Team Novo Nordisk | Team Novo Nordisk | blood glucose monitoring ranges

Ask Dr. Rafa: Blood Glucose Monitoring & Ranges

18 December 2014

How do the Team Novo Nordisk riders monitor their blood glucose while riding? What’s the best blood glucose range?

ASK DR. RAFA: Blood Glucose Monitoring & Ranges

Team Novo Nordisk Medical Director, Dr. Rafael Castol, has the answers.

Lots of you were interested in this! Isabelle, Alex and Pentti from the UK, and Rosemary from Greece were just some of the people who sent us questions.

The riders check their blood glucose a lot! Our motto is check, check, check – it’s the only way to learn what works and spot patterns. Active diabetes management is absolutely key to improving our performance.

The riders check with a portable blood glucose meter and also wear a CGM or Continuous Glucose Monitor, which gives a glucose reading every few minutes.

During a race, they put the CGM receiver in their jersey pocket or mount it onto their handlebars, and this provides them a graph in real time of their blood glucose levels.

When it comes to racing and training, the riders check their blood glucose before, during and after the race:

  • Half an hour before the race with a glucose meter
  • Readings throughout the race with a CGM
  • After the race with a glucose meter again
  • The riders listen to their bodies, and the way they react and feel during a race.
  • If they feel they need to, they will check their blood glucose at any time.
  • The riders’ optimum blood glucose range is 6.6 to 10mmol/L or 120 to 180mg/dl.
  • If a rider is below target, they may eat or drink more carbohydrates.
  • If a rider is above target, they make take an adjustment dose of insulin.
  • Or if it’s a race or if it’s after a race, they may need to do a cool-down exercise on a turbo trainer or by cycling back to the hotel to get their blood glucose levels back into target.

Remember, everyone’s diabetes is different and if you’re planning on changing or increasing your exercise routine, speak to your healthcare professional and make a plan that is right for you.

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The riders check their blood glucose a lot! Our motto is check, check, check – it’s the only way to learn what works and spot patterns.

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