Health & Wellbeing
How ATP is produced and increasing energy levels
By Anna Sawkins
Feb 23, 2022
Energy for Health
It is vital for the body’s cells to make energy to help our heart beat, muscles contract and to send signals to the brain and nerves. Most of the energy we produce for this is from ATP (Adenosine triphosphate).
How we Produce ATP
ATP is a compound that the cell uses for fuel, constructed of D-Ribose along with adenine and three phosphate molecules. ATP is built piece by piece with the phosphate molecules being held by chemical bonds. When the last chemical bond is broken, it releases chemical energy that is converted to mechanical energy to power movement. ATP is then recycled through reattaching phosphate to produce new energy.
What is Muscle Fatigue?
After exercising it is perfectly reasonable for muscles to ache: this is called muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue tends to occur when an exercise or activity is pushed beyond a person's current endurance level - so when we are trying to increase muscle strength or our general fitness, it is fair to assume that our endurance level will regularly be surpassed. Depending on its severity, muscle fatigue can be an ache which can in a severe case limit a person's movements and prevent further training sessions, or it can just make day to day chores a little more difficult. In most cases, any aching from muscle fatigue will slowly and naturally reduce over the course of a few days, depending on how strenuous the activity has been. To some degree, age is a factor in recovery from muscle fatigue.
ATP Levels and Muscle Fatigue
Exercise can significantly reduce the body's ATP levels (Adenosine triphosphate), and this reduction is experienced as a loss of energy. Large amounts of ATP can be depleted in the heart and skeletal muscles through exercise (or illness), and because it takes 72 hours to produce ATP from scratch in the body if mitochondria's recycling is impaired, fatigue is inevitable.
Increasing the body's supply of ATP can provide more energy for workouts and reduce any impact. In theory, the more ATP available to the muscles, the less fatigue experienced.
D Ribose is unique in supporting the production of ATP very quickly. (Most tissues in the body 'especially the heart' are unable to produce ribose fast enough to restore levels once they have been depleted. D-Ribose is not a drug. It is a simple sugar produced in the body already and used by all living cells. It is part of the building blocks that form DNA and RNA molecules and is a vital component in the production of ATP.
What is D-Ribose?
D-Ribose is the starting point in the synthesis of ATP and the structure onto which the compound is built. D-Ribose is a pure sugar that exists in the body’s cells. It is an essential sugar for our body since it is a component of RNA and DNA (the basis of our genetic information).D-Ribose is usually produced by the body from glucose from our food, but this a slow energy-intensive process and our body rations the amount of glucose available.
Cells need oxygen for metabolism. Strenuous exercise can mean using up our energy supplies before they can be replenished. There are also many health conditions that affect oxygen and blood flow (e.g. heart or muscle disease). Our cells need oxygen for metabolism to rebuild energy supplies and recover from physical activity. Without this, we experience fatigue, muscle pain and become less able to exercise.
Why is it Necessary to Supplement with D-Ribose when our Bodies produce it naturally?
D-Ribose supportively speeds up the process of energy recovery and restoration of battered cells and tissue. It can restore energy levels much faster than through our body’s natural process since it bypasses production (our natural process takes 72 hours to produce ATP from scratch). Used before and after exercise, it prevents the muscle stiffness that follows exertion allowing us to continue sooner with less rest.