T Nation

Confusion on Glycerin in Protein Bars

I am a bit confused on this glycerine debate being in protein bars to lower the carb count. I remember reading in some muscle mag (I think it was Bill Phillips or Duchaine in MM2k) awhile ago, when these bars first started coming out, that glycerine is in fact a carb, but your body doesnt use it as a carb. So I wasnt really feeling dupped that glycerine was a hidden carb. Even though, afterwards none of the supp companies was saying that anymore, and just made it out that glycerine was a nothing. But in the very beginning, for a very brief moment in time, the truth was told for a second.But I can honestly say, that I have tried almost all these low carb bars with glycerine while on a keto diet, and I never got kicked out of ketosis. And that is by not counting the glycerin and fiber in any of the foods toward my 30gm carb allotments for the day.
So, if glycerin has never kicked me (or others I know) out of ketosis, why is everyone making it sound so evil being in one of these low carb bars? And at the time I would eat 2 to 3 of some of these bars a day and still not get kicked out of ketosis.

Glycerin is processed or used by the body in the same way as a simple sugar or carb with the big difference that glycerin has no effect on insulin and that is why they started using it in “low carb” products - because it produces no insulin response, unlike other carb or glucose sources. It doesn’t kick you out of ketosis due to the lack of insulin rsponse but does have carb like calories (actually, I believe glycerin has 7 calories per gram instead of 4).

It has some pluses and minuses.


1) It does not increase blood sugar levels and yields an insignificant insulin response.

2) It increases cellular hydration. Cellular hydration is essential for all anabolic processes to occur within skeletal muscle.


1) At slightly over 4 calories per gram, it has no nutritional value.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with it when used in moderation, and it is a good substitute for carbs in bars. However, excessive intake can be problematic.

1 thing I wanted to add is that i don’t believe it can be used to replenish muscle glycogen (though not absolutely sure about that). And Joel was right on the calorie count - it’s like 4.7 calories/gram.

So why all the fuse over using glycerine in these protein bars? Is Biotest going to use glycerine in there bars? Chris Sugart said that Biotest bars will contain 30 carbs, will that include glycerine carbs in that count? I guess what I am getting at, is Biotest doing what other companies arent, by using glycerine (like the other companies) but also listing them on there lable claims as a carb (unlike everyother company out there). Cause that way, someone on a keto diet, could still use these bars. I would be estatic if thats the case, but also using 30 gms of an excellent protein which no other bar is using it seems.
Sine glycerine has some more calories than a carb, if you make the appropiate adjustments than that shouldnt become a problem.