Whatever information that you get from Doctors, health care professionals or other advisors you cannot beat keeping a log. This will help your health care team understand what you are doing and how well you are managing your diabetes, and will allow you to experiment and see what works best for you. While a pen and paper work great there are many mobile phone apps that can help with this. On the one that I use I can record my blood glucose, carbohydrate intake and insulin, I can also add notes on exercise and specific food. I can email the logs straight from the app to my dietitian. I do not record everything, that becomes a real drag, though if you are new to this more is definitely better. I do record every day that I train. I record my sugar level before I go to bed then when I get up, throughout training and through the day, I often give up by the evening as I am most interested in the direct effects of training, by the end of the day other things have additional effects on my blood sugar.
So what have I learned from all this data that I have collected: I only train in the morning (Exercise later in the day specifically in the evening for me gives me horrible night hypos). For me that is very early morning (wake up at 5am!), I always start the day with a coffee (probably should skip the milk), the caffeine has been shown to give a performance improvement on exercise. Lately I have been eating an energy bar for breakfast (30g CHO) they are provided for me by TorqFitness and as they have fixed CHO (same amount in a bar or a gel) they are very easy to gauge intake and insulin. If I am above 180mg/dl (10mmol) on waking (very sucky way to wake up) I will take 4u novorapid, between 130 and 180 I will take 3U, and less than 130 2u. If I am lower than 100 I will still take 2U but will eat between 15 and 30g extra CHO. During the training I monitor my sugars when every I can. Right before I start, then again 15mins later after warm up while we are receiving the day's training program. If we are doing sets, I stop half way through and test again and then at the end, once more after my shower. I record everything I can, the food I ate, when I ate it and the intensity of the exercise.
At the weekend I do a long ride. Usually it is 4 or more hours. Lately that means 4 hours in 30C heat with very high humidity. Fortunately I am in a cycling club that understands my needs and when I need to stop to check my blood sugar we stop. The trainers know my situation and check with me that I am OK before continuing. At the end of the ride I have a recovery drink. Again this is provided by Torq Fitness. The drink contains sugars, electrolytes and some protein. The goal of this is to replace everything that needs replacing after a long exercise. I take a small amount of insulin with this. It contains about 80g of carbohydrate so its equivalent to a large meal. The important thing is to have it straight after training. The sugars get converted to glycogen to be stored in the muscles. This is very important as the glycogen stores can be easily used up on long exercises. Not replacing the glycogen can lead to fatigue.
|My lunch this week with 175g brown rice. Roast chicken on a bead of vegetables (sweet potato, zucchini carrot and onion)|
Every Saturday evening I make my lunch for the week. I prepare some food and take it to work with me everyday. This has a number of benefits. Even at its most unhealthy its probably better than most of my options for bought lunches. I can gauge more easily how much insulin to take as I know what is in it. I bring a limited amount of food so that I don't over eat. In fact I weigh my food, usually just the carbohydrate portion, so that I can estimate better how much insulin to take. The best thing is that as I have the same size portion each day, if I get it wrong one day I can adjust and by the middle of the week I am taking the correct dosage. Its also far cheaper than buying lunch each day and definitely tastier, plus I really enjoy cooking. This is connect to training. I need to eat enough to give me energy during training. I don't want to each too much that I won't maintain my weight. Throw in the Diabetes and I like to choose food that won't give me high blood glucose spikes a couple of hours after lunch. They tend to make the afternoon unproductive. Recording what you eat can be really hard when you eat out. You don't always know the portion sizes or exactly what is in the food. Estimating is hard. Most of my meals are home cooked and as a result it makes it much easier to know how much insulin to take. Also when recording in my log I know more accurately what I have eaten so when I review it later it is more meaningful.
If you are reading this as a Diabetic, please remember this is not advice. This is just what I do. I hope it will give you ideas about how to better manage you own diabetes with or without training. If you want to chat about it, get in touch through the blog, Facebook or Twitter.