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Is Sugar Helpful as an Ingredient in Electrolyte Supplements?By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 29, 2013

Commercial electrolyte products often contain dextrose, which is thought to improve electrolyte uptake in horses.

Studies conducted at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) suggest that adding dextrose or starch to electrolyte mixes does not increase rate of absorption or retention of electrolytes.

Dextrose may still have some value in improving palatability of electrolyte mixes, but the higher the dextrose content, the lower the electrolyte content of a product. This means high-dextrose products supply lower amounts of electrolytes per dose and may be less effective as a result.

This report of KER's 2012 research was published in Proceedings of the Australasian Equine Science Symposium.

Read the entire research report, titled Effect of dextrose supplementation on electrolyte and water absorption in resting Thoroughbreds.