Athlete’s Blood Sugar Study – Part 2

In my post (Looking Closer at the Athlete’s Blood Sugar Study) I took a quick look at this study (Felicity Thomas, BE(Hons), Chris G. Pretty, PhD, Thomas Desaive, PhD, and J. Geoffrey Chase, PhD. Blood Glucose Levels of Subelite Athletes During 6 Days of Free Living. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2016 Oct; 10(6): 1335–1343.)

Let’s do a deeper dive on the data and see what trends we can detect. Fortunately, at least some of the data was published:

BMI vs Fasting Blood Sugars

First, let’s test the question of the correspondence of Fasting Blood Sugar levels and BMI.

There was a linear association between the Fasting Blood Glucose (FGB) and Body Mass Index (BMI). The R^2 was small, at 0.12. The BMI range of these individuals was also less than a typical population since they were athletes.

Reference: Regression Analysis: How Do I Interpret R-squared and Assess the Goodness-of-Fit?

Fasting Blood Sugar vs Body Fat Percentage

Looking at Body Fat Percentage vs Fasting Blood Sugar shows a similar correlation to BMI. The R^2 value of 0.15was similar to the BMI value.

Fat Free Mass vs Fasting Blood Sugar

So does having a larger fat free mass help with fasting blood sugars?

Unfortunately this goes the wrong way. Rather than leading to a lower blood sugar more fat free mass leads to higher blood sugar but with the same R^2 number of 0.14.

Fasting Blood Sugar vs Fasting Insulin Secretion

There is a negative correlation between Fasting Blood Sugar and Fasting Insulin Secretion.

This is also a weak correlation with an R^2 of 0.056. Although the individuals had higher fasting blood sugars they also produced less insulin in the fasted condition.

Fasting Blood Sugar vs Post-prandial Insulin

Fasting blood sugar showed the largest correlation to post-prandial Insulin levels with an R^2 of 0.56. Individuals with poorer blood sugar control produced more insulin than others.

Fasting Blood Sugar vs Age

Although age is often viewed as central to a loss of control of blood sugar, in this group the association was not present in this data set.

Exercise Amount per Day vs VO2max

I’ve often wondered how well the amount of time a person exercises each day affected their VO2max number. There’s a small positive correlation between the two. The R^2 was only 0.11.

Fasting Blood Glucose vs Glucose Time in Band

Glucose Time in Band was the percentage of the time that blood sugars were within the “good” range.

There was a relatively strong negative correlation between the time fasting blood glucose and the Glucose Time in band. The R^2 value was 0.74.

This leads me to conclude that fasting blood sugar numbers were a good indicator of the glucose time in band.

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