Dextrose & Bodybuilding

Dextrose is a type of simple carbohydrate your body uses as a primary source of energy. Dextrose, also known as glucose, can be beneficial during athletic endeavors because it is the form of sugar your body breaks foods down into for fuel. Dextrose is sold in powdered form as a sports nutrition supplement, and it can be beneficial for bodybuilders 2. Prior to using any dietary supplement, seek the advice of a medical professional.


Dextrose is calorie dense, which benefits bodybuilders. Each 80 gram serving of dextrose contains 280 calories, or 14.5 percent of the daily suggested intake of 2,000 calories. This amount is more than enough calories to fuel an hour-long weightlifting session, which -- for a 185 pound person -- burns 266 calories, according to Harvard School of Public Health 3. To gain mass and muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus, which means you need to eat more than your daily activities burn.

Amount of Carbohydrates

Dextrose is made up entirely of carbohydrates, so an 80 gram serving of dextrose provides 74 grams carbohydrates. Carbohydrates fuel your body for exercise, so a high-carbohydrate food supplement such as dextrose can help fuel intense workouts. According to nutrition and bodybuilding researcher Dr. John Berardi, carbohydrates are also vital for workout recovery, so you should consume .8 grams of carbohydrates for every kilogram of your body weight following exercise.

Type of Carbohydrate

All the carbohydrates in dextrose are sugar carbs, which can be beneficial thanks to their fast absorption, but this can also be detrimental for bodybuilding. Dextrose has a high glycemic index rating, and research from the May 2009 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition" indicates that low-glycemic foods can enhance fat burning better than high-glycemic foods 24. Because bodybuilding success requires a low body fat percentage in addition to a lot of muscle mass, dextrose may not be optimal for pre-workout use.


Dextrose does not contain any protein, a nutrient vital for bodybuilding. Your body needs protein to build and repair muscle and other tissues, and Dr. John Berardi suggests consuming .4 grams of protein immediately following workouts and up to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight each day.

Dietary Fat

Dextrose is devoid of dietary fat, a nutrient required for proper growth and development. Dietary fat is high in calories, so it can be beneficial for bodybuilding, because it can help you reach a calorie surplus. Research from the October 2003 edition of the journal "Gut" indicates that consuming omega-3 fats with protein can improve muscle growth compared to protein alone.