1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

trapshooting & the affects of low blood sugar

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by crustygalloot, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. crustygalloot

    crustygalloot TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    just wondering about the affects of low blood sugar on your ability to affectively shoot trap consistently. shot the worst round in my life and then
    realized i hadnt eaten all day. check my blood sugar when i got home and found it about 20 points lower than my normal fasting readings. not sure that this was a problem. just curious. any input appreciated.thank you in advance
     
  2. David McMillen

    David McMillen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,019
    Its called hypoglycemia(low blood suger), and yes it does affect your shooting. I am a type II diabetic, take medication for it, but when subjected to warmer temps, it wears me down. I get a feeling of light headedness and can't seem to move the gun. I try to have some carbs before shooting, and sometimes helps and other times it doesn't.

    David McMillen
     
  3. 9point3

    9point3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,198
    I have been really paying attention to my sugar while shooting. My meds are of a type that if I don't keep some carbs in my belly, my sugar will fall off.


    I eat a banana about 1/2 hour b4 I shoot and a pack of peanut butter crackers as I progress through the traps, one cracker before each 25(washed down with water). Seems to work for me. I used to fall off after the first 50 but lately I have been able to keep hope alive for all 100.
     
  4. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,715
    Blood sugar is the "fuel" that fuels your brain. When your blood sugar is low you can't mentally focus and your physical move slows. Kinda like being drunk. I can't imagine being able to shoot good scores while undergoing low blood sugar.
     
  5. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,876
    Location:
    Central Coast of California
    Gatorade makes a pre-workout drink called "Prime" that comes in a pouch. I have no idea how this might affect someone with diabetes, but I used these in extreme heat right before taking to the field. Along with Gatorade and water while shooting, it really helped my performance. The last thing is a recovery drink. Gatorade makes them as well as other companies.

    I found out the hard way that I have become more suceptible to heat and this improved nutrition/hydration routine makes a big difference in being able to shoot 100 targets at a time without falling off.
     
  6. Perazzi_MX8

    Perazzi_MX8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,697
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have had problems with blood sugars while shooting as well. I eat lightly at shoots until I finish all events. I snack all during the day to maintain adequate sugar levels, while taking my meds normally, and have a high sugar source if it falls too low.


    While shooting with low sugar levels I jump at targets and found my reflexes are compromised for great scores while jittery. If shooting while experiencing High sugar levels I'm lethargic and slow to move and track targets. Neither Low or High sugar levels are my friend while shooting. I hope this helps you out as it has worked for me. Duane Nicholson
     
  7. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Banned User Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,357
    Location:
    Nashville Tn
    Hypoglycemia will affect your cognitive and reactive brain (autopilot), and not for the better. If my autopilot does not work, I cannot shoot worth a flip, be it rifle, pistol, or (especially) shotgun.

    Having had all too much experience with fluctuating glucose levels, stuff just does not compute during a low glucose episode. Your scores will tank. You likely should not drive if levels are too low.
     
  8. flashmax

    flashmax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    6,212
    Location:
    Colorado
    For me low blood sugar means that I lose contrast in my vision. Things seem to be a bit brighter and even the dark parts wash out. Can't see targets, can't break targets. The other points above are valid as well and sugar levels effect is slightly different for everyone. If your sugars are low and you have a bit of bodyfat your system starts turning/burning fat into sugars. The more diabetic you are the less efficient your body is at turning fat into cell fuel so you might have to use the added carb loading between rounds. Just don't over do it because too many carbs will spike your sugars and cause problems of their own as you already know. The above link might give you some good information. Might be you already have seen the stuff. In any case too low a sugar level is dang near as bad as too high a level for us diabetics.

    P.S. My friends make fun of my old 20 oz. Tupperware drinking glass/coffee cup I carry everywhere. It has had 50,000 or so galons of coffee in it and has that old 'Navy' cup look. Blackened and oily looking on the inside. Thing is that when my sugars are a little high I have to have that water -right now- and so I carry the old cup along. They swear that when I run my first 100 straight this year they are going to shoot that cup instead of my hat. Best I've done is a pair of 98's in Singles and a 96 in 'caps but I want to watch that cup/glass defeat a load of 71/2's. HeH

    Don T. Littleton CO
     
  9. Ed Y

    Ed Y TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,424
    Location:
    Warren New Jersey
    You're lucky that you made it home. I hope that you weren't driving.

    Ed Yanchok
     
  10. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    8,542
    Location:
    HELL, MICHIGAN
    It's also on page 43, #425-(a), of the Official Trapshooters Excuse Book...
     
  11. Lovemy99

    Lovemy99 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    118
    I have been type 2 for about 20 yrs. now and, yes, it will affect your shooting. It can feel the symptoms while on the line and then I have to run and grab something with sugar in it. It's a real drag! Try to eat some carbs about 30 minutes before you head to the line. Peanut butter crackers are really good for this. Thank goodness for Lance crackers!
     
  12. Force Break

    Force Break TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    300
    I try to go in to the first trap about 140 and half of a banana after 50. I try to work the shooting in to my normal schedule of eating and snacking. But, I keep my glucometer handy just to check. I prefer it a little higher than lower for the time it takes to shoot. Everyone is different, so like with reloading experiment. Wayne
     
  13. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,865
    What was your blood suger reading at the time? You mentioned it was 20 points lower than your normal fasting blood sugar, but you don't mention what your "normal" fasting blood sugar is. 80? 160? At 60, you're touching hypoglycemia; at 140, you're actually hyperglycemic. Big difference between the two. Also keep in mind that sugar levels in your blood also affect sugar levels in the fluid in your eyes changing your visual acuity.
     
  14. shotgunpeople

    shotgunpeople Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,787
    Heat kicked the crap out of me, made me go way low, below 60. Insulin at every meal is watched closely, but standing in the sun for a long period of time does me in any more.

    My sight begins to go into a Brown Cloud like shape. I can still see but when I look at anything I have this cloud shape that makes everything look brown. I can still see colors in my periferal vision but not where I am looking. Damndest thing I ever experienced. Then the shakes begin and it's all over no matter what I eat or drink...I need rest for a few hours after this happens.

    I Quit ATA shooting as it was just getting too much to stand out in the sun for 100 targets at a time...(Among other things)

    Take care of yourself !

    Dave
     
  15. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,262
    You bet it will effect your shooting. Couple that with a little dehydration and you are lucky to make it home.

    Hope you can find a way to level it out.
     
  16. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Camdenton, MO
    My bet is NO one will take this advise as in the past. I give it every year about this time as heat comes on and Type 1's and Type 2's are struggling. To control sugar for a diabetic under summer shoot conditions(I'm Type 1 brittle), stick, Stick...STICK! Do it every half hour starting 2 hours before event. That way, no surprises when it's your time to shoot event. Gives you plenty notice if you're headed the wrong way---up or down.

    Brittle Type 1's are hardest to manage. I can go from 40 to 400 in less than 30 minutes so....if I can control it, you can too.

    In discussing control w/other diabetics over 45 plus years of having diabetes, the hardest thing to convince diabetics is to STICK more often. Their Endo's teach them to stick 3 times per day, maybe 4. That means for over 50% of the day and night, you have no idea what level you're at. At this year's Grand, if it's hot, I'll stick 10 times plus during the time I'm on the grounds...a little less after dark or if it's cool outside.

    If heat is draining you, you don't have enough fuel in you so eat a hardy meal...then keep sticking and testing your sugar level. If it's really hot, eat a full breakfast and hardy lunch. Carbs such as bread and potatoes are much better than fruit which has a more suttle effect. IT TAKES WORK!

    Good luck with it.

    milt
     
  17. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    774
    Had exactly the same problem at Ike Walton in Indiana a few years ago. No food all day (kitchen closed before I finished shooting), no snacks along, not checking my blood sugar. My old thread (maybe 2011 or so) generated a lot of comments, and it might still be available if you search. Search for "diabetic".

    Shot the worst handicap score of my life. Couldn't seem to focus on the bird, moved late and slow, clumsy. Felt weird on the way home, so I checked my sugar as soon as I got there, and it was scary low.

    Everybody handles it differently, but the advice to check your sugar between events is sound. You need to know what your pancreas is doing before you stress yourself up and go stand in the sun for an hour on a hot day.

    You have to work out for yourself what foods work. Quick carbs are definitely not the answer for me, because your sugar spikes and then crashes. I tried candy, crackers, cookies, peanut butter crackers, and none of them worked. What does work, at least for me is an apple, because it fills me up, digests over a longer period of time and avoids the sugar spikes. Bananas work, too. Something else might work for you, so all you can do is experiment a bit to see what works best, but think about sustained blood sugar levels, not a quick spike. And by experiment, I mean carefully, with your blood sugar meter, not just how you feel.

    Note that hot weather speeds up your metabolism as your body works to cool itself, so you're more likely to go low when it's hot. Hydrate with water or unsweetened iced tea and stay away from the magic bug juice, and fake sugar. If you don't have to pee at least once an hour before you shoot, you're dehydrated, and that just makes things worse. Take a bottle of cold water with you when you go out and have a couple of gulps between rounds to replace what you sweat out.

    It helps me a lot to keep my weight down and train for hot weather by practicing in it at my home club - it reduces the stress on your body. You can't just jump from an air conditioned world into the sun and expect to do well. You have to acclimate yourself before you go.

    $.02.
     
  18. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,715
    One time years ago I was working on this job where the foreman asked me to help him keep an eye on this kid because the kid was hypoglycemic. I was working along rewiring this old house and needed something from my truck. I walked past this kid on my way to my truck and he was standing outside the house swinging his hammer at something. It wasn't until I got to my truck that I broke out of my focus on the job at hand and realized this kid was swinging his hammer in slow motion. I hollered at the foreman and he and another guy practically poured a Coke down this guy's throat. I was afraid that was too much sugar and the kid was going to go into hyperglycemia but he didn't. That was a real eye opener for me about how crushing low blood sugar can be. I suffered from it the first 45 years of my life until my metabolism seemed to level out but I was never that bad.
     
  19. Birddogfella

    Birddogfella Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    central Virginia
    This has been a very informative thread. Thanks from an elderly Type II.
    olde pharte
     
  20. crustygalloot

    crustygalloot TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    MY BLOOD SUGAR IN THE AM BEFORE BREAKFAAST AVERAGES IN THE AREA OF 115 WHEN I GOT HOME CHECKED MY LEVEL AND IT WAS 96. I FELT FINE PHYSICALLY JUST HAD A TOUGH TIME WITH THE TARGETS. I AM NOT A GREAT SHOOTER. 23/24 ON 16'S. BROKE 24 THE FIRST ROUND AND BROKE 13 ON THE NEXT ROUND AFTER BS ING FOR A COUPLE HOURS.
    THOUGHT I WAS ON THE TARGETS BUT DEFINITELY WASNT. DONT THINK I SHOT 13 AFTER I CAME BACK AFTER HEART SURGERY. THANK YOU ALL FOR THE INPUT.GUESS I'LL HAVE TO PAY MORE ATTENTION.