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Ribose for Sports & Fitness

Why Use

Ribose

Why Do Athletes Use It?*

Some athletes say that ribose helps improve recovery from intense exercise.

What Do the Advocates Say?*

Ribose is used in the body to make adenine nucleotides, which are important components of the high energy compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Intense exercise depletes ATP and adenine nucleotides, and ribose supplementation can help restore normal levels of these components more quickly.

*Athletes and fitness advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.

Dosage & Side Effects

Ribose

How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?

Ribose is a type of sugar used by the body to make the energy-containing substance adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Intense exercise depletes muscle cells of ATP as well as the ATP precursors made from ribose,1 , 2 though these deficits are typically replaced within minutes.3 Unpublished reports suggested that ribose supplementation might increase power during short, intense bouts of exercise.4 , 5 However, in a double-blind study, exercisers took 4 grams of ribose four times per day during a six-day strength-training regimen, and no effects on muscle power or ATP recovery in exercised muscles were found.6 In two other controlled studies, either 10 grams of ribose per day for five days or 8 grams every 12 hours for 36 hours resulted in only minor improvements in some measures of performance during repetitive sprint cycling.7 , 8

Side Effects

No known side effects have been reported from the use of ribose when consumed in amounts of less than 10 grams per day. Larger amounts may cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea,9 and may lower glucose levels,10 although it is not known whether symptoms of hypoglycemia might result.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

More Resources

Ribose

Where to Find It

Ribose is present in small amounts in many foods of plant or animal origin.

Resources

See a list of books, periodicals, and other resources for this and related topics.

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