Dextrose is a simple sugar that is created from corn and shares an identical chemical makeup as glucose. If you read the ingredients of the foods you buy, you’ll notice dextrose is a common ingredient used to sweeten processed foods, corn syrup, and baking products. Because it is a simple sugar, consuming it causes a rapid increase in our blood sugar, and our bodies can use dextrose quickly for energy, but it is lacking any nutritional value. Dextrose has medical purposes as well, as it can be dissolved in a solution and combined with other medications delivered intravenously to increase an individual’s blood sugar.
How is Dextrose Used Medically?
When a patient arrives at the hospital in a dehydrated state or with low blood sugar, a doctor may prescribe an IV solution containing dextrose, amino acids, and fats. Dextrose injections may be used if a person has high levels of potassium, followed by intravenously delivered insulin. The insulin treats the elevated potassium levels while dextrose prevents the individual from experiencing hypoglycemia.
For individuals with either hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or diabetes, a doctor may prescribe a dextrose tablet or gel that they keep with them in case their blood sugar levels drop too low. The tablets or gel is placed in the individual’s mouth where they dissolve and quickly return the blood sugar level to more acceptable levels. People with low blood sugar experience confusion, fast-beating heart, weakness, and sweating.
How is Dextrose Used for Bodybuilding?
For bodybuilders looking to increase their weight and muscle, dextrose powder is sometimes used as a nutritional supplement. Dextrose is calorie-dense and the body can quickly access it for energy, making it ideal for powering through a workout. It’s important to note that using dextrose may deliver bodybuilders with extra energy, but it’s lacking protein and fat, both nutrients needed to promote burning fat. We recommend a more nutritionally complete source of energy and fat burning supplement, which is our fat burner called Cinerate.
Adding dextrose to your after workout drink is becoming popular. This is when your body is ready to accept whatever nutrients you ingest and delivers it directly to your muscles which are starving for nutrition since they’ve just used up the glycogen to fuel the workout. Using dextrose post-workout is a strategy many people use in combination with their fat burner or muscle gaining supplements to maximize their results.
One way to add dextrose to your diet is to add it to your whey protein shake after your workout. Take 1.5 times the number of grams of protein. If you are taking 30 grams of whey protein, take about 45 grams of dextrose.
Side Effects and Concerns for Using Dextrose
A doctor will not prescribe dextrose to individuals with certain medical conditions as it can cause high blood sugar or swelling and fluid buildup in the lungs. If you have any of the following conditions you should avoid dextrose:
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Low potassium levels (hypokalemia)
- Swelling in arms, legs, or feet (peripheral edema)
- Fluid build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Corn allergies