Diabetes and Weightlifting?

Hey Guys,

I am trying to write a paper about the effects of weight lifting on diabetes, blood sugar etc. I am a diabetic myself but have only been lifting for about 9 months. Any personal stories, articles, or books that you think could help me would be great. Thanks so much.


I don't have a story per se, but I've noticed that after any high intensity session, my glucose always skyrockets. That and to remedy it I only use half the insulin I would normally use to correct it since it's caused by adrenaline and not carbs/protein

Hi Marlee,

I only have personal experiences and discussions/panels I've done with professional fitness/weighlifters that have diabetes:

Working out affects diabetes in many ways, but the two main ones are the differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Workouts like running (aerobic) will lower the blood sugar because it uses the glucose in the blood to continuously feed the cells. The opposite of that is exercises like weightlifting, especially days when you do the big, major muscle groups. This is caused, in part, by 'squeezing' the glucose out of the muscles during lifting exercises. The one problem this causes is when someone sees a major post-lifing high, the first reaction is to correct that high with insulin. Anywhere from 2 - 12 hours after a high intensity workout that will come back to bite you as your body readjusts and the blood sugar will drop again. One thing that is definately a must, as Pat pointed out: if you are not using a pump, and are using a long acting insulin such as Lantus, you must cut your dose pre-workout. As for pre-workout eating it varies for everyone. I was playing football in college when I was diagnosed and it took me a long time to get it down just right, but I figured out that if I drank a gatorade and ate a nutrigrain bar, I was good to go for a 3-4 hour workout. However, any diabetic, especially anyone new and just figuring things out, must keep some type of sugar near by during intense workouts as a safety precaution. A dramatic low can hit you so fast you might not make it to the lockeroom or your car.

I hope this helps. Any other questions just shoot them over to me and I'll help any way I can.


Wow! Thanks so much for taking your time to write that all. It is going to be very helpful. And I'll be sure to contact you if i have anymore questions.

I seem to have the opposite effect when lifitng. I have to have  a 40g workout shake with me while lifting and I take less insulin during lunch and still tend to get lows in the afternoon. I usually do about 30 mins of cardio after lifting, but even when I don't I have lows in the afternoon.