Phosphates

(Known as Potassium phosphate, Sodium phosphate, Phosphates)

tickBoosts energy
tickAids recovery
How does it work?
Phosphate supplements have a number of benefits. Studies show an increased delivery of oxygen to working muscles, increasing stamina and endurance by up to 20%. Phosphates also reduce fatigue and the sensation of pain during exercise, allowing you to exercise for longer at a higher level before becoming fatigued.
Who is it used for?
Phosphate supplements are suitable for anyone wanting to reduce the time it takes to complete endurance exercise, including long-distance runners, cyclists and triathletes. Footballers, rugby players and anyone who regularly participates in physical exercise lasting 30 minutes or longer will also benefit from greater resistance to fatigue and more energy.
How does it work?
Your muscles use phosphates to make ATP and CP, two high-energy chemicals which provide the energy necessary for muscles to work. Surplus phosphates also prevent unwanted increases in muscle acidity. Phosphates are also required for proper formation of a compound called 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG). This is found in red blood cells and facilitates the release of oxygen from the blood to the tissues. Higher levels of 2,3-DPG enable a faster delivery of oxygen to muscles during exercise and enhance endurance performance.

Interest in phosphate supplements began when University of Florida researchers discovered that supplementation with sodium phosphate each day for three days lowered lactic acid levels and increased the endurance and aerobic capacity of 10 well-trained distance runners [3]. A similar investigation at Old Dominion University found that consuming four grams of sodium phosphate for three consecutive days strengthened cardiac activity, lifted lactate threshold by 10% and increased V02max by 9%.

These improvements in aerobic capcity meant that, on average, the triathletes were able to knock 35 seconds off their best 5-mile performance time [2]. There are anecdotal reports of some cyclists knocking over 3 minutes off the time taken to complete a 40-kilometer time-trial. Australian researchers also report that following a loading phase using phosphates, cyclists were able to exercise 16% longer than subjects using nothing [1].

One of the major limiting factors in endurance exercise is the accumulation of lactic acid in the working muscles. Phosphates offer a system that buffers lactic acid effectively. This reduces the burning sensation associated with the accumulation of lactic acid. Phosphates may also increase VO2max by increasing 2,3 DPG levels in the blood. Phosphate loading is not illegal, and there are currently no known adverse effects.
How do I use it?
The precise amount of phosphates required to enhance performance has not been established. Some experts believe that as little as 150 milligrams daily will be effective when consumed for several weeks. For those seeking rapid (less than 5 days) improvements in performance, 3-4 grams daily is generally considered to be the correct dosage. During periods of intense training or competition, elite athletes will often use up to 7 grams daily.
What results can I expect?
Phosphates have been shown in research to increase oxygen uptake by 10% within 3-7 days in well-trained athletes. An increase of this type would normally take several months of intense training to achieve. Most users note a rapid reduction in feelings of fatigue and tiredness during a race or training session. They also have more energy throughout the day.
What can it be combined with?
For enhancing endurance, phosphates work extremely well on their own. Because it increases the use of fat for fuel during exercise (which will also increase endurance) and reduces muscle soreness and damage, many athletes are reporting greater benefits when they combine phosphates with L-Carnitine. The addition of coenzyme Q10 may enhance and extend the benefits of phosphate supplementation still further.

1. Stewart, I., McNaughton, L., Davies, P., & Tristram, S. (1990). Phosphate loading and the effects on Vo2max in trained cyclists. Research Quarterly in Exercise and Sport, 61, 80-84
2. Kreider, R.B., Miller, G.W., Williams, M.H., Somma, C.T., & Nasser, T.A. (1990). Effects of phosphate loading on oxygen uptake, ventilatory anaerobic threshold, and run performance. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, 22, 250-256
3. Cade R, Conte M, Zauner C, Mars D, Peterson J, Lunne D, Hommen N, Packer D. (1984). Effects of phosphate loading on 2,3-diphosphoglycerate and maximal oxygen uptake. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 16, 263-268
4. Jaedig, S., Lindgarde, F., & Arborelius, M. (1994). Increased postprandial energy expenditure in obese women after peroral K-and Mg-phosphate. Minerals and Electrolyte Metabolism, 20, 147-152
5. Antonio, J., Colker, C.M., Torina, G.C., & Shi, Q., Brink, W.D., & Kalman, D. (1999). Effects of a standardized guggulsterone phosphate supplement on body composition in overweight adults: A pilot study. Current Therapeutic Research Clinical and Experimental, 60, 220-227
6. Nazar, K., Kaciuba-Uscilko, H., Szczepanik, J., Zemba, A.W., Kruk, B., Chwalbinska-Moneta, J., Titow-Stupnicka, E., Bicz, B., & Krotkiewski, M. Phosphate supplementation prevents a decrease of triiodothyronine and increases resting metabolic rate during low energy diet. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 47, 373-383

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