BACKGROUND: Long hyperglycemic episodes trigger complications in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. Postprandial glucose excursions can be reduced by acute physical activity. However, it is not yet clear which type of exercise has the best effect on postprandial glucose levels.
METHODS: Six T2DM patients participated in three 20-min moderate-intensity exercise sessions after breakfast in a randomized order: resistance exercise with whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS), resistance exercise without electromyostimulation (RES) and cycling endurance exercise (END). A continuous glucose monitoring system recorded glucose dynamics.
RESULTS: Postprandially-increased glucose levels decreased in all cases. Time to baseline (initial value prior to meal intake) was quite similar for WB-EMS, RES and END. Neither glucose area under the curve (AUC), nor time in range from the start of the experiment to its end (8 h later) differed significantly. A Friedman analysis of variance, however, revealed an overall significant difference for AUC in the post-exercise recovery phase (END seems to have superior effects, but post-hoc tests failed statistical significance).
CONCLUSIONS: There are no notable differences between the effects of the different types of exercise on glucose levels, especially when comparing values over a longer period of time.