Do You Have Hypoglycemia?

This meal miss may cause us to get hungry and a little cranky, but if you get real irritable, sweaty, dizzy and even angry it may be that you suffer from something called Hypoglycemia.
Many of us who workout, concentrate on our eating and maybe look at our arms in the mirror way too much often times get so busy that we happen to miss a meal/snack. This can be tough when you're trying to eat every 2-3 hours, but as jobs, school or Christmas shopping get our mind on other things-there's just nothing we can do. This meal miss may cause us to get hungry and a little cranky, but if you get real irritable, sweaty, dizzy and even angry it may be that you suffer from something called Hypoglycemia.

When blood sugar levels drop, you may feel:

  • Anxious
  • Shaky
  • Sweaty
  • Hungry
  • Skin Tingles
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Confusion
  • Warm/Hot
  • Weakness
  • Memory Loss
  • Seizures/Unconsciousness

Ok, so these are the same symptoms you get when that one girl in the gym is doing deadlifts with her thong on, but this can be a serious medical condition that must be identified.

There are two types of low blood sugar. First when your blood sugar rises too high, causing your pancreas to release a large amount of insulin that drops your blood sugar too low, and second, a slow drop in blood sugar caused by your liver running out of stored sugar. Medical professionals used to speculate that insulin-induced hypoglycemia follows meals and that the liver running out sugar doesn't follow meals, but now they know that both types can occur at any time.

It is almost impossible to diagnose hypoglycemia by drawing blood after you suffer an attack of the above symptoms because your body produces adrenalin immediately and raises it's blood sugar levels before the blood can be drawn. It can be diagnosed by feeding you lots of sugar and measuring the blood sugar every 1/2 hour for several hours. If you do suffer from hypoglycemia, your doc then has to find the cause that may include a damaged liver, hormone imbalances, or even tumors/glandular abnormalities. For many people in the fitness field that cut carbs, go long periods of time with low water or food, and those who do cardio early in the morning without eating-the symptoms above are experienced on a regular basis. For the strength athletes out there, performance in your sport is important. As your workout or competition day starts to wear on, your blood sugar may drop if you haven't taken in enough nutrients.

Some things that will help you from having the above symptoms and subsequent performance problems are easy to do:

Paying attention to eating frequency
Eating a well-balanced meal including carbs, protein and some fat
Take in plenty of water to ensure fluid levels are maintained
Identify quality food sources that are low-medium glycemic and will stick with you a while

IMPORTANT! We have a glycemic index database here on Bodybuilding.com that you can use to find out about all the foods you eat and what they are rated. CLICK HERE!

When it comes to competition day, making sure you eat enough can be tough due to nerves, time and availability. Throughout your strongman or powerlifting competition:

  • Take in plenty of fluids containing some carbohydrates like-Cytomax, Gatorade, Powerade, or Carbo Fuel
  • Take in some Creatine and Glutamine to fuel the muscle cells like Phosphagen HP, Prolab's Creatine and Glutamine, and others
  • Some strength athletes swear by mineral supplement intake to ensure the body has enough minerals for working muscles
  • Carbohydrate snacks are also easy and useful as carbs are the #1 fuel source during these competitions. Try one of the following: Power Gel by PowerBar, Apples by the apple tree (*duh), some like bagels

I hope this information helps you out there be the best at your sport and look the best you can. You put a lot of work into that body, do don't forget to fuel it accordingly. Any questions will be happily answered! E-mail me with your comments and questions! I look forward to getting e-mail from you.