Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Exercise Findings

The road to diabetes experiments combined with exercise are never-ending.  There are always new things to learn and subsequently write about as the variables are many.

I'd like to share something else I've learned lately but something that took me eons to really figure out primarily due to my stubbornness.  Most of us know that when you exercise it can often cause high blood sugars post work-out.  I am not a doctor and fall short of understanding a lot of things.  I will not be insulted if you correct me on this.  From what I've read and learned is that exercise causes your liver to release glycogen which is stored glucose.  This can be beneficial to help maintain blood sugars while exercising.  I've found that when I stop, that glycogen that is released hangs around.  It is the same as glucose in the blood and I'm still diabetic after all.  It results in high blood sugars post work out. 

When I finish working out it's one of the few times I feel famished.  If I don't watch myself like a hawk, it's not uncommon for me to absentmindedly eat things in front of me - things that I shouldn't.  You'd think that eating after a workout is necessary right?  Well I've learned the slow and hard way that it just isn't (for ME).  The other day I came home after a work out and my blood sugar was a touch low.  I was slightly disoriented and a little bit shaky.  Normally I would try not to have anything and this would correct itself but this time I FELT low.  I ate 3 (THREE) gummi candies totalling about 8 grams of carbs.  It's piddly squat.  Then I made some tea and went about my business.  Two hours later my blood sugar had gone from a 3.5 mmol/l  (63 mg/dl) to a 15 mmol/l (270 mg/dl)! From 8 measly grams of carbs.  In a perfect world I can usually ride that little low out but I just was feeling it too much.

So what are my findings?
I work out mostly in the evenings after work.  I can't eat for at least an hour or two afterwards (this is hard, trust me).  When I do eat, it has to be low carb or no carb.  If I have carbs and try to bolus correctly it doesn't matter what I do, I always skyrocket.  Typically I'll have a grapefruit or some eggs.  The following morning  however, is when my body is ready to tolerate carbs and it seems to be when it needs it most and I can bolus a little less for breakfast.

That's all I got for now!


  1. Oh my gosh! This happens to me too. I have explained this to my diabetic team and most of them just look at me like I'm crazy as for most peoples' sugars continue to drop post workout. Anyways, after much trial and error I have learned that about 20 minutes before the end of my workout I need to take 1 unit of humalog to counteract this spike. If the activity was really intense- like lots of hill climbing then I will take 1.5 units. This practice has definitely stopped me from going from 4.0 to 15.0 an hour later post workout.

  2. WOW. I haven't seen this "carb-intolerance" with Joe. I have seen the post-hockey game highs (AND I CANNOT CORRECT THEM - he will bottom out...they go down on their own). I usually feed and bolus as normal after workouts for him...and he has a decreased basal (X50% for 4 hours)...this is what works for now. It will most likely change, it always does. Great post. So interesting how different everyone's diabetes is.

  3. This happens to me too! Don't know why...but, definitely have to work out and then just have water afterwards for a long time, or eat and give extra insulin. Weird!


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