Ribose is a sugar component of ribonucleic acid. One finds ribose in the nucleotides. These are molecules that are contained as the smallest components of the nucleic acid and, when combined, represent the smallest unit of information that enables the coding of the genetic code in DNA and RNA.

The human body can synthesize ribose from other monosaccharides (= monosaccharides) itself via the so-called pentose phosphate cycle. Ribose also contributes to the energy supply of the muscle cells with ATP (= adenosine triphosphate). ATP is consumed by the muscle in movement phases of training and must be synthesized by the body again after consumption. Ribose helps by being absorbed by the muscle cells and consumed during ATP production.

Effect of ribose

Ribose basically works (as mentioned above) by stimulating the synthesis of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate Synthesis) in the body. From this it can be concluded that ribose also has an influence on the performance of the musculature and the muscle build-up. There are several studies on this.

In a Danish study from 2004, eight athletes completed a seven-day fitness program consisting of sprint units on a bicycle. One half of them received 200mg of ribose per kilogram of body weight, the other half received only a placebo (i.e. a drug without any significant effect, such as glucose). Before and after training, samples were taken from their muscle tissue and examined for ATP concentrations.

The researchers found that although the ATP level was lower in both groups after exercise, as expected, the ATP level was lower in both groups. However, after 72 hours, the subjects on ribose supplementation had returned to their preloaded ATP levels, while the placebo remained lower. Similar results were obtained in a study by the Universities of Florida and Nebraska.

They gave bodybuilders an intensive, four-week training program and simultaneously administered them either ten grams of ribose or a placebo made from glucose. Although both groups were able to improve their muscle strength through strength training, the candidates with supplemental ribose performed significantly better. The effect of ribose cannot only be observed in the area of weight training.

Ribose was also used in a study in Salzburg, Austria, to treat heart disease. In patients after a heart attack or with circulatory disorders of the heart (ischemia), ATP degradation was reduced and heart function improved. There is also a study from Dallas on the effect of ribose in fibromyalgia (FMS).

The severe pain of the affected patients is caused by the disturbed oxygen supply to the muscles due to an ATP deficiency. In this case, ribose can also be useful as a dietary supplement. However, not all research results speak for a clearly positive effect of Ribose.

For example, the study of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium could not prove a positive effect of ribose intake on regeneration. In addition, besides the desired effects, side effects are of course also possible, but these occur mainly with high amounts of ribose. As this substance is a sugar, there is of course the possibility of hyperglycaemia in patients with insulin and blood sugar disorders. It is also possible that intestinal disturbances may occur as an undesirable effect of ribose at a very high dosage.