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- A naturally-occurring sugar
- Boosts recovery by 340-430%
- Ensures maximal muscular energy charge
Ribose is present within every living cell of the body and is used to manufacture ATP (the energy currency of the cell) from scratch. Whilst the body can manufacture its own ribose from glucose, this requires energy and is a very slow process. Research into ribose supplementation* has proven that taking as little as 3-5grams per day will return cellular levels of ATP to normal within 6-22 hours of exhaustive exercise. Without supplementation, this is likely to take between 26 and 93 hours.
Every cell in your body contains ATP (adinosine triphosphate), an energy-rich compound that provides virtually all the energy needed to function on a second-by-second basis. When ATP is broken down into ADP + Pi (adinosine diphosphate + inorganic phosphate) energy is released and this is used to power all our bodily functions. Naturally then, it is the breakdown of ATP within the cells of the working muscles that provides the energy for exercise. Without it you wouldn’t be going anywhere!
It is through the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein that ADP + Pi is reformed to make ATP. This ATP is then available to be used for muscular contraction. As the muscle uses it, once again it will break down to ADP + Pi and so it goes on. When exercising, this cycle rapidly and continually takes place in order to satisfy the substantial turnover of energy required.
Research has shown that after maximal high load exercise, the pools of ATP and ADP + Pi in skeletal muscle cells are reduced by as much as 20-28 percent. The mechanisms behind this are rather complex and involve the loss of a compound called AMP (adinosine monophosphate). However, the net effect is that the overall pools of ATP and ADP + Pi within each cell is reduced, which seriously limits their energy potential. It doesn’t matter how much carbohydrate you ram into your body, if these nucleotide levels are low, you’re not going to have the raw materials available to produce power effectively. To further compound the problem, once AMP has left the cell, there’s no getting it back and so ATP and ADP + Pi levels will remain low, perhaps sinking further if another high intensity bout of exercise is experienced.
What is ribose and what does it do?
Ribose is a simple sugar, the carbohydrate backbone of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), so is a component of the genetic materials used to pass on genetic code from one generation to the next. As well as having this very important function, ribose is also the starting point for the production of ATP. Although cells cannot draw nucleotides back into them to re-form ATP, they can make it from scratch using ribose.
Ribose is found naturally in every living cell of the body and is synthesised from glucose, but this is slow, complicated and requires energy. Supplemental ribose is able to bypass this process, quickly re-building cellular ATP and returning muscle energy levels to normal. Again, research has shown that ribose supplementation increases the manufacture of ATP in skeletal muscle by 340 to 430 percent. It has also demonstrated that ribose improves the cell’s ability to salvage and re-use ADP and AMP by as much as 700 percent (these are the nucleotides that are usually lost from the cell for good). These are not ‘slight’ benefits – they are highly significant.
Why supplement with ribose?
Whilst all living cells contain ribose, there is not enough in the food we eat to re-stock energy levels. Ribose in meat is predominantly lost through the cooking process and there are insufficient quantities of the nutrient in plant foodstuffs to have any effect. Add to this the fact that it can take many days for the body to synthesise its own ribose from glucose and the benefits of supplementing with this nutrient become clear. Supplemental ribose is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, with much of this absorption occurring before it is even swallowed. Once in the muscle cell itself, ribose can be very quickly transformed into ATP.
We’re not suggesting that supplementing with TORQ ribose will make you more powerful. The available research doesn’t support this. What the research does clearly indicate however, is that you will recover more quickly after heavy exercise, which means that the quality of your training during periods of high physical load will improve. Our TORQ recovery product contains TORQ ribose at the research recommended levels already, so if you are using this product, it may not be necessary for you to purchase RAW TORQ ribose also. TORQ ribose in its RAW form can be added to other brand’s recovery products if you want to boost their effectiveness or can be used as part of our ‘Vegan Recovery’ package (featured in this section). TORQ ribose can also be added to your energy drink during ultra-endurance events. This practice can help you to ‘recover on the hoof’, because the synthesis of ATP from Ribose is extremely rapid, so from 6 hours into an event you will start to benefit from the earlier doses. This is a product strongly recommended for Ultra-Endurance events over 6 hours in duration.
TORQ ribose is available in 200g and 500g tubs.
Ingredients: D-Ribose (100%)
- Stops muscle breakdown
- Reduces body fat
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces harmful cholesterol
HMB (Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) is a metabolite of the amino acid Leucine. This means that it is a natural bi-product of the breakdown of leucine, a constituent of normal dietary protein. Small amounts of HMB are found in certain foods like catfish, alfalfa and it is a natural component of mother’s milk, but generally speaking it’s pretty scarce in the average diet. HMB was first discovered in the 1950’s and has been studied for several decades, but only really became popular as a sporting supplement in the mid 90’s.
HMB has been found to slow down the degradation of muscle protein as well as enhance muscle gain, which means that it possesses both anti-catabolic and anabolic qualities. Early research has demonstrated that HMB supplementation lowers cholesterol and helps strengthen the immune system too.
HMB supplements were first used in the farming industry to help farmers raise leaner cattle and keep them free from infection. Scientists who studied animals taking HMB found that it increased muscle growth, immune function and reduced subcutaneous fat (the fat stored directly under the skin).
More recent research with human subjects has shown similar benefits. A highly respected research scientist called Dr Steven Nissen and his research team at Iowa State University conducted a study to determine if HMB would prevent muscle breakdown in humans undergoing resistance training and whether differing levels of protein intake would affect muscle mass or strength. They also assessed the effects of training and HMB administration on body fat and lean body mass levels*.
The researchers found that HMB supplementation decreased muscle breakdown in the group that took 3grams. Muscle strength also increased by 18.4% in the 3gram group, compared with 8% in the placebo group and muscle mass also increased by 2.66lbs and 0.88lbs respectively.
How does HMB work?
HMB is derived from the essential amino acid leucine. Essential amino acids have to be delivered to the body via the diet and usually human HMB production averages around 0.2 to 0.4grams per day, depending on how much leucine is present in the diet. Researchers have experimented with high dietary doses of leucine to see if this results in higher HMB production and although this has worked, for HMB production to reach ‘gram’ quantities, you would need 20 to 50grams of leucine per day. Supplementing with these quantities of leucine can be incredibly expensive and is likely to upset your stomach. Therefore, supplementing directly with HMB makes for better cashflow and less intestinal discomfort.
In order to establish how HMB might work, researchers have formulated hypothyses and tested them. It is known that HMB improves the protein balance by reducing catabolism (breakdown) and increasing anabolism (build-up) of muscle, but it is not fully understood how this occurs. It was first thought that HMB might be blocking the enzymes that carry out this catabolic process or that HMB itself may be an integral part of the cell membranes. While neither of these hypotheses has been ruled out, scientists now believe that HMB is most likely to be a precursor to a vital component of cell membranes, cholesterol. Rest assured, HMB has also been found to reduce harmful LDL (low density lipoprotein) blood cholesterol levels too, so HMB supplementation could reduce the risk of heart disease as well.
How much do I need and when do I take it?
Based on the available research, we suggest a daily dose of 3-5grams. If you are training heavily and using our TORQ Recovery Plus+ product, you don’t need to supplement with TORQ HMB, because TORQ Recovery Plus+ has it included to full research recomended levels already. Using TORQ HMB over TORQ Recovery Plus+ can be beneficial on the wallet during high load winter endurance building when the other potent ingredients in TORQ Recovery Plus+ aren’t required, yet the benefits of TORQ HMB are. Older athletes in particular stand to gain a lot from HMB supplementation, because the aging process hastens the loss of lean muscle mass and if you are vegan, you may wish to consider taking TORQ HMB as part of our ‘Vegan Recovery’ package featured in this section of the publication.
TORQ HMB is available in 200g and 500g tubs.
Ingredients: HMB (Beta-hydroxy-methylbuterate) 100%
- Supports the immune system
- Prevents muscle breakdown
- Accelerates recovery
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, in a large part because it is needed a lot by the brain, intestines, kidneys, lungs and immune system and also because you can manufacture your own. It is actually termed a ‘non-essential amino acid’, but this can be misleading, because under times of high training stress, if you leave your body to produce its own supply, it will break down muscle tissue in order to make it available.
Logic dictates that this is not desirable when you are a training athlete. Therefore, supplementation with L-Glutamine immediately after exercise stops the body scavenging for an alternative supply and eating into your well-earned muscle. It also ensures that plenty of L-Glutamine is available to fuel the immune system. Numerous studies have considered the effects of L-Glutamine supplementation on immune function and although the findings are mixed, there appears to be enough evidence to support its worth4. Couple the benefits of L-Glutaimine with HMB and it’s clear that there are huge gains to be achieved by supplementing with both of these compounds.
How do I use TORQ glutamine?
To maintain your muscle integrity and fuel the immune system, take 6-10 grams of TORQ glutamine immediately following exercise. Our TORQ recovery product contains TORQ glutamine at the research recommended levels already, so if you are using this product, it may not be necessary for you to purchase RAW TORQ glutamine also. TORQ glutamine in its RAW form can be added to other brands’ recovery products if you want to boost their effectiveness or can be used as part of our ‘Vegan Recovery’ package (featured in this section). If you suffer from a particularly weak immune system, supplementing with TORQ glutamine on your ‘rest days’ (when you’re not using TORQ recovery) may help to ward off infection and illness.
Ingredients: L-Glutamine (100%)
- Increases fat burning
- Prolongs endurance
- Increases aerobic power
L-Carnitine is vitamin-like substance formed in the body from several amino acids. It’s naturally present in meat (particularly red meat) and dairy and has been linked by many researchers to the increased metabolism of fat. L-Carnitine is not available through vegetable sources, so supplementation with this product perhaps has particular relevance to Vegetarians and Vegans?
Research suggests* that a 1-4 gram daily dose of L-Carnitine increases the maximum use of oxygen (V02 max) and increases endurance (time to fatigue). This occurs because L-Carnitine is linked to the mobilization of Fat. Fat is unusable in its Triglyceride form and needs to be converted to a Free Fatty Acid (FFA) in order for it to be metabolised as a fuel and L-Carnitine helps with this process. A supplement that increases fat burning has huge implications for endurance athletes in terms of increasing aerobic power, sparing muscle glycogen and therefore prolonging time to exhaustion.
It seems clear that Carnitine is most effective when taken long-term. If you have an important competition that you would like to peak for, you should start taking this supplement at least 3 weeks beforehand. Some studies have even demonstrated an increase in muscle strength in endurance athletes as a result of taking Carnitine. Dr Ed Burke* theorises that this may be due to the fact that the increased fat-burning somehow reduces the breakdown of muscle as a fuel during exercise. This further suggests that long-term consumption of Carnitine would be the best overall policy to adopt.
How do I use TORQ carnitine?
To boost endurance performance, take 2-4 grams of TORQ carnitine in divided doses on a daily basis. For best results, use TORQ carnitine daily in divided doses and if exercising, take one dose 30-60 minutes beforehand so that it reaches a peak in your blood plasma whilst training. For ultra-endurance events, you may benefit from adding TORQ carnitine to TORQ energy in your drinks bottle during exercise at the rate of approximately 1 gram per hour.
Ingredients: L-Carnitine (100%)
TORQ Vegan Recovery
Our TORQ recovery product contains whey protein, so won’t be suitable for you if you’re want a dairy-free diet. However, we do offer an extremely effective recovery package that combines 3 of our RAW products with TORQ energy NATURAL. Further information is available in the TORQ recovery section of our online store or phone us on 0845 128 4312.
For extensive information any of our other products, visit our online shop, find the product you are interested in and click on the ‘More Info’ tab.
- Burke, E.R. PhD (1999).
D-Ribose, what you need to know. Avery Publishing Group.
- Burke, E.R. PhD (2002).
Serious Cycling. Human Kinetics. Pages 167-169 (Ribose), 171-172 (L-Glutamine), 173-174 (HMB).*
- Paswater, R.A. PhD and Fuller, J. PhD (1997).
Building Muscle Mass, Performance And Health With HMB. Keats Publishing.
- Williams, M.H. PhD (1998).
The Ergogenics Edge. Human Kinetics.
- Wilmore, J.H. and Costill, D.L. (1999).
Physiology of Sport and Exercise. Human Kinetics.