We tested whether corticosterone replacement causes increased sucrose drinking in adrenalectomized (ADX) rats compared to sham-ADX (sham) rats. ADX rats given high doses of corticosterone drank as much sucrose as sham rats, whereas at three lower doses of corticosterone, drinking was similar between groups and was only approximately 40% of that ingested by shams. Compared to sham rats, ADX rats drinking saline, or saline and saccharin, gain weight more slowly, contain less white adipose tissue, and have higher sympathetic outflow as assessed by uncoupling protein content in brown adipose tissue. Allowing sucrose as well as saline to drink restored all of these variables to normal in ADX rats with no- or low-corticosterone. All endpoints from sucrose-drinking ADX rats with no- or low-corticosterone were indistinguishable from those in water-drinking shams. By contrast, sucrose-drinking ADX rats that were given high doses of corticosterone exhibited the usual catabolic effects of corticosterone on body weight gain and, unlike sucrose-drinking shams, were obese. We conclude that (i) high corticosterone stimulates the potability of sucrose and inhibits sympathetic stimulation of uncoupling protein; (ii) sucrose, without corticosterone, normalizes metabolic deficits in ADX rats probably through actions mediated both peripherally and by the central nervous system; and (iii) ADX rats have a distinct sucrose appetite.