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Ribose in My Vitamin Water?

The other day I was at a deli and picked up a bottle of Endurance Vitaminwater. I was excited when I saw that it contained ribose, thinking it must be a form of riboflavin (I wasn't thinking clearly since it was 1:30 and I was starving for lunch). After taking a few bites of my sandwich and reading the bottle, I discovered that it's not actually a B vitamin, or any vitamin for that matter.

Ribose is a simple sugar derived from glucose and produced by the human body. It is an essential component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the compound that stores and delivers energy in all cells and powers all the body's processes. When you work out intensely, ATP is used up quickly by your muscles, so that's why ribose is being added to energy drinks. It's supposed to give you sustained energy and help speed up the recovery of your muscle tissues.

To find out if ribose is safe,


There aren't a ton of extensive studies on ribose, but it has been shown to help people with conjunctive heart failure and fibromyalgia. The maximum recommended dose is 5g, three times a day, and it should be taken with food. Ribose is being added to other energy drinks besides Vitaminwater, and you may be getting more ribose than you think, since one bottle can contain more than one serving. Since there isn't a whole lot known about what could happen if your body overdoses on ribose consistently, this is just one more thing to keep in mind when label reading.


Join The Conversation
Thank you for bringing attention to the fact that consumers need to pay attention to nutrition fact panels and read labels carefully. As a nutrition professional, I am constantly asked about additives in products. In the case of Glaceau’s Endurance Vitaminwater, it's safe to say that the amount of ribose is within the (so-called recommended amount as there is not official daily value) 5 grams (5,000 mg)/3 x day - that's 15,000 mg/day! To put it into perspective, there's 250mg of ribose in a bottle of Endurance Vitaminwater - that means you would have to drink 60 bottles a day to exceed the maximum rec of ribose. It's important to remember that this beverage is intended as an energy drink - as a supplement to a healthy diet. I, agree, that many beverages are strictly sugar-laden empty calories, however, Vitaminwater, for example, does not only contain calories, but a variety of nutrients - 25% daily value of B-vitamins, 100% daily value of vitamin C and electrolytes: calcium, magnesium and potassium. The whole picture shows that Vitaminwater does offer benefits - it contains natural flavorings and sweeteners; coloring from fruits and vegetables; no sodium and its gluten-free and vegan-friendly. The bottom line is consumers should be getting most of their daily energy from a healthful, calorie-controlled diet. However, if you want a tasty way to replenish electrolytes and get some additional energy and nutrients, Vitaminwater is a viable option. Use it in conjunction with an energy-balanced lifestyle and avoid drinking too many calories at any one time in the day.
alexask alexask 9 years
vitamin water was out for so long, i remember paris hilton talking about it like 6 years ago and i started drinking it. i went to europe for a year last year, and now my there are vending machines entirely giving vitamin water all over my school. what happened all of a sudden?
emalove emalove 9 years
I love Vitamin water, but I'm not really big on this flavor.
allinavhcnerf allinavhcnerf 9 years
oh well. i love this flavor!
soulight soulight 9 years
I must admit I fell into the vitaminwater craze, specifically the green tea flavor. I have since had a fallen out with the drink because like travelgirl said, it's choke full of calories. I'm just sticking with Propel when I need a little flavor with my water.
marcella marcella 9 years
gabiushka -- I agree... why does anyone want to drink these things?! I think plain water is the best way to quench thirst.
porkypocky porkypocky 9 years
eh. not like i've ever drank those things for the nutrition, anyway. they're just tasty. lol! for future reference, anything that ends with "-ose" is typically a sugar.
travelgirl-jp travelgirl-jp 9 years
I really don't understand the general public's love affair with vitamin water. It's all marketing! Seriously, get your vitamins through food or a multi. This so-called water is loaded with sugar, making it a calorie bomb and far from healthy. You're better off drinking filtered water, and following a balanced diet. Just my opinion. I like my calories solid. :)
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Interesting. I never realized they added ribose to vitamin water, but it's an interesting concept at least. Even though the body needs ribose to make ATP, your body can synthesize ribose from about any other type of sugar you ingest, including glucose, fructose, mannose, etc. So it's really not a necessary thing to get in your diet.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
Endurance is my favorite VitaminWater - but I actually drink one serving at a time and add water - it is too sweet for me
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
I prefer plain water.
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