Anyone who engages in high intensity interval training (HIIT), including T1’s, could probably benefit from eating a larger portion of their calories from carbohydrates than a person who is sedentary or who engages in more moderate forms of exercise like walking or jogging. For the T1, however, timing those carbs is critical. Eating those carbs during and immediately following training can help avoid BG spikes and help in a faster recovery. I wrote about this in a previous post, but wanted to give a specific example from just a few days ago.
There is one particular recipe I like to make called sweet potato hash. It’s just a bunch of shredded sweet potatoes sautéed in bacon fat. Later, the potatoes and bacon are combined and stored in the fridge. I like to eat this dish following a marooning swim workout. I take about 2 units of Novolog and my BG levels rise to 120 and fall slowly over the next 3 to 4 hours. I know better than to try to eat a dish like this on days I don’t workout because BG levels will soar. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I did a few days ago, arrogantly thinking I could control it. I got home from work early one day around 2 pm and was hungry so I ate a small portion of the hash and took the usual 2 units. As you might guess, my BG rocketed up to 180 and stayed high for hours despite taking small amounts of Novolog over the next 4 hours. My body was just not in a place to easily absorb all those carbohydrates. What I should have done instead was had a handful of nuts or perhaps some carrots to ease the hunger pains until dinner.
I have had T1 for over ten years now and still make silly mistakes like this all the time. I hope it helps others out there not make these same mistakes. Some BG roller coasters are unavoidable due to mysterious ingredients, but this mistake should have been avoided so the take away message here is this: time your carbohydrates wisely. If you do eat a good dose of fast acting carbs, go for a walk afterward or just stay on your feet and wash the dishes. But, like I’ve said before, don’t sit at a computer after eating if you can avoid it.