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Question:

From Menlo Park, California, USA:

My daughter is a competitive volleyball player. It is her dream to get a college scholarship with her volleyball skills. We have the handbook for the diabetic athlete and it does address anaerobic exercise, which is what volleyball is. However, it does not address volleyball tournaments. This is where we always have problems - major problems. Volleyball tournaments can go for 10 hour days for three to four days in a row. There just isn't literature to address our blood sugar problems. I can't find a stellar type 1 volleyball athlete to contact about this either. Any help or contacts would be greatly appreciated. We start out with highs for the first day or day and a half, then fight terrible lows and I've had to pull her from games; the coaches get scared and it's awful. She won't wear her pump because she dives on the ground on her belly and her back. So, the shots do make it more challenging.

Answer:

For anaerobic events like volleyball where multiple matches occur over multiple days, controlling blood sugars can be challenging to say the least. A couple of things to think about are treating each match separately when blood sugars start to swing and then look at the overall plan. It is common to have high blood glucoses during competition but then have lows hours, or even days, after the competition. Treat highs as you normally would (i.e., water and insulin with healthcare team's support) and when blood glucoses are back in a normal range, replace glycogen stores after exercise. This will help avoid lows but also help the next match, especially when it is the next day. The cells are most sensitive immediately after exercise (within 15 to 30 minutes) which is considered the ideal time to replace glycogen stores (i.e., eat). A good guideline is to have 4 grams of carbohydrates for every 1 gram of protein.

RP

DTQ-20090910001207
Original posting 6 Nov 2009
Posted to Hypoglycemia and Exercise and Sports

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:20
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