Diabetes affects performance of young athletes, but they can still manage a good performance, a new study has found.
A participants' athletic prowess is sapped by low blood glucose, a condition known as hypoglycemia.
Their cognitive abilities also suffer.
"Our results show that those with diabetes can compete on equal ground provided they learn to manage their condition," said lead researcher Michael Riddell, associate professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health.
Researchers found that sport skill performance suffered only slightly during hyperglycemia.
However results suggest the degree to which one's sport performance deteriorates depends on the individual.
"This could be related to the level of blood glucose concentration, the rate at which glucose drops, and the individual's capacity to maintain focus in the face of all these factors," Riddell said.
"Any obvious issues with performance - poor passing, failed free throws and serves - that are really out of the ordinary should be a warning sign to check blood glucose levels and add carbohydrates," he added.
The best way to boost blood sugar levels is to consume about 15-30 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as dextrose tablets, juice or a sports drink. They are rapidly absorbed and immediately replenish glucose in the blood stream.
The study is published in the International Journal of Paediatrics.