December 29, 2020
Diabetic runners and cyclists rely on energy gels as much as any endurance sports enthusiasts, but carb spikes from conventional maltodextrin gels could be harmful to people living with the condition. Could the balance of natural sugars in Buzz Power organic honey energy gels be the ideal solution? Here's what the experts say.
Endurance Sports, Energy Gels & Diabetes
Anyone who takes part in an endurance activity will know that a carbohydrate boost is essential as after a while your body simply runs out of its own energy reserves.
However, diabetics have to take special care to avoid sugar spikes caused by the artificial sugars found in many conventional energy gels. Hard sugar spikes can be avoided by using a carbohydrate source based on organic, pure honey, such as Buzz Power.
Diabetes & Maltodextrin Gels
Healthline.com has warned that diabetic endurance athletes should be particularly careful when using energy gels based on maltodextrin, which would include most energy supplements commonly available. Maltodextrin gels rank high on the glycaemic index so can cause sharp blood sugar spikes.
Buzz Power is the only energy supplement based on the natural sugars contained in organic, pure honey - with a perfect balance of glucose (for quick release energy) and fructose (for a slower release top-up).
Additionally, the specially-designed sachet and paste-like texture of honey mean that dispensing the contents in small regular doses is much easier compared to most conventional gels, which generally have to be emptied completely when opened.
Types of Diabetes & Sport
The most common forms of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. If you live with Type 1 diabetes, you'll know that your body’s own immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 is more common but both result in excessive levels of glucose in the bloodstream. To compensate for this diabetics have to control blood sugar levels by self-testing and self-medicating with insulin.
However, the good news is that there is no reason why people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should not participate in endurance sports like running and cycling. Diabetes.co.uk recommends that running is an ideal form of exercise for people with diabetes as it helps to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and can be especially useful for people with Type 2 diabetes to help counter insulin resistance.
However, it's of course essential that diabetics consult with their health care provider to ensure proper management of carbohydrate intake and insulin during training and competition. Diabetes UK have a number of training plans for diabetics thinking about long distance events (as well as shorter plans).
Another great resource for diabetics interested in endurance running or cycling is Richard Hudson who has run several marathons since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in his mid 30’s and is now nudging a three hour target. He writes about his experience on runsweet.com and you can find him on Facebook @Runsweet.
Lifestyle Recommendations for Diabetics
The NHS recommends a healthy diet combined with regular activity as the best way to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Of course, even people who do not suffer from either form of diabetes should avoid too much sugar in their diet. Otherwise the body will store the surplus as body fat, leading to obesity and other unwelcome conditions. And - of course - regular exercise improves mental health and reduces stress and anxiety.
Honey & Type 1 Diabetes
Research shows there's no need to ban any particular foods from your diet. Indeed, according to diabetes.org.uk there is no strong evidence that a low carbohydrate diet is safer or more beneficial for Type 1 diabetics.
We do know that a diet containing honey can have additional positive benefits for diabetics. Much of the research in this area has been carried out in the Middle East or Asia as part of a general desire to replace expensive imported drugs with locally sourced natural products.
Research papers published by the US National Library of Medicine have shown that excessive consumption of fructose in the form of processed sugars increase the production of uric acid, resulting in high blood pressure, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. As conventional maltodextrin energy gels contain high concentrations of processed sugars, the medical consensus is that they should be avoided by people with diabetes.
Benefits of Buzz Power for Diabetics
Buzz Power retains all the natural benefits of unpasteurised honey including trace elements, vitamins and amino acids and flavonoids. These additional compounds combine to produce the powerful antioxidant properties of honey that naturally combat the health-threatening effects of fructose sugar.
Buzz Power honey energy gel is well suited to athletes with diabetes, and much more so than conventional maltodextrin products. Provided of course that whatever sugar carbohydrate source you prefer you still carry out proper glucose and insulin management to stay healthy and of course always follow the guidance of your health care provider.
If you are interested in sharing your experience of marathon running, long distance cycling or other endurance sports while living with diabetes, we'd love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
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