Hypoglycemia after exercising

Amy's Avatar


27 Sep, 2012 04:31 AM

I have been eating low carb for over a year now, and have enjoyed great benefits for my severe reactive hypoglycemia (I react to almost everything, including all fruits and artificial sweetners). The one aspect that I am still struggling with is what to eat after exercising. I exercise 3 x week, doing intense resistance training for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Straight afterwards I eat protein and fat (such as an omlet made with coconut oil, and handful of almonds), and within half an hour I feel my blood sugar crashing and cannot concentrate. I spend the rest of the day feeling hungry and weak.
I have experimented with eating carbohydrates after exercising (such as sweet potato or a banana, with or without fat), however I feel even worse, as these carbohydrates set off my reactive hypoglycemia straight away. I exercise first thing in the morning, and have also experimented with eating protein before exercising, and exercising fasted, and this does not seem to make a difference.
I love exercising and do not want to stop resistance training, however feel that exercising is preventing me from losing weight as I need to eat so much afterwards to keep my blood sugar from crashing. I would greatly appreciate any advice about what to eat after exercising.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Fiona on 27 Sep, 2012 05:49 AM

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    Hi Amy,
    This is a great question. Dr. Ron is not available for a few days but when he gets back I will ask him what his thoughts are. If you can give me the brief on what you are eating in a day, on average how much protein, your height and weight and what your ideal weight is, if you are taking any medications or have any complications so that we have a better picture for Dr. Ron. Also have you tested your sugars after to know for sure you are Hypoglycemia or is it just with the symptoms that you know?

    Best of health.

  2. 2 Posted by Vicki Aron on 27 Sep, 2012 06:21 AM

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    Hi Fiona,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me.

    I am 5 ft 3 inches (162 cm) and weigh 52kg. I am at a good weight, however cannot seem to lose the fat around my stomach, despite eating extremely low carb for the past year. My ideal weight is 49-50kg.

    An average day (with exercise included) is something like the following:

    7am: 2 ounces chicken and olive oil.

    8am: 30 minutes resistance training

    9am: 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, large handful almonds. I feel physically full, however by 9.30am I feel shaky and cannot concentrate.

    10am: Another handful of almonds, 150ml full fat coconut milk with cinnamon. Again, feel full but blood sugar feels low and all I can think about is food.

    11am: 1 and a half chicken thighs cooked in olive oil, 1 cup steamed vegetables (broccoli and zucchini). Feel a lot better after eating this, however am overly full after eating so much food.

    3pm: 1 Kangaroo sausage and celery

    6pm: 2 lamb chop or 2 ounces of grilled salmon, steamed green veges with butter.

    I have not tested my blood sugars, however definitely recognise low blood sugar symptoms as I have been struggling with reactive hypoglycaemia for as long as I can remember. As soon as I eat carbs I feel better (for a few minutes, until my blood sugar dives again).

    I would love to know if I should be eating more fat or protein after exercising in order to avoid hypoglycaemia and feeling weak and shaky the rest of the day.

    Even though I am low carb I still struggling with hunger throughout my days.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Fiona on 27 Sep, 2012 06:42 AM

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    Hi Amy,
    Your protein seems to be around 48-50 grams per day which seems ok being that you are quite active. Your hypoglycemia you said you have had for as long as you can remember, would that be also through childhood as well? did you ever have tests or anything to get to the bottom of it? You will also see great improvement with feeling satiated for longer by Increasing your fat. It will be interesting to see what Dr. Ron has to say, being that it has always been an issue it might just in a genetic thing. Dr. Ron would not be able to give you 'your' answer as that would be a full consultation with labs and research to get to the bottom of the problem but at least he might be able to give some direct to areas that you might want to look into based on past patients.

  4. 4 Posted by Vicki Aron on 27 Sep, 2012 06:50 AM

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    Hi Fiona,
    I have had reactive hypoglycaemia since I was a teenager (when I thought it was healthy to eat a 100% carbohydrate diet). I have been to see a number of doctors however no one has ever given me any useful information, other than Dr Ron with his low carbohydrate diet.

    However even eating low carb moderate protein I still get numerous instances of hypoglycaemia during the day.

    I am not on any medication. I have (lean) PCOS and have not had a period in over 2 years. I have tried metformin to see whether this could help with my blood sugar issues and bring on a period. At first I felt great and could even tolerate a few carbs, however after a few months the hypoglycaemia set in again, so I ceased the metformin.

    Any insight that Dr Ron could give would be so greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Fiona on 27 Sep, 2012 06:52 AM

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    Have you ever had your leptin tested?

  6. 6 Posted by Vicki Aron on 27 Sep, 2012 06:55 AM

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    No, is this something that I should test?

    If I were to have a leptin issue, how would I try to rectify it?


  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Fiona on 27 Sep, 2012 07:12 AM

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    Here is an answer from Dr. Ron about low leptin and a lady not being able to conceive as she was not having periods. This situation is different from yours as the lady was bulimic however the answer given by Dr. Ron about low leptin will give you an idea on how important leptin is. I have also heard Dr. Ron say many times that for very lean athlete women who stop ovulating many times in these cases the body feels it is not a good time to reproduce, not enough fat. When these women take insulin it can help them to start ovulating again. However, most that have a hard time getting rid of belly fat have higher leptin so your case it not cut and dry. Though getting your leptin measured would at least let you know where you are, the best place is labcorp. Again we advise you seek medical assistance and this site is just sharing of general information.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Dr. Rosedale on 27 Sep, 2012 08:21 AM

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    You should get a blood glucose monitor to actually test your blood sugars when you feel it is crashing as it might actually be something else. You should also get your cortisol level tested, maybe T3, if what you are feeling is relatively significant fatigue.

    Health and happiness.

  9. 9 Posted by Vicki Aron on 27 Sep, 2012 10:18 AM

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    Thank you very much for this response

  10. 10 Posted by Matt on 15 May, 2017 03:23 AM

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    Hey Vicki,

    The hypoglycemia is most likely caused by the coconut oil. It is a known issue for some people who use MCT that it can dramatically lower blood sugar, and coconut oil contains quite a bit of MCT's. I'd try using butter or ghee instead.

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by Ken on 15 May, 2017 09:29 AM

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    Hi Matt, your comment is interesting - have you experienced this with MCT's or have access to the data that states this.



    Ken/   Rosedale Team

    My Journey - Rosedale Diet   and   More of my journey

  12. 12 Posted by Rattus Rattus on 16 May, 2017 03:21 PM

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    There's a study, although they are coming at it from the perspective of it being used in diabetics to lower post-prandial glucose. Usually when people use MCT, they are using it alongside something that elevates blood sugar
    like a carbohydrate or coffee, so the potential for hypoglycemia is probably somewhat lessened by having the blood sugar elevated by the other substance. Just a theory.

    I've personally experienced it, and if you just google "MCT hypoglycemia" there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence for
    it. Peter at hyperlipid blog wrote something on it a while back.

    Perhaps its also less of an issue for people with better glycemic control, but more harmful for those who are sensitive. MCT's are a unique substance, processed differently than other fats, so the hormonal impact would logically be different.

    It is also refined, in the sense that it has been separated from its natural constituents, and then concentrated, so whatever
    effect it might have in a natural coconut, or even refined coconut oil, will be significantly compounded.

    Some people using Bulletproof Coffee, probably the popularizer of MCT, have also complained of hypoglycemia and
    hunger a few hours after use.

    As an aside, another commonly touted food in low carb circles is avocado, but avocado contains a monosaccharide called Mannoheptulose that prevents the breakdown of glucose, and thus can result in elevated blood sugar for days after consumption.

    Just another weird food thing that has been noticed only by sensitive people actively measuring their blood glucose, i.e.
    diabetics. Mannoheptulose has actually been researched as a treatment for hypoglycemia.

  13. Support Staff 13 Posted by Ken on 18 May, 2017 08:35 PM

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    Hi Rattus, for some strange reason your comment ended up in our spam folder - anyway thank you for your input.


    Ken/   Rosedale Team

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