Sodium pyruvate improves exercise performance and recovery in athletes

Sodium pyruvate is an energy source that has the ability to enhance aerobic metabolism and remove hydrogen ions resulting in a positive effect on recovery after exercise. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study examined the effect of 0.1 g/kg/d sodium pyruvate supplementation in 14 male college soccer athletes during 2 sessions of 1 week each. After each supplementation, participants performed high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) and 60-minute recovery (RSE).

Compared to placebo, sodium pyruvate (PYR) increased the relative peak power output (PPO) of the first (p = 0.034) and fifth (p = 0.043) sprints, and the relative mean power output (MPO) of the fifth sprint (p = 0.026). In addition, mean PPO (p = 0.031) and MPO (p = 0.033) of sprints 1-6 were significantly elevated after PYR supplementation. After PYR administration, resynthesis of the phosphagenic energy system [adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-phosphocreatine (PCr)] of the fourth (p = 0, 034) and overall recovery times during HIIE (p = 0, 029) were higher than placebo administration. In addition, ATP-PCr resynthesis of the first (p = 0.033) and fifth (p = 0.019) recovery periods, and the mean of the six recovery periods during HIIE (p = 0.041) were increased in the PYR group compared with placebo.

Therefore, these results suggest that sodium pyruvate improves physical performance and recovery in athletes.

Yan-Ping Yang, Jun-Qiang Qui, Meng-Yue Wang, Lin Feng, Dan-Luo, Rui-Rui Gao, Fang-Qiang Zhou, Kai-Xuan Che. Effect of sodium pyruvate supplementation on repeated sprint exercise performance and recovery in male college soccer players: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Palliat Med. 2022 Feb;11(2): 598-610.