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Question
Posted by: marlin | 2004/11/22

diabetics and gym supplements

Hi,
Im a controlled type 1 diabetic and I thoroughly enjoy exercising regularly. I have a very quick metabolism and stuggle to put on muscle mass, is there any safe form of supplementation for me? ie: protein shakes with high carbs?
Secondly could you please clarify for me the debate of weather diabetics can take extra creatine found in supplements or not and if not, what the possible health risk are for interst sake.
Thanks

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Our expert says:
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Hi Marlin

Honestly, I don't know that any supplement has ever been investigated with regards to safety in diabetics. This applies to your second question as well - in fact, supplements are just about never investigated. So, I cannot answer specifically that this or that supplement is 'diabetic friendly'. What I can tell you is that the high protein, high carb shakes are very much meal replacements - they are pretty similar in composition to what you would take in if you ate a high protein meal. So, I do believe that if you can eat a meal after your training session, then the shake is no different. Do you need both? I guess that is the important question. I believe that if you are eating a good diet, then you actually don't need to add to this a protein shake. However, if your overall energy intake is slightly on the low side, then I do think that it may be beneficial. Obviously, you would have to be careful, but you have been able to control your diabetes up to now, and so provided you are cautious, I foresee no problems with taking a protein shake as if it were a meal.

Perhaps the more important thing is your overall diet. There is no reason why you should be struggling to put on muscle mass if 1) you are training well, and 2) your diet is appropriate. I suspect that one big change that you will be able to make is to simply increase your daily energy intake. Very often, when people fail to add mass, it's because their energy intake is too low. So, increasing this may make the difference right away and then you can save a few hundred on a protein shake. The same goes for creatine - look at this as an absolute last resort. I don't believe that there is any risk in taking it, but I do think that you should probably not waste money unnecessarily, and I don't think it will help all that much anyway.

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: marlin | 2004/11/24

I would just like to thank you for your advice and quick response, I will definately take into account the info that you've provided me whilst continuing my training program.
Thanks again

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