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There are currently no guidelines regarding the carbohydrate (CHO) dosage required to prevent exercise-induced hypoglycemia in children with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). To prevent hypoglycemia by matching glucose ingestion with total-CHO utilization, 20 adolescents with IDDM attended 2 trials: control (CT; drinking water) and glucose (GT; drinking 6-8% glucose). Participants performed 60 min of moderate-intensity cycling 100 min after insulin injection and breakfast. CT's total-CHO utilization during exercise was determined using indirect calorimetry. In GT, participants ingested glucose in the amount equal to total CHO utilization in the CT. A total of 9 participants had BG <4.0 mmol/L in CT compared to 3 in GT (p < .05). In conclusion, glucose ingestion equal to total-CHO utilization attenuates the drop in blood glucose and reduces the likelihood of hypoglycemia during exercise in adolescents with IDDM.
Michael C. Riddell, Oded Bar-Or, Beatriz V. Ayub, and Randolph E. Calvert are with the Children's Exercise and Nutrition Centre, and George J.F. Heigenhauser is with the Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, L8N 3Z5.