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Diabetic Runners Type 2 – What to Eat During Workout

Diabetic runners with type 2 diabetes needs specific form of nutrition and workout routines to maintain their allowable blood sugar levels.

Hearing the Type 2 diabetes diagnosis is a sad thing and this usually equates to planning your diet since many changes will surely happen. Being a diabetic runner means you need to choose your foods wisely and how often you should eat them. Being a diabetic runner makes this dilemma even more complex but doable.

It is not wise to think that there is a diet that can beat diabetes because there isn’t. Planning a diabetic’s daily meal means getting used to the new normal so that habits are established and healthier food choices are made.

What NOT to Eat

Running with diabetes means you have to have diet goals including attaining a healthy weight, healthy blood pressure, and stable blood glucose levels. But before you recognize the things that you need to include in your new diet, you also need to know which foods are no longer healthy for you.

Foods that are rich in carbohydrates offer the highest risk on blood sugar. The next would-be culprits are any sugar-sweetened beverage or food. Sugar-rich foods do not just result in obesity and heart issues, a diabetic runner will also have an increased resistance to insulin because of it.

Food Calculations for Diabetic Runners

Having diabetes is difficult enough but running with diabetes makes it even harder to plan for healthy meals. The American Diabetes Association or ADA, DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is a good means to jump-start your diabetic meal plan. 

It is a Mediterranean-style diet that is plant-based and modifiable. It does not necessarily mean zeroing your carb intake. ADA recommends more whole foods (e.g. whole grains, lentils, dried beans, dairy products, and vegetables) and less of the processed foods (e.g. refined flour, saturated fats, canned meats, breakfast cereals, fruit juice, pastries, white bread, pasta, etc.).

A dietitian should be the one to consider your food calculations and what other health concerns need to be noted.

Diabetic Runners Diet When Working Out

Here are the categories of foods that you can include in your Type 2 diabetic runners diet especially when working out –


  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Salad greens
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Onions
  • Yellow, red, green, or orange peppers
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • High-nitrate vegetables such as beets, arugula, celery, lettuce, and rhubarb

Legumes and Beans

  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Pinto beans


  • Orange
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Cherry
  • Apricot and
  • All berries

Whole Grains

  • Wild rice
  • Legume or whole wheat pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain bread
  • Cornmeal
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole grain flour
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Amaranth


  • Plain yogurt or fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Skimmed or low-fat milk
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cottage cheese

Meats, Fish, and Poultry

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Skinless chicken strips
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Turkey breast minus the skin
  • White fish fillets
  • Other fatty fish

Dips, Dressings, and Spices

  • Salsa
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Variety of extracts
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Vinaigrette (mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt, mustard, and some herbs according to your preference).

Check out the labels of ketchups, barbecue sauces, and salad dressing before buying because most of these also contain sugar and fat.

Beverage and Snacks

  • Water
  • Unsweetened hot or iced tea
  • Skimmed milk
  • Low-fat milk
  • Sparkling water
  • Plant-based, unsweetened milk
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Homemade popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Celery sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Fresh fruits in small amounts

Think twice before you consume energy or sports drinks. Even products that are labeled as supplements or nutrition bars may contain carbohydrates. Lastly, your participation in moderate exercise requires that you eat right. And as you take your anti-diabetes medications, be careful in balancing your physical activity and your food intake. As always, trust a dietitian or nutritionist to prepare your meal plans while you’re running with diabetes. More info on Type 2 diabetes on this link.

diabetic runners

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Sofia Lee
Running enthusiast, blogger, mom, fitness advocate. Loves to share health tips!

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