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Short, Maximal Sprint Prevents Postexercise Hypoglycemia in Type 1’s

Posted: Friday, March 24, 2006

A 10-second maximal sprint after moderate-intensity exercise reduces the risk of post-exercise hypoglycemia in young, otherwise healthy patients with type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Paul A. Fournier from University of Western Australia, Crawley, stated that, "It is our view that the effect of sprinting on reducing the risk of post-exercise hypoglycemia is probably not as marked in children and sedentary middle-age individuals with type 1 diabetes, in part, due to their reduced capacity to engage in a maximal sprint effort."

Dr. Fournier and colleagues investigated whether a short (10-second) maximal sprint could counter the continual decline in glycemia during recovery from moderate-intensity exercise in seven men, who were an average of 21 years old, with type 1 diabetes.

After 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, the subjects experienced a rapid and significant decrease in blood glucose levels, the authors report Increased epinephrine and norepinephrine levels returned to pre-exercise levels within 5 minutes after the 10-second sprint, the researchers note, whereas catecholamine levels remained elevated when exercise was followed by rest.

Growth hormone and cortisol levels increased when exercise was followed by a maximal sprint, report indicates, whereas increases were not seen when exercise was followed by rest.

Insulin levels showed similar patterns after sprint and after rest.

"This study provided the first evidence that a short maximal sprint effort performed immediately after moderate-intensity exercise is preferable to only resting as a means to counter a further fall in glycemia after exercise, thus decreasing the risk of early post-exercise hypoglycemia in individuals with type 1 diabetes," the authors conclude.

"On this basis," the investigators write, "one might tentatively recommend that after exercise of moderate intensity, young individuals with complication-free type 1 diabetes consider performing a short 10-second sprint to counter a further fall in their blood glucose level...particularly if a source of dietary carbohydrate is not readily available."

"Although the use of a 10-second sprint constitutes a novel and simple approach to decrease the risk of post-exercise hypoglycemia that will revolutionize blood glucose management in type 1 diabetes," Dr. Fournier said, "it would be premature and irresponsible at this stage to advocate its widespread adoption, because much more research is required to identify the target population of type 1 diabetic patients likely to be responsive."

Source: Diabetes In Control:

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