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Old 11-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
Stuart Greenfield
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Question DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

OK, I joined this forum just for this topic.

I am healthy 35 yearold who started crossfit two years ago at box in Dallas. After a few months, I was really into it and trying to set PR's, etc. I normally workout in morning and then eat lunch with lemonade or tea (w/ Sweet&Low). Within a few seconds of drinking it, I would get so dizzy I had to lie down. I went to 3 different doctors about this, including and ear guy who specialized in vertigo. None of them had any idea, and just sort of agreed with my theory that it had something to do with sugar level. I stopped drinking these at lunch and problem went away. Last week, another guy at my gym said he was getting dizzy after workouts and discovered it was Sweet & Low. When I overheard him telling this to our coach, we started talking and he had the exact same routine and symptoms as me. Neither of us had any history of dizziness or sensitivity to sugar free drinks, etc.

Maybe there is something in crossfit that made us more susceptable?

I am wondering if two guys in my class of 7 are having this issue, there must be others. Please sound off, if you've had this experience.

The common ingredient in sugar-free lemonade and Sweet&Low is dextrose, in fact dextrose is the main ingredient in both. My theory is that dextrose is absorbed very quickly in liquid form. Somehow the intense nature of xfit workout make the body hypoglycemic and then drinking this shocks the system (hyperglycemic) and somehow creates a dizzy feeling (sorta like when you get off a roller coaster and don't feel good - dizziness/nauseous). Maybe it has to do with saccharin (but I don't think the sugar-free lemonade had it).

I have googled this and haven't found much. I also contacted my doctor since discovering the cause and others with same issue. He said he hadn't heard of anything like this.

Thanks- Stuart

http://routingbyrumor.files.wordpres...n-low-back.jpg
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
Rebecca Roth
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

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Originally Posted by Stuart Greenfield View Post
My theory is that dextrose is absorbed very quickly in liquid form.
There isn't much theorizing about that, this is just the way dextrose works. It causes a dramatic and very rapid insulin spike, which is why it tends to be the most popular sweetner for post workout shakes.

Are you on a low carb diet? Do you not have a post workout snack/shake and the lunch is your first meal?

Given that you are using sweet & low, which is a non-nutritive sweetner, I would guess your body is reacting to the sweetness, spiking insuling, expecting a rush of calories, but not actually getting it. This reaction to taste or sight of sweetness when in absence of calories is something Gary Taubes talks about.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:31 PM   #3
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

I think you may be confused. Dextrose is the name used for glucose in it's derivative form, commonly from corn. It is a sugar; therefore, it would not be found in anything which is sugar free. The sweetener in sweet and low is saccharin. The "less than 1 gram" of "nutritive dextrose" (whatever that means) in sweet and low is such an insignificant amount that it would not cause any type of noticeable insulin reaction, no matter how fast it was absorbed.

There has been some research that indicates that artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame, may actually be able to cause insulin spikes despite the fact that they don't actually raise blood sugar levels. It's possible that such an insulin spike post workout, when your blood sugar is already depleted, might cause a sugar crash. That's the best guess I can give you.

Last edited by Christopher G. Woods : 11-30-2011 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #4
Stuart Greenfield
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

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Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
I think you may be confused. Dextrose is the name used for glucose in it's derivative form, commonly from corn. It is a sugar; therefore, it would not be found in anything which is sugar free. .
Definitely confused and certainly below avg knowledge of nutrition.

The Crystal Light lemonade I have at office now has maltodextrin as the #2 ingredient, although I have experienced this with several different brands of lemonade, including "sugar=free".
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #5
Stuart Greenfield
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

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Originally Posted by Rebecca Roth View Post
There isn't much theorizing about that, this is just the way dextrose works.
Sorry, I put "." in middle of theory so I guess looked funny. Here is whole theory....

My theory is that dextrose is absorbed very quickly in liquid form, and somehow the intense nature of xfit workout make the body hypoglycemic and then drinking this shocks the system (hyperglycemic) and somehow creates a dizzy feeling.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #6
Chris Mason
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

I think it is interesting that product claims zero calories and has dextrose. The only thing I can think of is it is such a trace amount per serving they can call it zero cals?

In terms of dextrose or malto causing the problems you are noting it isn't very likely, but is possible with a very large dosing (not what you would find in some Sweet and Low). Hyperglycemia can cause dizziness, but again, I just don't see that from the circumstance you are noting.

Maybe you have a food allergy to something in Sweet and Low?
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:54 AM   #7
Stuart Greenfield
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
I think you may be confused. Dextrose is the name used for glucose in it's derivative form, commonly from corn. It is a sugar; therefore, it would not be found in anything which is sugar free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
I think it is interesting that product claims zero calories and has dextrose. The only thing I can think of is it is such a trace amount per serving they can call it zero cals?
Yes, I went home and it was HEB Brand Sugar Free Lemonade. On the package it says Sugar Free and zero calories, but maltodextrin is the #2 ingredient aside from citric acid.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:10 AM   #8
Stuart Greenfield
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

I found this from Martha McKittrick, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and certified dietitian-nutritionist:

Maltodextrins are made from natural corn, rice or potato starch. The starch is cooked, and then acid and/or enzymes are used to break the starch into smaller polymers. This process is similar to how the body digests carbohydrates. Basically, it is an easily digested form of carbohydrate. It comes in a white powder with a mildly sweet taste and is used in processed foods as a thickener, or a filler since it's fairly inexpensive. It's often used to create additional volume to a food product without altering flavor.

Where is it found?
Maltodextrins are found in many different foods, including canned fruits, snacks, confectionery, desserts, nutritional beverages, instant pudding, flavored gelatins, and salad dressings. It is also used in sweetening some teas, coffee, and powdered soft drinks. Maltodextrins may also be an ingredient in the single-serve, table-top packet of some sugar substitutes such as Splenda and Equal. So you can see that maltodextrins are a popular ingredient in our food supply. Check some of the food labels on products in your cabinets and refrigerator for the word maltodextrin.

Effects of maltodextrin on blood sugar
Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate and will have an effect on your blood sugar. It contains the same amount of carbohydrate and calories as sugar (4 calories per gram). It's easily digested and is absorbed even more rapidly than glucose. Maltodextrin has a glycemic effect of 106 - 136 as compared to table sugar (sucrose) which has a glycemic effect of 65 and glucose which has a glycemic index of 100. So obviously, maltodextrin will affect your blood sugar, and in turn, your insulin levels. However, the degree as to how maltodextrin will affect blood sugar depends upon the quantity of it in the food product. Here's the problem - maltodextrin is included in the total carbohydrate content, so you really can't tell how much maltodextrin is in the product.

So how can products that are supposedly "sugar free" contain maltodextrin? Take the example of Equal. If you read the label, you will see it contains maltodextrin. Yet, the label says Equal contains less than one gram of carbohydrate. This is because while maltodextrin is added to bulk this product, only very small amounts are used - less than one gram of maltodextrin and glucose are added. So in reality, it shouldn't have much of an effect on your blood sugar because the amount is so small. However, it is possible that if MANY packets are consumed, it could have an effect on blood sugar levels.

By the responses in the first day, I guess there are not too many crossfitters with this issue outside of my class. I guess we're doing it wrong. Thanks for input
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
Brian Strump
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

Here's an opinion....Don't drink that crap. Drink real sugar if that's what you're looking for.

An properly educated diabetic specialist will say the same. The fake crap will cause just as much, if not(as you have personally seen) more problems than just real sugar.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #10
Wayne Reeder
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Re: DIZZY AFTER WOD When Drink Dextrose (Sweet & Low)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart Greenfield View Post
OK, I joined this forum just for this topic.

I am healthy 35 yearold who started crossfit two years ago at box in Dallas. After a few months, I was really into it and trying to set PR's, etc. I normally workout in morning and then eat lunch with lemonade or tea (w/ Sweet&Low). Within a few seconds of drinking it, I would get so dizzy I had to lie down. I went to 3 different doctors about this, including and ear guy who specialized in vertigo. None of them had any idea, and just sort of agreed with my theory that it had something to do with sugar level. I stopped drinking these at lunch and problem went away. Last week, another guy at my gym said he was getting dizzy after workouts and discovered it was Sweet & Low. When I overheard him telling this to our coach, we started talking and he had the exact same routine and symptoms as me. Neither of us had any history of dizziness or sensitivity to sugar free drinks, etc.

Maybe there is something in crossfit that made us more susceptable?

I am wondering if two guys in my class of 7 are having this issue, there must be others. Please sound off, if you've had this experience.

The common ingredient in sugar-free lemonade and Sweet&Low is dextrose, in fact dextrose is the main ingredient in both. My theory is that dextrose is absorbed very quickly in liquid form. Somehow the intense nature of xfit workout make the body hypoglycemic and then drinking this shocks the system (hyperglycemic) and somehow creates a dizzy feeling (sorta like when you get off a roller coaster and don't feel good - dizziness/nauseous). Maybe it has to do with saccharin (but I don't think the sugar-free lemonade had it).

I have googled this and haven't found much. I also contacted my doctor since discovering the cause and others with same issue. He said he hadn't heard of anything like this.

Thanks- Stuart

http://routingbyrumor.files.wordpres...n-low-back.jpg
When you stopped drinking sugar-free drinks, did you drink sugary drinks or eat sweets instead? Have you recently switched your diet to "paleo"? What kind of and how much carbohydrate do you eat? Is your idea of a carbohydrate source is broccoli or a single piece of fruit (as opposed to rice and potatoes)? If it is, you are most likely consuming an ultra-low carb (<50 g/day) or at best a low carb (<100 g/day) diet.

I have money that says you aren't anywhere near "hyperglycemic". Unless you have diabetes and are dangerously ignorant about your diet, you won't have problems with pathologically high (read: causes acute physical problems) blood sugar. The trace amounts of dextrose and maltodextrin you seem to be scared of are not going to budge your blood sugar, at all.

What you are experiencing is most likely hypoglycemia. If your workout is a 30 minute "intense" met-con, then your body digs into its glycogen stores and you will be relatively (keyword: relatively) hypoglycemic afterwards, regardless of diet. If you are eating "low-carb" (whether accidentally or purposefully) you will compound the problem because your glycogen stores (ability to replenish blood sugar) will be (much) lower to begin with.

It's very similar to bonking and the solution is easy. You drink a little gatorade (oh no'z it's high fructose corn syrup) before/during/after the workout. Or you eat some fruit (oh no'z it's high in fructose) an hour before the workout. Or you eat a potato after the workout (oh no'z it's starch). There are so many things you can do. Sadly, I'm not surprised your "coach" didn't immediately recognize this. And I don't expect your doctor (especially if he's older) to understand what crossfit workouts are.

Just to show that I'm not skirting the sweet and low issue.

- Here is a free article measuring saccharins effects on blood sugar. (spoiler alert: there is none) http://www.tswj.com/2007/141827/abs/ WFS. I know that isn't a reputable journal, but reputable journals only publish papers that contribute to science.

- Here is an article showing measured insulin release in humans after tasting (they have the subjects spit instead of swallow) different solutions (may not be public access). They have a graph showing that insulin release is similar after tasting sugar water and saccharin (sweet'n low) water but don't put in the line that shows distilled water elicits an even higher insulin response than both (it's in the table but not the graph). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18556090 WFS
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