Drinking cocktails with Type 1

Hi there,
Does anybody have any experience on drinking cocktails and how it affected their blood sugar? Should i take insulin or eat extra before hand?
I was diagnosed with Type 1 in April and haven't tried a cocktail since as i'm worried the affect it may have.
We are going away in August on an America road trip, and our last stop is Las Vegas where i would like to enjoy a few cocktails.
Thanks for any replies
Cate x

Alcohol slows my metabolism so carbs won't be broken down as quickly, but most cocktails will be made with lots of carbohydrates. So basically, if I'm drinking, I'll need to take more insulin, but not all at once. If you are on a pump, check out the square wave bolus feature.

Some calorie counter apps will give you the carb content of drinks. Too bad alcoholic drinks are exempt from the "Nutritional Information" label that other food/drinks have. Just go slow and don't let peer pressure get you drinking too quickly.

Hi Cate,
I have noticed when drinking cocktails, that I need to have a carb-rich meal before my first drink, and adjust my insulin to under-compensate for the carbs, by about 1 - 1+1/2 exchanges (15-22ish grams). I then check my sugar every few hours to make sure I am not going crazy high (bit of a buzz kill but necessary). If I start to drop I snack, and I have to have 2 exchanges before I go to sleep otherwise no matter how much alcohol I have I seem to plummet overnight. I also wake up for a normal timed breakfast, even if it is a glass of milk or a liquid breakfast drink before falling back to sleep.

This works for me now but it was a bit of trial and error, I started slowly and watched my sugar after a standard drink and then two, then a cocktail, then two cocktails... It was frustrating but this works for me. You might react differently and my mentor told me to test as often as I needed.

I hope you have an awesome time in Las Vegas, Ash

Hi, you have already got some great advice. i have found, that if i drink, i actually have to bolus for the drinks, but usually, before i go to bed, i need massive carbs and even reduce my basal rate to 0% for some hours so i won't crash into a hypo.
Make sure to read this:
http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/11/d-teens-and-alcohol-no-bull-from-uncle-wil.html
I just think this is awesome advice for anyone who drinks and is diabetic.
take care!

The only thing i found that i dont have to bolus for is dry white wine (chardonnay) and vodka sodas. Dry red wine makes my blood sugar drop in the night. Not sure if its similar for anyone else. I avoid sweet cocktails and drink beer rarely.

Hey, I am also going to las vegas after couple of week. I want to know particularly about how vegas bomb shot affect us. I have some pre diabetes Symptoms and doctor advice me to be very careful on my eating and drink habit. Al-through i checked some article related to its calories in which i found it has:-
Calories - 330
Total fat - 0 g
Cholesterol - 0 mg
Sodium - 9 mg
Dietary fiber - 0 g
Sugars - 14 g
and i also got to know that it has some ill-effects with the combination of caffeine and alcohol.
So can i drink that with some precautions ?

Hello Roymorgan: Welcome to the forum. The first step is to get a better handle on your pre-diabetes symptoms and to do that you need a blood glucose meter. With a meter, you can test your blood glucose before you drink and before your meals and then blood sugar normally peaks about 1 hour after your drink/meal, which is a great time for a second test and then 2 hours after your drink/meal at which time you want to be under 140 mg/dL. That will give you real actionable data as to how pre-diabetic you are at this time. You just need to do these tests a few times and you should get a pretty good baseline of your diabetes. If you are over 140 2 hours after drink/meal on a regular basis, you need to either start on medication or go low carb such as Keto. Then you to need to deal with your underlying root causes such as possibly needing to lose some weight. Chances are that you are also having cholesterol triglyceride and LDL issues but these are all part of an overall plan you need to address to improve your health and longevity.

You can get a blood glucose meter over the counter at any pharmacy or can order one on Amazon. I strongly recommend the Contour One Next meter as it is the most accurate and quite inexpensive. You will need test strips as well so here are a couple of Amazon options for meter and test strips or for meter only. Let us know when you need more information or help. We are here for you.

“Cocktails” Implies sugar. That implies high blood sugar. Its like drinking juice.
However, the alcohol will result in lows between 4 and 72 hours later. So, eat a couple snacks before bed and check BG.

Hey CJ114, Thanks for your valuable advice. I will surly check that.
Again thanks for it

I’m a margarita girl, but those take me on a wild ride both high and low. I’ve long since switched to just tequila and seltzer with a splash of Rose’s lime. Pair it with a pub snack, and it all seems to work itself out.

Of course, I’m one of those horribly annoying people that will nurse a drink for 2 hours, so I might not be the best example here. I just can’t hold all that liquid. I have no clue how guys can drink a whole pitcher of beer and come back for more.

1 Like

Robyn’s new nick name has to be Jimmie Bufffet, lol.
Margaritas?!?!?! Wow. I would love to try a margarita.
I’ve never had the guts to try and drink one, but I feel suddenly inspired.