Exercise and Diabetes: What to Eat Before and After Your Workout

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, getting enough exercise is crucial for improving insulin resistance and maintaining overall health. For people with diabetes, it's not as simple as suiting up and hitting the gym. You need to think about your blood sugar both before and after a workout. To prevent extreme highs or lows, make sure you're eating properly and fueling your body at the right times, with the right foods.

If Your Blood Sugar Is Low

Blood glucose levels may vary depending on what type of exercise you're doing, how long you're doing it for, and how hard you're working.

Some people might experience a drop in blood sugar levels during or after exercise, so it's important to check your insulin levels before, during and after a workout. If your levels are low before exercise, the American Diabetes Association recommends having a small carbohydrate snack (about 15 grams) to raise your blood sugar - especially if you will be exercising longer than 30 minutes. You might also need to lower your insulin dosage.

Also, be sure to bring along a carbohydrate food or drink that can raise your blood sugar if necessary.

If Your Blood Sugar Is High

High-intensity exercises can increase levels of your stress hormones, which raise glucose levels. If your blood sugar is high before a workout, you might need to check your blood or urine for ketones and avoid vigorous activity.

To avoid high blood sugar, focus on having a protein-rich snack an hour or so before your workout. High blood sugar after a workout also means you should be careful about carbohydrate intake until you're in a safe zone.

Remember that intense workouts can also cause carbohydrate cravings, too - in general, diabetics are better off exercising at a moderate level to avoid this response.

If you find you're experiencing extreme highs or lows in blood sugar when you work out, check in with your doctor about putting together an eating schedule that will support a healthy exercise routine.

Source: American Diabetes Association
Photo: Pixabay

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

High blood sugar levels can spell danger for a diabetic, especially if you're unprepared. Classic symptoms of high blood sugar include extreme...

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

Ideally, we would go out to our garden and pick the produce we need for each day’s meals, but that scenario is far from reality for most of us....

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

More Articles

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is that the individual has an increased urine flow. In fact, it is one of the telltale signs that...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Ideally, we would go out to our garden and pick the produce we need for each day’s meals, but that scenario is far from reality for most of us....

Anyone can develop a fungal skin infection, but people with diabetes are more prone to them. A common cause of fungal infections in those with...

Danica, better known by her YouTube username, DiabeticDanica, has had Type 1 diabetes...

There is no question that people with diabetes need a diabetes diet plans and...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Two of the most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst and increased urine production. These symptoms are so prevalent in diabetics that...

JDRF is the largest charitable organization supporting type 1 diabetes research.

Through events and activities across its 96 U.S. chapters...

”Metabolic memory” (less commonly known as ”hyperglycemic memory” or “legacy effect”) refers to the lingering effects of a long period of either...

There are those who have heard of the term "diabetes mellitus," but might not be familiar with it. Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in...

Individuals whose bodies cannot produce insulin have type 1 diabetes. It is an unstable condition that requires...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

Many who are diagnosed with diabetes are then introduced to weight loss plans that are compatible with a diabetic nutritional diet...