If you’re someone who’s suffering from diabetes but are determined to not let this condition slow you down while you continue to complete regular workout sessions, then one element that you’re definitely going to want to be paying close attention to is your post-workout nutrition.
Just like anyone else, what you eat following an intense training workout is going to determine not only how well you recover from that workout session, but also how well you’re able to build more lean muscle mass to your frame, something that proves to be incredibly beneficial for those with diabetes.
Generally speaking, the more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the better your body is going to be able to handle the carbohydrates that you consume on a regular basis, thus ensuring that you stay healthy despite having diabetes.
The problem with post-workout nutrition for many is that they first don’t take the time to prepare for it so that they can get it in immediately after the workout is completed and second, they don’t have a clear understanding of what they should be eating during this critical time.
It’s important to realize that you really only have so long after a workout session to provide the nutrients that your body needs.
Wait too long after a workout to eat and your muscles will not absorb the nutrients as well and especially for the diabetic, you may start to suffer from significantly low blood sugar levels.
Let’s quickly go over what you should focus on with post-workout nutrition and then provide you with a few sample meals to get you started.
The Post-Workout Period
The primary aim during the post workout period is to supply the muscles with amino acids that they will then use to build up and repair the damaged muscle tissue. This means eating foods that are rich in high quality protein as that’s the only place these amino acids are found.
In addition to this, you’re also going to want to supply the muscles with glucose, which is the primary nutrient that get stored in the muscles, replenishing the high-energy fuel source that you’ve just used up during your workout session.
But for the diabetic, you’re going to have to be more careful with this carbohydrate selection. Not only will you want to be choosy about which types of carbohydrates you’re consuming, but also how much. Overload your body with too many simple carbs and you could experience some serious issues maintaining good blood sugar control.
Instead, select some slightly slower digesting carbohydrates and make sure to pair them with the protein to help keep the digestion speed regulated.
If you are suffering from symptoms of low blood sugar levels however, then you should take in a small dose of simple carbs right before this meal in order to bring the blood sugar back up to a safe range.
By paying close attention to your blood sugar levels after a workout session, you’ll get a feel for your own body and exactly how many carbs you need to maintain that good control.
Now let’s take a look at a few meals to consider for those with diabetes.
Greek Yogurt With Bran Cereal
The first quick post-workout meal to consider is a half a cup of low fat greek yogurt with a cup of bran cereal. Mix these together and toss a few berries on top and you’ll have the perfect combination of protein and carbs.
Tuna With Brown Rice
Second, tuna is another very good source of protein and is an easy option during the post workout period. For your carb source, pair this with brown rice. Brown rice won’t spike the blood sugar level quite as much as white rice will, so it will be a smart option.
Egg Whites With Toast
Third, egg whites are quick to make so also ideal for immediately after your workout session so pair these with a few slices of whole grain toast for your post-workout meal to refuel your muscle tissues.
Whey Protein Shake With Dry Oats
Finally, some of you out there may find that immediately after a workout session eating is the last thing you want to be doing and would much prefer to just have a drink to replenish the body.
In this case, opt for a whey protein powder and then pair this with a quarter to half a cup of dry oats.
The oatmeal won’t produce nearly the same spike as dextrose would, which is the more common ingredient that some people use in their post-workout shakes.
For you, the diabetic, dextrose could create some serious problems unless you have a very firm grasp over how your body reacts to various doses of sugar so choosing the oats will be a wiser move.
The only time when you may want to add a bit of dextrose into the shake is if you are feeling quite weak and shaky, two signs that your blood sugar level is dropping.
In that situation, have the oats with the bit of dextrose as you’ll quickly bring the blood sugar level up with the dextrose but then maintain it at an appropriate level with the carbohydrates from the oats, preventing a crash soon after.
So there you have a few post-workout meal ideas to get you started. Whatever you do, do not overlook the importance of eating at this time. For the diabetic, it simply cannot go missed as you are at a much higher risk of low blood sugar at this point in the day than any other time. Regardless of whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes: dietary changes and exercise are vital to your diabetes control. Diabetes certainly doesn’t have to stop you from leading the life you want. Type 1 diabetes is not an obstacle.