Glucose powder is an abundant, simple sugar derived from corn. It is more cheaply produced but not as sweet as high-fructose corn syrup and cane sugar, according to “Time" magazine. In humans, glucose is produced when ingested carbohydrates are broken down to be used as the basic fuel in the body. Glucose is also commonly referred to as dextrose and is included in many food products.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign explains that dextrose is useful as a flavoring agent and preservative in some processed meats, similar to table sugar and maple syrup. Sugars added to meats help preserve them by reducing water activity enough to inhibit the growth of spoilage bacteria, according to the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom program. Like most other sugars, dextrose might also be used to facilitate browning during cooking. Dextrose is an important component of fermented sausage, as it is a catalyst for the enzymatic action that occurs during fermentation.
Glucose powder may be added to foods as a sweetening agent. “Time" magazine reports that your body can tell the difference between different sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, and that glucose might have less deleterious effects on the body than the others. Citing research conducted at the University of California Davis, "Time" states that glucose-sweetened drinks do not produce unhealthy changes in the liver and fat deposits as do fructose-sweetened drinks. Glucose is not as sweet as other sugars, however, making it a less attractive option for food manufacturers.
Glucose powder is useful for athletes as it helps ensure muscles have the nutrients they need to recover and repair themselves during and after exercise. Glucose has a high glycemic index, meaning it enters the bloodstream very quickly. Insulin production increases immediately after taking glucose, providing a muscle-building boost as nutrients are driven into muscle fibers. The website describes glucose powder as being easily assimilated and well tolerated by most people.