Brandon Green offers advice on having a low blood sugar plan

Low Blood Sugar during Sports
requires a Plan

“A good plan for a low blood sugar
is part of the game!”

A chili dog is not a good plan

Treating a low blood sugar during sports activities requires a plan. A chili dog from the concession stand is not a good plan.

This is one of my favorite stories about playing sports shortly after I was diagnosed at age 10. As often happens to athletes, I went low before one of my games. My dad went to the concession stand and brought me a big ole chili dog. I suppose a regular hot dog would have done the trick but this one was covered in tons of chili. Oh yea, and he added a Coke to top it off with!

Type 1 Diabetes & Sports requires a plan for blood sugars
A chili dog & a coke from
the concession stand
is not a good plan.
Thankfully, I figured
this out early in my sports
career or I would have
never made it to the NFL.

Playing for the NFL required diabetes discipline 

Yes, that was a solution to a low blood sugar. But I can assure you, still to this day, chili dogs and sports don’t really mix well together.

I have had lots of practice treating lows and playing sports since then. Playing football for the NFL really put a lot of pressure on me to make sure I was managing my blood sugars. In fact, getting to the NFL required a lot of discipline with my diabetes not because I wanted to be a good diabetic but because I wanted to be a good football player.

Keeping my mom off the field

Managing diabetes during all my years of playing various sports meant I needed a plan. I also learned that if I had a “plan” it would keep my mom off the field during Middle School and High School. Yes, that could be embarrassing and a little distracting while you are in the middle of a game.

My simple plan

So here is my simple plan that I found worked for me. And once my mom knew I had a plan, we could all stay focused on the game. As a family we had a T1D Game Plan.

Blood sugar plan for sports with type 1 diabetes

Now this is just a glimpse of part of my plan.

For more details on my total plan for intense workouts and games, you can view my Athletic Practices Guide for Diabetics.

Playing sports made me a better diabetic

Here is the beauty of this plan. It was a plan that worked for me. It was a plan my family knew I had.

Once I had a plan, I knew my mom would not have to come down and interrupt me on the sideline checking to see if I was ok. Trust me, coaches really don’t like your mom on the sideline!

It worked for us. It worked for me. It worked well enough for me to play college football and eventually the NFL. Playing sports made me a better diabetic because I had to know my body and be consistent with my plan.

Type 1 Diabetes & Sports requires a plan for blood sugars
This is an example of a
good plan for 
Type 1 diabetes & sports. 

Keep water, Gatorade,
complex carbs
fast acting carbs on hand
high & low BGs!
Customize your plan to work for you!

Come up with a plan that works for you!

I encourage you to come up with a plan that works for you. Find a water/sports drink ratio and stick to it. Find a complex carbohydrate that works for you. My favorite “go to” is an apple and peanut butter.

Write your plan down and follow it! Being a disciplined diabetic helps you become a disciplined athlete! It’s a win, win!


Written by Brandon Green
published on 8/1/2017 by Type 1 To Go

Brandon Green was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 10. He has played a multitude of sports throughout High School. He has a degree in Kinesiology from Rice University where he played football throughout college. Brandon played in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams and ended his career with the Seattle Seahawks. In addition to playing sports at all levels, Brandon has coached Middle School and High School sports. For athletics and diabetes, he brings a complete perspective from player to coach.

An avid spokesman for Type 1 Diabetes, Brandon Green is a motivational speaker encouraging children and families living with diabetes. In addition to his professional career with Sundance Memory Care, he blogs and provides support for For more information on Brandon Green, please visit his page here.

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This information provided for general use only.
It is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice.
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 Related Blogs to this Post

Related Tools to this Topic

Athletic Practices Guide for Diabetics by Brandon Green

Coaches Playbook for Diabetics by Brandon Green 

Extracurricular Activities Checklist  (For Diabetic Students in Public School) 

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