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Oral adenosine triphosphate (ATP) supplements prevented declines in ATP and boosted power output, compared to a placebo (fake ATP), during repeated six-second sprints on a stationary bike. Martin Purpura from Increnovo LLC, and colleagues, gave either 400 milligrams of ATP or a placebo daily for two weeks, before the exercise test. Adenosine triphosphate is called the “energy currency of the cell” because it supplies energy for most cellular chemical reactions. Oral ATP supplements might prevent fatigue by improving cellular energy regulation.
Most ATP is found within the cells, and is critical for fueling muscle contractions and the majority of cell functions. Very little oral ATP enters the bloodstream intact. Instead, ATP breakdown products such as purines bind to cell receptors that influence muscle blood flow, learning movement skills, food intake and sleep. Oral ATP supplements likely increase muscle endurance by enhancing muscle blood flow during intense, prolonged muscle contractions.
Creatine monohydrate is superior to ATP for increasing intracellular ATP levels. Creatine supplies phosphates for ATP synthesis inside the cells, while oral ATP supplements influence cell signaling outside the cells. ATP and creatine monohydrate are effective ergogenic aids, but they work by different mechanisms. (Journal American College of Nutrition, published online January 12, 2017)