Hoping someone can help me out on this,

I understand glycolysis is the breakdown of glucose(sugars) into pyruvic acid which is then oxidized further down a series of reactions to produce what we know as ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate), or the energetic "currency" of biological systems. The original sugar molecule is obviously derived from carbohydrates (if i remember correctly), which won't be in much abundance due to a ketogenic diet which I plan on starting tomorrow.

My question is while being on a ketogenic diet, can I supplement the initial glucose 4-carbons by taking d-ribose throughout my diet? This would in theory keep the advantages of a ketogenic diet, along with promoting ATP synthesis and significantly increasing my bodies anabolic potential and muscle growth that would normally be there if I had adequate carbohydrate intake.

Effects of Keto on weight training

  • Lack of "pump"
  • Depleted Glycogen stores in muscle Fibers
  • Lack of Endurance
  • General Muscle loss
  • Loss of strength

Can D-Ribose help get rid of these issues ?

  • Can you outline how this will help your workout plan, or anything about your workouts? Otherwise it is nutrition and off topic. On a side note, you do know that ketogenic diets were developed primarily to help control epilepsy and other metabolic diseases, and their efficacy in weight loss is somewhat unproven and tenuous?
    – JohnP
    Jun 18, 2014 at 14:47
  • Ive used ketogenic diets previously in 3-4 month intervals and lost a great deal of fat on them. As to what keto was created for, Anababolic steroids are used for individuals with wasting diseases, among other things. This doesn't mean they aren't used in the fitness world does it ? Also I'm asking if the d-ribose would replace the anabolism and endurance that carbohydrates would have given me. Know a great deal of partners who lost some strength, me included in the past, trying to avoid that. If this isn't relevant enough for workouts ill move it.
    – Macedon93
    Jun 18, 2014 at 19:56
  • I'm not disputing your results. Overall ketogenic diets are still a mixed bag. And drugs such has steroids will always be abused, it doesn't mean that using them for other than their intended purpose is a legitimate use. And no, adding anecdotes unrelated doesn't make it fitness related. As I said, add some of your workout routines and how you think ketogenic states will help it will bring it on topic for the site.
    – JohnP
    Jun 18, 2014 at 20:38
  • This has nothing to do with how keto will effect my workout routine, i already know how it will be effected. The question is will the lack of carbohydrates and its effects be mitigated by D-Ribose supplementation. All of this, having to do with fitness, gym, etc... thus clearly making this question relevant.
    – Macedon93
    Jun 19, 2014 at 5:01
  • "All of this having to do with fitness" - Possibly, but the site expects detail on HOW it relates to the fitness. As it stands, this is straight nutrition. Simply saying "Oh yeah, I work out so it will help" doesn't make it on topic.
    – JohnP
    Jun 19, 2014 at 14:16

3 Answers 3


D-Ribose is a 5-chain carbon that has been proven to provide medicinal support to those people who suffer from chronic fatigue, fybromyaglia and lack of energy.

5-10 grams 3x weekly seems to be the most widely accepted dose for this supplement.

Food does not actually contain D-Ribose so I can understand that this would be an addition to a great diet.

Consider whether it would be more advantageous to supply the body with a more organic/natural form of carbohydrate such as beans/quinoa/brown rice/legumes/potatoes, or take a substance such as D-Ribose to replace the absence of carbohydrates to keep the ketogenic state of the body.

  • Do you have sources for the chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia claims? Everything I can find on it shows it to have insufficient evidence for those claims, and the studies that I can find are all funded/done by the labs themselves. If this genuinely helps I would be interested, as I have a couple friends with fibromyalgia.
    – JohnP
    Jun 25, 2014 at 22:50
  • Thank you for the answer, yes the whole goal of taking the D-Ribose would be to maintain the advantages of a Keto diet, coupling it with the advantages of carbohydrate intake. Researching into the supplement a little indicated that it should not increase my glycogens stores during supplementation. So it seems on paper that this product will help with the ailments stated in my original post,(in respects to training). I have pharmaceutical grade D-Ribose on the way as we speak. So we will see how it goes. Thanks all.
    – Macedon93
    Jun 27, 2014 at 22:40
  • No factual scientific evidence for the chronic fatigue, fibromyaglia claim other than internet sources, unfortuntely...
    – ghost_zfh
    Jul 3, 2014 at 15:12
  • @ghost_zfh: Isn't it 5 g 3× daily as in this study? But even 15 g daily doesn't really serve as glycogen replenishment...
    – charlie
    Jul 30, 2016 at 17:28

I just read a study on d-ribose and how it raises insulin after injested and lowers blood glucose in a fasted state. So if your on alow/very low carb plan maybe take it with a fast acting whey after working out with weights.

  • I have no objections to answering the question, if it is on topic. I still don't think even with the edits that it is on topic, however I'm in the minority. I'm ok with that. In the future, please keep personal asides out of your posts.
    – JohnP
    Jun 24, 2014 at 15:47
  • @Adrian: If it raises insulin, then it will kick him (OP) out of ketosis.
    – charlie
    Jul 30, 2016 at 17:29

Glucose is 6 carbons. You don't need to promote ATP synthesis, enough is produced from fat / ketones. Also, neither ATP nor carbs have any anabolic potential, but an insulin spike after taking D-ribose can have — but it will kick you out of ketosis. Having carbs in muscles makes them bigger just temporarily, it won't increase number / size / strength / endurance of muscle fibers.

Glycogen stores are not depleted by ketosis, only by prolonged high intensity workouts. Try HIIT instead. Body can replenish glycogen from fat, it just takes longer (1-2 days) than from eaten carbs. Endurance (as in: prolonged low intensity effort) shoud be increased in ketosis, since the body can exert longer on fats than on carbs.

Ketosis does not induce any muscle wasting, quite contrary. If the body knows how to use fat, it doesn't need to turn proteins (amino acids) into glucose. That happens only when the body is carb-addicted, not in ketosis. Re strength, it's not lost, you can prove it by carbing-up for a high intensity workout, occasionally.

As it appears to me, you are quite confused with regards to how body works, so please read up on metabolism and esp. ketosis first. If you really experience all those negatives, you're doing it wrong and maybe you even were not in a real ketosis. Forget about D-ribose and fix ketosis first.

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