Okay, so let’s start with a little bit of a background on fueling. This is not stuff that is specific to only diabetes, but is actually the way everyone’s body fuels different types of exercise. It’s helpful to just have a background understanding of it.
We have different fuel systems in the body. They are all constantly in use, in various amounts. One of the common misconceptions is that your body will use only 1 of them, and then when it is empty, it will switch to the next one. But this is not correct. Your body is constantly using all of the fuel sources, in various amounts.
The type of activity, the intensity of it, will determine which fuel systems are going to be predominately used, and which will be secondary.
To keep things very simple, we will only look at fat metabolism versus glucose metabolism.
To get an understanding of the difference, and why our body uses different fuel sources, let’s assume - just for illustration - your body could only pick one or the other.
Let’s start with something of very low intensity, like walking. Your body could fuel this activity by using fat. We have an abundance of stored fat for use as a fuel. You could walk much further with stored fat as a fuel than you could with stored carbs (stored carbs is called glycogen). Like if your could pick only one to use, stored fat would get you much farther.
For an average sized person, they could last about 50 times longer with their fat stores than their carb stores.
Sounds great. Then why doesn’t our body always use fat?
Well, let’s say you are going 10 miles, but you wanted to go very fast. You could cover 10 miles with either fat or glycogen (again, glycogen is stored carbs, in both muscles and in your liver).
But… you could go about 3 1/2 times faster if you were using stored carbs instead of stored fat!
(Again, this is just an illustration based on if you could ONLY use one or the other. In real life, we use them both.)
So those are some big differences!
So your body is like a hybrid car, constantly switching between fuel sources depending on the activity and what your body needs.
That is just a little background on fueling, overly-simplified. Make sense so far? Any questions about that stuff?
So I guess the next thing is the spikes! And then I will also discuss some of the fueling stuff and meals and carbs for lowness and things like that.
I like that you are eating sufficient carbs like that. It will definitely make things easier.
What did you run? What distances?
(I’ve heard there are some people on FUD who like to run. )
A 5k is spike city for BG! A 10k is generally level to drop, depending on your IF. And then anything longer than 10k is generally a BG drop.
The reason I asked is because in order to prevent a spike, you need to take insulin. (Either that, or reduce the intensity. But who would want to reduce intensity?!?)
If you are spiking consistently, you can take insulin as a preemptive measure. But there is a risk that if you take too much, or if your body begins to adjust to the intensity and the spike is reduced, you need to make sure you have carbs in case you drop.
So my thought is - as long as I have both insulin and carbs available, I can do anything and don’t need to worry about my BG. If either of those is not available, I need to be more cautious with my approach.