Ribose Makes Exercising Easier

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Nutritional Support
Last Reviewed 04/18/2014

Ribose (alpha-D-ribofuranose), a simple, five-carbon sugar, is required in the manufacture of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the fuel that runs the human body. If your cells don’t have enough ribose, they can’t produce enough ATP to meet energy demands. Your cells simply run out of juice. 

Although ribose synthesis occurs naturally in the cells, energy needs often outpace supplies in hardworking tissues such as the heart and muscles. This is particularly true in people with heart disease or muscle conditions such as fibromyalgia.

While there’s technically no such thing as a ribose deficiency, ribose cannot be stored in cells. Fortunately, when ribose is taken orally, virtually all of it is absorbed and delivered to energy-starved tissues—where it rapidly and dramatically rebuilds energy reserves.

Research has shown that patients with heart failure and coronary artery disease who are given ribose feel better and are able to increase their level of physical activity. In one study, published in Lancet, 20 men between the ages of 45 and 69 with exercise-induced angina and coronary artery disease took either high-dose ribose (60 g daily) or a placebo. After just three days, the men receiving ribose were able to walk longer, and their onset of angina was significantly delayed.

Supplementing with ribose can be beneficial for athletes as well. They can speed recovery and lessen the severity of sore muscles by taking 5 g up to 30 minutes before and another 5 g within 30 minutes following strenuous exercise. In addition to shortening recovery time, ribose has also been shown to improve endurance. It must work, because it’s a favorite of marathoners, cyclists, and other athletes.

But the fact of the matter is you don’t have to be an elite athlete or suffer with any of the above conditions to reap the benefits of ribose. “Bill,” a colleague of mine, swears that taking ribose after a bout of pneumonia perked him right up and got him back in the swing of things. Others claim that it increases their energy level and just plain makes them feel better. I personally use it every day, and I encourage you to do the same.

The suggested dose of ribose is 5 g (one heaping teaspoonful) mixed in water, tea, or coffee, or sprinkled on foods two to three times a day.  Ribose is safe, well-tolerated, and has no known drug interactions. The brand I recommend is Corvalen. (They also offer a product called CorvalenM geared specifically toward fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue that also contains magnesium and malic acid.)
 

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