The classical low sugar, high fibre diabetic diet just won't cut it for maximum performance. The body needs glucose.
exercise, all athletes loose fluids, salts (electrolytes) and use
energy. As we have already seen, in diabetes there is the additional
problem of variation in blood glucose. For some sports, glucose
replacement will improve performance and reduce the likelihood of
hypoglycaemia. A number of sports drinks have been developed to help
reduce these changes, and some are potentially useful in people with
diabetes. To be effective, Sports drinks need to be rapidly emptied
from the stomach and absorbed.
Replacement of fluid and
carbohydrate during endurance exercise has a substantial independent
and additive effect on performance. For example, a 12% improvement in
time trial performance (6% due to fluid replacement + 6% due to
carbohydrate replacement) has been shown.
Research suggests that
carbohydrate replacement during exercise may be beneficial to
performance of events of high intensity exercise of ~1 hr duration.
Benefits to the performance of endurance/ultra-endurance events, and
prolonged intermittent exercise (e.g. team games) are well documented.
Carbohydrate replacement during prolonged exercise enhances immune
function by reducing the immunosuppression seen in the hours after the
contains about 17 grams of glucose per 100 ml, and no salts, is good
for raising glucose quickly and replacing glucose when you want to
limit fluid intake
Lucozade sports, contains about 6 grams of
glucose per 100 ml, and has some salt, and is better for replacing
fluids when blood glucose is not falling rapidly.
Gatorade (not widely available in the UK) is a carbohydrate-rich fluid (6-8% carbohydrate), with sodium and potassium.
Powdered sports drinks
can be made up to vary glucose and water content, to deal with each
persons requirements, for example a cyclist may need less fluid and
more glucose (to save getting off for a pee) than a climber, who is
PSP22 is the complex carbohydrate energy
fuel for high-energy performance, made from maltodextrin, which is over
98% glucose polymers. PSP22 exerts a very low osmotic pressure even at
Another handy glucose support is Hypo-fit
which comes in a mixed range of flavours
sachets are easily carried, with each sachet containing 13 g glucose
100 grams of Hypo-Fit contains approximately 74.5 grams of glucose.
Further information from http://www.arcticmedical.co.uk/html/hypo-fit
is extensively used in Benelux, Germany, France and Scandinavia and my
understanding is that it dominates in those countries.
Non diabetes users include
· Llanberis Mountain Rescue, in North Wales, reputedly the UK’s busiest
mountain rescue team, carries Hypo-Fit in all rescue bags. · “Paras”, who used it during tough mountain exercises, and their general
view was that it was quicker acting and had helped, more than anything
else, when needed.
· Skiers, surfers, canoeists and others
who wear tight fitting clothes and find the light, slim-line, very
flexible sachet a great advantage.
Energy Content of Foods
Food Carbohydrate Level (g)
Large Portion Spaghetti 90
Large Portion Rice 60
Large Portion Jacket Potato 45
Large Tin Of Baked Beans 45
2 Large Thin Slices Of Bread 30
Lucozade Sport 500ml Bottle 32
1 Pint Of Milk 30
Medium Banana 20