Is Dextrose Bad for You?

Before trying to find out "Is dextrose bad for you?" we first figure out what dextrose is. Dextrose, a simple sugar and a form of glucose, is naturally found in some foods, including fruits and honey. Most people use the terms glucose and dextrose interchangeably. Manufacturers use dextrose as a filler or to sweeten certain foods – it also helps add texture to food. It is commonly used in cookies, sauces, candies, cake mixes, frozen desserts, and energy drinks. Some people use it in savory foods such as canned foods, cured meats, pickles, pretzels, and crackers.

Many people think dextrose is bad for your health, and it is not easy to spot if a product contains it because it is referred to as many other names, such as wheat sugar, corn sugar, d-glucose, dextrose monohydrate, rice sugar and grape sugar. So is dextrose really bad for you? Should you eliminate it from your diet? Let's find out more about it.

Is Dextrose Bad for You?

No, it is not, if taken in moderation. It is a good idea to limit your dextrose intake considering you may already have other type of sugar in your food, which helps you maintain a healthy weight and good overall health.

Besides, you should limit your intake because dextrose is considered an added sugar. The American Heart Association has mentioned that on average, men should keep their intake of added sugars below 36g a day, whereas women should consume no more than 24g of added sugars a day. This refers to all types of added sugars, including syrup, table sugar, corn syrup, honey, brown sugar, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, fructose, molasses, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose. Unfortunately, most people consume 3-4 times the recommended amounts of added sugar a day, which is why it is important to pay attention to how much dextrose you have in your diet.

Great Functions of Dextrose

Is dextrose bad for you? It does not affect you much if you keep an eye on how much you consume. Actually, when consumed in moderation, it is actually beneficial for your health.

  • The cells in your body metabolize dextrose and keep you active. Many bodybuilders rely on dextrose supplements to load their body up with enough carbs after a workout – this helps increase muscle mass.
  • By increasing the production of insulin, dextrose improves blood circulation and helps your body deliver more blood to the muscles, which in turn improves nutrient absorption. This also helps metabolize protein and ensures proper muscle development.
  • Your body can store dextrose in the form of glycogen, which is converted into energy when you are not providing your body with enough dextrose. This helps maintain energy and ensures that your body functions optimally.
  • Dextrose is a fast-digesting sugar, which means that it helps replenish energy in a very short time. Consuming it within half an hour of completing your workout will make you feel active again. It helps repair and build muscles when consumed with a source of protein such as rolled turkey meat or string cheese.


Manufacturers of different products use dextrose to increase the shelf life of their products. When used in baked goods, it helps them brown easily; when used in wines, it helps improve the fermentation process. You can also use it to preserve certain foods in a better way because it is not as sweet as regular sugar is.

Dextrose also has medical purposes and is an ingredient used in solutions that are given intravenously. Combined with other drugs, it may help improve your blood sugar levels to provide you with an energy boost. However, this may reduce the level of sodium in the blood.

Side Effects of Consuming Dextrose

Is dextrose bad for you? It is not unless you already have an underlying condition or consume too much of it. Here are some precautions and side effects you may experience after consuming dextrose.

  • With a glycemic index of 100, dextrose is not safe for diabetics to use. Your blood sugar level may go up instantly after taking dextrose, which may lead to several complications.
  • Excessive consumption may lead to a buildup of fat. That happens because your body metabolizes simple sugars instantly and stores them as fat if you are eating more than what is required. This may contribute to obesity.
  • Avoid taking too much or it may lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which glucose stays in your blood stream for too long. This happens because dextrose can increase the release of insulin, which may make you feel tired and increase risk of many diseases.
  • Studies show that there may be a link between excessive consumption of added sugar and heart disease. Increased consumption of added sugars doubles the risk of developing heart disease as compared to those who consume the least added sugars. 
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