About Exercise Glucose Spikes


This article provides an overview of why you might be experiencing glucose spikes during exercise, and how to remove the spikes from you logs so they don't affect your stability score.

    Should I be concerned about glucose spikes during exercise?

    If you’re tracking your glucose using a CGM, you might be worried by an apparent glucose rise during high-intensity exercise. You shouldn’t be. Despite the acute rise in glucose, high-intensity training actually improves both fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity over time. Both of these adaptations lead to better metabolic flexibility and glucose control. 

    During intense exertion, our stress hormones tell the liver to release stored glycogen into the bloodstream and to produce new glucose from available sources to fuel the fight or flight that's occurring! Thus, it is not unusual to see a rise in your blood glucose during  a high-intensity workout. This rise is an indication that you are mobilizing your stored glycogen (meaning the workout is too intense for your body to rely primarily on fat and needs to use glucose as fuel). This is a completely different physiological response than eating a cookie that spikes your glucose and causes insulin resistance; exercise related spikes are associated with enhanced long term insulin sensitivity, which is a good thing! To learn more about exercise and metabolic fitness, read our blog post here.

    How do I remove an exercise spike from my Levels score?

    When you log an activity as "Strenuous", that entire Zone will not impact your Stability Score.  If you don't want your exercise spikes to affect your Levels scores, follow the instructions below.

    How to log an activity as strenuous:

    1. Open your Levels app
    2. Select the activity you want to add/edit
    3. Click on the pencil in the upper right-hand side
    4. Toggle "strenuous" to on
    5. Click "Save". Logging the activity as "strenuous" should prevent your workout from negatively impacting your day's score. 

Note: Your activity will automatically be marked as "strenuous" in the Levels app if your heart rate goes above 150 BPM at least once and you experience a 20+ point glucose rise during the activity.

We suggest marking activities as 'strenuous' when you're immersed in more extreme temperatures (e.g. sauna, ice bath, jacuzzi). Activities under extreme temperatures often times cause glucose spikes you may not want affecting your daily scores.

If you run into any issues, please email the Levels Support team at support@levelshealth.com.

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