Sports nutrition vs. Sports performance: How much supplemental ribose does your body need?

April 8th, 2013
sport

Supplemental ribose is used by Olympic athletes, weekend warriors and people who simply need a steadier energy level to keep up with their hectic lifestyles. What’s the “best” ribose dosage? Should a world-class runner strive to get the same amount of ribose as someone training for his first half marathon? As a parent juggling a full-time job plus the schedules of two active kids?

The dosage spectrum

Experts explain that even small amounts of ribose will assist you in recovering and/or maintaining cellular energy. However taking multiple large doses of any supplement – not just ribose – does no good if your body simply does not need it. For example, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C for adults ranges from 75 mg to 120 mg depending on an individual’s gender and other factors.

For ribose, the daily goal for wellness is to ingest somewhere within the 3-6 gram range. But that doesn’t mean lower doses may not also be effective, depending on your individual circumstances. In fact, many people may benefit from much lower amounts.

How do you use your body’s energy reserves?

You may want to first determine your general category for energy usage:
• Supplementation: You want to take incremental amounts of ribose in an attempt to give your body the ability to maintain a steadier energy level over time.
• Sports nutrition: You may be an amateur athlete or weekend warrior. The way you eat, and the supplements you use including ribose, are chosen to maximize your physical performance.
• Sports performance: You are an athlete competing at the top of your game. You may need larger doses of ribose to sustain the physical exertion you put forth in your training and during competition.

Supplemental ribose guidelines

Now compare your energy requirements with what you may want to try to accomplish with by supplementing with ribose.

  • 250 mg/day:  This is the lower limit of the threshold, stipulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for health claims to be made about ribose. At this level, research indicates that ribose:
    • Speeds energy recovery
    • Replenishes energy reserves
    • Builds ATP in heart and muscles
    • Preserves daily cellular energy levels
    • Regenerates energy

 

  • 1.5 gm or more/day: At this level of supplementation, research has found that ribose:
    • Helps fight fatigue
    • Increases vitality
    • Makes you feel better
    • Fights fatigue
    • Improves physical performance
    • Increases athletic performance
    • Improves exercise tolerance and physical function
    • Decreases free radical formation during exercise
    • Aids in athletic performance
    • Improves mean power output
    • Helps conserve energy during exercise
    • Improves muscle recovery following exercise
    • Increases cardiac efficiency during exercise
    • Improves endurance

 

  • 3 gm or more/day: At this level of supplementation, research indicates that ribose:
    • Relieves post-exertional muscle cramping and soreness
    • Reduces muscle cramping and soreness

 

High-performance athletes may need upwards of 10-15g of supplemental ribose daily depending on their level of exertion and the duration of their exercise.