This study compared the effects of saccharose and glucose on the recovery from insulin hypoglycemia. 17 normal volunteers (12 men, 5 women, 25-40 years old) received the same dose (0.1 IU i.v.) of semisynthetic rapid-acting human insulin on two different days after an overnight fast. Blood glucose and C peptide were measured in venous blood samples before as well as at regular time intervals after insulin administration. 30 min after the injection, 20 g saccharose or 20 g glucose p.o. (diluted in water) were given. The mean glucose values were at most time intervals higher after glucose than after saccharose administration. In addition, glucose ingestion resulted in an earlier and steeper blood glucose rise (mean recovery rates during the first 5 min 3.10 and 1.38 mg/dl/min for glucose and saccharose, respectively). The C peptide values decreased progressively and did not achieve baseline levels even at 120 min in spite of blood sugar normalization. It is concluded that glucose acts faster than saccharose in insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Exogenous insulin results in a prolonged depression of C peptide which lasts longer than the hypoglycemic effect.