Objective: It has been hypothesized that ribose supplementation rapidly replenishes adenosine triphosphate stores and thereby improves exercise performance. We compared the effects of ribose versus dextrose on rowing performance.
Design: Double-blind randomized trial.
Setting: Rowing team training area of large midwestern university.
Participants: Thirty-one women collegiate rowers.
Interventions: We studied the effects of ribose versus dextrose supplementation (10 g each in 8 oz water) for 8 weeks before and after practice and 2000-m time trials. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: In the time trials, the dextrose group showed significantly more improvement at 8 weeks than the ribose group (median, 15.2 vs. 5.2 s; P = 0.031).
Conclusions: We doubt ribose impaired, and hypothesize dextrose enhanced, rowing performance. Further research is needed to define what role, if any, dextrose and ribose play as athletic supplements.