Nutrition Before and After Engaging in Physical Activity

We often notice valuable discussions taking place within our community forums or Facebook page that we like to highlight as a part of our Headlines. Below is a discussion on managing blood glucose levels while exercising that we thought our community members would find interesting. Please note that the opinions represented here are solely those of their authors.

As you may know, diabetes affects the way your body processes glucose. So, when you exercise, it’s important to pay attention to changes in your blood glucose levels since your body will burn extra glucose for energy. This can help you avoid problems like low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). We recently shared an article about the benefits associated with different types of physical activity, and we received a great question from one of our Facebook Community members.

Community Question: What is the best snack to have before or after exercising if my blood sugar drops all the time?

Response from our moderator, Kelly Dabel, RD, Cnsd

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Great question! When starting a new exercise routine it’s a good idea to check your blood sugar before you begin. Having a small snack before a workout is generally a good idea as exercise can lower your blood sugar. A good rule of thumb is to have a carbohydrate food along with some protein. Some examples are a small banana with a serving of natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup of berries with non-fat Greek yogurt or a medium apple with a serving of low-fat cheese. You want to keep it light and eat about 30 minutes before exercising.

For post-workout, if you don’t have a meal planned in the next hour, try a similar snack with about 15 grams of carbohydrate and about 7 grams of protein. Be sure to check your blood sugar after exercising and until your routine is established check it again 2 hours after exercise as levels may continue to drop post-workout. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.

Here’s a helpful article about exercise and it’s impact on blood glucose control. Best of luck.

What do you do to maintain your glucose levels if you are going to engage in physical activity? Do you have any tips or tricks to share with our community? Please share your experience in the comments!

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