What is dextrose?

Food supplements

What is dextrose?

Dextrose is a simple sugar made from corn and is chemically identical to glucose, blood sugar. Dextrose is often used in baked goods as a sweetener and is also found in processed foods and corn syrup. Is dextrose good or bad for your health? What are its uses? What are its benefits for athletes? Explanations.

Dextrose: what is it?

Dextrose is similar to fructose and glucose. It is a type of simple sugar made from corn similar to fructose and chemically identical to glucose. Simple sugars, including dextrose, fructose, and glucose, are found in foods like table sugar, honey, and bread. Dextrose is also often used as an artificial sweetener or to increase the shelf life of food.

In medicine, dextrose is used to treat hypoglycaemia or as a contrast product for certain medical examinations such as MRIs.

Is dextrose good or bad for your health?

Nevertheless, the use of dextrose may also benefit some people under certain conditions.

The uses of dextrose in medicine

Doctors often combine dextrose with saline solution for rehydration of patients. But its application does not stop there:

  • Dextrose is ideal for quickly treating hypoglycaemia

  • For rapid rehydration

  • To serve as a carrier for amino acids or other substances

Diabetic patients are often advised to carry dextrose tablets with them at all times. They dissolve quickly in the mouth and quickly absorb sugar in blood sugar disorders. After the tablet is taken, the blood glucose level quickly returns to normal.

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Dextrose and athletic performance

Dextrose and stamina

During training : dextrose can increase the duration of the effort by bringing quickly usable sugar to the muscle fibres. Riders are advised to take a dextrose tablet or a sip of a sports drink at least every 30 minutes on rides longer than two hours.

Post workout : dextrose is ideal for muscle recovery, especially since it improves the transport of BCAAs and amino acids from proteins such as whey.

Dextrose and bodybuilding

Bodybuilders can derive many benefits from the consumption of dextrose, especially when they are in the mass gain phase. That said, athletes looking to bulk up while maintaining muscle definition can also benefit from dextrose.

For mass gain : Consuming dextrose during training will stimulate muscle fibers to work harder and longer. Indeed, the limiting factor of performance is fatigue! And especially the depletion of glycogen stores and therefore of ATP. By consuming dextrose throughout his session, the bodybuilder will be able to lift more loads and provide more intensity.

For muscle building : the goal of this process is to gain volume without “making fat”. In this case, there is no need to take dextrose during training. On the other hand, it is strongly advised to consume it afterwards. During the few hours following a sports session, the body absorbs all nutrients more efficiently than at any time of the day. And sugars are also concerned. Not only do they replenish muscle and hepatic glycogen stores, but they also promote the transport of amino acids into the muscles.

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A dose of dextrose with whey or BCAAs right after training is ideal for gaining lean muscle mass.

How much dextrose?

Studies have shown that the optimal amount of dextrose needed to induce a post-workout insulin surge is 60-75g. Dextrose is particularly effective when mixed with creatine, whey, BCAAs and glutamine. The insulin spike created by dextrose promotes the transport and absorption of nutrients by muscle fibers.

Before and during training, a dose of 20g is often recommended, to be diluted in a liter of water.

Attention endurance athletes : dilute your carbohydrate drink according to the outside temperature so as not to suffer from dehydration.

Also to read

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Which BCAAs for running?

Energy inputs

What dietary supplements for endurance sports?

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