Pre-workouts For Diabetics! All You Need To Know

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Workouts are essential for maintaining a healthy weight by eliminating several health issues. Most people work out to reduce weight and to be in good shape. generally, It is advised to not eat before working out. But that is for normal people. 

Is Pre-workouts Safe For Diabetics?

People with diabetes may have to think about the pre-workout more than people who have no diabetes. A Diabetes patient should eat before a workout, after a workout, and even during a workout. But it does not apply to everyone having diabetes. It is because diabetes patients have to check their blood sugar levels now and then and they may vary.  

The blood sugar levels have a significant role in the development of diabetes that can only be controlled by following a healthy diet which involves having food that has a low amount of glycemic index. The Glycemic index indicates how the food affects your blood sugar levels. A lower level of the glycemic index can help reduce blood sugar levels and maintain a balance. 

Pre workout For Diabetics

🩸 Can A Diabetic Take A Pre-workout?

As stated above, diabetic patients may want to eat before and after a workout. This is to create a balance in their blood sugar levels. It depends on certain factors whether a diabetic patient should have a pre-workout or not. Here are some.

  • You should keep a record to track your food intake. You should know what and when you eat and in what quantity at what time. These will help you realize when you should be eating next and how much should be the quantity of the food. The time in between a meal and workout plays a significant role in whether you need to have a pre-workout meal or not.  
  • If you have low blood sugar or glucose, namely hypoglycemia, then you must eat a meal before the workout. It is to create a balance in the blood sugar levels and keep it in medium to prevent any further complications. People with hypoglycemia may have extreme hunger and may tend to eat anything or everything they see which might cause severe health issues. Keeping track of what you eat is the key. Hypoglycemia can be fatal otherwise if not treated properly.  
  •  The type of workout you are going to do is another factor before you consider eating a pre-workout meal. The food must be taken according to the type of workout. If the workout is gonna be heavy, then you should add more carbs to your pre-workout and if the workout is lighter, then you should be having proteins along with the carbohydrates.
  • You should always check your blood sugar levels before and after a workout. If the blood sugar level is normal or high, you don’t have to eat before working out. Because eating more can raise the level of blood sugar and create complications. But if the blood sugar level is low when checked, you need to snack on food that has more carbs.
  • The duration and intensity of the exercise are yet another factor to consider while prepping for snacking before the workout session. If you workout for a longer period, more carbs must be added to the food which can be burned during the session. The intensity of the workout also matters a lot. More intensity means having more fuel.  
What Should A Diabetic Do Before Exercising

🩸 What Is The Best Pre-workout For Diabetics?

Pre-workout works differently for different persons. Accordingly, the blood sugar levels in persons may also differ. Hence, there is not an exact best pre-workout meal to have. It all depends on the amount of food you are having, the content of carbs in it, the time in between the workout and the meal, etc. 

It is not really possible to state what is the best among the others. Even so, 4 kinds of food are said to be effective generally. Let’s take a look at them. 

👉Peanut butter sandwich (30 gms of carbs approx.)

👉Nuts and dry fruits(relatively fewer carbs) 

👉Fresh fruit (adequate amount of carbs) 

👉Wheat bread

There are several pre-workout supplements as well. 

🩸 What Should A Diabetic Do Before Exercising?

If you don’t work out much or are not an active person, you should talk to your doctor before going to do any sort of exercise. The doctor must know your condition well and may help you with better suggestions. You should gain all the possible knowledge about your particular condition from your doctor. a doctor may propose the best time for you to work out and whether or not your blood sugar might get affected adversely should also be taken care of.

Studies have shown that engaging in physical activities can lead to decreased health-related problems and improve the immune system. According to doctors, a diabetic must work out for at least 30 minutes a day. This can improve metabolism leading to good health.

Before exercising, the first and foremost thing you are gonna do is to check your blood sugar levels. If it is low, snack before the workout and if the level is too high, there’s no need for you to snack. The blood sugar must not be too high or too low. Consider proper food with an adequate amount of carbs to eat. 

🩸 How Important Is A Pre-workout Meal For Diabetics?

It is generally not recommended for people to have meals before an exercise. In fact, it is restricted because eating before a workout may impact the results less. It is always recommended to have meals after the workout. But, The case with a person having diabetes is not the same. They should be having meals before and after the workout, following a checkup of the blood sugar levels consistently. 

It is important first to know what food to eat with what contents and then schedule your workout accordingly because the food you eat has a great amount of impact on your blood sugar levels. The workout you do depends solely on the meal you eat before and after it. Both the workout and the pre-workout meals are equally important. You do have to check for carbs and plan your workout session suitably.

If you are about to do a workout that involves more cardio, then you must have food that is high in carbs so that they get burned when exercised and a balance can be obtained. Or if you choose to do a lighter version, low-carb food is all you need. Food in general for diabetic patients is considered to be most important because the blood sugar levels depend mostly on their diet. Pre-workout meals are also as important as any other meals, sometimes a bit too dominant than the others.

Pre workout Meal For Diabetics

🩸What To Eat Or Not Eat Pre-workout For Diabetics?

As mentioned earlier, pre-workout meals have a little too much importance. They should be planned carefully in accordance with your workout schedule and the type and intensity of the workout. Before a heavy workout session, the food you eat must have a sufficient amount of carbs in it. Carbs play a significant role in the process of balance. There must be a balance between the intensity of the workout and the content of carbs in your food. 

You Might want to have foods that have a moderate amount of carbs pre-workout including fruits like a banana, oranges, or an apple, one bowl of oats or quinoa, kidney beans, and chickpeas. These kinds of food are healthy and have large amounts as well.

You want to make sure that you don’t take food that contains high amounts of sugar. Reducing the intake of sugar and caffeine completely would be better as it tends to worsen your health. A big NO to soft drinks and other fizzy drinks. Having spicy food can be avoided as it may result in heartburn and indigestion.


Pre-workouts are anything you may have before going to exercise. Therefore, it must be approached carefully and mindfully. Pre-workouts have a lot to do with the carbs intake mainly. Focused planning and applications are necessary in this case as diabetic patients may get many health problems resulting from the imbalance of the intake of carbs. You must check for the blood sugar level before going to exercise and have meals accordingly. There is not a single best food for a pre-workout. It depends on the person. There are many supplements available in the market for the same purpose.    

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it necessary to take a pre-workout if you have diabetes?

It is more than necessary to take a pre-workout only if you have diabetes. Because it is essential to keep your blood sugar levels normal.

2. Does pre-workout really help you maintain your blood sugar levels?

Pre-workouts are generally to maintain the blood sugar levels as they really help in balancing it. However, having a large quantity of food may create other health problems.  

3. How long will you have to exercise if you are having high-carb food?

Generally, exercising for about 30 minutes is recommended for people with diabetes. Avoid taking food that is too high in carbs as an excess of anything is bad for your health, especially for diabetics patients. 

4. Is it okay to have breakfast and then exercise?

If you are planning to exercise in the morning, your pre-workout can be a healthy and carb-rich breakfast. Do check your blood sugar levels before your workout.  

5. Do pre-workouts increase the level of insulin in your body?

Yes, it does increase the level of insulin in your body. When you exercise your body cells can respond to the insulin and perform its functions which is necessary for a diabetes patient. 

About Tim Mathew

Tim Mathew is an Endocrinologist specialized in general endocrinology, diabetes, and lipid metabolism. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline and completed a medical school program in New York. Once Tim Mathew quoted that Endocrinology is both a challenging and rewarding medical specialty, so he wants to specialize in it. To know more about Tim Mathew kindly go through our about page.

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