Last Updated: September 28 2022

Pyruvate is an energy intermediate in cells, derived from both glucose and fatty acids to produce ATP. Despite this importance, human studies are not overly promising and the high doses needed are sometimes limited by intestinal side-effects.

Pyruvate is most often used for


Pyruvate is a 3-carbon energy intermediate produced in cells from glucose, en route to creating ATP (the main energy currency of working cells). Pyruvate supplementation has been proposed to enhance work output and weight loss by providing more efficient energy that bypasses the ability of the body to store glucose as body fat.

Studies in humans with pyvuate supplementation show promise at high dosages when pyruvate replaces dietary carbohydrates.

Pyruvate has a lacklustre pharmacodynamic profile, and is not well absorbed. Some studies fail to note increases in blood pyruvate or muscle pyruvate in response to supplementation due to its inability to be absorbed and utilized well. Low doses of pyruvate (3-5g) tend to return null results rather than positive results in healthy persons.

Due to its poor absorption, high dose pyruvate is known to cause stomach distress and loose stools in dosages exceeding 15g.

Dosage information

Most studies on pyruvate substituted dietary carbohydrates for pyruvate as pyruvate itself does contain calories. The dose used in studies showing most fat loss is in the range of 20-50g daily, or replacing 10-20% of caloric intake (initially from carbohydrates) with supplemental pyruvate.

The lowest effective range noted in the aforementioned studies is replacing 6-12g of carbohydrates with pyruvate, but even then the results seen with pyruvate are variable and lacklustre enough to warrant caution in buying this supplement.

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