10 Pre-Workout Snack Ideas For Diabetics

10 Pre-Workout Snack Ideas For Diabetics

If you have diabetes, regular exercise will provide you with a whole host of health benefits. It will not only improve your fitness levels, but it will also enhance the sensitivity of insulin, the hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels.[1]

To eliminate your risk of suffering from low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)[2] during a workout, you may need to consume a pre-workout snack 30 to 60 minutes before you begin exercising. In addition to preventing hypoglycemia, your pre-workout snack should provide you with sufficient energy and ward off hunger pangs.

The carbohydrate food group is the main food group you will need to consume before exercise. However, you may find it difficult to consume the right amount of carbohydrate at the right time[3]. If you consume an excessive amount of carbohydrate before your workout, you may put yourself at a greater risk of suffering from high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)[4]. If, on the other hand, you consume an insufficient amount of carbohydrate, you may put yourself at a greater risk of suffering from hypoglycemia.

You may need to experiment to determine the best pre-workout snack for your needs. However, you should always choose a snack that contains a moderate amount of protein and carbohydrate and a small amount of fat. The following 10 pre-workout snack ideas should provide you with some food for thought:

10 Pre-Workout Snack Ideas

1. Bananas

Bananas contain complex carbohydrates, which will provide your body with the energy that it needs to power through a workout. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which will support your muscle and nerve function.

2. Oats

Oats are rich in fiber, which means that they will gradually release carbohydrates into your bloodstream. This steady release of sugar will keep your energy levels consistent throughout the course of your workout. Oats are also a great source of vitamin B, which will help you to convert carbohydrates into energy.

3. Peanut butter on apple

This unlikely duo will provide you with a beneficial combination of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein. Peanut butter is also rich in vitamin E, which may help you to protect against the damaging effects of free radicals.

4. Turkey and grapes

Turkey and grapes will provide you with the perfect blend of protein and carbohydrates – ideal if you want to banish your hunger pangs. While turkey is full of protein, grapes contain an abundance of resveratrol, which prevents the growth of fat cells.

5. Hard boiled eggs and wholegrain toast

A slice of wholegrain toast is a great source of complex carbohydrates, phytochemicals and antioxidants. When teamed with a hard boiled egg for protein, this pre-workout snack will provide your muscles with the fuel they need to work efficiently.

6. Hummus and wholegrain pitta bread

Wholegrain pitta bread is an invaluable source of energy-providing complex carbohydrates. Hummus, on the other hand, is rich in essential amino acids, which aid muscle growth and recovery.

7. Wholegrain cereal and milk

Wholegrain cereal is a source of slow-releasing energy, which will help you to stabilize your energy levels. It may also reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

8. Blueberries

In addition to being low in sugar, blueberries are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants. To create the perfect pre-workout snack, you may wish to mix your blueberries with a 28-gram slice of cheddar cheese - an excellent source of protein and calcium.

9. Apple and almonds

An apple is an ideal pre-exercise snack as its sugar content is moderate. It also contains pectin, which slows the release of sugar into your bloodstream. Combined with almonds, which provide a small amount of fat and protein, this snack will help you to sustain your energy levels.

10. Half a whole-wheat bagel with low fat cream cheese

While bagels are high in carbohydrates, half a bagel should not tip your blood sugar levels over the edge. Whole-wheat bagels are better source of carbohydrates than white or refined flour bagels as they contain fiber, which will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Served with a sliver of low fat cream cheese, whole-wheat bagels will raise your blood sugar to a point where you are able to get through a workout unscathed.

If you are considering making changes to your exercise plan, you should consider asking your doctor or dietitian for diabetes diet advice tailored to your specific needs.[5] Your doctor will be able to determine whether you need to adjust your treatment plan to account for your physical activity levels.

Photographs relating to the foods listed (all sourced from Wikimedia Commons – please attribute author or licensor in accordance with the licensing information provided underneath the image):

Hummus and pitta bread: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clifton,_St_Johns_Wood,_London_%283955162263%29.jpg?uselang=en-gb

Bananas: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Banana.arp.750pix.jpg

Oatmeal: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oatmeal_%281%29.jpg


[1] http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/physical-activity-is-important.html?loc=DropDownFF-physicalactivity

[2] http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hypoglycemia-low-blood.html

[3] http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/exercise-and-type-1-diabetes.html?loc=DropDownFF-exercise-type1

[4] http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hyperglycemia.html

[5] http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/see-your-doctor.html