Exercise and your glucose

Exercise and your glucose

You have a lot of muscles, and they all need fuel. What is our body’s favourite type of fuel? Glucose. Glucose is found circulating in your blood or even stored as glycogen. When glucose is limited, your body adapts and breaks down fats for energy (or even proteins if it gets desperate). Exercising regularly helps burn glucose and improve overall glucose control, so try to add more movement to your daily routine. 

Your body’s demand for fuel is only as intense as your workout. High-intensity exercise increases adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone), which signals to your body that it’s time to breakdown liver glycogen to glucose. This quick influx of fuel can spike your glucose, but this is the one time a spike is a good thing. When you track more intense workouts and see a spike, don’t be alarmed. Lingo won’t count those exercise-related spikes against your points, so jump back in and remember to track that more intense activity in the app.   

Seeing a spike, but you haven’t had an intense workout? There are other reasons for spikes during a workout. When shifting to a lower carb diet, but not low enough to shift into ketosis and burn fat for fuel, the limited glycogen is quickly spent without the support of ketones, which accompany a properly-designed, high-fat approach. This prompts your body to turn to protein for fuel.  But, you can help prevent the breakdown of protein (and muscle) for fuel by making sure you have fuel in the tank a few hours before a workout. And after your workout, remember to recover with enough protein and carbs to build muscle and replenish your glucose supply during your post-workout recovery phase.  

So, take this back into your daily life. Better prepare, perform, track, and recover. More power to you.  

July 19, 2023


  1. Emhoff CA, et al. Gluconeogenesis and hepatic glycogenolysis during exercise at the lactate threshold. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013 Feb;114(3):297-306. 
  2. Flores-Opazo M, et al. Exercise and GLUT4. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2020 Jul;48(3):110-118.  
  3. Frampton J, et al. The Effect of a Single Bout of Continuous Aerobic Exercise on Glucose, Insulin and Glucagon Concentrations Compared to Resting Conditions in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression. Sports Med. 2021 Sep;51(9):1949-1966.  
  4. Jensen TE, et al. Regulation of glucose and glycogen metabolism during and after exercise. J Physiol. 2012 Mar 1;590(5):1069-76. 
  5. Richter EA. Is GLUT4 translocation the answer to exercise-stimulated muscle glucose uptake? Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Feb 1;320(2):E240-E243.   
  6. Thomas DT, et al. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Mar;116(3):501-528. 

Metabolic change is possible

Sign up and receive scientifically proven tips, strategies, and insights to supercharge your metabolism.
Email me personalised regular news, content and exclusive offers. I will receive an email from Lingo to confirm my email address. I consent to the use of my personal data for marketing purposes. Please refer to the Lingo Privacy Notice regarding your rights and for additional details.