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Question
Posted by: Unique | 2010/11/04

PCos-Diabetic-Exercise

Hi,

I was diagnosed with PCOS. I am now excessively overweight and I''m trying to loose weight. I''m following a meal plan done by a dietician when I was trying to loose weight after having a baby. - It worked wonders before.

I was told that PCOS is related to some inability to process sugar well although it''s not the same thing as diabetes I''m supposed to watch my sugar levels.

My question is about the effect of exercise on my sugar levels. I know that I need energy during exercise which the body can get from fat stores or what is available in the system. Will exercising in the morning-before breakfast- be a problem in my circumstances. Today I jogged in the morning (short distance because I''m not fit yet) and I''m just TOOOO exhausted. The amount of exhaustion is too much for such a short distance. Am I supposed to only run only after meals so I don''t my sugar level drop too much?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

Exercise helps with blood sugar control because it gives the body a way to get sugar from the blood into the cell. So in people with diabetes, there's a problem with this pathway normally, but then exercise allows it to happen via a "back-door", hence the positive effect. There are other benefits, mostly related to how energy (fats and carbs) are stored, but this is the main benefit.

Now, re your question, yes, it's a potential problem (it is for everyone) to exercise before eating, because when you wake up after a night's sleep, your liver is almost out of glycogen (sugar stored in the liver). The result is that if you train hard, you can sometimes "run empty". This is not always the case - elite athletes do this on purpose, because then they force their bodies to rely on fats and while it's really unpleasant, it's a good training session.

It sounds that your problems make this very difficult, and so purely pragmatically, you are probably better of getting energy in, either before or during training.

And you can do it DURING training, by the way. If you start on an empty stomach, but have something on hand during the session, the body is usually OK - fruit juice, sports drinks, fruit etc are able to provide the energy while you exercise, so it's not as though you have the fuel up and then train, you can do it on the go, literally.

I think you'll find that initially, you need to do this - either a small meal say 30 min before you train, or otherwise have something on hand during (a drink is best). but as you get fitter, you'll probably find that you can get away with not needing it, because you get better at using fat, you become more "efficient" at using sugar, and that will be a good sign that your training is working.

So for now, give it a try with something while you train, and if that doesn't work, then train only 45 to 60 minutes after eating something light. But in time, I think you'll look back and wonder what the fuss was about!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/11/12

Hi there

Exercise helps with blood sugar control because it gives the body a way to get sugar from the blood into the cell. So in people with diabetes, there's a problem with this pathway normally, but then exercise allows it to happen via a "back-door", hence the positive effect. There are other benefits, mostly related to how energy (fats and carbs) are stored, but this is the main benefit.

Now, re your question, yes, it's a potential problem (it is for everyone) to exercise before eating, because when you wake up after a night's sleep, your liver is almost out of glycogen (sugar stored in the liver). The result is that if you train hard, you can sometimes "run empty". This is not always the case - elite athletes do this on purpose, because then they force their bodies to rely on fats and while it's really unpleasant, it's a good training session.

It sounds that your problems make this very difficult, and so purely pragmatically, you are probably better of getting energy in, either before or during training.

And you can do it DURING training, by the way. If you start on an empty stomach, but have something on hand during the session, the body is usually OK - fruit juice, sports drinks, fruit etc are able to provide the energy while you exercise, so it's not as though you have the fuel up and then train, you can do it on the go, literally.

I think you'll find that initially, you need to do this - either a small meal say 30 min before you train, or otherwise have something on hand during (a drink is best). but as you get fitter, you'll probably find that you can get away with not needing it, because you get better at using fat, you become more "efficient" at using sugar, and that will be a good sign that your training is working.

So for now, give it a try with something while you train, and if that doesn't work, then train only 45 to 60 minutes after eating something light. But in time, I think you'll look back and wonder what the fuss was about!

Good luck

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