A decrement in blood glucose (BG) may be observed in patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) when exercise is performed after a meal, in contrast to fasting. We determined the impact of different pre-exercise meal macronutrient compositions with modulation of the glycaemic index (GI) on glucose regulation during exercise in patients with T2DM. Using a randomized, single-blind crossover design, 10 sedentary men performed five exercise sessions, once after an overnight fast, and also after each of four test meals, consisting of a high-fat/low-carbohydrate meal, a high-GI meal, a low-GI meal, and a low-calorie meal. Pre-exercise BG and insulin levels were comparable for all four meals. Exercise decreased BG and insulin levels during all meal conditions (all P < 0.001) compared with the fasting state in which BG levels did not change. The magnitude of BG and insulin decrements was similar after consuming the low-calorie, the high-GI and the high-fat/low-carbohydrate meals, whereas the low-GI meal induced the lowest BG fall. Adrenaline response was higher after consumption of the high-, the low-GI and the low-caloric meals compared with the high-fat/low-carbohydrate meal and with the fasting state (P < 0.05). This study underlines the beneficial effect of low-GI foods and the differential impact of pre-exercise meal macronutrient composition on BG decrease. This may protect against exercise-induced hypoglycaemia, and reiterates the safety of exercising while fasting in T2DM patients.