Exercise and Glucose Levels: Some Damn Answers.

***NOTE: This is an update/follow-up with some answers and explanations based off my blog this morning about exercise raising my blood glucose levels. Read it here if you haven’t.***


Okay, so after some feedback, I learned that there are other people who experience the same thing I have/am, but no one knows why. Well, I decided to do some light research.

John’s Hopkins suggests checking blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise. Now, I don’t know about all that, but it might be a good idea to do this for a few days to establish the effect exercise actually has on your specific levels. They say that in most cases, exercise lowers the blood sugar levels for hours after exercising. This, we already know. I did find this interesting though:

“Exercise can also have the opposite effect and raise blood glucose. This usually occurs when blood glucose levels are too high (usually over 250 mg/dL) before exercising, which indicates that insulin activity is too low. In addition, very strenuous exercise can stimulate the liver to release extra glucose into the bloodstream, due to an increase in adrenaline.”

Read more from their article here.

WebMd’s Diabetes section had most of the same information with this little extra tid-bit:

“The body recognizes intense exercise as a stress and releases stress hormones that tell your body to increase available blood sugar to fuel your muscles.”

Follow up with their view here. 

The last article I’m going to quote here is this one from the Joslin Diabetes Center:

“Basically, stimulated by the demand from your exercising muscles, your body is pouring glucose into your bloodstream. If you do not have enough insulin available to “unlock the door” to your muscles, the glucose cannot get into your muscles to provide needed energy. The end result is that glucose backs-up in your bloodstream, causing higher blood glucose readings.”

Check the rest of this article out here.

From what I read, it seems like exercising puts a demand on the body for more energy (glucose). Then, when you stop exercising, all the extra glucose that your body so politely spilled out for you to burn up sits in your blood stream messing with your daily averages on the good ol’ glucometer. This would explain why people are telling me that their blood glucose levels go down shortly after exercising, but not right away.

Check some of those articles out for some tips on safe exercising and where to set limits, as well as some of the other information listed on there. There was a lot of repeat stuff, since a lot of what is known about exercise is the same, but it’s worth the time.

If you want to do some further digging, just Google something along the lines of “exercise raising blood glucose levels” and you should get some other articles. If you find something extra that I didn’t, post it! Sharing is caring!