After high-intensity exercise, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is one of the major players in a horse’s recovery.Those in horse racing circles may know that ATP is a component found naturally in the body. It is the cell’s basic unit of energy that stores energy reserves in the form of a high-energy phosphate bonds. Research published in Veterinary Medicine showed that following high-energy workouts, muscular ATP levels decrease substantially. However, to get energy levels back on track, trainers and owners can take advantage of ATP for their horses.
Nearly all body movement, from trotting to nodding the head, is caused by skeletal muscle contraction. Skeletal muscle consists of bundles of long spindle-shaped cells, or muscle fibers, that attach to the bone. At a cellular level, skeletal muscle function relies on sufficient amounts of ATP, and while the body continuously produces ATP, levels drop noticeably during states of metabolic stress such as ischemia, hypoxia and after high-intensity exercise. In these cases, demand can surpass supply. Studies highlight that the recovery process in equine species can be as prolonged as three days to more than a week after training and racing.
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology tested horses’ energy levels at different running speeds during treadmill exercises. At a speed of 10 meters per second, there was a minimal decrease in skeletal muscle, though horses showed a decline up to 47 percent when paced at 12 meters per second. During times of muscular stress, ATP levels declined. To counter this drop, ATP supplements could play a big part in energy recovery.
That’s because ATP has the ability replenish muscles. Sufficient energy levels are essential for healthy cells to function properly, and ATP is the “energy currency” of healthy cells. It contains d-ribose, a naturally occurring carbohydrate that plays several roles in a horse’s recovery process. First, it improves the regeneration in muscular ATP levels after demanding workouts such as a horse race or competitions. Next, d-ribose offers energy benefits to the heart during demanding exercises. What’s more, it can limit the increased production of oxygen free-radicals.
Horse trainers and owners have seen the benefits of ATP. Stretch Run contains the dilution of this effective component, which possesses the potential not only to enhance the recovery process, but to speed it up. In this way, ATP can improve a horse’s stamina and endurance.