Day-to-Day Glycemic Variability Using Continuous Glucose Monitors in Endurance Athletes

Amy Lee M. Bowler*, Louise M. Burke, Vernon G. Coffey, Gregory R. Cox

*Corresponding author for this work

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The application of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to measure interstitial glucose in athletic populations is limited by the lack of accepted athlete-specific reference values. The aim of this study was to develop athlete-specific reference ranges for glycemic variability under standardized diet and exercise conditions. 


A total of 12 elite racewalkers (n = 7 men, 22.4 ± 3.5 years, VO2max 61.6 ± 7.3 mL kg−1 min−1) completed two 4-d trials separated by 4-d. Athletes were provided a high-energy, high-carbohydrate diet (225 ± 1.6 kJ kg−1 day−1, 8.4 ± 0.3 g kg−1 day−1 carbohydrate) and completed standardized daily exercise. The timing of food consumed and exercise undertaken were matched each day across the 4-d trials. Interstitial glucose data were collected via Freestyle Libre 2 CGMs. Glycemic variability was calculated as the mean amplitude of glycemic excursions (MAGEs), mean of daily differences (MODD), and standard deviation (SD). 


Twenty-four hour MODD, MAGE, and SD for interstitial glucose were 12.6 ± 1.8 mg/dL (0.7 ± 0.1 mmol/L), 36.0 ± 5.4 mg/dL (2.0 ± 0.3 mmol/L), and 16.2 ± 1.8 mg/dL (0.9 ± 0.1 mmol/L), respectively. Twenty-four hour mean glucose (MG; 102.6 ± 5.4 mg/dL [5.7 ± 0.3 mmol/L]) was higher than overnight (91.8 ± 5.4 mg/dL [5.1 ± 0.3 mmol/L]; P <.0001) and was lower in women than men (99.0 ± 3.6 mg/dL [5.5 ± 0.2 mmol/L] vs 104.4 ± 3.6 mg/dL [5.8 ± 0.2 mmol/L]; P =.059, d = 1.4). 


This study provides reference indices under standardized diet and exercise conditions for glycemic variability derived from CGMs in endurance athletes which are similar than previously reported for healthy individuals, despite strenuous daily training and a high daily energy and carbohydrate diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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