High levels of activity are tiring for anybody, but for diabetics, low blood sugars can take the fun out of sports. However, it is not impossible to play sports while successfully living with type one diabetes!
There are many professional athletes who successfully play their sport while managing their diabetes. Sports from golf (Kelly Kuehne, Michelle McGann) to football (Jay Leeuwenburg, Wade Wilson) have diabetics playing on our favorite teams.
With such a high level of activity, how do these guys manage their diabetes? In football, many test their blood sugar every time they sit on the bench or every timeout that is called. Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are big helpers in the sugar department. Although they are not juice drinks, just having one of these throughout a game helps our favorite athletes to victory.
The pre and post game meals are also important to any athletes’ success, so diabetic athletes are no different. Small amounts of carbohydrates should be eaten before an intense game. A spaghetti dinner the night before is a good option, but not right before the big game. After a game, athletes should have protein and carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels stable. When diabetics go from rigorous exercise to sitting down, this is when the blood sugar drops. Eating protein will help keep sugar levels stable.
Testing blood sugar levels before, during and after playing a sport is really the most effective way to stay on top of your game. Keep doing what you love and don’t let diabetes stop your from winning!