Pre-exercise blood sugar guidelines

//Pre-exercise blood sugar guidelines

Pre-exercise blood sugar guidelines

August 19, 2020
2020-08-22T19:06:05+00:00 August 19th, 2020|Disease|0 Comments


  • At blood sugar levels between 5.6mmol/L and 8.3mmol/L; consume a carbohydrate snack before exercising.
  • At blood levels between 8.4 and 13.9mmol/; exercise and delay consumption of carbohydrates until blood glucose levels are less than 8.3 mmol/L.


If higher than 13.9 mmol/L

DO NOT EXERCISE until your sugar falls back within the range of 5.6 – 13.9mmol/L. Exercising with such high blood sugar ranges can lead to Ketoacidosis or place you in a Coma.

  • Increase your water intake
  • Take your medication if you haven’t done so to reduce your blood sugar levels.
  • You can also initiate a very mild form of exercise like walking leisurely.

If lower than 5.6mmol/L

Follow the 15-15 rule:

  • Have 15-20 grams of carbohydrate to raise your blood sugar. This may be:
    • 4 glucose tablets (4 grams per tablet), or
    • 1 glucose gel tube (15 grams per gel tube), or
    • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of fruit juice or
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
    • 1 1/4 cup of cubed water-melon or I/2 large very ripe banana
  • Check your blood sugar again after 15 minutes. If it is still below 5.6mmol/L, have another serving of 15 grams of carbohydrate.
  • Repeat these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar is at least 5.6mmol/L.

Keep in mind that low blood sugar can occur during or long after physical activity. It is more likely to occur if you:

  • Take insulin or an insulin secretagogue
  • Skip meals
  • Exercise for a long time
  • Exercise strenuously

To avoid hypos due to workouts

  • Do not work out when your insulin will be at its peak – you should know when it peaks; it depends on the insulin you’re taking.
  • You can exercise anytime provided it’s 2 hours before your bedtime.
  • Skip alcohol before or right after you work out.

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