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Recharge Your Workout With Ribose
July 03

At the risk of sounding dramatic, the sight of people at the gym guzzling “sports drinks” often makes me cringe a bit. I understand their popularity – they’re easy and available everywhere  – but I can’t understand why anyone would willingly pour fructose, food coloring and assorted chemicals into their body, particularly when there’s a far healthier way to support athletic performance and recovery. Assuming you’re not a pro athlete, but do have a regular workout routine to fuel, consider ribose, for an immediate, healthy boost. To get more fuel for exercise when you need it, here are the basics on ribose, plus two super simple recipes so you can make you own healthy sports drink:

Um, so what’s a ribose?
Ribose is a simple sugar we get from food which enables the body to make, store and release energy.

How can I get more of it?
You can get ribose from food in small amounts, but if you’re looking to fuel longer workouts or “peak-performance” exercise sessions, you’ll likely use more than the body has immediately available and possibly run out of gas mid-workout or “bonk” as they say in the cycling world. Add some ribose to the mix though and voila! the extra energy you need is there on-demand and caffeine-free – all without raising blood sugar or blood pressure.

What else does ribose do?
In addition to quickly carrying energy to the muscles and helping ease post-workout muscle fatigue, ribose is thought to be beneficial in preventing heart disease – and particularly helpful for those already have it by giving them access to extra energy for the heart muscle use during exercise. Several studies have also indicated that ribose supplementation can help reduce muscle fatigue for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and muscular disorders.

Now, wait just a minute there, Sport.
As always, you should check with your doc first to discuss if ribose is right for you. While ribose in moderate amounts is generally well-tolerated, diabetics, hypoglycemics and pregnant or breast-feeding women should avoid it. In diabetics, ribose can interact with insulin, causing blood sugar to drop too low; the same holds true for hypoglycemics. For pregnant women or breast-feeding women, the effects of ribose on development aren’t fully known, so I’d recommend avoiding it during this phase of life.

The prescription:
Dosages vary based on your medical situation, but in general, for a healthy adult, most regular exercisers will do well with a workout day dose of about 5 grams, dissolved in water or a beverage of choice. Start drinking your ribose-infused beverage about an hour before your workout and keep sipping at 5 or 10-minute intervals throughout. For people with heart disease, more ribose can be helpful, but discuss the appropriate dosage with your doctor.

Brew your own.
The powdered form of ribose has a slightly sweet, pleasant maple taste, so when you brew up a batch go light on the stevia to start – you can always add more if you need more sweetness. The two simple recipes below will give you the fuel to get you going, plus the sodium, potassium and electrolytes you’ll need post-workout to help your muscles recover. Neither of these appeal? Then experiment and create your own brew, just be sure to include 5 grams of ribose and quarter teaspoon of Himalayan salt and a quarter cup of lemon juice to help replenish sodium, potassium, sugar and electrolytes.

Lipmo’s Spor-tea Drink
· 1 quart water or green tea, or my favorite, hibiscus pineapple litchi tea
· 1/4 teaspoon of mineral-packed Himalayan salt
· 1/4 cup organic lemon juice, to help replace potassium
· 5 grams powdered ribose, to provide energy to cells and muscles
· Stevia to taste

Lipmo’s Lemonade Lift
· 1 quart water
· 1/4 teaspoon of mineral-packed Himalayan salt
· 1/4 cup organic lemon juice, to help replace potassium
· 5 grams powdered ribose, to provide energy to cells and muscles
· Stevia to taste

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  • Kellent84

    Hello Dr. Lipman-  I just started the candida diet, so I need to avoid sugars.  However, I am also training for the marathon (makes replenishing with all the sugar-infused sports drinks tricky).  I was wondering if you think this would be a healthy alternative for the candida-diet. Thank you for your help!

  • Elizabeth Adams

    Where can I buy Ribose?

  • Tom Vonderbrink

    While ribose is a sugar it is not metabolized as a fuel therefore will not the promote the growth of candida or yeast.