What is The Best Fuel?
You will read a lot of information on the best diet to fuel your body in an endurance event, some will Say Carbohydrates, some swear by Protein & others will say Fats. They are the main energy sources your body will use for fuel & what works best for one person does not always work for another for what ever the reason.
It is said that athletes should be on a diet of 60% CHO, 20% Proteins & 20% Fats.
Some Nutrition Tips for Endurance Athletes
*Don't experiment nutrition just before a race. The gastrointestinal channel can be trained to digest food during exercise.
*Eat & drink regularly during exercise, if you are hungry or thirsty during exercise, you are to late.
*Ensure full glycogen reserves for endurance events longer than 60-90 min.
*Last meal should be eaten 2 hours before.
*Biggest mistake is drinking to little.
*Glycogen stores are depleted after 60-90 min of sub-maximal performance.
*Liquid food digests faster than solid food.
*Carbohydrate (CHO) may double CHO reserves.
*Consume large amounts of glucose or sugar especially liquid form if less than one hour before your race start.
*Liquid sugar after an event aids in recovery.
Generally fats are used for energy when you are working at a low intensity e/g. heart rate under 70% Max & will often come into play toward the end of a long endurance event when you are getting tired & can no longer push your body back up to the speeds it is capable of. What you do not use in carbs will be stored in your body as fat to be used when needed, such as toward the end of a race or when all things have gone wrong & you are in survival mode "lets hope you don't get to that stage, it's not pretty".
By training at low intensities for long periods of time, what you are doing is training your body to utilize these fat stores in your body, something that a lot of athletes don't understand when they train at hard intensity most of the time & that is why 70% of your training should be at a low intensity.
Protein is a great source of energy but is typically used to repair rather than fuel the muscles & for that reason I do think it should be used as a main energy source.
The correct amount of protein is needed for muscle growth & tissue maintenance. Food high in protein are generally from animals, although some vegetables & grains are good sources of protein. E/g. beans, brown rice, corn, wheat products. The best protein for strength training comes from eggs, fish, low fat milk products, chicken & lean beef.
Dangers associated with excessive protein intake
According to present-day experience, sports nutritionists believe that ingesting up to 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day should not cause any negative effects in healthy athletes (those who do not suffer from raised blood fat levels or diabetes, or have kidney problems). Intakes exceeding this amount can, however, be potentially dangerous for the following reasons:
- High protein intakes are often associated with high intakes of animal fat (saturated fat and cholesterol), which can raise blood lipid levels and cause heart disease and certain types of cancer
- High-protein diets increase calcium excretion via the kidneys which can in turn lead to kidney stones and osteoporosis, particularly in female athletes who restrict their energy intake and suffer from amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation)
- Susceptible athletes may develop kidney disease if their protein intake is too high
- Research with animals indicates that a high protein intake may damage the liver
Carbs are used at a high intensity heart rate, a heart rate that you would typically use in a race situation & a medium to hard intensity training session.
Types of Carbohydrates
Did you know there are three main types of carbohydrate in food? There are
- Starches (also known as complex carbohydrates)
No wonder knowing what kind and how much carbohydrate to eat can be confusing!
On the nutrition label, the term "total carbohydrate" includes all three types of carbohydrates. This is the number you should pay attention to if you are carbohydrate counting.
Foods high in starch include:
- Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, lima beans and potatoes
- Dried beans, lentils and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas and split peas
- Grains like oats, barley and rice. (The majority of grain products in Australia are made from wheat flour. These include pasta, bread and crackers but the variety is expanding to include other grains as well.)
A grain contains three parts:
The germ is the next layer and is packed with nutrients including essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
The endosperm is the soft part in the center of the grain. It contains the starch. Whole grain means that the entire grain kernel is in the food.
If you eat a whole grain food, it contains the bran, germ, and endosperm so you get all of the nutrients that whole grains have to offer. If you eat a refined grain food, it contains only the endosperm or the starchy part so you miss out on a lot of vitamins and minerals. Because whole grains contain the entire grain, they are much more nutritious than refined grains.
Sugar is another type of carbohydrate. You may also hear sugar referred to as simple or fast-acting carbohydrate.
There are two main types of sugar:
- naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk or fruit
- added sugars such as those added during processing such as fruit canned in heavy syrup or sugar added to make a cookie
There are many different names for sugar. Examples of common names are table sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, beet sugar, cane sugar, confectioner's sugar, powdered sugar, raw sugar, turbinado, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar and sugar cane syrup.
You may also see table sugar listed by its chemical name, sucrose. Fruit sugar is also known as fructose and the sugar in milk is called lactose. You can recognize other sugars on labels because their chemical names also end in "-ose." For example glucose (also called dextrose), fructose (also called levulose), lactose and maltose.
Fiber comes from plant foods so there is no fiber in animal products such as milk, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. When you consume dietary fiber, most of it passes through the intestines and is not digested.
For good health, adults need to try to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber in their diet, so while it is wise to aim for this goal, any increase in fiber in your diet can be beneficial. Most of us only get about half of what is recommended.
Fiber contributes to digestive health, helps to keep you regular, and helps to make you feel full and satisfied after eating.
Additional health benefits, of a diet high in fiber — such as a reduction in cholesterol levels — have been suggested by some so may be an additional benefit.
Good sources of dietary fiber include:
- Beans and legumes. Think black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chick peas (garbanzos), white beans, and lentils.
- Fruits and vegetables, especially those with edible skin (for example, apples, corn and beans) and those with edible seeds (for example, berries).
- Whole grains such as:
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole grain cereals (Look for those with three grams of dietary fiber or more per serving, including those made from whole wheat, wheat bran, and oats.)
- Whole grain breads (To be a good source of fiber, one slice of bread should have at least three grams of fiber. Another good indication: look for breads where the first ingredient is a whole grain. For example, whole wheat or oats.) Many grain products now have "double fiber" with extra fiber added.
- Nuts — try different kinds. Peanuts, walnuts and almonds are a good source of fiber and healthy fat, but watch portion sizes, because they also contain a lot of calories in a small amount.
It is best to get your fiber from food rather than taking a supplement. In addition to the fiber, these foods have a wealth of nutrition, containing many important vitamins and minerals. In fact, they may contain nutrients that haven't even been discovered yet!
It is also important that you increase your fiber intake gradually, to prevent stomach irritation, and that you increase your intake of water and other liquids, to prevent constipation.
Exercising with Diabetes
When you exercise, your body needs extra energy from blood sugar, also called glucose.
When you do something quickly, like a sprint , your muscles and liver release glucose for fuel.
The big payoff comes when you do moderate exercise for a longer time, like a hike. Your muscles take up much more glucose when you do that. This helps lower your blood sugar levels.
If you're doing intense exercise, your blood sugar levels may rise, temporarily, after you stop.
Type 2 Diabetes
When you look for information on endurance activities with diabetes, there is not a lot out there to give you a definitive answer. Although we are getting better at finding type 2 diabetes earlier, the condition is often present for several years before the diagnosis is made. It is important to have an evaluation with your physician before you take on higher level exercise like training for a half marathon to make sure you do not have cardiovascular disease or other problems associated with diabetes and that your medications are the best for more intense physical activity.
Type 2 diabetes involves insulin resistance and inability to get glucose into the cells. The treatments are geared to improve the cell responses and glucose utilization pathways. Exercise increases glucose uptake into the muscle and generally improves type 2 diabetes. Eating a well-balanced diet aimed at attaining and maintaining ideal body weight for your height will likely serve you well during your training and racing. A mix of complex carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fats (from nuts, avocado, and fish) should be good for you. An increase in your carbohydrate load the day prior to your race should be adequate to fuel your race.
The mainstay of medical treatment for type 2 diabetes is metformin when diet and exercise alone have failed. Metformin works by enhancing peripheral glucose uptake, decreasing glucose production in the liver, and increasing insulin sensitivity. This medication rarely causes hypoglycemia so it is a good one for those who exercise, but do not have adequate control from diet and exercise alone. You will likely develop your race day nutrition strategy during your long runs as your prepare for the race. You might try different carbohydrate loads the evening before your longer training runs, although the most important part of your plan will be how you replace carbohydrate during your runs that last longer than 60-90 minutes. Sports drinks during your runs may help level your carbohydrate levels available to the muscle while you are racing. Some of the gels made for racing can keep your glucose levels up to allow muscle utilization and have the advantage of a small volume. For your usual shorter duration training days, you probably do not have to do anything different. If you are on medications that augment insulin secretion, like a sulfonylureas, you will be at more risk of hypoglycemia during your runs and you may need a different strategy.
It is prudent to carry a glucose gel tube or glucose tablets when you are on training runs and when you race to cover yourself if you become hypoglycemic. You may have to check your glucose a few times to see how the level correlates with how you feel. It will be important for you to discuss your exercise plans with your physician and maybe you would benefit from a session or two with a nutritionist who focuses on diabetes and exercise. I also recommend that you wear a medical alert tag in case something happens to you during an endurance activity.
Bottom line, there will not be a huge benefit from carbohydrate loading, but you will need to focus on your intake during endurance activity.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to produce insulin. Without insulin, the body's ability to use glucose as a fuel source is impaired. Does this mean that people with Type 1 diabetes have to give up dreams of a successful sports career? Swimmer Gary Hall Jnr. is just one of the elite athletes with Type 1 diabetes who has competed at the highest level of demanding sports. Clearly, with good management, it is possible to participate in sporting activities, even at an elite level, with this condition.
This fact sheet examines sports nutrition issues for people with Type 1 diabetes. The needs of each individual with diabetes varies - the information in this fact sheet should not replace the advice of your diabetes specialist.
How does Type 1 diabetes affect metabolism?
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It has a number of important functions in the body, including a regulatory effect on carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin stimulates glucose to be taken up by body cells and used for fuel. It inhibits the release of glucose from glycogen in the liver and stimulates the synthesis of muscle glycogen after exercise. In the absence of diabetes, insulin is released according to the body's needs and the concentration of glucose in the blood is kept within a tight range. People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. The body is therefore unable to use glucose properly as a fuel source and starts to rely on fat and protein as fuel. This causes blood glucose levels to rise excessively and toxic byproducts from fat breakdown (ketones) to build up in the blood. If untreated, this can be fatal.
How is Type 1 diabetes treated?
Type 1 diabetes requires regular insulin injections. The amount and timing of insulin administration needs to be matched to factors such as food intake, individual metabolism and activity level. Blood glucose levels must be monitored regularly to ensure an appropriate amount of insulin is given. Poor use of insulin will result in abnormal blood glucose levels:
Hypoglycaemia - low blood glucose
Occurs when too much insulin is present causing too much glucose to be taken up by the body's cells and too little glucose to be released from the liver. Symptoms include sweating, rapid heart rate, drowsiness, shaking, confusion, poor coordination and nausea. If untreated, hypoglycaemic coma occurs. This is a potentially fatal condition that requires rapid medical assistance.
Hyperglycaemia - high blood glucose
Occurs when too little insulin is present. Too much glucose is released from the liver and cells cannot take up glucose adequately. Symptoms include restlessness, poor concentration, fatigue, thirst, muscle cramps, drowsiness and nausea. In the long term, regular periods of hyperglycaemia increase the risk of complications related to diabetes including cardiovascular, kidney and eye problems.
How does exercise affect diabetes management?
Factors such as muscle contraction, increased blood flow and increased body temperature cause the body to be more responsive or 'sensitive' to insulin during and soon after exercise. In addition, when muscles contract, they can take up glucose from the bloodstream independently of insulin. Therefore, in people who do not have diabetes, insulin release decreases during exercise. People with Type 1 diabetes usually need to adjust their insulin dose to account for a reduced requirement for insulin during exercise. Management of diabetes varies for each individual. Regular monitoring of blood glucose concentrations and trial and error (under the supervision of your diabetes specialist) is needed to understand and manage each individual's response to exercise. However, in general, the following factors need to be considered:
- Intensity and duration of exercise
Pre-exercise insulin dose generally needs to be reduced when exercise extends beyond 30 minutes. The level of reduction varies for each individual but, in general, the longer the period of exercise, the greater the reduction required. Adjustments to insulin should be made with the guidance of your diabetes specialist, especially in the early stages of management.
- Degree of metabolic control before exercise
It is easier to manage and predict the body's response to exercise when metabolic control is good. It is dangerous to commence exercise when blood glucose levels are high and ketones are present in the urine.
- Type and dose of insulin injected before exercise
It is common practice to use a mixture of short and long lasting insulin to manage diabetes. It is necessary to predict the peak period of insulin activity to avoid excessive levels of insulin in the blood at the same time as exercising.
- Site of insulin injection
Insulin absorption is increased in exercising muscles. The abdomen is usually the preferred site for insulin injection prior to exercise.
- Timing of previous meal
- Insulin requirements are influenced by the amount and type of food consumed.
How does Type 1 diabetes affect dietary requirements?
In general, people with Type 1 diabetes have the same dietary requirements as the general population - a varied diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, bread and cereals, moderate amounts of fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products and smaller amounts of foods high in fat, refined sugar and alcohol.
Including foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) is thought to assist with blood glucose control. Glycaemic index is a tool used to rank foods according to their immediate effect on blood glucose concentrations. Carbohydrate-containing foods that are broken down quickly, releasing glucose rapidly into the blood stream, are known as high GI foods. Conversely, carbohydrate-containing foods that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, are known as low GI foods. People with diabetes (and the general population) are encouraged to consume a variety of low GI foods each day.
Examples of low GI foods include:
- fresh fruit - apples, unripe bananas, pears, mangoes and grapes
- fruit loaf or fruit muffins
- multigrain bread
- untoasted muesli
- low fat fruit yoghurt
- baked beans
Blood glucose control is usually better when a consistent eating pattern is adopted with regular meals and snacks. People with Type 1 diabetes are encouraged to adjust their insulin regime according to food intake and activity levels rather than distorting their food intake to suit the insulin dose.
How does Type 1 diabetes affect sport nutrition strategies?
General sports nutrition strategies are similar whether or not you have diabetes. Managing Type 1 diabetes and competing successfully requires a commitment to trialing different food and fluid combinations in and around exercise. It is impossible to provide a single set of guidelines that will suit all people with Type 1 diabetes. This fact sheet outlines some issues to consider. You will need to work with your diabetes specialist and sports dietitian and use trial and error to find the best approach for you.
Eating Before Training and Competition
As for all athletes, a carbohydrate-based pre-exercise meal 1-3 hours before exercise is recommended. This may need to be followed up with a small snack closer to exercise. Theoretically, it may help to include a low GI food in the pre-exercise meal. However, research on non-diabetic athletes has not been able to indicate a clear benefit of having a low GI pre-exercise meal, provided sufficient total carbohydrate is consumed, and research on diabetic athletes has not been conducted.
It is important for people with Type 1 diabetes to ensure blood glucose concentrations are at an appropriate level before commencing exercise - ideally between 4-8 mmol/L. Exercising with high blood glucose concentrations disrupts normal metabolic control and will elevate levels even further. Apart from being dangerous, this will result in poor performance. In general, exercise should be postponed if blood glucose concentrations are above 10-14 mmol/L, especially if ketones are present in the urine.
Blood glucose concentrations should be monitored closely before exercise. It may be necessary to consume extra carbohydrate before commencing exercise if blood glucose is low. Blood glucose control is easier if you have a consistent training routine. It becomes more difficult in competition situations when the start time is unknown (e.g. athletics) or the length of the event varies (e.g. tennis). Being attuned to the symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycaemia and regular monitoring is necessary in these situations.
Eating During Training and Competition
The Eating Before Exercise fact sheet on the AIS Sports Nutrition website provides general information. Eating during exercise depends on the duration and intensity of exercise. In general, additional carbohydrate should be considered as exercise exceeds one hour or more or moderate to high intensity. Research suggests 30-60 g of carbohydrate per hour will aid performance in these situations. Usually it is not necessary to have extra insulin if you eat during exercise. Choices such as sports drinks that provide fluid and carbohydrate are a convenient option for most exercise situations. Other options such as carbohydrate gels, fruit and sports bars may also be tolerated. If additional carbohydrate is required during exercise, it is better to consume small amounts frequently rather than leave it until the last minute. Try any new strategies during training sessions when it is easier to monitor the effects on blood glucose control.
Eating After Training and Competition
General sports nutrition recovery strategies are the same as for non-diabetic athletes. Fuel and fluid used during exercise needs to be replaced. The increased insulin sensitivity caused by exercise lasts for several hours after exercise. Therefore the risk of hypoglycaemia persists for some time. Delayed hypoglycaemia can occur 4-48 hours after exercise. Preventing delayed hypoglycaemia involves making sure you consume sufficient carbohydrate before, during and after exercise. It may also be necessary to reduce the next insulin dose after exercise. It is helpful to monitor your blood glucose levels frequently after exercise. Inconveniently, delayed hypoglycaemia often occurs during the night. If this occurs regularly, it can exacerbate fatigue in athletes. Waking up feeling very tired and groggy in the morning may indicate you have experienced a 'hypo' during the night. This is a sign that you need to increase blood glucose monitoring after similar exercise sessions in the future.
Alcohol inhibits the release of glucose from the liver therefore increases the risk of hypoglycaemia. Consuming excessive alcohol also impairs the ability to recognise the symptoms of hypoglycaemia. Sensible use of alcohol should be discussed with your diabetes specialist. All athletes are encouraged to moderate alcohol intake after exercise and ensure recovery needs are taken care of first.
Little research is available directly on athletes with diabetes. However, it is possible that people with Type 1 diabetes have a reduced ability to store glycogen after exercise. This may be an issue when strenuous training sessions are held within a short period of time (less than 24 hours apart).
Is carbohydrate loading safe for people with diabetes?
The Carbohydrate Loading fact sheet above provides general information. Carbohydrate loading is dependent on insulin availability and therefore requires good diabetic control. It is necessary to adjust insulin administration to account for the increased carbohydrate intake and the effects of an exercise taper. Regular blood glucose monitoring is essential when carbohydrate loading. Carbohydrate loading should not be attempted if blood glucose control is poor. Seek advice from your diabetes specialist and sports dietitian if you wish to use this method.
Controlling Blood Glucose Levels During Competition
Excitement and nerves surrounding competition are almost inevitable. A side effect of excitement is the release of hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones stimulate the release of glucose from the liver and reduce the effectiveness of insulin. This can result in fluctuating blood glucose levels. Ways to avoid or cope with this include:
- Emulate your race/competition preparation in training (including physical preparation and recovery, and nutrition strategies)
- Try and practice some relaxation techniques (correct breathing techniques, muscle relaxation techniques, music, or talk to a sports psychologist)
- Write your routine down on paper before the event so you don't forget your routine amongst all the excitement.
intensive insulin routine (i.e. frequent and small doses of short acting insulin). This should be practiced and planned in conjunction with your diabetes specialist.
Carbohydrate intake on competition day should not be sacrificed to try and reduce blood glucose concentrations. The result could be insufficient energy for competition - there is no benefit to doing this! Forward planning and practice will help avoid this situation.
Blood Glucose Levels and Strength Training
Strength-oriented exercise (e.g. lifting weights or even sports like taekwondo) generally requires short, repetitive and intensive bursts of movement. This type of exercise can provoke a hormone response known as the 'fight or flight' or 'adrenalin' response that can temporarily raise blood glucose levels. Currently, it is not known whether this temporary hyperglycemia from weight training has any long-term effect and management of this response is difficult and still controversial.
Decreasing carbohydrate intake in an attempt to avoid the anticipated hyperglycemia might jeopardise performance during exercise and increase the risk of delayed hypoglycemia after exercise. Increasing your insulin dose after exercise to reduce blood glucose concentrations may increase the risk of delayed hypoglycemia once the 'adrenalin' response has worn off. Regular blood glucose monitoring is important so that you are aware of how your body responds to strength exercise. You should consult your diabetes specialist if you are concerned about your blood glucose response to weight training and seek guidance on the best way for you to respond.
Supplements and Type 1 Diabetes
Before considering use of any dietary supplement, you are strongly advised to see your diabetes specialist or sports dietitian. Even supplements entrenched in sports such as sports drinks can be misused and contribute to poor sports performance. Learning how to use dietary supplements properly is a skill and seeking advice from a sports dietitian can help you to get it right. Most sports supplements are poorly researched and little, if any, research is conducted on athletes with diabetes. It is important to discuss the potential effects of any product with a knowledgeable person before using any supplement.
Weight loss and Body Fat Loss with Type 1 Diabetes
Achieving a weight goal, reducing body fat or just maintaining weight should be a planned and realistic process in order to avoid the temptation for fad diets or radical weight loss or gain. This is very important in diabetes as rapid weight loss can lead to severe hypoglycemia, fatigue, and poor exercise performance. These negative consequences of rapid weight loss defeat the purpose of reducing weight or body fat in the first place. As a person with Type 1 diabetes, it is important to consider the impact of what you eat in relation to your blood glucose concentrations as a priority rather than how it immediately affects your weight. Rapid fluctuations in weight affect your health much more significantly than someone without diabetes.
The Weight Loss fact sheet in the AIS Sports Nutrition website provides general information. A sports dietitian can help you to plan your nutrition requirements if weight loss is an issue for your sport.
Insulin and Anti-Doping Policies
Insulin promotes protein synthesis and inhibits protein breakdown. It has therefore been misused as an anabolic agent. This is a dangerous and illegal practice. WADA anti-doping policies allow people with diabetes to use insulin and compete in official competitions. However formal approval for therapeutic use must be obtained. ASADA can advise on the procedure for obtaining therapeutic approval.
Nutrition for Travelling Athletes outlines general strategies. Athletes with diabetes need to pack ample supplies of insulin and testing equipment. Supplies need to be packaged in a container that protects from heat stress and physical damage. Consider packing half your supplies in your hand luggage and the rest in your checked in luggage.
Maintaining good diabetic control will maximise the benefits from training. It is important to persevere to understand your own metabolic response and develop a management strategy. Regular consultation with your diabetes specialist is important. Athletes with diabetes need to plan for the management of hypoglycaemia. It is important to train with a partner who is aware of the problems and knows how to treat hypoglycaemia. Coaches of athletes with diabetes need to understand the effects of diabetes on athletic performance and be familiar with their athlete's management plans. They should also be prepared to treat hypoglycaemia.
Thinking about starting a sport?
If you are contemplating getting into sport then you should first seek a medical assessment (complications screening) by your diabetes specialist. A sports physician can also offer an assessment based on the requirements of your chosen sport/s and help guide the pace at which you get into your sport.
Want to improve your performance in your current sport?
There are many factors related to diabetes that can influence physical performance as well as all the factors unrelated to diabetes that influence performance. You may need to adopt a team approach so you manage your diabetes and your exercise performance simultaneously. Be sure to involve your diabetes specialist, sports physician, sports dietitian and coach to help maximise your sports performance and manage your diabetes.
Monitoring Diet and Training
A training diary is probably the most important and useful tool you can embrace as an athlete. Consider combining your diabetes-monitoring tool with your training diary in order to monitor both diabetes and non-related diabetes factors simultaneously. There are a number of commercial sports training diary programs available through the internet. Alternatively, you could create your own in a spreadsheet using the suggested headings below.
- Date - It’s always handy to know when the event took place!
- Training Times - Exercising at different times during the day may affect your body's response during or after exercise.
- Nature of the Exercise - Recording the type, duration and intensity of exercise enables you to more accurately reflect on the nature of the exercise you undertook. Keeping a record will help you or your dietitian/diabetes specialist/coach to work out whether your nutritional strategies are appropriate. It will also enable you to see whether your training is adequate or excessive over time.
- Blood Glucose Levels - Regular blood glucose testing is recommended as part of your usual diabetes management routine. However, when starting out in a sport or beginning a new season, more frequent testing is essential. This may mean testing around meal times (before and after) as well as before, during (if possible) and after exercise. There are no rules as to how best to do this, however regular testing provides a clearer picture of how your body responds to exercise. Ultimately, this will allow you to determine the impact of a variety of factors including pre-exercise nutritional status, insulin regimen, insulin injection site, and nature of the exercise on blood glucose control.
- Insulin Type and Dose - Seek advice from your diabetes specialist about what insulin regimen (e.g. insulin pump or injections) is likely to work for you and how to adjust your insulin according to blood glucose readings and the nature of the exercise you perform. Recording information about how much insulin and what type of insulin you use will provide a basis from which you can progressively alter your regimen according to your exercise demands.
- Food Record - A sports dietitian can help you to assess your food diary and see if there are ways to improve your sports performance by modifying your dietary intake. Visit the Sports Dietitians Australia website to find a Sports Dietitian near you.
- Energy Levels - This factor relates to how you felt during training. Did you feel tired, lethargic, or full of energy? This may help explain your exercise performance and assist you in monitoring whether you are recovering adequately between exercise sessions.
Your diary can be shown to your sports physician, sports dietitian, diabetes specialist or coach. This network of specialists can help you achieve your sporting goals while managing your diabetes. Not only are they objective, they may also have some great ideas and offer support in the good and bad times.