Despite widespread belief, can athletes get type 2 diabetes? is not a black and white question. In fact, the vast majority of scientific literature supports the opposite. While there are some outliers, the scientific community agrees that athletes are not at increased risk for diabetes. Instead, it appears to be a combination of factors, including body composition, genetics, and physical activity. To answer the question “Can athletes get type 2 diabetes?”, we need to look at the scientific literature.
While diabetes can affect any activity, athletes should make sure they regularly monitor their blood sugar levels. They should aim for a normal level of 80 to 120 mg/dL during and after activity. It is vital for athletes with diabetes to control blood sugar levels during and after physical activity, as high levels can impair athletic performance. If a person’s blood sugar level is abnormally high or low, they should stop exercising or competing until the levels are within the normal range.
While genetics can predispose athletes to developing Type II diabetes, other factors such as training volume and intensity also affect risk. In particular, poor dietary choices can increase the risk of developing diabetes. The research into the glycemic response of endurance athletes has found that the post-meal blood glucose levels of these athletes are significantly different from those of non-athletes. This suggests that the risk of developing Type II diabetes is lower than previously thought.