The final energy currency in the body is
or, more commonly,
. ATP is the substance
that gives our muscles the energy to contract and run every other energy-requiring process in the body. So why not just
supplement with ATP instead of other precursors like carbohydrate or creatine? The primary reason is that it is difficult
to absorb ATP because of its large size and susceptibility to degradation by enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract.
However, a recent study examined the effects of an enterically-coated
that is designed to enhance absorption
and delivery of the ATP to cells. Subjects received either low dose ATP (150 mg), high dose ATP (225 mg) or placebo.
Testing occurred at baseline, 75 min after a single dose, and after a 7 day supplementation period. ATP supplementation
had no effect on blood levels of ATP or high-intensity cycling performance. Although not statistically significant, the
high dose ATP supplement group did
increase maximal bench press strength
and relative strength as assessed by repetitions
to fatigue at 70% of maximal. The study did show small benefits of
oral ATP supplementation
but larger studies confirming
this effect are needed to confirm this before ATP can be recommended.
Jordan AN, Jurca R, Abraham EH, Salikhova A, Mann JK, Morss GM, Church TS, Lucia A, Earnest CP. Effects of oral ATP supplementation on anaerobic power and muscular strength. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004 Jun;36(6):983-90.