Pyruvate is a “salt” form of pyruvic acid – a 3-carbon molecule derived from the breakdown of glucose. The form of pyruvic acid found in dietary supplements is combined with various minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium to improve stability. In the body, glucose (6 carbons) is split into 2 pyruvic acid molecules (3 carbons each) in the end stages of cellular glycolysis.
When enough oxygen is present, pyruvic acid can be converted into acetyl CoA in the mitochondrion of the cell to produce energy. Oxygen coming to the cells is of the up most importance as it becomes pyruvic acid can raise the lactic acid, levels when there is a lack of oxygen. This situation can lead to muscle fatigue.
Elevated energy levels
Increased endurance levels
Increases muscle glycogen
Because glucose (the chief sugar used by cells for energy) is broken down body into pyruvic acid, an increased level of pyruvic acid in the body is theorized to enhance a cell’s ability to generate energy.
In general, the scientific support for pyruvate as a way to boost energy levels is somewhat controversial. At least a couple of human studies, however, have shown that daily consumption of 25 grams of pyruvate plus 75 grams of DHA (another 3-carbon sugar derived from glucose) over one week can help improve endurance performance.
Pyruvate products being sold at the health food stores contain only about 250-1500mg of pyruvate per serving – or about 100 times less than the levels shown to be effective in the clinical studies outlined above. Powdered forms are available that can increase serving sizes to 5 or 6 grams per serving.
Although 15 grams of pyruvate are typically recommended per day, this is more of a market . Most studies have used 20-30 grams or pyruvate or more. Most commercial preparations contain 500mg to 1 gram of pyruvate with 2-3 servings recommended per day.
In some studies, subjects consuming relatively large doses of pyruvate have reported minor gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea and flatulence.