Blood Sugar Goes Up After Exercise
If your blood sugar level goes up after exercise, how do you get it down? Is it bad? Exercise affects our blood sugar level in several ways, some of which are good, others of which are less so. The quick answer to the question Why does my blood sugar go up after exercise? is that exercise increases insulin sensitivity, while at the same time causing cells to release glucose into the bloodstream as they burn energy during physical activity; these two factors combine to cause high blood glucose levels after exercise.
Wait at Least 2 hours Before Eating
If you have diabetes, try to wait at least two hours before eating anything following your workout. This will give your insulin time to come back down and allow your body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugars to take over. In the meantime, drink plenty of water and other fluids such as fruit juice or sports drinks. You may also want to eat a small snack such as a piece of fruit or yogurt before exercising so that you don’t experience a low blood sugar reaction during or after your workout. It is important to note, however, that this only applies to people with type 1 diabetes or hypoglycemia unawareness. Those who do not have either condition should wait 2-3 hours before eating a meal after an exercise session
Eat a Snack with Protein and Fiber
It’s normal for your blood sugar to spike when you exercise. Your body needs the energy and blood glucose levels drop quickly. But it’s important to eat something before, during and after a workout to keep your blood glucose levels in check. Protein and fiber are great ways to do this because they digest slowly so they’ll keep your blood glucose levels at a steady rate. Eating some fruit, a protein shake or even trail mix will help stabilize your blood sugar levels, which will lead to better results from exercising! The only downside of exercising is that it can make you hungry afterwards- but don’t worry, eating a snack with protein and fiber will help regulate those hunger pangs and give you better long term health benefits.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
People who are physically active should know that the body uses more sugar than usual during and after a workout. This is a problem for people with diabetes, because higher blood glucose levels can cause them to go into a diabetic coma or even die.
Experts recommend that diabetics plan to eat something high in protein and carbs (such as a peanut butter sandwich) within an hour of finishing their workout. Diabetics who have been diagnosed with Type I diabetes need to inject insulin or take insulin pills before they work out, while those with Type II diabetes should take medication before and after exercising. For those without diabetes, nutritionists recommend eating something light right away post-workout (such as yogurt with fruit).
Slowly Increase your Workout Routine
If you’re already working out, it’s important to be aware of how that impacts your blood glucose levels. Depending on the type of workout and your body, you might find that your blood glucose will go down or stay the same. With some types of workouts, like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), your blood glucose may go up. That’s because HIIT increases insulin resistance, which means more insulin is needed to keep those elevated levels in check. So if you notice that you’re feeling more hungry or tired when exercising than when not doing so, take a look at what type of workout is going on and how it impacts your body. It can help you adjust what and when you eat for both better health and better management of your diabetes.
Maintaining good physical fitness also helps with weight loss efforts—one way to manage weight with diabetes. The connection between diabetes management and physical fitness is close: Regular physical activity helps control the disease by improving insulin sensitivity, lowering cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, helping people feel less stressed out, improving moods—and many other benefits!
Get Active but don’t Overdo it
Exercise is a great way to get your blood pumping and increase blood flow. But be sure not to overdo it, and eat properly before, during, and after your workout.
This will help you Maintain Stable blood Sugar Levels.
If you’re going for a long run or bike ride, try eating breakfast beforehand so that you won’t need to stop for food along the way. Plan ahead by packing snacks, drinks, and extra clothes in case you do become dehydrated from all of the perspiration. It’s also important to keep hydrated when exercising indoors with no water source nearby. If you are doing intense intervals of high-intensity workouts like Zumba® or spinning classes then we recommend consuming at least 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of your session for optimal recovery. For more about how what to eat when working out check out our previous blog posts on nutrition for fitness!
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