The effect of oral ribose supplementation on the resynthesis of adenine nucleotides and performance after 1 wk of intense intermittent exercise was examined. Eight subjects performed a random double-blind crossover design. The subjects performed cycle training consisting of 15 x 10 s of all-out sprinting twice per day for 7 days. After training the subjects received either ribose (200 mg/kg body wt; Rib) or placebo (Pla) three times per day for 3 days. An exercise test was performed at 72 h after the last training session. Immediately after the last training session, muscle ATP was lowered (P < 0.05) by 25 +/- 2 and 22 +/- 3% in Pla and Rib, respectively. In both Pla and Rib, muscle ATP levels at 5 and 24 h after the exercise were still lower (P < 0.05) than pretraining. After 72 h, muscle ATP was similar (P > 0.05) to pretraining in Rib (24.6 +/- 0.6 vs. 26.2 +/- 0.2 mmol/kg dry wt) but still lower (P < 0.05) in Pla (21.1 +/- 0.5 vs. 26.0 +/- 0.2 mmol/kg dry wt) and higher (P < 0.05) in Rib than in Pla. Plasma hypoxanthine levels after the test performed at 72 h were higher (P < 0.05) in Rib compared with Pla. Mean and peak power outputs during the test performed at 72 h were similar (P > 0.05) in Pla and Rib. The results support the hypothesis that the availability of ribose in the muscle is a limiting factor for the rate of resynthesis of ATP. Furthermore, the reduction in muscle ATP observed after intense training does not appear to be limiting for high-intensity exercise performance.