To truly understand exactly how Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) works, you might need a chemistry degree. But as someone wanting to build muscle, it’s important to gain some idea of just what ATP is and why it’s so vital.
This molecule exists in all living tissue and is critical in the process of energy provision that ultimately helps your muscles to contract. Every time your muscles contract or exert some force, ATP is involved.
As ATP is used up, it breaks down into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and your stores of ATP become depleted. If ATP isn’t therefore replenished, your ability to contract and exert your muscles reduces.
We can think of Adenosine Triphosphate as our body’s method of storing and using energy. Without the production and use of ATP, your body would have no energy and could build no muscle. That’s how central this molecule is to everything.
When it comes to bodybuilding, ATP is particularly important for increased power and reduced fatigue. One study showed that supplementing with ATP for 15 days resulted in a tendency to “reduce muscle fatigue and improved a participant’s ability to maintain a higher force output at the end of an exhaustive exercise bout.”
Is Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Produced Naturally In The Body?
Yes, your body produces some ATP which it uses to fuel your ordinary everyday movements and physical activity.
People who don’t often exert themselves physically are unlikely to have to worry about their ATP levels. But when you undertake high intensity exercise, more ATP is used up and it’s then that you might start running low on ATP which can negatively impact your performance and your results.
This is where ATP supplementation can come into play. But you need to think carefully about whether an ATP supplement would be of benefit to you, or if you even need it at all. Any supplements you are already taking are already potentially having an effect on ATP, which is another point that must be considered.
What are the benefits of ATP supplements?
You’ve no doubt come across supplements containing adenosine triphosphate (full list here). These supplements can make use of ATP in multiple ways and by targeting different processes that relate to this compound. These include the production of ATP, and its synthesis and storage in the body for use as energy.
Studies on ATP supplementation in people have shown mixed results. Surprisingly, the amount of ATP present may not even increase after taking a supplement, but it can have flow on benefits like enhancing blood flow to muscle tissue (important for muscle performance and growth), improve overall workout performance, and even helping to speed up your recovery.
As we get older, natural ATP levels can start to decline. They can also be reduced when the body is under stress. The result of a declining natural presence of ATP in the body can include reduced muscle function and even impairment in proper functioning of the organs. ATP is often given to medical patients in various situations, owing to its critical importance on the function of the human body.
So there are some clear benefits to taking Adenosine Triphosphate in supplement form for a whole range of reasons.
But it’s the use of ATP supplements for muscle building purposes that’s probably of most interest to you. Various ATP products come with their own set of promises; it’s important to research a supplement in detail before committing to it though. As with any muscle building supplement, quality between similar looking products can differ markedly.
Some of the benefits that most ATP supplements will claim to be able to deliver include:
- Increased energy levels
- Better mental focus
- Enhanced blood flow
- Boosted muscle growth
- More strength and power
- Improved endurance
- Faster recovery
- Decreased fatigue
Most ATP supplements are advised to be taken approximately 30 to 60 minutes before a workout, but also used on non-workout days to maintain your energy production.
There are numerous other ways of boosting Adenosine Triphosphate levels, depending upon what your goals are. Creatine for example, an important amino acid, can be converted into ATP during exercise. As most bodybuilders make use of creatine supplements, this is a way that you may already be boosting ATP without realizing it.
The coenzyme CoQ10 is also involved in ATP production. You might see this ingredients in ATP supplements for this reason. Additionally, B-complex vitamins play a vital role in energy production. Vitamin B1 in particular is required for ATP production, and so B vitamins are also often present in ATP supplements.
The interactions and flow on effects from various other types of supplements and their impacts on ATP indicates that it’s vital to be aware of the full effects of any supplements you’re already taking before considering a more specific ATP enhancement product.
Editor’s Note: Our #1 rated ATP supplement is Trenorol.