ATP supplementation enhances muscle strength and performance in men
Tuesday, October 29, 2013. The journal Nutrition and Metabolism published an article on September 22, 2013, which reported a benefit for adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) supplementation in men engaged in a resistance-training program. Adenosine-5′-triphosphate is the primary intracellular energy source in the body, which also has extracellular functions that include modification of muscle excitability.
Jacob M. Wilson of the University of Tampa and his associates administered 400 milligrams oral ATP or a placebo daily to 21 resistance-trained men. Participants were instructed to consume the supplements one hour prior to exercising on training days and before breakfast on non-training days. Muscle mass and body composition were assessed at the beginning of the study and after 4, 8 and 12 weeks, and strength, vertical jump power, perceived recovery and blood values were assessed before treatment and after 4, 8, 9, 10 and 12 weeks of supplementation.
While both groups experienced an increase in muscle strength, subjects who received ATP showed a greater increase in their ability to perform squats and dead lifts as well as in total strength. Vertical jump power, lean body mass and muscle thickness also increased in the ATP-supplemented group, and protein breakdown decreased by the end of the study, indicating improved recovery. No effect on hemoglobin, white blood cells, blood glucose, liver, or kidney function was observed.
"While at first look these results may appear to be only pertinent to athletic performance, it is important to understand that several non-sport activities place people at risk for deterioration of performance in life threatening situations where performance is critical," the authors remark. "A primary example includes combat athletes/military personnel who are often times placed in extreme overreaching and overtraining environments that may take months to recover from."
"The collective findings of our current study suggest that oral supplementation with ATP in combination with high intensity, periodized resistance-training, increases muscle mass, strength, and power compared with a placebo-matched control," they conclude. "Future research should seek to elucidate the underlying mechanisms through which ATP operates to promote improvements in training adaptations."
Twelve participants underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy of a lower leg muscle before and after twelve weeks of vitamin D supplementation in order to evaluate phosphocreatine recovery kinetics as an assessment of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Phosphocreatine is used by the cells' mitochondria to manufacture adenosine triphosphate (ATP)--a molecule needed by muscle for movement. Rapid replenishment of phosphocreatine by the mitochondria following muscle contraction is an indicator of improved mitochondrial efficiency.
Researchers Akash Sinha and colleagues observed a reduction in phosphocreatine recovery half-time after treatment with vitamin D, which indicates an improvement in maximal oxidative phosphorylation. "The scans provided a unique window into what is really going on in the muscle as it works," Dr Sinha explained. "Examining this small group of patients with vitamin D deficiency who experienced symptoms of muscle fatigue, we found that those with very low vitamin D levels improved their muscle efficiency significantly when their vitamin D levels were improved."
"We have proved for the first time a link between vitamin D and mitochondria function," Dr Sinha announced. "Of the patients I see, around 60% are vitamin D deficient and most people living north of Manchester will struggle to process enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, particularly during winter and spring. So a simple vitamin D tablet could help boost your energy levels – from within the cells."
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