Clayton's Health Facts: Ribose.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.
What is Ribose and what does it do?
Ribose, a unique, 5-carbon sugar that occurs naturally in all living cells forms the carbohydrate portion of DNA and RNA, the building blocks of life. Ribose is also the sugar that begins the metabolic process for production of adenosine triphosphate (or ATP). ATP is the major source of energy used by cells including muscle tissue for normal function.

Research on Ribose and Energy Recovery in Athletes
Intense exercise causes a significant decrease in skeletal muscle energy levels. In fact, it can take 3 days or longer for these energy levels to recover! Recent studies show, however, that supplementing with high quality ribose hastens energy recovery in all types of skeletal muscles. This means you'll be able to work out longer and build muscle faster because you will recover quicker from intense workouts, having the energy to do more!

Research on Ribose in Cardiovascular Health
Over the past 25 years, research has shown that ribose enhances energy recovery in cardiac muscle (heart tissue) after periods of restricted blood flow. Many things can cause restricted blood flow, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart surgery, or organ transplantation. Under these circumstances, the heart's functioning may be compromised and their is risk of permanet loss of heart tissue. Rigorous testing in both animal and human studies have demonstrated that supplementation of ribose restores intracellular energy levels in the cardiac muscle tissue and improves heart function.

How can Ribose Help the Bodybuilder?
Ribose is research proven to help increase muscular energy, boost endurance, and promote recovery! It's a powerful cellular energy source that is naturally occurring and found in all cells in the body. It's an efficient way to improve your energy levels for working out through its participation in the synthesis of ATP in the muscle cell, enhancing performance, and aiding in the recovery of muscle tissue after intense exercise.

1. Gross M. Kormann R, Zollner N. "Ribose Administration during Exercise:..." Klinische Wochenschrift 69: 151-155, 1991.
2. WagnerD, Gresser U, Zollner N. "Effects of Oal Ribose on Muscle Metabolism during Bicycle Ergometer in AMPD-Deficient Patients. Annals of Nutritional Metabolism 35; 297-302, 1991.


- From Big Cat's Insulin Potentiators article on

If you mention creatine, I feel you have to mention Ribose. It's one of my favorite new supplements and if it goes the same route creatine went it should become more cost-effective in the near future. The reason Ribose and Creatine are so closely related is the way in which they do their thing. They're also very synergistic (support each other) in their actions.

Ribose is a simple 5-carbon sugar which is metabolized inside most living cells. Ribose is the binding sugar that holds the phosphate and the different bases in RNA (RiboNucleic Acid) together, which as most of you know is the main system for duplicating genetic material and thus an important link in protein synthesis. In fact mRNA is responsible for most of the protein synthesis. Ribose is also closely related to desoxyribose which is the binding sugar in DNA (desoxyribonucleic acid), the building blocks of life and the dictionary of our genetic codes. Ribose is the main metaboliser in the manufacturing of ATP, which as we discussed, is vital to lengthening and intensifying anaerobic exercise. It may not just be important in the making of new ATP, some scientists claim that it may hold on to excess ADP longer. Long enough for, say, creatine phosphate to turn it back in to ATP. And as a result creates a synergistic effect between the two substances that could result in major gains in the long run. The main beef with Ribose at this point is its cost.

To have a true anabolic effect you need 5-20 grams daily (I usually suggest 50 to 100 percent of the amount of creatine you are taking, but it should easily be 200 percent when taken separately). Mainly thanks to companies like leading the way it may become even cheaper. It happened with creatine, why not with Ribose? Creatine, when I first bought it was very expensive, I remember I used to pay as much for 300 grams of regular creatine as I do now for 1000 grams of micronized creatine. If that trend is picked up in the manufacturing of Ribose it may be the next big thing.

The thing with Ribose is that it is a simple sugar, it easily provides glycogen for energy storage and at the same time starts the chain of command to make new ATP. It would be great to take in workout hyperhydration drinks, but also as a recovery supplement or a preworkout booster. It could easily rival the popularity of creatine. Simple sugars if you remember, raise the insulin level in the blood and therefore facilitate the absorption of protein and creatine.