When you eat a big carbohydrate-rich meal, your blood sugars can spike before rapidly dropping off leaving you with a loss of physical energy commonly referred to as a ‘crash’. A study published in the journal Diabetologia suggests that brief intense bouts of ‘exercise snacking’ can reduce the effect better than 30 minutes of moderate effort. 

For 30 minutes, nine volunteers aged 18 to 55 walked on an inclined treadmill to keep their heart rate at around 60% of the theoretical maximum about half an hour before eating. The next day, they performed six sets of 1-minute effort equivalent to 90% of their max heart rate half an hour before eating. In the final session, subjects split their six sets of intense effort between running and resistance training. Both of the intense ‘exercise snacking’ sessions controlled blood sugars more effectively than a moderate 30-minute workout. 

True Strength Moment: Although these subjects all showed signs of insulin resistance, the same strategy might work for healthy active adults. Test it out after your next session of high intensity interval training to see if it helps prevent a late afternoon food coma following a big lunch.

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