Effects of High Blood Sugar on Exercise

New research in Nature Metabolism looked at the effects of exercise in individuals with high blood sugar levels. High sugar, or the term, hyperglycemia, is used when fasting blood glucose is greater than 125 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). The study suggest that a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may lead to poor blood sugar control. Study results showed poor diet could have negative, long-term, health effects on how well our body responds to exercise.

What is a Blood Profile or Panel?

blood panel is used to check for a variety of markers, including how organs (liver, heart, etc.) are functioning. A blood panel is also used to test for infections and specific genetic disorders, as well as to assess person’s general health.

Check and Document Your Blood Profile Regularly

It happens to all of us, we get our yearly physical, which typically includes a blood panel, but does your physician explain anything about the results after that? Do you compare your readings (data) from one exam to the next? Most people don’t. A healthy body starts inside, knowing and monitoring your blood profile. Companies like Inside Tracker, whose partnered with academic institutions like MIT, Harvard and Tufts University, can help on this front. They store and keep track of an individuals blood data. In addition, they make healthy food recommendations when levels are either high or low. They keep track of everything from blood sugar, A1C, and cholesterol to testosterone levels.

Study Results Showed

Previous research has shown prolonged, high sugar levels can lead to a host of health conditions. The research study in question tested 24 subjects, non of which had diabetes, to determine the effects of blood sugar on aerobic capacity. During treadmill testing, the volunteers with the worst blood-sugar control had the lowest capacity or endurance, and when the researchers performed muscle biopsies in order to examine their muscle tissues following exercise, they found high levels of proteins that could potentially inhibit improvements to endurance. According to lead investigator, Sarah Lessard, a professor at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, “constantly bathing your tissues in sugar is just not a good idea” and may reduce any subsequent benefits one gets from exercise.

The bottom line is it’s important to reduce sugar and process food in our diet. We want to reap the full benefits of all the exercise we do, not have it blunted. Dr. Lessard did mention that exercise could eventually “help people with hyperglycemia to stabilize their blood sugar.” Stay Strong with Jefit.


MacDonald, T.L., Pattamaprapanont, P., Pathak P., Fernandez, N., Freitas, EC., Hafida, S., et al. Hyperglycaemia is associated with impaired muscle signaling and aerobic adaptation to exercise. Nature Metabolism (2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-0240-7