Updated: 01/17/2018

This review is what happened after I obsessed for weeks over Dextrose. We really took the time to dig deep and conduct a thorough investigation, scrutinizing the ingredients, side effects, scientific studies and level of customer service. We additionally read all sorts of user comments and feedback from all over the internet. Lastly, we compressed all of the facts and specifics we found to give you the info you really need.

Dextrose Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Burn HD.

What is Dextrose?

Dextrose is described as a simple sugar extracted from corn or starch. It is chemically similar to blood sugar or glucose, and if you are a baker, you are likely to use it as a sweetener for your products.

Various processed foods, such as corn syrup, contain dextrose solution, but you may not notice because can go by many names, like rice sugar, corn sugar, or grape sugar. [1]

In the medical industry, it is dissolved in intravenously administered drugs. You can also use it to increase your blood sugar level.

It is worth noting that your body consumes simple sugars almost instantly. They have a potential of raising blood sugar levels and add zero nutritional value to your body.

Apart from glucose, other simple sugars include galactose and fructose. Classic examples of products made of simple sugars include honey, refined sugar, and white pasta.

How Was Dextrose Discovered?

The history of dextrose dates back to 1844, as the Corn Refiners Association states. Originally, starch was extracted from corn refining and was used for laundry purposes. [2]

As the procedure advanced and people became more conversant with it, the idea of extracting dextrose from corn starch was born in 1866. The idea did not stop there, and by the 1920s, corn syrup was already on the market.

The process involved in obtaining dextrose is different from that of beet and cane sugar. It entails the synthetic transformation of unsweet laundry starch to produce sweet powders and syrups.

Dextrose is an essential ingredient both as crystalline and corn syrup. It is reasonably priced as compared with regular sugar, and you can substitute it with cane or beet refined sugars for various purposes.

The FDA describes dextrose powder as a particular chemical that is commonly referred to as dextrose or D-glucose. [3]

Dextrose Customer Testimonials

Dextrose Claims

In the late 1920s, Corn Products Refining Company released an advert claiming that candy was a healthy option for weight watchers.

The company claimed that, since your body tissues use glucose directly, chances that you will become fat from consuming it were limited.

They also claimed that both cane and beet sugar form sucrose which, when combined with glucose and fructose, are likely to make you fat, since this form of sugar is unnatural in the body.

Glucose Storage in the Body

Glucose is broken down from the foods you eat, such as carbohydrates. Your body transports it through the bloodstream into the body cells to ensure they are energized. [4]

When there is excess glucose in your body, it is converted into glycogen through glycogenesis, a chemical procedure. This glycogen is stored in your liver and muscle tissues, which can come in handy when there is a drop in blood sugar levels.

Your muscle tissues and liver can only store a limited amount of glycogen in your body. When there is more than they can store, the body stores the excess as fat cells.

While fat acts as a back up for prospective energy, it can contribute to obesity and weight gain when excess amounts are present in the body. [5]

Does Dextrose Work?

The answer to this question depends on a few things:

  • What do you seek to achieve from it?
  • What are your health resolutions?
  • Do you have tangible reasons for using it?
  • What are your weight goals?

Regardless of your answers, there are certain things you should keep in mind.

Dextrose is both good and bad for your health. Considering the fact that much of it is broken down from highly processed foods, it may cause more harm to your body than good.

On the other hand, in today’s world, people are exercising more and embracing post-exercise drinks. Taking dextrose made from corn right after a workout may allow the body to restore nutrient levels and retain energy.

It might be useful to include dextrose in your post-workout meals, as it is easily digested, which means that your body will absorb it fast and enable you to regain lost energy.

Dextrose made from corn is reasonably priced and considered safe. Additionally, you can conveniently take dextrose supplement on the go by mixing it with your protein shake.

Dextrose Benefits and Results

If you plan to use a dextrose supplement for your dietary goals and needs, chances are you will want to understand its benefits.

Easy Absorption

Dr. John Berardi, a nutritional researcher, says that unlike whole foods, dextrose is absorbed faster in your body, which is why it is recommended immediately after a workout.

He also mentioned that dextrose IV fluids are capable of supplying your muscles with nutrients immediately after consumption.

Healthy Source of Carbohydrates

Dextrose IV contains sufficient carbohydrates. Remember, your body requires carbohydrates for adequate energy. It is, therefore an ideal meal supplement for you if you are an active individual or an athlete. [6]

Good Nutritional Value

Dextrose does not contain fat. If you are on a low-fat diet plan, you may want to incorporate dextrose IV fluids into your diet.

It also has no cholesterol. Cholesterol is a major cause of heart-related complications and other health problems.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says that you should not consume more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol daily. [7]

Dextrose IVs does not contain sodium either.

Excess sodium in the body results in water retention and a subsequent bloated appearance. It can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.

Dextrose and Weight Loss

Dextrose is sugar that may be used for weight gain and bodybuilding.

Endurance athletes have also been known to use it moderately before training. If you are using it for the latter, make sure your body gets sufficient sodium.

While you may want to use dextrose IV fluids for weight loss, it is unlikely that you will gain any tangible results. This is because dextrose is a simple sugar that gets easily absorbed and stored in the body. [8]

By now you know that stored glucose increases your chances of becoming fat, a major contributing factor to weight gain.
If you are struggling with weight loss, then it is better to try more effective weight loss diet plans.

How to Use (Take) Dextrose

Should you take dextrose before or after a workout?

Colorado State University Extension states that taking dextrose before a workout can cause low blood sugar and dehydration. This may cause a decrease in workout performance. [9]

However, if you can take it two or more hours before the workout, then these effects may be minimal.

According to the university, if you want to maximize your gains, you should take dextrose within 30 minutes post workout.

Where possible, mix it with a protein to repair and replenish your muscles. The solution can be intravenously administered or taken with whey protein, creatine, or glutamine.

Potential Dextrose Side Effects

Although dextrose is sugar that is essential to the body cells, excess intake can cause different side effects which include hyperglycemia and weight gain.

Hyperglycemia can be described as a large amount of blood sugar in your body. [11]

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome or diabetic ketoacidosis.

One of the more common side effects of dextrose consumption is weight gain. Excess consumption of this substance may supply your body with excess glucose, which is stored as fat in the cells.

The body may use stored fat to replenish depleted energy levels. However, chances are that the fat will result in undesirable weight gain.

Other side effects may include severe dehydration, diarrhea, unconsciousness, and edema. [12]

Common Dextrose IV Fluids Side Effects

As we mentioned before, dextrose can be administered in combination with other drugs. Your practitioner will advise you depending on your needs. [13]

Just like any other substance or supplement you are likely to get dextrose IV side effects. These may include:

  • Hypervolemia
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Blood Clots
  • Fever

Dextrose Product Warnings

You may have to avoid glucose if you exhibit allergic reactions after taking dextrose.

If you are taking dextrose for the first time, look out for possible reactions, especially if you have diabetes.

Types of Dextrose IV Solution

There are various types of dextrose IV solutions, including:

  • D5NS whose saline is normal at 0.9.% d/v of NaCI, with a 5% dextrose
  • D5W features water in 5% dextrose and contains 278 mmol/L of dextrose
  • D5LR comes with lactated Ringer solution in 5% dextrose
  • D5 1/2NS comes with a half quantity of normal saline contained in 5% of dextrose, or 0.45% w/v of NaCI.
  • D50 contains water in 50% of dextrose.

The percentage is defined as a mass percentage, meaning that every 5% dextrose/glucose solution has 50 g/l of dextrose/glucose. [14]

Dextrose vs. Glucose

If you are trying to compare dextrose vs. glucose, you need to understand that both substances are monosaccharides or simple sugars. Even then, the two differ.

Glucose, also known as L-glucose presents itself naturally in two molecular groups known as isomers. While the glucose isomers have similar molecules, they are reflected in varying arrangements. [15]

Dextrose, on the other hand, is referred to as D-glucose. It’s a type of glucose that is present in natural foods and plants.

Additionally, dextrose is found in your blood. It supplies your body with energy from metabolized carbohydrates.

While D-glucose and L-glucose have similar tastes, your stomach only metabolizes D-glucose which your body uses for energy. This means that if you are on a low-calorie diet, you can sweeten your products using L-glucose.

Forms of Dextrose

While dextrose is vital for your normal bodily functions, excess consumption can cause negative effects. It is, therefore, advisable to embrace it limitedly, as it can be found in many foods and supplements in various forms.

Foods with Dextrose

Some foods that contain high amounts of dextrose include:

  • Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Candy
  • Starchy Foods
  • Processed Foods [16]

Dextrose Powder

Powdered glucose is also referred to as icing dextrose. It is fine and made from monohydrate dextrose, anhydrous dextrose or both.

Manufacturers will often incorporate anti caking agent within the powder in the form of magnesium, silicates of calcium, or starch.

Cultured Dextrose Solution

Cultured dextrose is a fermented or cultured food product made by mixing dextrose with Propionibacterium freudenreichii bacteria.

While the bacteria is said to be safe, the FDA has yet to give it a clean bill of health.

Dextrose and Blood Sugar

What do you need to know before using dextrose? Well, there are many factors you should consider.

First, you need to know that chances of your blood rising exponentially after starting on dextrose are quite high.

After using dextrose, ensure that your blood sugar is in check and follow the doctor’s advice to the letter. [17]

If by any chance you notice abnormal reactions such as low blood sugar levels, ensure you stop using your dextrose supplement immediately. [18]

How To Use a Dextrose IV

You can take dextrose in different concentrations depending on your goal. If you have low blood sugar or are dehydrated, your doctor may recommend a dextrose IV.

Remember, any solution that has dextrose provides your body with calories. [19]

Dextrose can also be administered to your body through injections. However, only professionals are allowed to use this method to you if you are unable to ingest dextrose foods, tablets, or drinks, and when your blood sugar level is abnormally low.

Dextrose Alternatives

There are various dextrose vs. glucose alternatives that you can use as healthier options. Some include:

  • Agave Nectar
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Glucose

What Users Are Saying

“”Seems to work well. I use it with protein after my workout.””

“”Good, but overpriced.””

“”Bought this to use as I am diabetic. NOT for me. NOT for diabetics.””

The Bottom Line – Does Dextrose Work?

So, should you run out and buy diet foods and supplements containing Dextrose? Well, we like that this sweetener can help boost energy levels for workouts. We also appreciate that it’s made from natural sources like corn. Then again, we have some reservations about this ingredient because it is mostly manufactured from corn that contains GMOs, which is unhealthy. Also, we’re concerned about the weight gain it can cause.

If you’re really trying to get rid of some pounds, then we encourage you to find a product that does not cause any weight gain, is backed by solid clinical research and gives you plenty of bang for your buck.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. This supplement uses four potent ingredients, which have demonstrated in published clinical research to help kick-start metabolism and improve fat loss. We have not found any negative user remarks, and comments on the web reveal people are seeing wonderful results.

The makers of Dietspotlight Burn are so certain of their product they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, which is a good sign.

Learn More About Burn HD »
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How much is Dextrose?

Add 45 to 60 grams of dextrose and 30 grams of whey protein to your post-workout shake.

What is dextrose used for?

Dextrose is typically used as a sweetener in baking products and processed foods.

How do I know if Dextrose is right for me?

Choosing the right product is the #1 question asked by DietSpotlight readers. We recommend trying any product before buying it and know that finding a product with a sample offer is near impossible - so we created our own product, Burn HD, with scientifically backed ingredients.

Click here to get your sample of our powerful fat burner today.

What is dextrose powder used for?

Dextrose powder has the same biochemical makeup as glucose and it can be prescribed to someone who has low blood sugar or is dehydrated. Bodybuilders use it as a supplement to increase weight and muscle mass.

What are the side effects of dextrose?

Someone who is suffering from dehydration will receive an injection of dextrose and sodium chloride. Problems can occur when too much of this fluid gets into the blood or when there is leakage of this fluid into the surrounding tissues. Other complications include an infection, blood clot or inflammation at the injection site.

Is dextrose sugar?

Dextrose is a simple sugar that is biochemically the same as glucose and fructose.

What is Dextrose 50 used for?

For individuals who are dealing with hypoglycemia, an intravenous injection of up to 50 percent, or 50 ml, of dextrose is used to increase blood sugar.

Is dextrose vegan?

Dextrose is vegan because it is derived from plant starches.

How many calories are in dextrose?

One teaspoon of dextrose has 12 calories.

What type of solution is dextrose saline and when is it used?

Dextrose saline is water that is mixed with five percent dextrose. It is used in IV injections for people suffering from dehydration and low blood sugar.

What is dextrose and sodium chloride used for?

Dextrose and sodium chloride is used in IV injections for replenishing fluids, calories, and electrolytes.

What is anhydrous dextrose used for?

Anhydrous dextrose is a dry simple sugar that can be used as table sugar.

Is dextrose a complex carbohydrate?

Dextrose is a simple carbohydrate along with glucose, fructose, and lactose.

Is Dextrose 5 hypotonic or hypertonic?

Dextrose 5 is hypertonic, and it’s used to treat people with severe hyponatremia.

How many grams of dextrose are in one liter of D5W?

D5W has five grams of dextrose in 100 ml of water.

Where can Dextrose be found?

Dextrose is a sugar found in corn and other plants.

Is dextrose a dairy product?

Dextrose is not a dairy product, and no animal products are used in the production of cultured dextrose.

What is cultured dextrose?

Cultured dextrose is a food additive that is used to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold on food.


Previous Dextrose Review (Updated July 8, 2015):

What You Should Know About Dextrose

Dextrose is a common ingredient found on labels for everything from canned fruits and vegetables to weight loss supplements. Dextrose is also commonly used as a treatment for hypoglycemia –or low blood sugar. Other names for dextrose include glucose, D-glucose and grape sugar. Science claims the sugar is the carbohydrate cells use as a primary fuel source, but low-carbohydrate and diabetic diets proven optimal health does not require intake of dextrose.

List of Ingredients in Dextrose


  • Glucose

Product Features

Dextrose is not the most common name for the simple sugar. Most people know dextrose, in a medical setting at least, as glucose. Glucose can be found in the blood in varying levels throughout the day. When diabetes is suspected, doctors order a fasting blood glucose test to measure the body’s ability to metabolize dextrose or glucose. Current diabetics also test dextrose or glucose levels in the blood using a few drops of blood tested on a home machine. While doctors are not sure how it happens, dextrose appears to be the cause of many long-term side effects of diabetes. It is thought that the proteins in glucose may be response for blindness, renal failure and other side effects of the disease.

In terms of food and diet products, dextrose is a sweetener. As a carbohydrate, it contains four calories per gram, like other carbohydrates. It is simple, sweet and cheap, so you’ll find it in many foods. Diet products that contain sugar also use dextrose, though many choose sucralose, Stevia or other calorie-free sweeteners to reduce overall calorie impact.


  • Dextrose provides a simple form of sugar used for energy.
  • Preferred carbohydrate for body energy.
  • Contains only four calories per gram.


  • May contribute to diabetes or side effects of the disease.
  • Supplies hidden carbohydrates and sugars in some foods and supplements.

Conclusion on Dextrose

There is much debate as to whether or not dieters need carbohydrates like dextrose. On the low carb side of the debate is the thought that the human body once lived with foods available only in nature. These foods did not contain added sugars like dextrose. The majority of energy was derived from plants and animal proteins/fats. On the other side of the debate is the balance diet with a controlled amount of dextrose or carbohydrate intake to keep the body healthy and strong. Long-term studies of lower carbohydrate diets and diets rich in complex carbohydrates (dextrose is NOT a complex carbohydrates) support the lower carbohydrate diet method.

Article Resources
Summer Banks Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.

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