Diabetes Support - Exercise and Blood Sugar Crashes

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07-07-2014, 04:40 PM
I'm not sure what's causing this, but for the past two weeks, I've had a blood sugar crash when I workout on Sunday afternoons...but strangely enough, not on any other day (regardless of the time of day). I didn't have my testing kit with me for either time (so I was unable to check my levels). I am not on insulin, but am on Glipizide and Metformin, and my blood sugar is okay most of the time...not sure what it is about Sunday afternoons.

The first time it happened (a week ago yesterday), I had gone to the gym to ride the bike for 30-40 minutes before going to yoga class. I didn't think to bring an energy/protein bar to eat before yoga, so shortly after yoga started, I had all the classic symptoms of low blood sugar (dizzy, weak, sweating). Luckily, my instructor had candy in her purse and she made me rest for a few minutes, and then I was ok.

Yesterday, despite eating a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch (balancing proteins, veggies and carbs), the low blood sugar hit me WHILE riding the bike. I was only able to ride for about 20 minutes (and normally I ride for 30-40). I ate a protein bar that I brought with me, but it didn't seem to help much, so I stopped for a fresh fruit smoothie on the way to yoga. I was ok after that. But it was frustrating because during my short bike ride, I only burned around 50 calories, but between the protein bar and the smoothie, I consumed over 500 calories to boost my blood sugar.

I picked up some glucose tablets and will carry them in my purse AND my gym bag, as well as keep some at my desk at work, at home and in my car, so I'm prepared.

Does anyone have suggestions for good pre- and post-workout "snacks" to prevent blood sugar crashes?

Thanks so much!

07-07-2014, 09:28 PM
Your blood glucose levels can be affected for several days by your food choices so is there something you're doing different on Friday evenings or Saturdays? Any cheating/splurging because it's the weekend?

Are you working out at a different time of day on Sundays than you do on other days? If so, it could be your meals and/or medication.

Additionally, exercise is not necessary for weight loss. A calorie deficit is all that is required. So if you have to eat 500 calories of snacks to get though a workout, just factor that in to your daily calorie count so that you're still at a deficit for the day. Exercise is about fitness and toning. Food is about weight loss.

Hope you figure out what is causing your crashes. Good luck!

07-08-2014, 11:41 AM
Thank you SO much, Novus! You've given me a lot to consider. I track my food and exercise almost daily, but I will add the times I eat and exercise to see what's so dramatically different about Sundays. I tend to eat and exercise at different times on the weekends. Also, I wasn't aware that food choices can affect blood glucose for a few days. I thought it was mostly an hour by hour kind of thing.

Thanks again!

07-08-2014, 12:34 PM
I am on similar meds....Metformin and Glimiperide, which works similar to Glipizide. I have never had a crash when exercising. I eat breakfast and lunch and time my exercise for about 1 hour after lunch. I have never exercised without eating first. I'm wondering if you eat the same foods on Sunday that you eat other days and are exercising at the same time relative to your meals. Also, if you're having problems, it would be a good idea to check your blood sugar right before exercising to be sure you're in a high enough range for it. It must be frustrating to have to keep adding calories so you can exercise. If you have been losing weight, your meds might need to be adjusted. As your weight goes down, so will your blood sugar. More Glipizide than you need will make your blood sugar drop faster. If this is the case, talk to your doctor.

09-24-2014, 09:57 PM
I went through something similiar not too long ago. I learned for myself, this is what I have to do when I do two different workouts in one day:

before Planet Fitness (treadmill and strength training)- one sheet of graham cracker with chunky peanut butter

After PF while on my way to swimming to do water aerobics- half of a serving of Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate covered almonds and 1 low fat string cheese.

After swimming, I have a meal that I have already prepared at home- I reheat it while making my salad or eat my low carb veggie like celery or broccoli with ranch dip.

09-25-2014, 02:31 PM
That sounds like a good system you have going Steelslady.