How Diabetes Affects Muscle Building

diabetes muscle

Diabetes is a condition caused by the body’s lack of insulin, or the resistance for insulin to convert sugar into energy for use within the body. As a result, those suffering from diabetes often feel tired, exhausted and building muscle through exercise is difficult. There is a constant balancing act in the blood and the blood sugar level can easily become too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia) without insulin to regulate it.

There are two very important nutrients in the diabetic diet, and these are protein and complex carbohydrates. Protein serves to help muscles to grow, and complex carbohydrates are essentially energy that releases slowly (and therefore do not cause a spike in blood sugar, leading to hyperglycemia). When the minimal levels of insulin present in the diabetic body cannot find enough protein or complex carbs then the muscles quite simply go without and cannot build.

As you may have guessed already, there needs to be a good store of protein and complex carbohydrates within the body before exercise, so that there is energy to be used. Once this is done and the muscles have been built, the energy levels need to be restored again (to avoid exhaustion) and another meal of protein and complex carbohydrates should be eaten. General advice is that a small high protein, high complex carb meal should be eaten 30 to 60 minutes before exercise, and immediately after exercise for optimal results. It’s also important to check your blood sugar if you are planning to do a heavy workout, so that if your levels are very low then you know to inject insulin and regulate your blood sugar levels properly first.

There are some great foods such as sunflower seeds, oats and wholemeal pasta which release energy slowly but at just the levels that your body needs to convert into muscle mass. It is certainly possible to build muscle when you are diabetic, but it is a very good idea to consult your doctor or ideally a professional nutritionist to devise some exercise meal plans.

Post image by jcoterhals

Find more diabetes related posts:

  • 7 Reasons Diabetics Should Avoid Exercise
  • Main Causes of Diabetes in US Adults
  • Bodybuilding for Diabetics: Healthy Tips
  • Stop Craving Sweets by Managing Your Energy
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    9 Responses to “How Diabetes Affects Muscle Building”

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    4. grant Says:

      how can i beleive the information in this when, it states if your blood sugar levels r very low before a workout you should take an insulin shot to regulate sugars…. insulin lowers blood sugar levels.. u need glucose or other high gi foods to bring the level up or u will find yourself unconcious on the gym floor.. this arctile does not seem very reliable!

    5. Emilio Isackson Says:

      I love this article. Thanks. I have a blog where I could link this article to. I’m looking for sites where muscle building tips are being discussed. I think its very helpful to people starting out. I remember what its like when I was new at this. I scour the web for articles. Now I go to places where I could find everything under one place. Thanks for this article.

    6. Cristina Ungstad Yu Says:

      Awesome picture, very well done!

    7. Cedric Tanguay Says:

      Thanks for the great bodybuilding tips :), i’ve been working out for a while now but still wasn’t sure which way to go to achieve my objectives. This blog helped me, thanks again.

    8. Ruben Says:

      Thank you for the great tips!

    9. ¿Qué alimentos son buenos para aumentar la masa muscular si eres diabético? – Muy Fitness Says:

      […] Diabetic Diet News: How Diabetes Affects Muscle Building (Cómo afecta la diabetes a la tonificació… […]

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