T Nation

Dextrose vs White Sugar Post W/O


i know dextrose is a good carb source post workout.. but wouldnt it be the same as having pure white sugar? i thought dextrose was just plain sugar? also post workout i have a scoop of protein, a multivitamin, 30g of dextrose and a banana.. would having 60g of dextrose and cut the banana make much of a difference?


Plain table sugar isn't dextrose, it's actually sucrose. Sucrose is disaccharide, a combination of 2 simpler sugars, namely Glucose (same thing as dextrose) and fructose. You're better off using dextrose, despite it being significantly less sweet than table sugar. Fructose does restore glycogen, but not as efficiently as dextrose and it also doesn't illicit the same insulin response to help transport protein.

Regarding the banana, I'd keep it, but that's because I prefer whole foods vs. powders. IIRC, a banana is ~20g assorted carbs, a pretty even split between glucose and fructose with a decent serving of starch and fiber. Plus, bananas taste good.


'table sugar' has fructose in it, not just dextrose. Goes via your liver and slows everything down. Better to stick wtih dextrose.


thanks for the information.. yeah the banana makes the shake taste nice and thick like a milk shake :smiley:


Go to your local organic food market and pick of 2kg of each: maltodextrin and dextrose. Dextrose is another word for glucose, the energy source your body utilizes. Table sugar is broken down into fructose and glucose before being utilized. Maltodextrin is a long chain polymer of dextrose with very weak bonds between the monomers. In your body, it gets broken into chains of about 4-5 glucose molecules. In the end, this mix regulates very efficiently the osmolarity needed in such a PWO drink.

good luck!

P.S. Be careful and don't overdo it. You are messing with the highest GI sugar and another one thats very high as well. They cause massive insulin spikes when consumed. Extensive use will eventually cause pancreatic exhaustion and can lead to diabetes, one of the last things you, or anyone else needs.


what exactly would be "overdoing" it in terms of grams of dextrose. That diabetes comment gave me a bit of a scare so would like to know whats an acceptable range


I can't say for sure, as it may be different for everyone depending on family Hx.

For instance, I won't abuse that mix in PWO drinks for more than a month at a time because I have a long family history of Type II diabetes on my mother's side.

All I can say is don't use it other than PWO, and it might be a good idea to take a month off once in a while.


Yeah i only take it post workout.. and even then i take 30g and then a banana.


I'd second JoeyD20 on the idea of taking time off it for a month every once in a while. I haven't seen it studied, but it just makes logical sense to stress your recovery system like you stress you other systems (e.g., aerobic, lactic acid, creatine) to get it to work more productively.

If you always prop it up, your body doesn't have any reason to adapt by producing more glycogen with a given level of input or your muscles get better at taking up glucose and protein without dumping a lot of glucose into your system.

I could be totally off here, and would love to see any studies one way or the other on this.

I'd also add that unless you are planning to become an elite athlete, you will have to prudently weigh the overall health impacts of anything you consider doing.

You don't necessarily need to squeeze out that last 10% (I'm making the number up) out of your post workout drink to make good progress over the long run. You also have to weight the possible added expense, and whether your efforts & money would be best used on other measures like additional equipment.

Finally, the other thing that concerns me with dextrose/maltodextrin is that the insulin spike it produces also leads to a big blood sugar crash more quickly than other carbs. This doesn't mean don't use it, just be aware that you will probably need to follow the dextrose/maltodextrin with another smaller dose of less quickly used simple & complex carbs or you will end up in a catabolic state when your blood sugar begins to drop.

I like to get my quick boost (maltodextrin & protein centered) just before the end of my workout, then follow it with a second drink right after finishing that draws its carbs from a mixture of sugars, a bit of fiber, and more protein. A fruit smoothy (a little OJ, banana, frozen berries, plus sugar or honey, nonfat yogurt or skim milk, and whey protein) does the trick.

If you make a pre-mixed recovery formula, save a portion and drink it 20 minutes later, or better add it to some sugar rich whole food like fruit juice or skim milk. You may need to adjust the amounts you use to account for the additoinal calories you get from the juice, fruit, sugar, milk, protein powder, etc.


Just my $.02, I work out first thing in the morning, so I usually sip a watery shake with 60 grams of maltodextrin/dextrose plus 25 grams of whey during my workout. I time it so I'm taking my last sip as soon as I finish my workout.

15-20 minutes later, I mix 1-2 bananas and another 25 grams of whey. Been working well for years, I don't get a crash, and have fairly sustained energy through my workout, and no recovery issues.


I take 200grams of dextrose (aproximately) pwo. I know it can't be too good for you, so I will only use it for one more weeks and then stop it (then it's been 4 weeks). Why 200grams? It's really good to have your cortisol dropped, and I've read a study where a vast amount of simple sugars (dextrose) contributed significantly to muscle growth. It tastes like shit, but it's worth the experiment. I'll keep you posted if there is any interest.


Wow. Simply groundbreaking.


200g???????????????How much do you weigh 500?


This is the second post i have seen from you where you give bad advice. I recommend you stop, listen and learn more before you keep dishing it out.
At first i thought it was a typo and you meant 20... but you repeated it...


200g is definitely NOT a good idea. You better be taking at least 100g of protein with that.

For my PWO, I'm using a carb product with my protein called Glycocarb (my store didn't have pure dextrose or maltodextrin). It contains maltodextrin, ALA, and something called inulin.


This topic is pretty old and right now since I'm on a very low carb diet I'm just taking glutamine and protein after my workout. However I found that having 30g of protein, 30g of dextrose, and a banana worked best for me. 60g of dextrose was to much