Rum is made from sugarcane, so it kills diabetics … right? Wrong!

diabetes rum alcohol

Some might think I’m an alcoholic. And …

I have nothing to add to that statement! Moving on.

First, the caveats:

  • I am not writing this to encourage you to get wasted.
  • If your doctor says you shouldn’t drink, you shouldn’t drink.
  • If you drain a bottle of rum after reading this, any drunk texts you send as a result are totally on YOU, not me. But feel free to share them with me on Instagram at @diabetesisbadd! I could really use a laugh.

Okay. So we all know that diabetes + sugar = BAD.

Therefore, diabetes + rum is also bad, right? Because rum is made from sugarcane, or molasses which comes from sugarcane, or … hell, I dunno. Sugarcane is somehow involved.

Let’s see what happened when I drank rum (+ Coke Zero) for two straight hours!

Much like my recent soju test, I tested my glucose after one hour of rum, and then I checked again after two hours of rum. And during those two hours, I was sipping my rum at a pretty reasonable pace of about one drink every 20 minutes, give or take.

Blood sugar reading before drinking: 124

This reading of 124 was on a Friday night, and I had eaten half an ice cream bar about two hours earlier. It’s possible that my blood sugar was still coming down from that, not sure.

diabetes rum alcohol
If your bottle of rum has a cork in it, you’re drinking THE GOOD STUFF

Blood sugar reading after drinking rum for one hour: 96

During this hour, I downed three rum & Coke Zeroes. Each drink had a slightly supersized shot of booze in it, so let’s say around 2 ounces each (the standard “shot” in most U.S. bars is 1.5 ounces).

My glucose dropped by 28, but don’t get too excited! At least some of that could easily be from the post-ice-cream decline.

Blood sugar reading after drinking rum for two hours: 95

This reading was after another three rum & Coke Zeroes, at which point I was feeling pretty handsome. And my glucose held at about the same level as an hour before. Muy interesante!

But, as with my soju results, I was not shocked by this at all.

diabetes rum alcohol glucose readings

I’ve tested alcohol before. Yes, there was the soju. And I also tested beer that one time. And nearly two years ago, I did a very unscientific test with some embarrassingly cheap rum, which yielded similarly harmless glucose readings. Still no word on what my liver had to say about that test.

But wait!! Before you run out and start pounding cocktails at the nearest watering hole, think about what all of my booze tests have in common: None of them involve sweet mixers.

I drank my rum and soju with COKE ZERO. And beer is just beer.

To show you what could happen when you drink a fruity cocktail, I present this devastatingly informative CGM (continuous glucose monitor) chart from Instagram Queen and America’s Sweetheart, @marycthao.

diabetes margarita alcohol cgm reading continuous glucose monitor

Mary was gracious enough to allow Yours Truly to borrow this graph from her Dexcom CGM.

And … YIKES! It looks like she started around ~100 and climbed to about 280-290 mg/dL before she screenshotted the 256.

I have no doubt that Mary enjoyed the hell out of that margarita. And you know what? Sometimes you just need a treat!

Mary seems like she is really good at managing her ‘beetus, so she limited herself to ONE drink and documented the consequences. That’s how the pros do it. Thank you, Mary!

In conclusion:

  • Rum + Coke Zero probably won’t kill you.
  • One strawberry margarita probably won’t kill you if your glucose is on the low side, but it will definitely try.

So please drink responsibly! Check your glucose before indulging, and think carefully about what you’re about to put down that gullet.

Also, if you’re at a bar, make sure the waiter/waitress/bartender knows that you MUST have that sugar-free mixer if that’s what you’re ordering. People make mistakes, so be as annoying as necessary to make sure you get that sugar-free soda or whatever it is you want.

And finally, in Starcraft parlance, gl hf dd (good luck, have fun, don’t die).