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Do Margaritas Raise Blood Sugar?

A margarita is a traditional Mexican drink made with tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Although this drink is delicious, it’s not always a great option if you’re looking for a healthy beverage. The high number of calories, alcohol content, and sodium often raise health concerns for many who love drinking margaritas, especially those wondering if diabetics can drink margaritas.

How Margaritas Affect Blood Sugar

A regular eight-ounce margarita has two ounces of tequila, an ounce of Cointreau or triple sec, and lime juice. An ounce of tequila contains zero carbs, no sugar, and 64 calories–a great choice for those on a keto diet (who may be looking for a keto coffee recipe!). In contrast, a 12-ounce can of beer contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, and a cocktail like a daiquiri has 35 grams per seven-ounce serving.

Still, don’t forget that alcohol mixers can influence your drink's carbohydrate content, and avoid sodas and sugary juices when drinking cocktails if you’re looking for less of an effect on blood sugar.

Of course, drinking alcohol is associated with many adverse health effects, including cancer, heart disease, alcohol addiction, mental health problems, and diabetes-related conditions.

Further, alcohol hinders blood sugar regulation by:

  • impacting your body’s glucose production–as a result, glucose maintains a constant high sugar concentration.
  • temporarily increasing the secretion of insulin–this may result in extremely low blood sugar levels. 
  • affecting how your body responds to insulin–for example, a low insulin response may result in high blood sugar levels. 
  • affecting the success of diabetes medications–this may adversely impact the treatment and management of diabetes.

To stay safe, drink margaritas in moderation. Health experts recommend women should consume a maximum of one drink a day, and men should drink only two drinks. If you’re wondering what the best margarita mixer may be for those opting for healthier drinking choices, check out our latest article.

What Are the Effects of a Margarita on Diabetes?

There are several ways a sugary margarita and other alcoholic drinks can affect diabetes:

  • While moderate amounts of margaritas and other alcoholic beverages can raise blood sugar, drinking margaritas excessively can lower your blood sugar levels–sometimes even causing it to drop to dangerous levels, especially for those with type 1 diabetes. 
  • Alcohol and margaritas increase your appetite, causing you to overeat and thus affecting your blood sugar regulation.
  • Margaritas have a lot of calories, making it more challenging to cut excess weight.
  • Margaritas and other alcoholic drinks may affect your willpower or judgment, causing you to make bad food choices.
  • Sugary margaritas may significantly increase your blood pressure.
  • Sugary margaritas may increase your triglyceride levels.
  • Alcohol can cause nausea, flushing, slurred speech, and increased heart rate.

Final Thoughts

Alcoholic drinks high in carbs and added sugars, such as traditional margaritas and daiquiris, are more likely to raise your blood sugar and impact your blood sugar regulation. As with other drinks that contain high amounts of sugars and calories, margaritas can cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels, followed by rapid crashes. This can cause nausea, dizziness, and even unconsciousness, in severe cases. Generally, you should avoid alcoholic drinks made with added sugars for optimal health.