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My experience with ULTRAHUMAN CGM M1

If you ask me to rank my purchases or investments related to triathlon or sport in general, for the moment, the Ultrahuman CGM(continuous glucose monitor) M1 is at the top of that list.

Ever since my tryst with covid infection in the march of 2022 and the subsequent 12 month break after, my cardiovascular system was affected for sure. But even before this, during my prep for the IM 70.3 Dubai, I faced severe gastric issues. In fact I had diarrhea the night before race day that hindered my performance. Severe gastritis and bloating was a common issue.

I started my prep back to peak 70.3 fitness and for my 2024 race season in the mid of march. Even after recovering from covid, I still felt it hampered my usual appetite and caused me frequent gastritis. Since daily nutrition for fueling and recovering well for workouts is key to get back to fitness, I decided to get the Ultrahuman M1 to get real-time data on my glucose response and to optimize my pre, intra and post workout nutrition. Little did I know it helped me other alleviate the negative symptoms mentioned above too! Below is the list of key findings and learning from the M1 sensor.

Some basic info on glucose and responses:

After you eat, there is rise in blood glucose/sugar levels and insulin is secreted. An optimal increase in the blood glucose level is a steady rise and a gradual slope. The standard normal range is between 70-110 ml/dl. So a food item that causes a huge spike and a crash after is not an optimal food choice unless these are isotonic drinks or energy gels where the glucose spike is needed during a race or hard training session. Again the key here is to keep giving the body the nutrition in the forms of carbs during race or training to keep topping up the energy stores and not get in to a downward trajectory and eventually a crash. So a CGM (continuous glucose monitor like the UH M1 can give you feedback on how you fueled for the training session and if your intra workout or race nutrition was optimal. Ideally, a hyperglycemic range(>110 ml/dL) and maintaining the levels through a training session will be optimal. Since race day nutrition is the main limiting factor for a triathlete, dialing in the race day nutrition is of utmost importance! It does not matter how fit you are, if your sodium levels or low or carb stores are low, you will bonk and hobble to the finish line.

NOTE: These data and inference from them are for my body. The responses to different foods are very individualistic.

  1. I had a very poor response to quaker oats. I have always had oatmeal with whey protein and fruits as a breakfast for 6 years. Recently though, I have felt that this meal take 3 to 4 hours to digest and always made me drowsy after. I thought this was due to maybe dairy intolerance, so I switched to plant protein. This issue didn't seem to stop. After the data from the M1, I confirmed twice that this issue was caused by the oats! Even the Yoga bar dark chocolate oats that I consume now suits me considerably better. Fig1 is the quaker oats. Fig2 and Fig3 are the yoga bar dark chocolate oats

Quaker oats

Yoga bar dark chocolate oats

2. I had a bigger spike with a Royal Gala apple than the sweeter Banganapalli mangoes. Again this was tested twice and both measured such that they had the same calories. But this has to be conformed with more times and with different varieties of these fruits. I also tried a combination of orange and mango and found it had a induced an optimal response too.

3. My new race and training carb source has been maple syrup with Unived hydration mix for sodium. This has been amazing to my gut as I really look forward to having it during my training session. I can now have up to 90-100g of carbs with a combination of maple syrup + Unived hydration mix and Fast & up Gel and Iso(very diluted). Before I could handle a max of 75g of carbs per hour with gels and isotonic drinks. After Covid, gels don't sit well with me, so a switch to natural carb source which tastes amazing has been a great revelation. The CGM confirms that I have a very good response to this. And I feel great during the workout too. I have a very minimal dip even after consuming very fast digesting simple sugars!

4. The Whole Truth Protein bars are my go to snack and it also has a very positive response. Even the Max protein chocochip cookie is good for me. One of my standard breakfast include a Pb and banana sandwich with honey in it, 55g whole truth protein bar.

5. I had a great response to decent amount of honey in my sandwich but had a poor response( massive spike and crash) to tiny bit of Kissan jam! This could indicate that naturally sourced sugar has a better glucose response than processed sugars!

6. Pasta, White rice and Whole Wheat bread & Roti, Bananas are the best carbs for me, digestion and glucose response wise.

Bananas & Rice cakes

The Whole Truth Protein bar

Pasta meal with protein as low fat paneer eaten first

Flavored Epigamia Greek Yogurt (with added sugar) paired with higher protein SKYR from milky mist

Max Protein Chocochip cookie with banana

7. The order of eating different macronutrients did play a role in the level of spike and the latency time of the initiation of the glucose spike. Eating Protein or fat dominant foods first I found were causing the spike and the dip to be more gradual. It did not matter if I has pasta, bread or even fruit as the carb. It induced a better glucose response than just a carbohydrate source alone. This confirms and reiterates the fact that protein in every meal is important for recovery, muscle building and weight loss!

8. The data from the sensor helped me recover from the GI issues and eat only foods I have a positive glucose response with.

9. It helped me confirm or deny generic nutrition guidelines. Unless you test it for yourself, you cannot blindly follow something that works for another person.

I will be experimenting more with the M1 sensor as I get close to race specific workouts and on race day itself to optimize my race nutrition and to see how my fueling strategy worked on race day!

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