Hypoglycemic runners: Q for you

posted about 6 years ago | Report

I have seemed for the last year or so to get exactly what I need pre-race from Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal and using gels throughout longer runs. However, the last two races I've done did not go so well! I felt as if I had no energy by the time the race started, and even had a gel before the start. I've been looking online and it seems that some runners have taken to eating glucose tablets throughout their long runs.
Would it make sense to have one as a precaution before the start of a race? I wouldn't say I was feeling terrible or starving before my last two races, but I knew within the first 2 miles that I didn't have enough energy to even keep on pace with my training runs... and as I have a variety of races in the upcoming weeks/months - I'd love some advice!

  • It sort of depends how long your races are. You can experiment with different pre-race food during your training run. I try to eat a good mix of carbs and proteins prior to a race to stabilize my blood sugar. I have done better with an entire whole wheat bagel and peanut butter instead of cereal. The bagel is much more than I would normally eat but it has kept me going through a half marathon. The gels are carbs and sugar which will give you a quick boost to your blood sugar further into the longer races. I wouldn't start out with the gels because you may get a spike in blood sugar with a quick drop. The carb/protein mix tends to result in longer more stable blood sugars.

    posted about 6 years ago

  • I started out as a hypoglycemic for 10 years before I was fully diagnosed with type 2. My blood sugar still more than often bottoms out after crucial work outs ( IF I don't take care of my diet) .
    When I did my first half I was super concerned about that happening too. The key.... LOTS of COMPLEX carbs. Whole grains, and whole grains and more whole grains. It balances out your insulin levels ( which in your case would be high). The week of my half race, I ate pasta with whole grain noodles all week. The morning of the race I had pasta for breakfast. You need grains to balance your sugar level out. I also took a whole grain peanut butter sandwich and ate in line while I waited to start the race ( just a half a sandwich)
    Glucose tablets in my opinion ( which may not really count) are no good for hypoglycemic people. The run it's self lowers your blood sugar, and then adding more sugar to your body can make a deadly combination. Glucose tabs have the opposite effect, and will continue to cave your BS until you bottom out. Coming from someone who has struggled with this, I would stay away from that. Personally,as for gels, because I was afraid of my sugar getting to low during my race, I took half at the start and let that one package last me through my whole 13.1 miles. If you are hypoglycemic, your body doesn't react to sugar as other people's do. It actually does you more harm then giving you energy. Be careful with it. If you didn't do well with the gels, you probably wont do well with the tablets either. Good luck ;)

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • When training for a marathon last March I discovered that eating the gels and normal energy things that most runners didn't work for me. I was having horrible blood sugar crashes after my run and towards the end of my training (this was after two or three hours of running). What I found that worked for me was the following: good nutrition and hydration the week prior to your event (not much sugar and simple carbs). I get up about two hours before the event (workout) and I eat bagel or toast with peanut butter and a glass of skim milk. During the run instead of gels I eat protein Power Bar makes Energy bites and you can put them in a baggie and eat them during your run or whatever exercise you are doing. The gels are too much sugar for hypoglycemics. I hope this helps!!!

    posted almost 6 years ago | edited almost 6 years ago

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