Best time to eat

My son was diagnosed with t1d a little over a month ago. He’s been playing soccer and things are going pretty good. Basketball practice has started and the practice times aren’t always at optimal times. During the week practice is at 500-700, tough to get fed and to practice on time. Weekend practice is from 400-600. So my question is, when should he be eating, before or after practice. The 500-700, he’s eating before but not sure when to eat on the 400-600 practice.

Hi @Shane,

This is a difficult time period for intensive sports. I don’t know your son’s usual / former meal schedule so for my initial reply here I’ll assume family meal time falls during these practice sessions.

Each one of us is different, so I’ll assume also that even though your son is newly diagnosed you are attempting to manage his diabetes very closely - what is his age? First off, I suggest that you / he monitor BG levels closely both on practice days and on “normal” days to see if you can see any patterns in BG. I’m not a medical doctor but I have 60 years managing my diabetes. Something to keep in mind about exercise is that moderate consistent exercise will tend to lower body glucose levels where as intensive, stress exercise will probably increase BG levels; In intense exercise, muscles demand to be fed [sugar for fuel] and call upon the liver to release glucagon. That said, and assuming he manages by MDI method, a couple of suggestions:

  1. For the 5 - 7 PM sessions, assuming his BG check is normal for him, let him eat at least a portion of his supper before practice, with CALCULATED meal-time bolus reduced by 50% - the difference can be added later as a ‘+correction’. Take a break and check BG during exercise - snack if necessary but do not take additional insulin [until after the practice or game]. About a half hour after the session check BG and eat what he needs - be very careful about adding extra insulin at this point.

  2. For the 4 - 6 PM sessions, with the same assumptions as above, have a larger than normal afternoon snack before the practice and have his supper after as you are currently doing. Once again, monitor after keeping in mind how different levels of exercise could affect him.

Check BG every two hours after exercise keeping in mind that his levels may either increase of decrease depending on how his body reacts to possible forced glucagon.

I’m really happy to see that you are encouraging him to lead a REAL life; yes, let him do and accomplish. Let him know that he “can do” and as a couple of my sisters were saying this past weekend at a family wedding, we never told you [this was 60 years ago] that you couldn’t do something ‘because you had diabetes’.

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