Athletes with type 1 diabetes face increased risks during and after exercise from falling blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) or rising blood sugar levels (Hyperglycaemia). Due in part to the interactions of different insulin preparations, different doses, food intake, and the timing of insulin administration before exercising, providing definitive advice on insulin therapy and diet prior to exercising is complex.
Swansea University researchers including Dr Richard Bracken joined a global team in Spain to monitor demands on professional cycling Team Novo Nordisk - the world’s only professional cycling team made up of riders with Type 1 Diabetes – to look for clues about better glucose management.
Researchers collected nutritional, glucose and physiological data during the team’s intensive training and exhaustive cycle testing protocols.
The research team were able to:
- better understand factors that explain the cycling teams’ capabilities,
- explore their dietary approach to training and racing and
- detail blood glucose management practices that allow such high volumes of exercise
Research into the demands of elite, professional cyclists with type 1 Diabetes will play an important role in better understanding the condition for many others. Findings will inform healthcare professionals’ advice to anyone affected with the condition who wants to become more physically active.