Endurance Sports

By Chris_1 Latest Reply 2010-04-20 17:12:26 -0500
Started 2010-04-18 22:32:14 -0500

Anyone else out there trying to figure out what to eat and drink while exercising for more than a couple of hours?

The popular wisdom is that you consume a couple of hundred calories an hour of mostly carbohydrates with a little protein thrown in to reduce muscle cannibalization. This may be fine for non-diabetics, but if I eat carbs by themselves while exercising my blood sugar goes through the roof. My blood sugar already goes up due to the exercise. At the same time I am expending the glucose I need to stay energized.

Also, I was wondering how long you can exercise without eating?

I rode 35 miles yesterday and ran out of steam just before my final leg home which includes a giant hill.

Maybe I am just old and fat and it has nothing to do with the diabetes.

Anyway, I'm just fishing for suggestions

7 replies

kdroberts 2010-04-19 11:51:45 -0500 Report

Try this as a starting point http://www.dietsite.com/dt/Diets/Diabetes/Dia...

I have horrible trouble with exercise and blood sugar. Anything that includes shorter bursts of high intensity, like soccer where you are constantly changing from walking to jogging to sprinting, sends my blood sugar up. Things that include longer, less variable activities, like swimming, lower my blood sugar. Working out what to eat and when is hard to figure. There is a book called The Diabetic Athlete that might also help.

Deb-G 2010-04-19 11:42:31 -0500 Report

I've found the same thing with myself…I have to stay far away from high carb foods or quick sugar products (gatorade etc)…For me I have to rely on more protein with equal or less carb intact gram for gram…Its helped tremendously especially in the summer on the 90+ degree days…

While some athletes to carb consume I think thats an unwise thing to do for any diabetic, even when not adding heavy activity to it…Carbs cause spikes and dives at all times, even resting…

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2010-04-19 11:36:15 -0500 Report

That's so interesting that you say exercise causes your blood sugar to rise. My son played competitive soccer for 8 years with diabetes. Despite the disbelief of our doctor, he consistently had high blood sugars after the games. The adrenaline rush of competition seemed to far outweigh the burning off blood sugar that apparently is common in other diabetics.

We found that our son had to give a little insulin before competition, then try to balance gatorade with insulin during. It is such a tough balancing act--and not one we ever perfected.

Best of luck with your cycling. 35 miles! That's great.

Against All Odds
Against All Odds 2010-04-19 23:41:37 -0500 Report

Did your son used to take sugary food(chocolate) and drinks (soda) before or during the game when he had highs? Was he having Gatorade? There is something missing here.

kdroberts 2010-04-20 12:03:38 -0500 Report

It's pretty common for diabetics, especially type 1's, to have a rise in blood sugars when doing certain activities. It's because of the adrenalin release associated with bursts of high intensity activity which leads to a glucagon release from the liver. It's a similar reaction to low blood sugar, drinking caffeine, stress and fear. It's tough to fake that response out but drinking sugary drinks in the right amount and at the right time during the activity can help lower blood sugars overall.

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2010-04-20 12:49:22 -0500 Report

I know what you're thinking. His doctor didn't believe us for the longest time either. But even if he only drank water during a game and ate nothing out of the ordinary before a game, he would consistently have high blood sugar after the game.

We eventually started having him give some extra insulin right before the game to try to stay ahead of things. But then he had some issues with dropping low during the game. Especially if the game turned into a blow-out and wasn't as intense as he had anticipated.

So we tried to manage through the game with a little bit of gatorade during the game. And then usually a test right after the game with more insulin given.

I know that's not necessarily consistent with what other diabetics experience. But that was the reality for us.

Zimoss 2010-04-20 17:12:26 -0500 Report

maybe the problem is similar to the somogyi effect.
If you take too much insulin BEFORE you exercise..even the night before it might be kicking in at a bad time and giving you lows which leads the body to release an emergency supply of glucose into the body —even if it already has too much.

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