Sports Scientific Testing

In 2009, Kate decided to take our banana bar and put it through some incredible scientific testing. We did two projects in all so far looking at ways to reduce episodes of hypoglycaemia  in adults who were type 1 diabetes exercisers (T1DE).
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The first one looked at the effects of caffeine on blood glucose metabolism furing moderate intensity exercise over one hour. After an initial O2 test to establish maximal oxygen uptake, volunteers were required to visit on four occasions to ingest caffeine (5mg/kg) at various timepoints before starting exercise (90, 60, 30, or 0 mins i.e. immediately prior) to exercise. Moderate intensity exercise was set at 50%O2max, and the volunteers exercised on an electronically braked cycler for 60 min. Every 10 min blood glucose and lactate was collected and measured from a finger tip blood sample. Prior to exercise, and at the end of exercise blood was collected from a cannula to enable hormonal responses to be analysed. Results indicated that ingesting caffeine 60 min prior to exercise gave the better results from blood glucose control in T1D exercisers.
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The second study followed the same protocol as described above, but instead of caffeine being given, the volunteers were T1DE who had insulin pumps. Insulin pumps work by reducing the amount of times one needs to inject basal insulin. Insulin pumps are small devices with a tube coming from them that is placed in the skin of the user. Inside the device is a vial of insulin, and the device can be set to infuse certain amounts of units of insulin per hour. Before this trial there was no evidence when, or by how much an exerciser should reduce their insulin rate before exercise. Results from the research suggested that the best course of action was to reduce basal rate (i.e the rate of insulin infusion from the pump) by 80% of normal 60 min before exercise. This study was presented by research colleagues from Bucks NHS at the American Diabetes Association Conference in Philadelphia, July 2012.
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All studies took place in the Human Performance Lab at Bucks New University, and involved Gary Peters.

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