There are a few steps that you can take to aid recovery after exercising.


Reduce insulin after exercise

You will need less insulin after you exercise because insulin works better for quite a long time afterwards.

A good place to start is with the “50/50/20” rule:

  • 50% REDUCTION in quick-acting (bolus) insulin for the TWO meals after exercise e.g. if you exercise in the afternoon, you reduce your quick-acting insulin with both your evening meal AND your breakfast the following day
  • 50% REDUCTION in correction doses for 12 hours after exercise
  • 20% REDUCTION in background (basal) insulin if:
    • Exercising after 4 pm
    • Over 2 hours of exercise
    • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) at any time of the day


Refuel with additional carbohydrate & protein

If you have done more than 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or more than 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise, you will need to ‘refuel’ with additional carbohydrate and protein e.g. (milkshakes, cereal).

Generally you should aim for 1g/kg carbohydrate and 0.2 kg protein in your recovery snack, for example if you weigh 70 kg, you will need 70 grams of carbohydrate and 14 g of protein.

Bedtime snack

Consider eating a suitable bedtime snack if you:

  • have exercised after 4pm
  • have done more than 2 hours of exercise


It is important to keep hydrated

Make sure that you drink plenty of water or other liquids to stay hydrated. The body can lose a lot of fluid during exercise and dehydration can increase your blood glucose levels.


Activity after exercise can help manage blood glucose

If your blood glucose levels are high, then completing a warm down routine such as a brisk walk, jog or cycle, can help to bring them down.

If your blood glucose is low (but not more than 4 mmol/L), a 10 second sprint or other anaerobic activity can help bring them up.

Remember 10 second sprints are NOT a treatment for hypoglycaemia (blood glucose level of less than 4 mmol/L).

Leave a Reply