Foods to eat prior to playing high intensity sports


My 10 year old son is highly active in various sports. He will start off at a good BG level, but during periods of playing and intense sprints, his BG will shoot up. Do you recommend any foods prior to playing that will prevent the adrenaline BG spike? His number will also increase right after he’s done playing prior to coming back down.


Counterintuitive as it is, some exercises actually raise bg in some individuals, rather than lowering it, so - also counterintuitive - he may need to take some insulin to forestall the rose. How much and how far in advance is usually a matter of trial and error - the last words you want to hear regarding your 10 year old - but doctor can advise on how to adjust to give you a starting point, and if he uses a CGM you - and he - can see how things are going to adjust from there.
That said, my exercise is primarily exercise bike and weight lifting of shorter duration than what your son does, so you may get some helpful responses about food from other members who are more active.

Luke @Luke123 to me, it sounds as if your son’s body is doing just what it is supposed to do - other than producing insulin; maybe just the beta cells which produce two hormones - amylin and insulin - have been destroyed. A positive that can be taken from the way his body is working, is that he most probably will recover naturally from a severe hypoglycemic event.

When you say “prior to coming back down”, if you mean he is back in his normal range without insulin intervention, I think everything is fine - don’t break what ain’t [yet] broken. Your son sounds healthy and his body is still responding naturally - thankfully.

Thanks for your responses. It’s been nearly 3 years since his diagnosis and he’s still in his “honeymoon” which the doctor said is rare in his 30 year experience. Says he only had one child like him in the past. He’s only on 4 units of long acting and about 1:30 carb to insulin ratio.

He does still require some insulin to bring his number down. Wondering if anyone has been successful with a specific food whether it’s a fat ( ex:cheese) or protein prior to exercising. Soccer has more of an impact than basketball due to the long hard sprints during the game.

Hi @Luke123 In my opinion, the highs from high intensity sports are due to adrenaline/cortisol, or due to a decrease in blood sugar leading to his liver dumping glycogen.

For the stress hormones, there is no food that will make that go away. If his bs gets too high you need to consider treating with insulin (carefully or under supervision of a doctor) For the liver dumping, you can try mixed carbs like something carby and fatty, or something carby with a lot of protein. Bacon sandwiches or something like that, nuts have a good fat content maybe peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This requires a little trial and error. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

FWIW, I attended a session at a local JDRF summit with four professional athletes and one of them said that blood sugar drops during aerobic exercise and increases during anaerobic exercise. One of them was a cyclist and he said that when he’s starting a race and he thinks his blood sugar is too low, he rides hard for a few minutes to increase it.

Here’s a link to ADA article on the topic for those interested.

Hi, my first post here.

My son is 11. He was diagnosed 3 months ago. He is also in “honeymoon” phase currently on 4 units of long acting and 1:40 carbs to insulin ratio. We started on 17 units and 1:10 ratio.

He practices taekwondo, 3 days a week, from 7pm to 8pm doing different high intensity workouts. He goes high to around 190-220, especially on hot days and an hour after he goes low and sometimes continues to be low all night. The first day we didn’t know what to expect so we hold on any extra insulin during the exercise and later treated the low with fruit juice several times. Scary day.

Currently our routine starts with a chart provided by his endocrinologist that gives us an amount of carbs to take before the class. We do low acting carbs for him, he likes bananas and granola bars. During exercise he drinks lots of water or gatorade and as your son he just goes high. I heard that some people meditate or do yoga to avoid this adrenaline highs but he is just not into that for his age. When we get home he gets a light snack like a string cheese, a banana, a little of cereal always below 15g of carbs otherwise he will just plummet low.

We are still new to this “routine” and we are still doing adjustments and lots of trial and error on “new” things. We want him to enjoy all of what he did before his diagnosis. He does great just once in a while he gets tired and cries and tells us that this is hard. It is hard but we tell him we are a team.

I hope your kid does good. I still cannot imagine how this is going to be when the honeymoon is over. In case you have not, you should watch the videos on here and don’t forget to check ketones and STOP ANY EXERCISE if present.

If its allowed I can share the exercise & carbs worksheet we use but I would insist on sharing with your endocrinologist first.

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