MEAD, K. S.; Denison University: Blood Sugar And Exercise: Inquiry-Based Laboratory Exercises About Homeostasis.
Three groups of undergraduate physiology students designed and carried out related laboratory experiments that examined the effect of exercise on blood glucose. All experiments used Freestyle glucometers to monitor blood glucose levels in normal, non-diabetic college students. The first set of experiments examined the effect of repeated short bouts of exercise on blood glucose. The subjects fasted for three hours, measured their blood sugar, consumed a high-carbohydrate meal, measured their blood sugar again, and exercised and rested at specific intensities and for specific time intervals. The last two steps were repeated four times. The second set of experiments compared the ability of different sports replacement drinks to maintain blood glucose levels after three different levels of exercise. As above, blood glucose readings were recorded after fasting, after ingestion of the replacement fluid, and after each exercise/rest interval. This set of experiments also surveyed the subjects’ general health and exercise patterns. The third set of experiments examined the effect of exercise on blood sugar when the exercise was before a carbohydrate load. The subjects fasted, measured their blood glucose, exercised at specific intensities and time intervals, ate a size-dependent high-carbohydrate meal, and monitored their blood glucose every 30 minutes for three hours. A follow-up class meeting used the lab datasets to introduce different methods of statistical analysis. Two of the student groups wrote up their results as short reports; another group communicated their results in the form of a publishable manuscript.