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How does exercise affect glucose spikes?

While exercise temporarily increases blood glucose levels, over a 24-hour period it will generally lower blood glucose levels.

During exercise, the glucose stored in the muscles and liver is released into the bloodstream, leading to spikes. However, the type of exercise, its intensity and duration, together influence the glucose response in a big way. For example, playing football will lead to higher glucose spikes than playing golf because of the former’s higher intensity level.

Exercising activates muscles, which helps burn glucose and improves the way insulin works. That’s why blood glucose usually drops while exercising, but then rises again after the workout has been completed. High intensity or longer duration workouts such as weightlifting, sprints, and competitive sports, cause a release of stress hormones like adrenaline. Adrenaline raises blood glucose levels by stimulating the liver to release glucose which is utilized by the exercising muscles.


To understand more about how exercise affects blood glucose levels and how to manage the spikes, check out this article from American Diabetes Association:

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