D-Ribose: The Heart Smart Cellular Energy Enhancer

Do you remember what it felt like to leap out of bed in the morning when you were a kid … especially in the summer when you greeted each day with energy and enthusiasm to spare? Well, imagine how much you’d accomplish today if you had 50% of that energy.

You’d have the stamina you need to achieve your goals, and you’d feel pretty good at the end of the day.

It could be that you need to supplement your diet with D-ribose. We’re hearing more and more about how ribose is a natural, potent energy enhancer, which just might make a difference in how you greet each day.

What is ribose?

D-Ribose (also known as ribose) is a simple sugar produced in the body that is used by all living cells. It is part of the building blocks that form DNA and RNA molecules, and is one of the crucial ingredients in the production of adenosine tri-phospate (ATP).

What is ATP?

In a nutshell, it’s called the “energy currency” of all cells. It’s the body’s primary energy-carrying molecule that assists in the conversion of nutrients into usable energy, which enables your body to function.

During vigorous exercise or times of stress, large amounts of ATP can be depleted in the heart and skeletal muscles. The problem is your heart, muscles, and other organs and tissues do not make ribose very quickly, and it is not stored in the tissues and cells. Additionally, when your heart and muscles are stressed, ribose levels can be so low that they have a difficult time recovering.

The good news is that ribose supplementation stimulates energy synthesis, allowing tissues to regenerate energy stores, giving them the boost they need to function efficiently … so that you have the energy you need to do what you want to do, while feeling good.

Why take supplemental ribose?

Lack of energy is the number one health complaint heard by doctors. The food you eat, the supplements you take, and the amount of exercise and quality of sleep you get all affect your ability to produce energy at the cellular level. But oxidation (free radical production), stress, overwork, and the quality of the air we breathe are some of the biggies that deplete our reserves and energy levels.

Whether you just want an energy boost or you are an athlete wanting to achieve your goal, studies show that you can benefit from adding supplemental ribose to your health regimen.

Who can benefit from D-ribose supplementation?

Everyone needs D-ribose because it is an essential ingredient in stimulating natural energy production. It is especially beneficial to older people, athletes, weekend warriors, and those dealing with fatigue.


Research has shown that D-ribose may hold numerous benefits for:

  • Heart Health
  • Muscle Health
  • Vitality and Healthy Aging
  • Fatigue
  • Athletic performance and recovery

How does D-ribose work?

The form of D-ribose that the body utilizes is called 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP), which regulates the metabolic pathway that synthesizes energy compounds in all living tissue. This pathway is called the Purine Nucleotide Pathway (PNP). But if the body doesn’t have enough PRPP—or D-ribose—energy synthesis slows down and tissue recovery is delayed. It is then crucial that ribose levels be replaced.

Scientists have found that supplemental D-ribose can rapidly stimulate the metabolic pathway used by the body to replenish these energy levels, restoring ribose levels in nerves and muscles. This in turn has a positive effect on ATP production in all muscles, especially the heart.

D-ribose supplementation:

  • Increases the rate of ATP and energy recovery after strenuous exercise, stress, and overwork
  • Shortens the time needed by heart and muscle tissue to replace energy that is lost through stress, exercise, and overwork
  • Helps the heart and muscles maximize energy recovery
  • Increases stamina and endurance, and reduces fatigue

Ribose and athletic performance

Free radicals are produced during intense exercise. Based on this theory and the theory that ribose is present in ATP, and that increasing adenine nucleotide availability may enhance high intensity exercise capacity, ribose supplements have been popular with athletes and active individuals for many years. However, there have only been a few clinical studies done that prove this theory.

Scientific studies

In one study D-ribose (10g/d) was shown to increase athletic performance and muscular strength in healthy, young male recreational bodybuilders after four weeks. No significant changes in their body composition were noted, and there were no changes at all found in the men who took a placebo.

Another study of seven healthy men who did two ergometric sessions (stress tests to determine physiology) on a bicycle to exhaustion at a one-week interval indicated that D-ribose improved the efficiency of their energy production.

Before the second test, the men took seven grams of ribose, which resulted in a reduction of urinary MDA—an indicator of oxidation and lower heart rates, when compared to the group who didn’t take the D-ribose supplement.

Ribose Caution

As ribose is a simple sugar, it can contribute to all the negative consequences of sugar consumption such as insulin resistance and glycation. However, daily consumption of 5 to 20 grams is very small in terms of sugar intake, and substituting ribose for other sugars is recommended.


Most tissues in the body—especially the heart—are unable to produce ribose fast enough to restore levels once they’ve been depleted. It’s a matter of supply and demand. Just as a car battery needs enough fluid to keep it charged and running, your body needs plenty of ribose to help it produce the ATP that supplies cells with an energy current.

So whether you suffer from fatigue, just want an energy boost, or are an athlete wanting to achieve your goals, consider adding supplemental D-ribose to your health regimen.

1 thought on “D-Ribose: The Heart Smart Cellular Energy Enhancer”

  1. Dear Dale,

    Pleased to see you add this supplement to your product line. I was once concerned about the potential of D-Ribose for glycation and rationalized that substituting D-Ribose for what little carbohydrate I consumed was a reasonable trade-off. Additionally, use of compounds that are common to many supplement users (such as carnosine, benfotiamine, cysteine, and metformin) may ameliorate any possible damage done when adding D-Ribose to one’s diet. However, I found this study from 2015, which appears to indicate that the concern for glycation of D-Ribose may be overblown:



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