vodka has lesser carbs than other forms of alcohol and has a lower blood sugar effect, it makes it an unsuitable drink for diabetes individuals. Let’s discuss this answer and see the exact effects of Vodka.

Despite this, it is not necessary to give up on drinking altogether. It can be managed well through proper knowledge about what is right and what is not for your blood sugar when it comes to alcohol consumption.

With regulation in your drinking routines and other necessary precautions, people with diabetes can also enjoy a drink once in a while.

All of the guiding norms for alcohol consumption by diabetic patients are similar to that of the general population. A controlled quantity in a watchful way is the key.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Alcohol is usually targeted in the liver’s functioning, which is why there are rules and restrictions on alcohol for people with diabetes, as the liver controls the release of sugar and glucose into the blood.

The significant effect of alcohol on the liver that is a concern for people with diabetes is that it confuses the liver and prevents it from adequately producing and releasing glucose.

Alcohol is usually low in calories and carbohydrates, promoting less sugar in the body and its liver restrictions to produce sugar. It can have severe effects on Hypoglycemic diabetic patients, as their blood sugar levels are already low.

The other found flavors, artificial tastes, added sweetness, etc. are responsible for the harmful calories found in alcoholic drinks. Drier and more concentrated forms of alcoholic drinks are generally better than those containing added sugars in them.


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Initially, the sweetness in the drinks causes a rise in the body’s blood sugar level, and as the night passes, slowly, the alcohol in the drink starts up, decreasing the sugar level in the body.

This nightly drop of glucose in the blood levels is harmful, as it can be disturbing the internal functioning while one is asleep.

Alcohol inhibits the conversion of proteins into glucose in the liver. Thus, the level and supply of glucose drop eventually.

Alcohol in itself is generally low on carbs. Adding any sweetener, flavor, soft-drink, etc. creates a rise in alcohol’s carbohydrate content.

As per your average blood sugar levels, and its ups and downs, you can go for drinks that are safe for your diabetic diet. People with hypoglycemia must take greater care.

Along with lowering blood sugar levels, alcohol intake increases the chances of hypoglycemia.

If your diabetes and blood sugar levels are under control, and you have a daily exercise and a good diet routine, you can have a moderate quantity of alcohol during a meal or just soon after.

If your diabetes range and blood sugar level keep fluctuating, it is best to avoid alcohol for a while.

Hypoglycemia risks increase if alcohol is taken before bed or within a considerable amount of time after consuming dinner. This can lower the levels of blood sugar in your body while you are asleep. That can lead to short-term and rapid glucose loss, a harmful situation.

It is also recommended to eat something and a drink to avoid any expected or unexpected drop in sugar levels in the blood.

After drinking, it is always best to check your blood sugar levels to check upon how the alcohol affects your diabetes and implementing it into your diet accordingly.

Different types of alcohol and their dos and don’ts for people with diabetes:

There are several varieties of drinks when it comes to alcohol, and all these kids have their differences.  As a person with diabetes, it is essential to know about the calorie content, GI, the effect on blood sugar, etc. of these drinks.

– Beers


Generally, lagers contain around 15g of carbohydrates per pint. Lighter varieties of beer may have less than 10g of carbohydrates per pint. Heavier quality beers even carry up to 20g carbohydrates per pint.

Additional sugars, flavors, sweeteners, etc. may raise the amount of carbohydrate in the drink.

Although these quantities of carbohydrates are not very harmful, you should have a check on the way it affects your blood sugar levels.

– Wines and Champagne

Wines and Champagne

Wine proves to be a better alcoholic drink and passes several health checks due to its specific chemical composition and values. Dry wines and champagnes usually have lower carbs as they have lesser sweeteners or even none at all.

Dry wines consist of very low; around 1 – 2g of carbs in 200ml, moderately sweetened wine has approximately 10g in a standard glass quantity.

Varieties such as Sherries, port, etc. contain more carbs due to a higher sweetness level. Their carb content is around – 20g.

It is advisable to consume drier varieties as they have low carbs.

– Vodka, Gin, Whiskey, etc.

Vodka, Gin, Whiskey

When it comes to spirits such as gins, whiskey, and Vodka, they are usually very concentrated in alcohol content and hardly have sugars. They are clearer and very low and almost absent on carbs.

Adding other flavors like – orange juices increases the number of carbs in these low-carb, distilled alcoholic drinks.

Vodka is generally very pure alcohol and almost very low in carbs content. We will discuss Vodka in further detail.

The best option to avoid any extra carbs or sugar overload is to ask the bartender for dietary drinks. They usually carry fewer calories and are a safer option for people with diabetes. It is best not to consume full sugar versions of alcoholic drinks as it can mess up your blood sugar level.

Keep a regular count and record of your blood sugar, and observe any decrease or increase in its level due to alcohol.

Vodka and its effects on Diabetes: is it a good drink for people with Diabetes?

Vodka and its effects on Diabetes: is it a good drink for people with Diabetes

Vodka is among the most concentrated alcoholic drinks available. The amount of alcohol in Vodka is around 40 percent. The alcohol in Vodka is responsible for causing a reduction in blood sugar levels overnight.

Any added flavor, taste, etc. containing artificial sugars and sweeteners can have a rising effect on people’s blood sugar levels with diabetes. The alcohol’s hypoglycemic effect then follows the rise in blood sugar in the drink.

As hard liquor, Vodka can immensely cause a drop in blood sugar levels in short periods. It creates risks of hypoglycemia in healthy people, as well as ones who take diabetes medicines to maintain and reduce blood sugar levels.

When it comes to Vodka, the risks of hypoglycemia are very high. If this drink is consumed without any food intake, it rapidly reduces glucose in the blood flow by restricting and blocking the liver from storing glucose into the blood.

Extreme low levels of sugar in the body can have various harmful and severe symptoms like diabetic seizures.

Carefully taken drinks in a watchful way with limited amounts might not be very harmful, though.

The right and recommended way of consuming Vodka is as follows:

–         Drink it slow.

–         Don’t drink Vodka without food. Always have something to eat with it as well.

–         Diet soda or club soda can be added to the vodka drink.

–         If possible, do not have Vodka as a late-night drink.

–         Always keep in mind your blood sugar level. In the case of adverse fluctuations or discomfort, avoid the consumption of alcohol.

–         A limited and harmless amount of Vodka is two shots of it within 24 hours.

Therefore, overall as an alcoholic drink, Vodka is not suitable for diabetic patients.

Having a maintained life and keeping a check on your diabetic meal schedules does not mean that you can’t have a little fun drink once in a while. Due to its least calorie content as an alcoholic drink, Vodka is great for dieters.

Just keep a record of your diabetic levels and handle your health before alcohol. A shot or two of Vodka once a while is fair, but keep in mind the restrictions.

Vodka and its effects on weight loss:

Vodka and its effects on weight loss

As diabetic patients, you often tend to have the right eye on your weight as well. It is a necessary part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and keeping weight regular for the body is assisting in maintaining diabetes.

Vodka is also not a very good drink if you’re keeping a watch on your weight. The alcohol included in Vodka affects the fat burning processes in our body.

The liver is responsible for breaking down fats and carrying out metabolism processes. It also helps in insulin control and releases to regulate blood sugar levels.

Drinking alcohol leads to specific changes and restrictions in the way that our liver breaks down nutrients. In the presence of alcohol, our liver chooses to break it down first.

Therefore, the other fat is stored for longer, and our body uses energy from alcohol. This leads to fat sparing, resulting in trouble for weight loss. It leads to storing fat in the body resulting in weight gain.

Consumption of too much Vodka at once or over time can add a significant amount of calories. On top of that, the alcohol also messes with the body’s cravings for high-carbs and high-fat foods. All of this can lead to weight gain, and ultimately an unhealthy lifestyle.

Once in a while, Vodka can be your go-to reinforcement for following a good diet and maintaining your health, but it is best always to be cautious when consuming this.

Recommended alcohol consumption advice for Diabetics:

There is not an absolute restriction for people with diabetes to avoid alcohol. But there are recommended quantities that can be followed to keep a check on your health and drink freely.

There is a said mark that states – two units for women, and three units of alcohol for men, per day is the right amount. This means –

–         Either three individual measures of 25ml spirits, or one-pint lager or cider, or a normal 175ml glass of wine. Anyone of these choices in one day is a safe amount of drink for women diabetics.

–         It is around four 25ml spirit measures or one pint and half of lager or cider, or a 250ml serving of wine, in a day.

It is best to stick to these units daily and not overdrink on any day as compensation for not drinking over the week.

Try to keep your drinks clear, dry, and out of sugar or sweeteners to risk the rise or fall in blood sugar levels and always record your blood sugar levels.



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