Skip to content

All That You Need to Know About Dextrose

What is Dextrose? 

Dextrose is a type of sugar that is usually obtained from wheat or corn. It has a chemical structure that is identical to glucose, which is the sugar broken down by the body for fuel generation. Dextrose, like glucose, is a quick source of energy for the body and is often used in processed and packaged food items. Not only is it an excellent preservative, but it is also widely used as an artificial sweetener. 

What are the Best Uses for Dextrose?

Dextrose has a variety of uses across industries. The use case as per industry are as follows-

1. In Medical Industry

- Used as a treatment for low blood sugar levels

- Helps quickly rehydrate the body

- To promote proper absorption of nutrients by the body

2. In Food Industry

- Dextrose is used as a commonly sweetening agent, especially in baked goods.

3. In Bodybuilding Industry

- Used as a post-workout for restoring glycogen levels

4. Miscellaneous

- Dextrose is used as an ingredient in skincare, hair care, makeup, and bath products

Is Dextrose a Safe Sugar Substitute?

Dextrose is often used as an artificial sweetener or preservative in food items. As a sugar substitute, it has the same effect on the body as sugar. Excessive consumption of dextrose, which is found in every other diet soda, sugar-free chocolate, or zero sugar cookies, is extremely harmful. It can lead to several short-term and long-term effects such as-

1. Weight Gain

Dextrose is broken down by the body and any sugar that's not needed is instantly stored as fat, thereby contributing to obesity.

2. Diabetes

Dextrose is commonly associated with obesity and harms the liver, both of which contribute to an increased risk of developing type II diabetes.

3. Heart Diseases

Excess consumption of this artificial sweetener puts you at risk of developing cardiovascular concerns.

Dextrose and Glucose: Are These Same? 

Glucose, also known as dextrose or d-glucose, is a single unit of sugar often termed a monosaccharide. Dextrose and glucose have identical chemical compositions and are often used as synonyms by people. However, the difference lies in the context in which they can be used.

1. Glucose:

-Used to identify the molecule in the process of being digested by the body

-It's a more technical term for blood sugar and is used to describe sugar you burn for energy.

2. Dextrose:

-Dextrose is obtained from cornstarch and is a common artificial sweetener.

-The term 'dextrose' is used in the context of food.

-It's the form of glucose found in nature.

-When sugar is orally administered for low blood sugar levels, it's called dextrose.

-Lastly, food labels often feature dextrose as an ingredient and not glucose.

Since the core structure is the same, glucose solution and dextrose are often used interchangeably by people as they are mistaken to be the same.

Dextrose v/s Sucrose (Table Sugar): Which One is Healthier?

It's difficult to conclude whether dextrose is healthier or sucrose (table sugar) before understanding what they are, and what are the associated pros and cons. So, let's first define what dextrose and sucrose are.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that tastes quite sweet and is commonly found in three forms- sucrose (table sugar), lactose, and fructose. Sucrose has a glycemic index of 65.

On the other hand, dextrose is a simple sugar obtained from corn and is chemically identical to glucose, which is the sugar burnt by the body for energy. You would have often seen the name 'dextrose' and food and beverage labels as an artificial sweetener. It has a glycemic index score of 100.

As both sucrose and dextrose are simple carbs, have a similar taste, have intake limits, and act as energy sources, they are often assumed to be one and the same thing.

To understand which is a healthier alternative, it's vital to look at the positives and negatives of using them.

Pros of Consuming Sucrose:
  1. Table sugar provides an enhanced sweetness profile.
  2. Sucrose is also a commonly used preservative.
Cons of Consuming Sucrose:

As the intake of table sugar goes unmonitored and beyond the levels of moderation, it can lead to the following concerns-

  1. Obesity
  2. Cardiovascular diseases
  3. Type II diabetes
Pros of Consuming Dextrose:
  1. It's an excellent solution for treating low blood sugar levels.
  2. The composition of dextrose is such that it has amino acids, electrolytes, and other vital nutrients in it.
  3. Dextrose is also used to treat dehydration
Cons of Consuming Dextrose:
  1. It's stored as fat when consumed in excess.
  2. Unmonitored consumption of dextrose has been associated with depression, acne, diabetes, weight gain, etc.

Choosing one of the two as a healthier alternative is purely subjective and dependent on what your personal health goals are as both of them have associated pros and cons.


The simple composition of dextrose is responsible for its multifaceted usage, but dextrose does come with its fair share of side effects. These side effects must be clearly known and evaluated before putting dextrose to use. 

For instance, if a person suffering from diabetes is taking dextrose injections or using dextrose as a preferred sugar alternative, he will have to monitor the dose strictly. 

Always consult a physician before consuming dextrose if you suffer from a prior medical condition to ensure the consumption is safe and well-monitored.

Previous article Artificial Sweeteners VS Natural Sweeteners: Which is a Better Sugar Substitute?
Next article Vegan vs Vegetarian: Same or Different?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields