Hulver, M., Case, S., Ober, A., & Alspach, S. (1999). The effects of pyruvate ingestion on repeated exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 2068.

"Pyruvate is a three carbon metabolite of carbohydrate metabolism. When used as a dietary supplement or a partial replacement for carbohydrate in the diet, it has been found to produce strong metabolic effects. Pyruvate has been marketed by supplement manufacturers as a substance that will provide two benefits: enhancement of weight loss while preserving lean body mass, and improvement in submaximal endurance." (p. S402) This study assessed if pyruvate consumption would improve high-intensity, intermittent work. Ss (N = 18) ran repeated one minute intervals, interspersed with 30-seconds rests, on a treadmill under two conditions: after seven days of dietary pyruvate supplementation (4000 mg/day), and after seven days of placebo (maltodextrin 4000 mg/day). The number of intervals completed until voluntary exhaustion under each condition was compared.

There were no significant differences between the two conditions for number of intervals completed, post-exercise lactate, or post-exercise glucose.

Implication. Pyruvate supplementation does not enhance high-intensity, intermittent work.

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