Most of us have negative views of sugar … it is unhealthy, too much can dispose us to diabetes, Candida, overweight and obesity amongst other things. There is, however, a sugar that is a “good” sugar – it’s called ribose. Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar that is made in the body from glucose and is a vital part of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound that supplies energy to our cells. It can also be taken as a supplement. Ribose can give your energy a boost, which can help many people ranging from those dealing with chronic fatigue in illness, to athletes trying to get more stamina and endurance.
Ribose feeds cardiac and skeletal muscle, in particular. Therefore it is very good for the heart, and helps slow down and minimize muscle fatigue and weakness. I know many athletes who take ribose prior to a workout, and in endurance sports, during a work out. I have used it quite a bit myself, especially when training for half-marathons and triathlons, and I would also add some ribose powder to my water bottles for the bike. I found it makes such a difference in terms of being able to exercise for longer, and feeling stronger throughout. Plus it comes as a powder that you add to water, and it has a slightly sweet taste, so it’s really easy to take. Ribose can also help speed up post-exercise recovery, and minimize muscle soreness.
The Ribose product I use is called Ribos-Cardio, by a company called Researched Nutritionals. Designed for people with increased energy needs, it also contains L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine, as well as malic acid and magnesium. These other nutrients help with energy production and brain function, and facilitate thousands of enzymatic reactions needed in the body for all our biochemical pathways to run smoothly. Together they all support mitochondrial function, which are the parts of our cells where energy production takes place.
You might consider ribose as a supplement if you:-
- Have cardiac issues such as congestive heart failure or other heart disease.
- Experience chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, or other chronic illnesses that jeopardize energy production and cause fatigue and/ or muscle weakness.
- Have increased energy needs due to exercise, or want to get the most out of your exercise while minimizing post-exercise soreness and recovery time.
The maximum recommended dose of ribose is 5 grams, three times daily. It does not contribute any calories, but some people might experience diarrhea if they take a dose that is too high for them. I tend to just take a scoop before I work out, and that works well for me.
Imagine that – a good sugar! I love any supplement that helps me get the most out of my runs, and this one tastes good and doesn’t have any negative side effects.