What Diabetics Should Never Eat After a Workout

What Diabetics Should Never Eat After a Workout

There are many foods that are considered beneficial to eat after a workout, but what’s safe for others isn’t necessarily so for diabetics. The bodies of both type 1 and type 2 diabetics can experience unpleasant side-effects from working out that they need to be aware of, and eating the wrong foods can make those symptoms even worse. While exercise is still vital for diabetics to perform, it’s necessary to talk to your doctor before beginning and to carefully consider the foods you can safely supplement your workouts with.

What makes exercise different for diabetics?

Low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia, can be a serious threat for diabetics during an intensive workout. Since exercise uses glucose as a source of energy, it can quickly sap whatever reserves you have if you’re not careful. Type 1 diabetics are more prone to this, but type 2 diabetics who are taking insulin can also experience the problem if they’re not careful.

There are a number of symptoms of hypoglycemia to watch out for during your workout, such as:

  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Confusion
  • Clumsiness
  • Becoming easily annoyed
  • Blurred vision

What can be done about it?

The important thing is to moderate yourself and watch what you eat. Pay attention to how you feel before and after you begin exercising, and be sure to keep tabs on your glucose levels as well. Maintaining a fixed workout schedule and exercising at the same time each day can be enormously beneficial toward achieving this goal.

Many choose to supplement their workouts with sport drinks. While this might work for them, a lot of these drinks have amounts of sugar that can spike your glucose levels to an unacceptable degree. If you suspect your blood sugar is falling too low, be sure to have a quick carbohydrate source nearby.

Foods you should never eat after exercising

Planning ahead will help you make smart choices. Under no circumstances should diabetics think about eating things like:

  • Fast food of any kind. The drive-through line is deceptively easy and cheap, but the real cost comes when your blood sugar elevates and you wipe out all the benefits you gained from working out in the first place.
  • Fruit juice. An orange is healthy, so why wouldn’t orange juice be as well? The difference is that the actual fruit contains fiber that slows its digestion and moderates your body’s reaction to the sugar it contains.
  • Energy bars. Most of them have far too much sugar to even think about. Stick to foods that are as unprocessed as possible.

Exercise is extremely valuable for improving your quality of life when you have diabetes, but you need to be careful about how you go about it. Have some ID with you that lets others know about your condition in case something should happen; even better, exercise with a friend. Most of all, remember that there is no such thing as a “cheat meal” when you have diabetes.

Sources:
http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/blood-glucose-control-and-exercise.html
http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/dealing-with-exercise-induced-hypoglycemia/
http://www.ghc.org/healthAndWellness/?item=/common/healthAndWellness/conditions/diabetes/exercisePrecautions.html