Acute hyperglycaemia does not have a consistent adverse effect on exercise performance in recreationally active young people with type 1 diabetes: a randomised crossover in-clinic study

Karen M Rothacker, Sam Armstrong, Grant J Smith, Nat Benjanuvatra, Brendan Lay, Peter Adolfsson, Timothy W Jones, Paul A Fournier, Elizabeth A Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: In individuals with type 1 diabetes, chronic hyperglycaemia impairs aerobic fitness. However, the effect of acute marked hyperglycaemia on aerobic fitness is unclear, and the impact of insulin level has not been examined. In this study, we explored if acute hyperglycaemia with higher or low insulin levels affects [Formula: see text] and other exercise performance indicators in individuals with type 1 diabetes.

METHODS: Eligible participants were aged 14 to 30 years, with complication-free, type 1 diabetes and HbA1c ≤ 75 mmol/mol (≤9%). Participants exercised in a clinical laboratory under three clamp (constant insulin, variable glucose infusion) conditions: euglycaemia (5 mmol/l) with 20 mU [m2 BSA]-1 min-1 insulin (where BSA is body surface area) (Eu20); hyperglycaemia (17 mmol/l) with 20 mU [m2 BSA]-1 min-1 insulin (Hyper20); and hyperglycaemia (17 mmol/l) with mU [5 m2 BSA]-1 min-1 insulin (Hyper5) on separate days. Participants and the single testing assessor were blinded to condition, with participants allocated to randomised testing condition sequences as they were consecutively recruited. Standardised testing (in order) conducted on each of the three study days included: triplicate 6 second sprint cycling, grip strength, single leg static balance, vertical jump and modified Star Excursion Balance Test, ten simple and choice reaction times and one cycle ergometer [Formula: see text] test. The difference between conditions in the aforementioned testing measures was analysed, with the primary outcome being the difference in [Formula: see text].

RESULTS: Twelve recreationally active individuals with type 1 diabetes (8 male, mean ± SD 17.9 ± 3.9 years, HbA1c 61 ± 11 mmol/mol [7.7 ± 1.0%], 7 ± 3 h exercise/week) were analysed. Compared with Eu20, [Formula: see text] was lower in Hyper20 (difference 0.17 l/min [95% CI 0.31, 0.04; p = 0.02] 6.6% of mean Eu20 level), but Hyper5 was not different (p = 0.39). Compared with Eu20, sprint cycling peak power was not different in Hyper20 (p = 0.20), but was higher in Hyper5 (64 W [95% CI 13, 115; p = 0.02] 13.1%). Hyper20 reaction times were not different (simple: p = 0.12) but Hyper5 reaction times were slower (simple: 11 milliseconds [95% CI 1, 22; p = 0.04] 4.7%) than Eu20. No differences between Eu20 and either hyperglycaemic condition were observed for the other testing measures (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Acute marked hyperglycaemia in the higher but not low insulin state impaired [Formula: see text] but to a small extent. Acute hyperglycaemia had an insulin-dependent effect on sprint cycling absolute power output and reaction time but with differing directionality (positive for sprint cycling and negative for reaction time) and no effect on the other indicators of exercise performance examined. We find that acute hyperglycaemia is not consistently adverse and does not impair overall exercise performance to an extent clinically relevant for recreationally active individuals with type 1 diabetes.

FUNDING: This research was funded by Diabetes Research Western Australia and Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group grants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetologia
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2021

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