T Nation

Pre/Post Workout Drink

Before and after my workouts I usually make a sugar drink composed of dextrose (50-60 g) to create that insulin spike we all want. The only problem is that a few hours later I get these incredible headaches. My question is, are these headaches caused from the dextrose or something else? I only get them when I take this drink. So I am guessing it is from the dextrose. Am I taking too much or what?
Thanks for your comments

If you think it’s dextrose, can you use some other kind of sugar?

Are you adding protein to your pst-wktdrink? You didn’t mention this. When you drink this beverage after your workout it will illicit an insulin response which means that shortly after your blood sugar will go very low. If you don’t eat another meal, preferably low glycemic, within a couple hours, I can definately see you getting a headache from the low sugar. Try eatibg another meal within 90 minutes of taking the beverage and see if that helps.

I know that high bloodpressure and hunger both cause headaches. Maybe the headaches of hunger are due to low blood sugar which is same thing as after insulin spike. Also, stimulants raise blood pressure – things like ephedrine definately give me headaches. Lastly, I know a guy who was getting debilitating migranes and doctors couldn’t find cause for months, until he stopped taking creatine and they went away – the creatine had been making muscles around his skull tense.

just some ideas.

Trey, have you ever tried Surge? There’s a lot of science behind it, not to mention the fact that it tastes so good that people work out (when they might otherwise be inclined not to) just so they can drink it.



I see that you’re using dextrose. Are you taking that with protein, I hope? The reason to spike insulin post workout is to shuttle amino acids into the muscles you just worked out and restore glycogen, both.



Re whether you’re taking too much, that would depend upon your LBM. You can get a better idea of what your protein/carb requirements are by reading the article John Berardi wrote about how Surge was formulated.

Trey- you need to take in protein too! The dextrose will replenish glycogen, but will do nothing WRT muscle repair and growth![br] As to your main question, I agree with Alex, and would be worried that if you’re taking in 60g Dextrose on an empty stomach, in a state of catabolism, the body will produce an almightly Insulin surge, and before you know it all that Dextrose will be in the cells. Unfortunately we now have what we term an “overswing”- no glucose in the blood, similar but less extreme to a diabetic person’s “Hypo”. This may be enough to provoke feelings of nausea, weakness, headaches. SRS