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What Is the Main Function of Glucose?

author image Carolyn Robbins
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.
What Is the Main Function of Glucose?
A father and son eating breakfast together at the kitchen table. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Sugar has a bad reputation, but there is one type of sugar, called glucose, that your body needs to function. Glucose is a monosaccharide or single sugar. When you eat a carbohydrate, like a piece of bread or bowl of cereal, your body breaks the food down into small molecules, including glucose, that your body can absorb. Glucose enters the bloodstream and travels to every part of the body to fulfill its essential purpose.

Temperature Regulator

The primary function of glucose to provide energy for physiological processes such as respiration, muscle contraction and relaxation, heart rhythm and the regulation of body temperature. Roughly half of the energy required by the body is supplied by glucose and a stored carbohydrate called glycogen, according to Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Brain Fuel

The brain, neurons and developing red blood cells can only use glucose for energy. If your intake of carbohydrates is inadequate, your body will draw on glycogen stores to give the brain fuel. Once the stores fail, the body begins to break down muscle tissue to make glucose. In other words, carbohydrates are indispensable for a healthy body. You need at least 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day to prevent muscle breakdown, according to according to Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.

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