Foods Containing Ribose


Ribose is produced naturally in our bodies. It is synthesized from glucose and is a valuable source of energy. Because of this ribose is recommended as an alternative therapy for people suffering from chronic fatigue. Many athletes also take ribose before endurance events to boost performance. Since ribose is a complex, five-carbon sugar, there are no foods that directly contain it. However, there are many that contain riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which is a constituent of ribose.

Signs of Deficiency

Signs of a vitamin B2 deficiency include skin rashes, dry lips, sores around the mouth and hypersensitivity to light. If you experience any of the signs of deficiency, you may want to take a supplement or incorporate the following foods into your diet.

Meat Sources

Beef liver is one of the highest sources of riboflavin. A 3-oz. serving contains 1.71 mg. Beef and chicken are other good meat sources at 0.18 mg and 0.17 mg respectively for a 3-oz. serving.

Vegetarian Sources

Cooked mushrooms are the highest vegetarian source of riboflavin at 0.47 mg per cup. Other good sources are broccoli, spinach, almonds and asparagus.


Ribose supplements are sold in powder and capsule form. Most multivitamins also contain a daily amount of riboflavin. As with any supplement, check with your health care provider to see if it’s right for you.

Recommended Dose

According to the CoryHolly Institute, no more than 20 grams of ribose should be consumed per day. The institute recommends breaking it down into 4-gram doses rather than consuming 20 grams at once. Endurance athletes may take higher amounts but should always check with a trainer or physician before doing so.

Side Effects

In most cases, your body should be able to eliminate excess ribose and riboflavin through urine. The most common side effects of ribose are diarrhea and decreased blood glucose levels. However, consuming regular, high doses of ribose or riboflavin causes fatty deposits to build up in the eye which leads to macular degeneration.

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