When our sugar levels spike during a workout it can be super confusing and we are left not knowing what to do. Here are my tips on preventing sugar spikes and how to correct it!
Why do hyper’s hit mid-workout?
One of the main reasons a hyper hits mid-workout is due to adrenaline.
Your body secretes adrenaline to increase your heart rate and increase oxygen delivery to working muscles. Adrenaline also increases glucose release into the blood so you have plenty of energy to workout.
Normally, small amounts of insulin would be secreted from the pancreas to ensure glucose can be used as energy. Of course people living with type 1 diabetes cannot do this, so we must adjust our prep.
The aim of the game is to find trends during exercise, e.g. when you spike, when you drop and what helps you to stay in range.
Don’t panic if you get it wrong, sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn. I used to get it wrong all the time and it would result in me having to stop my workout.
Prepping to workout
There are so many factors to consider when prepping to workout, some to consider are:
- The type of exercise
- Insulin doses
- How much you slept on the previous night
- Recent alcohol consumption
- Stage of menstrual cycle
In order to get your prep right, you have to record and learn how certain factors impact your sugar levels. For example, if I sleep less than 7 hours the night before weight training, I can expect my sugar levels to spike. I have noticed this time and time again, therefore I know my workout prep requires more insulin.
The menstrual cycle is a big factor for women to consider. Sugar levels tend to spike at certain stages, so it is a really good idea for women to track their sugar levels over a few months and apply what is noticed.
In summary, take a few weeks/months (as long as you need) to track how your sugar levels react to situations. You can then adjust your nutrition, training method and insulin dose to accommodate and keep your levels in range!
Correcting a hyper mid-workout
We need to be careful not to over correct here, the last thing we want is to drop into a hypo!
The type of workout I’m doing decides how I treat high sugars.
If I’m weight lifting I will inject a bigger correction dose (usually 1-2 units) and swap to cardio based exercise until my sugars come back down.
If I’m doing cardio and spike (this is pretty rare for me), I will inject a smaller dose (1/2- 1 unit) and continue with cardio.
When sugar levels spike above 13mmol/L I would recommend stopping your workout and continuing once your levels return to normal. This rarely happens to me, but if it does, I will calculate a correction dose and go for a slow walk. This is how I treat hyper’s normally.
If your sugar levels consistently spike while working out, you need to bring this up when you see your consultant. They will help you make a plan and can give you tips on how to calculate your insulin doses based on your sugar level data.
Thank you for reading how to handle a hyper mid-workout! I hope you found this useful, be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!