D-Ribose is a special sugar made in your body that does not come from food. It helps relieve fatigue, soreness, and stiffness after exercise. Sugars we are familiar with are table sugar (sucrose), corn sugar (glucose), milk sugar (lactose), honey (mostly fructose) and others are used by the body as fuel. These sugars are consumed and with the help of the oxygen we breathe, are burned by the body for energy. When these sugars are consumed excessively, however, they become toxic acting as energy loan sharks in the body.
D-ribose has a negative value on the glycemic index. When taken your body recognizes it that is different from other sugars and preserves it for the vital work of actually making the special energy molecule (ATP) that powers your heart, muscles and brain and every other tissue in your body.
ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the energy storage unit for all living things. Think of it as a capsule, ready to take in energy and transport it to wherever your body needs it. When a process in your body needs fuel to function, the capsule splits open and energy is instantly available for use.
When the heart does not have enough energy it does not relax between beats. This means it can’t fill completely with blood. Because of this the heart cannot function properly and pump enough blood to the body. When this happens your tissue becomes oxygen starved. This can cause a heart attack or you may have symptoms of heart failure such as ankle swelling shortness of breath while exercising or lying flat.
It is harder for the heart to relax than to contract. If the heart does not relax completely over time the muscle will become very hard and will eventually stop.
D-Ribose is used to generate ATP. Supplementing your diet with additional D-Ribose should increase the rate at which ATP is generated, leading to an improvement in exercise performance and faster muscle growth. ATP is constantly being broken down and “recreated”. In the process, it provides energy for every move you make and every chemical reaction that occurs in human body.
Why should I use D-Ribose?
Supplementing with D-Ribose is an effective way to increase energy levels (ATP) within the muscle cell, enhance muscular performance, and aid in recovery after high intensity exercise. You will produce more energy during short, intense bursts of activity, like weight training and sprinting. All muscles in the body rely on a constant supply of ATP for the energy they need to function properly. When we place great energy demands on our heart or skeletal muscles through intense physical exercise, our muscles become deprived of oxygen due to diminished blood flow. This oxygen deprivation leads to a drastic decrease in muscle ATP/energy levels. Studies have shown that muscle ATP stores can be decreased by as much as 60-70% following exhaustive exercise and that it can take over 72 HOURS for these ATP stores to be adequately replenished. During this recuperation period, muscular strength and endurance maybe GREATLY diminished. D-Ribose has been shown to dramatically enhance the rate at which ATP is replenished in the muscles decreasing the recovery time from 72 HOURS to as little as 12 HOURS! D-Ribose is absorbed VERY efficiently with 95% of what you consume delivered to the bloodstream. D-Ribose will have no effect on heart rate or blood pressure and should be taken approximately 1 hour before exercise and immediately after. Also, D-Ribose, when taken with Creatine Monohydrate, has a synergistic effect on muscle strength, endurance, and recovery making this combo one of the most potent weapons in an athlete’s arsenal. Finally, D-Ribose also gives the body a SUDDEN JOLT of energy when taken, and will thus help as a preworkout supplement.
What doses of D-Ribose should be taken? While there is no definitive guide on how much D-Ribose should be taken, most experts agree that large amounts should be taken as a “loading phase” for the first week of supplementation when the body is most responsive. For this loading phase 3 grams taken 3-4 times a day should be sufficient. Then, once the muscles are saturated with D-Ribose, a maintenance dose can be consumed. This should range from 6-9 grams a day.
What side effects are caused by D-Ribose? As of yet, no known side effects have been reported from the use of D-Ribose. D-Ribose is a natural nutrient produced by our bodies and is believed to be safe.
Jami Jones is a natural health consultant and owner of Nature’s Cure, in Albany.