Pre-Exercise Food Timing and Its Impact on Reactive Hypoglycemia – What it means for Supersapiens

new Wahoo Elemnt Roam 2 and supersapiens patch sensorPre-Exercise Food Timing and Its Impact on Reactive Hypoglycemia: Insights from a Novel Study

More: Detailed Supersapiens Review

In a recent publication in the European Journal of Sport Science, researchers unveiled findings on the relationship between the timing of pre-exercise food intake and the risk of reactive hypoglycemia. This was a robust study, steered by David Lipman, Kristina Skroce, et al and is predicated on the comprehensive data from the Supersapiens database, leveraging continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) insights.

Key Takeaways from the Research:

  • Broad-Scale Data Analysis: This investigation assessed 48,799 pre-exercise food events from a substantial cohort of 6,761 users using CGM metrics.
  • Reactive Hypoglycemia Prevalence: Roughly 8% of these events indicated the occurrence of reactive hypoglycemia, characterized by glucose levels plummeting to below 70 mg/dL within the first half-hour of physical activity.
  • Prevalence: About 15% of the participants encountered reactive hypoglycemia in over 20% of their pre-exercise eating instances.
  • Critical Timing Identified: Most instances of reactive hypoglycemia transpired when food was consumed roughly 30 to 90 minutes before exercising, with a conspicuous peak near the 60-minute mark.

Decoding the Relevance of the Study:

This study underscores the interplay between when one consumes food prior to exercising and the propensity to develop reactive hypoglycemia. The revelations suggest that there exists a particular 30-to-90-minute window post-food-ingestion that can substantially amplify the risk of this condition in certain individuals. This quantified real-world data dovetails with and bolsters what prior lab-controlled studies hinted at—specifically, the relationship between carbohydrate intake, its qualities, and quantities, and pre-exercise food timing.

It’s worth noting that this study is pioneering in its approach. Rather than being restricted to controlled lab settings, it harnessed real-life conditions, effectively marking a paradigm shift in how science transitions from the lab to the real world—primarily through the innovative use of technology like CGMs.

Unpacking Reactive Hypoglycemia:

Reactive hypoglycemia emerges post a meal-induced spike in glucose levels, triggering excessive insulin release and culminating in a swift decline in glucose concentration, particularly evident prior to or during physical exertion. Manifestations of this condition can range from shakiness, dizziness, sweating, and nausea to more severe symptoms such as blurred vision and confusion. Such a condition can significantly impede athletes and fitness enthusiasts, detrimentally affecting performance and overall wellness.

Future Directions:

This study’s revelations carry profound implications for those monitoring glucose levels and are especially pertinent for those predisposed to reactive hypoglycemia. Grasping the nexus between pre-exercise food consumption timing and hypoglycemia onset can empower individuals to judiciously plan their nutrition and workout schedules. A primary driver behind the occurrence of reactive hypoglycemia is carbohydrate ingestion. Although this study didn’t delve deep into food varieties, there’s an intention to probe further into carbohydrates’ specific role in subsequent research.

Take  Out For Athletes

Hypoglycemia during your workouts or races will cause sub-standard performance.

There’s a half-decent chance that you could be one of the people susceptible to this and you then may encounter the symptoms if you ingest carbs in the time frames mentioned.

I believe I am one of the people affected as I see some hypo events on my Supersapiens curve and I also sometimes experience dizziness during workouts. I plan to don a Supersapines patch this weekend and monitor what’s going on for a couple of weeks as I experiment with my pre-workout carb timings.

The study might perhaps have been more useful if it highlighted the kinds of carbs to avoid before workouts but, as the article says, those insights are for future research.


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6 thoughts on “Pre-Exercise Food Timing and Its Impact on Reactive Hypoglycemia – What it means for Supersapiens

  1. I once started reading here because of your Garmin „leaks“/hints on new devices. But this kind of articles gets more and more interesting.
    GCM monitoring is something I want to try but SuperSapiens is yet to expensive for just being curios.
    You also brought me to the Core team incl. connecting some strings.

    I’m glad am not affected. My coworkers at the fire department are always shocked if I start a run right after dinner and also because I’m always hungry and eating all day. That’s the reason I would like to monitor my eating/GCM relation throughout some weeks. I think I have to talk to an doc to get some diabetes suspicion diagnosis ????

    1. 🙂
      I don’t think Supersapiens will get any cheaper. It’s pricing seems to be heavily tied to the Abbot Libre sensor which several CGM companies also use. There is no real alternative to the Abbot Sensor (there is another from another company but from memory it lacks some of the features needed, there’s also a newer Abbot sensor but I seem to recall that is also unsuitable….non-live data???). Basically its not far off a monopoly ! Get your sensors while they’re still cheap and using my discount 😉 it’s one of those products where you’re not tied to any kind of subscription (app) or huge one off cost (watch). I reckon it makes sense to use them in the 4-6 weeks leading up to your A race day. in fact I’ll be putting mine on soon as I have a few races over the next 3 weeks.

      this article talks about HYPO glycemic events and yes I believe they can be an indication of possible early diabetes symptoms.

    2. Eating and working out right way is the best option, unless you’re willing/able to wait at least 2 hours before working out. I remember reading about this somewhere, probably an article or blog post from Supersapiens about this same topic.

      1. certainly even light exercise (walk) after eating seem to be a good idea to moderate glucose spikes

        it’s almost like exercise and activity are good for you

  2. I’d love to give Supersapiens a try, but looks like it still isn’t available in the US. I’m starting to lose hope it will make it over here.

    1. I talked to Supersapiens at SBT GRVL about a week ago and I think they are aiming for a November launch in the U.S. if all goes well (maybe an announcement in September/October?)

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