Idries J. Abdur-Rahman, MD, FACOG


If you are between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant, it’s time to test for Gestational Diabetes. And that means that it is time for the Glucose Loading Test (GLT). While testing for Gestational Diabetes is hugely important, many mothers-to-be just don’t want to drink that sugary glucola drink? While the glucola drink is generally considered to be safe, there are a bunch of alternatives if you want the benefits of being tested but don’t want to actually drink glucola. All the GLT requires is that you take in 50 grams of glucose in a short period of time and that you have your blood glucose levels checked one hour after finishing. So, what are some alternatives to drinking the glucola drink?


1). First of all, what are some concerns about drinking the glucola drink?

While glucola is largely considered to be safe, some of the ingredients it contains give people a bit of pause. While the crux of the glucola drink is the 50 grams of glucose that it contains, many also contain artificial colors, artificial dyes and a substance called BVO (brominated vegetable oil).

  • BVO, or bromated vegetable oil, is an emulsification agent used in citrus drinks. BVO has actually been banned in many countries due to concerns about potential toxicities. To be fair, concerns about the effects of BVO are related to long-term use, not the amount found in a single glucola drink.
  • The inflammatory effects of artificial colors and dyes on the body are being studied more and more and while the amount in the glucola drink is minimal, many people want to avoid unnecessary exposure.



2). So, if you want to avoid the glucola drink, what are some other options?

The only thing needed for the GLT is that you eat or drink 50 grams of glucose in a short period of time and have your blood glucose level checked one hour later. We recommend that our patients consume the 50 grams of glucose within five minutes or less. If you can consume any of these foods or beverages within five minutes, they are perfectly good alternatives to drinking the glucola beverage:

  • 28 jelly beans, with or without artificial dyes and flavoring.
  • 2 ½ medium-sized bananas
  • 10 strawberry Twizzlers
  • 10 oz of Apple juice
  • 10oz of Grape Juice
  • 20 oz of orange juice

You can eat a normal breakfast the day of your GLT but you should avoid any other overly sugary food or beverage before your blood is drawn.


Everything you’ve read are just our recommendations and they do not constitute medical advice. Be sure to speak with your doctor or midwife before making any medical decisions.


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About The Docs


Idris is the creation of twin OB/Gyn Doctors Jamil and Idries Abdur-Rahman. Jamil (Dr. J) and Idries (Dr. I) were inspired to start after participating on season 22 of CBS’ ‘The Amazing Race’.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to
Know About Pregnancy:

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Embarrassed or Afraid to Ask

by Idries Abdur-Rahman (Goodreads Author),
Jamil Abdur-Rahman MD, Nikia Bilal (Editor)

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