If you’re serious about your health, you’ll know that getting fit is more of a science than an art. At the end of the day, the human body and all its functions is simply the result of complex interactions of chemicals. These chemicals determine our bodies’ responses to stimuli, and most especially the proper function of our organ systems.
Long-lasting and effective results are simply impossible without understanding the science behind what makes fitness work. On our Red Delta Project blog and podcast, we talk about creating holistic approach to fitness and nutrition, including understanding the science behind the techniques. Today, we’re going to take a brief look at the essentials of blood sugar levels, and why they matter in fitness.
The Basics to Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar is integral to fitness for one simple reason: it’s what supplies your cells with energy, allowing you to remain active and energized. However, too much of a good thing can be dangerous, and the same goes for your glucose levels. Your body needs your blood sugar to be high enough that it’s able to perform, but not so high that your cells become overloaded.
Your blood glucose levels will vary throughout the day, depending on your activity level and whether you’ve eaten recently or not. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that a normal range for fasting blood sugar is at 99 milligrams per deciliter. For prediabetics and diabetics, these levels will change more often.
Blood Glucose and Fitness
Your blood sugar responds quickly to your activity levels, especially during sustained activity like exercise. The American Diabetes Association details that your blood sugar levels are lower for up to 24 hours after a workout, sometimes even more.
However, more intense exercise can have the opposite effect, at least temporarily. If you do high intensity, short period exercise, your blood sugar might actually spike for a time before falling.
While your body’s response to exercise may vary according to your body type, lifestyle, and level of activity, paying attention to your blood glucose levels is important to ensure safety and long-term health. This is especially true for prediabetics and diabetics, who may need to take extra precautions.
How to Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels, also known as hyperglycemia, can cause serious problems if left untreated for long periods of time. Hyperglycemia can lead to damaged blood vessels, fatigue, delayed healing for cuts and sores, nerve damage, kidney damage, and even a diabetic coma or death in extreme cases.
It’s essential that you monitor and manage your blood sugar levels, especially if you workout regularly and have existing conditions that make your glucose levels erratic. Diatribe suggests starting exercise with a buffer for your blood sugar levels to ensure that you avoid hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, post-workout.
If your blood sugar levels spike before or during exercise, Brightcore recommends a light snack like ACV gummies, which can help lower your blood glucose levels to a safer range. Constant monitoring, adjustments, and other preparations are part and parcel of ensuring that your fitness and nutrition program brings long-term, beneficial results.