Olympic athletes use diabetes glucose displays to hone efficiency, coaching

  • Steady glucose displays (CGMs) are coin-sized adhesive pores and skin patches with a Bluetooth hyperlink to a smartphone that diabetes sufferers put on on their pores and skin.
  • Some Olympians, together with Dutch marathon runner Abdi Nageeye, are utilizing CGMs to attempt to optimize their athletic efficiency.
  • Although CGMs maintain promise and the sphere is anticipated to develop considerably, there may be little validated science but on how one can optimize an athlete’s routines utilizing CGMs.

Olympians together with Dutch marathon runner Abdi Nageeye are utilizing a brand new device they hope will enhance their medal probabilities this summer time: tiny displays that connect to the pores and skin to trace blood glucose ranges.

Steady glucose displays or CGMs, had been developed to be used by diabetes sufferers however their makers, led by Abbott and Dexcom, additionally spy alternatives in sports activities and wellness.

The Paris Olympics, which begin on July 26, are a possibility to showcase the expertise – regardless that there may be as but no proof it may enhance athletic efficiency.

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“I do see a day the place CGM is definitely going for use exterior of diabetes in a giant approach,” mentioned Dexcom’s Chief Working Officer Jacob Leach.

Diabetes sufferers stay the CGM specialist’s industrial focus, he instructed Reuters, however Dexcom can be working with researchers on future use to optimize athletic efficiency. He wouldn’t disclose particulars.

The CGM market is already price billions of {dollars} because of demand from diabetes sufferers, who use the coin-sized adhesive pores and skin patches with a Bluetooth hyperlink to a smartphone as a substitute of drawing blood by a finger stick. The readings assist decide whether or not they want an insulin dose.

Dutch runner Abdi Nageeye wears a CGM (steady glucose monitor) on his higher left arm as he competes within the 2022 Rotterdam marathon, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in April 2022. (NN Working Crew/Handout by way of Reuters/File Picture)

In March, Dexcom’s Stelo system, focusing on individuals with early-stage diabetes who should not on insulin, turned the primary CGM to win U.S. approval for buy and not using a prescription. Launch is deliberate for this summer time.

Abbott launched a CGM product for novice and elite sports activities customers with out diabetes in Europe as early as 2020 and has sponsored Kenyan marathon nice Eliud Kipchoge and his crew since 2021. Prime athletes and their assist workers have been utilizing CGMs to optimize calorie consumption and exercise depth as they put together for sports activities occasions.

Abbott mentioned it’s focusing on the non-diabetic shopper market. It’s eyeing a U.S. launch for its Lingo system and smartphone app for well being and wellbeing, out there in Britain since January at a value of $152-$190 per thirty days.

Gross sales of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre vary, essentially the most generally used CGMs, rose 23% to $5.3 billion in 2023 on demand from diabetes sufferers who worth their ease of use and monitoring precision. Dexcom noticed 2023 income develop 24% to $3.6 billion.

Analysis agency GlobalData forecasts the life-style CGM market may develop almost 15% a 12 months to achieve $9.9 billion by 2031, partly pushed by customers of weight-loss medicine like Wegovy who search med-tech devices to assist weight-reduction plan efforts.

Different market researchers estimate the general CGM market together with diabetic use, with suppliers like Medtronic, will develop 9-10% yearly over 5 years.

PREPARING FOR PARIS

Dutch marathoner Nageeye, who gained silver on the Tokyo Olympics, mentioned he and his coaches are monitoring blood glucose as an indicator of the physique’s out there power, a part of his quest for an “easy run”.

CGM use has guided Nageeye, who has certified for Paris, to work on sleeping and consuming patterns in order that he expends a minimal of power throughout coaching.

“That is your power, really, that is your gas. We have now to watch that,” mentioned Nageeye. His crew has been sponsored by Abbott since April 2021.

Australian swimmer Chelsea Hodges, who gained relay gold on the Tokyo Olympics, mentioned CGMs had helped her treatment bouts of maximum exhaustion and dizziness throughout endurance coaching by making changes to her calorie consumption and coaching occasions.

She spoke to Reuters whereas making ready for Paris, however not too long ago ended her swimming profession resulting from hip issues.

Whereas corporations see development potential within the devices, sports activities diet scientists see a promising discipline of analysis.

“An enormous guesswork for endurance athletes has all the time been: am I coaching exhausting sufficient or am I coaching too exhausting? It appears with CGMs, now we have a greater understanding,” mentioned Affiliate Professor Filip Larsen of the Swedish Faculty of Sport and Well being Sciences.

Larsen, additionally chief science officer of sports activities efficiency consultancy agency svexa, mentioned the agency has been analyzing CGM knowledge collected by a number of athletes and groups. He mentioned svexa just isn’t sponsored by any CGM maker.

Larsen warned, nevertheless, that there was little validated science but on how one can optimize an athlete’s routines utilizing CGMs.

“Most researchers can not provide the actual solutions. In 5 years, we’ll know 10 occasions as a lot as we do now.”

However the discipline is abuzz with trials and experiments, together with work on glucose-measuring contact lenses.

Sports activities dietician Greg Cox, affiliate professor at Australia’s Bond College, has labored with swimmers together with Hodges and rowers, triathletes and observe athletes.

Outcomes of a trial run by his crew to check how not consuming sufficient energy to maintain the depth of train would have an effect on endurance athletes’ glucose readings have up to now been inconclusive, and he mentioned extra analysis into CGMs was wanted.

Each Cox and Larsen expressed skepticism about non-diabetic shoppers utilizing the expertise for well being and health with out skilled recommendation.

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“What I see on social media is that standard, wholesome individuals get scared after they had one banana and their blood glucose goes up actually excessive for one hour. That is utterly anticipated and a traditional response,” mentioned Larsen.

Market chief Abbott instructed Reuters that understanding blood-glucose swings is essential to managing one’s metabolism for a more healthy life.

“Whereas glucose spikes are regular in wholesome individuals, we additionally know that having fewer frequent and enormous spikes and crashes in glucose is related to improved power, temper, focus, sleep, and reduces cravings,” a spokesperson mentioned.

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