Post-Exercise Question, Noooo Sleeeep (in case it makes it more clickbaity)

Hi All,

Was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and some advice…

On Friday I decided to go for a 30 minute bike ride at 3:30 pm, half of which was uphill.

I generally exercise earlier in the day (in case it matters).

My approach afterwards was to have some short and long acting carbs and small-medium bolus.

Later on in the night it seemed as though the insulin needs were low so I dwindled them down to where I had .8 units of bolus at 8 pm and shut off the basal (which had previously been at 75%). It seemed as though the number was dropping so I went for half of a Perfect bar (“healthy” concoction of nuts, honey, and whatever that ends up tasting like cookie dough) and a small sip of juice. At this point it seemed like the number was back in range and should be pretty smooth…But lo and behold, I was wronnnng. Every 45 minutes between 9 pm and 2 am it would drop back low regardless of the basal being shut off and the additional perfect bar, juice, and chocolate milk seemed to achieve nothing to fix what was going on.


If you just consider the exercise (and not other things going on with your body and/or your pump), things like this can happen if you are in a depleted state. Your body will try to restore your muscle glycogen, so it will pull whatever available glucose it can from your blood.

Exercise increases your insulin sensitivity too, so the insulin is somewhat amplified after exercise.

And the overall effect is not just from one day of exercise, but can be cumulative from several days, depending on how much you are exercising and how much you were eating in the previous days.

From reading some of your other posts, it seems that you are somewhat on the low side with carbs, right?


Thanks Eric, (had another race this weekend, not much wind, but the BGs were very smooth, watch setup worked well, picture below from the last time out)

In general, I use carbs whenever the BG drifts down (not counting milk, cottage cheese, and tzatziki sauce which combine for zero effect on BG regardless of amount had). If I had to estimate a daily range it would be 150-200 although generally closer to 150.

I’ve never carb loaded (or carb avoided) for anything but rather taken them as needed and the overall number seems to add up. Exercise-wise, I haven’t noticed too much of a difference based upon how the carbs are approached. Protein-wise, it seems as though the anaerobic movements get a little more force from being well fueled.

I started looping at 52 units/day and have since cut it to 40 which has resulted in a bit of wanted weight loss, but this is mostly from setting things up more smoothly and closing the loop rather than going out of my way to make drastic changes.

But yes, my overall diet is pretty consistent (as the posts have shown). Turkey, Steak, Chicken, Broccoli, perfect bars, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, spinach, kale, chard, bell peppers, sauerkraut, lemon water, mango juice, chocolate milk if things drop quite a bit. The amounts of food stay pretty consistent throughout the day.

Exercise-wise, it’s been weights 4 days a week, and cardio 2-3 (shorter sessions for both, although sometimes pushing things).


Update: So 45 carbs+2 unit bolus post exercise, 35 extra in the early evening, and 40 extra before bed, combined with a higher temp target and low to moderate insulin levels seemed to do the trick.

Now the question is, is that process repeatable or improvable? Is glycogen reloading down to a science to where they know how much can be reloaded at once in general under certain conditions, or a time frame in which one can get things back to normal (given proper sets of parameters)?


Yay! :+1:

It is a science, but it is constantly changing. You don’t always have the same amount of glycogen depletion. If you were to consistently replenish your carbs, you would not need as much carbs as you would if you sporadically replenish.

On the flip-side of it, if you exercise consistently, you need consistent replenishment compared to infrequent exercise.

Also, if you exercise consistently, your fitness improves, so the same intensity of exercise does not use the same amount of glycogen as it did initially.

So yes, it is all science, but a formulaic approach only works if you know everything. And it really is hard to know everything.

So you have a good starting point, but you can’t expect that it will always work the same, because it depends on circumstances. You will have to adjust as you see changes in results, changes in diet, changes in fitness, etc.