Glucose is a sugar which circulates in the blood stream, where we call it blood sugar. It is made by the body from carbohydrates and food, and then transported to each and every cell as a primary source of energy.
Most people can make all the glucose they need from a healthy, balanced diet, so supplements are not widely used by the general population. Excess glucose is transformed into glycogen and stored in the liver, to be converted back to energy when needed – however, only limited glucose can be stored this way, and the rest is converted into body fat.
Some people may need glucose supplements. Athletes undertaking intense exercise over a prolonged period may need extra glucose for an energy boost – for example, racing cyclists will often consume energy gels while riding, which are primarily composed of glucose. Glucose is also involved in the recovery and repair of muscles following exercise.
Diabetics whose blood sugar falls too low, into hypoglycaemia, may take glucose tablets as an emergency rescue solution to quickly restore their blood sugar levels.
Glucose supplements may also sometimes be recommended for the frail or elderly, and some people carry glucose tablets with them to give them a quick energy boost whenever needed.