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Hypoglycemia & Exercise

Posted by Jenaé Miles on
Hypoglycemia & Exercise - Extend Nutrition

Hypoglycemia is a severe medical condition...

that can cause dizziness, confusion, and even coma if left untreated. It's caused when blood sugar drops too low, which happens because insulin isn't being released or working correctly or is depleted from extreme fitness. Therefore, it's essential to know your glucose levels and keep something sweet on hand just in case you need it. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hypoglycemia causes and management so you can feel more confident in managing your diabetes.

What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a medical condition that happens when the body's glucose level drops below a healthy number, which for most people, is 70 mg/dL. However, always check with your doctor to learn what your body needs. Depending on your lifestyle, your level might be higher or lower.

When low glucose occurs, it's a serious situation. It's vital to increase your glucose levels quickly to prevent severe complications.

Low blood sugar isn't uncommon. In 2016, the CDC reported 16 million emergency department visits for diabetes. Over 225,000 or 10.2 per 1,000 adults were experiencing severe hypoglycemia. Additionally, treatment required hospitalization for 71% of those seeking ED care.

Physical Fitness Amount and Timing

Exercise is essential for managing diabetes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, the time and amount can lead to signs of low blood sugar. The body uses carbs for energy. When you work out or go for a run, glucose levels can drop. Additionally, working out too close to bedtime can cause nighttime hypoglycemia. 

Hypoglycemia can also be experienced by non-diabetic athletes. Often referred to as "bonking," it occurs when the person totally depletes their glycogen levels. So once someone experiences the dip and related symptoms, they'll make sure to prevent it from happening a second time. 

A journal entry in Nutrition Reviews explains the importance of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes in April 2018

"For anyone engaged in regular physical activity (eg, laborers and soldiers) or sports training, adequate restoration of muscle and liver glycogen stores from day to day is required to sustain the capacity for continued exercise and high-intensity activity."

The study continues to explain these depletions can reduce performance and compromise physical and mental health.

Hypoglycemia Causes

Hypoglycemia is most common in individuals with diabetes. However, anyone can experience low glucose levels. Hypoglycemia causes can vary. Here are some of the typical reasons. 

Problems Managing Your Carb to Insulin Balance

Your insulin dose and eating habits go together. More healthy carbs can mean less insulin and vice versa. Individuals that use fast-acting insulin need to know their insulin-to-carb ratio before every meal. Your doctor can help you calculate and manage your ratio to prevent hypoglycemia. 

Too Much Insulin

Hypoglycemia causes low blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia happens with too much. Finding the right balance is the best way to prevent either condition. High glucose levels can occur with anyone, including people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The signs are more obscure for too much sugar, such as frequent urination and increased thirst.

Timing of Insulin Shots

Insulin isn't the same as other medications you can take as soon as you forget or wait until the next day. If you don't calculate the insulin-to-carb ratio right or miss doses, it can lead to hypoglycemia. 

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Alcohol Use

Alcohol can prevent the liver from releasing glucose into the bloodstream. Even when a person's medication manages blood sugar levels, too much drinking drops it fast, leading to hypoglycemia if you don't correct the imbalance quickly. The most significant danger is at night when sleeping. Nocturnal hypoglycemia can be dangerous if a person sleeps several hours with low blood sugar.


A healthy diet is essential to managing blood sugar. You need the right amount of healthy carbs, protein, and nutrients to maintain wellness, including a safe BMI. However, too much or too few of these diet needs can prevent balance and may cause low glucose levels.

Hot and Humid Weather

This hypoglycemia cause can occur alongside other reasons, such as exercising outdoors or eating high-carb foods and drinking alcohol on a hot day. 

Signs of Low Blood Sugar

It's vital to know the signs of low blood sugar to resolve the problem fast. 

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Irritability 
  • Confusion

Severe signs of low blood sugar include,

  • Difficulty walking
  • Vision disturbances
  • Seizure
  • Mental impairment
  • Weakness

Additionally, some people with diabetes might not notice the symptoms. If you've had problems with hypoglycemia in the past, keep a healthy snack, such as an Extend Bar, nearby to boost your sugar levels and prevent another incident. 

What to do When Your Glucose Level is Low

The first step to raising your blood sugar is with a nutritious snack. Eating the right foods can put your level back above 70 mg/dL. Depending on how low it is, you might not need to do much. Rather than a full meal, consider an Extend Bar. It can provide at least six hours of control without piling on excess carbohydrates and sugars. Also, with 5 grams of fiber, you won't feel hungry for a few hours. 

Preventing Low Blood Sugar

The best way to handle hypoglycemia is by managing your glucose levels throughout the day with a healthy lifestyle. Eat a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Space your meals evenly throughout the day. If dinner is a few hours before bedtime, have a low-calorie, low-carb snack. Exercise a few times weekly. But avoid hitting the gym two to three hours before going to sleep. Your blood sugar could drop quickly while your sleeping because of the workout. 

Other ways to maintain balance include regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your progress and seven to nine hours of sleep every night. You can't control everything 100% of the time, but you can be prepared. Keep a healthy snack close for when you notice the signs of low blood sugar.

Choose Extend Bars and Shakes to Keep Glucose Levels In Check

Hypoglycemia causes vary from person to person. Most importantly, you don't have to be diabetic to experience low blood sugar. Additionally, if you're an athlete or have experienced it in the past, it's essential to know the signs of low blood sugar and be prepared. The Extend Nutrition formula is clinically proven to help control glucose for six or more hours. So, if you're competing in a marathon or several day biking competition, a few bars and shake essentials won't weigh you down but will boost your energy and glucose levels for the full duration.

Extend Anytime Protein Bars are perfect for keeping in your backpack, purse, gym bag, desk drawer, car, and nightstand—all places where hypoglycemia can hit away from the kitchen. The delicious Extend Anytime Protein Bars contains no added sugar and delivers healthy, long-lasting energy to stop the spike or bonk wherever your day or night leads you. Choose from a variety of flavors with up to 9-12g of protein, 1-2g net carb and no sugar added. For protein shakes choose from a variety of protein shakes including Extend Anytime Shakes, Premium Whey Shakes and Vegan with Quinoa Shakes. All shakes range from 10-24g of protein, no added sugar and 0-2g net carbs. Help control your blood sugar for a healthy active life with Extend. 

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