Thursday, 20 October 2011

Blood Glucose Experiments

I've been tinkering around measuring my blood glucose levels at various times over the last couple of days. The primary reason for doing this is that there are reckoned to be a large number of undiagnosed type 2 diabetics in the UK and I thought it would be a reasonable thing to do to make sure that my blood glucose levels were generally in the normal range. Undiagnosed diabetes can do untold damage prior to it being diagnosed and I reckoned why not do a few tests out of interest.

Anyway, the results have been fine and I was also very interested to see whether my revised dietary regime was resulting in the desired level of blood glucose stability. I have been very happy with the results, my blood glucose levels, even when measured 60 minutes after a meal, have remained within the normal range, generally between 5-0 and 5.5mmol/L. The foods I'm consistently eating now are resulting in essentially no major fluctuations in my blood glucose readings, which was the primary reason for the modifications I've made.

Tonight I thought I would examine the effect of a 90+ minute endurance ride on the VELOtron on my blood glucose level. I rode the Port de Pailheres ErgVideo at a L2 intensity and measured my blood glucose before and after the session. During the ride itself I drank only water, I ate nothing and I didn't take on any specific carbohydrate foodstuffs before the session.

Prior to commencing the ride by blood glucose measurement was 5.7mmol/L and during the ride itself I performed 1124kJ. As you can see the calorie burn was not insignificant without taking on nutrition of any sort, I averaged about 200W for the duration of the session. There were some higer intensity efforts towards the end of the ride and at the end of the sesion I felt fine and my blood glucose level was 4.2mmol/L. Though lower this reading was still within the normal range which I was encouraged by, it looks as if I wasn't on the verge of a blood sugar "crash". This, to me at any rate, suggests that a substantial proportion of the energy requirements from the session were probably met from fat rather than carbohydrate stores, but I'm open to any interpretations folks may choose to offer! I think if I'd been using a lot of glycogen during this ride, given that I drank just water, the end level would have been far lower.

It's just interesting to try to build up a picture of what's going on inside when we do these exercise sessions and of course to be able to confirm these consistently normal readings is reassuring.


  1. Most undiagnosed type 2 diabetes caused by obesity. The increase amounts of adipose tissue found in obeses people releases increased amounts of non-esterified fatty acids, glycerol, hormones, pro-inflammatory cytokines and other factors that are involved in the development of insulin resistance and when insulin resistance is accompanied by dysfunction of pancreatic islet -cells — the cells that release insulin — failure to control blood glucose levels results

  2. Anon, thanks for your well informed comment, educational and much appreciated.