You’ve probably heard about Coenzyme Q10 [CoQ10]. But do you actually know what it does and how it can improve your performance? Most of you probably know that CoQ10 supports and benefits your heart. But, recent evidence suggests, that CoQ10, can actually improve athletic performance, peak power production, and endurance.
In this article, you are going to learn
- What Is Coenzyme Q10 [CoQ10]?
- How Does CoQ10 Work?
- What You Don’t Know About [CoQ10]
- Why CoQ10 Is The Best Vitamin For Endurance Athletes
- Recommended Dose Of CoQ10 For Athletes
What Is Coenzyme Q10 [CoQ10]?
CoQ10 is an antioxidant vitamin-like molecule that facilitates the biological process of generating adenosine triphosphate [ATP] or energy metabolism. ATP powers every single human cellular action that your body performs. ATP keeps the wheels turning, in every way.
CoQ10 also supports and benefits heart health, helps reduce fatigue, and regulates blood pressure. Honestly, Coq10 might be one of the most underrated or undervalued supplements when it comes to endurance training, considering that most endurance sports rely on explosive movements, power, speed, and endurance.
RELATED ARTICLE Why You Should Be Taking A CoQ10 Supplement
How Does CoQ10 Work?
CoQ10 increases cellular energy. The conversion of energy from the carbohydrates and fats that you consume is converted into ATP, which in turn, fuels almost every cell action in your body. CoQ10 support muscle cells to become more efficient and effective at producing and using energy. Specifically, CoQ10 enables the human body to restore the rate of mitochondrial respiration, muscle strength, coordination, and exercise tolerance. As an athlete, you demand a lot more from your cells in order to supply the organs, tissues, and muscles with the appropriate nutrients and energy required to perform at a high level for long periods of time, than the average person.
Why CoQ10 Is The Best Vitamin For Endurance Athletes
CoQ10 Increases Peak Power Output
In Germany, a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study, was conducted to investigate the effect of Ubiquinol [CoQ10] supplementation on physical performance measured as maximum power output in young and healthy elite trained athletes.
100 young elite-trained athletes (53 male, 47 female, age 19.9 ± 2.3 years) received either 300 mg Ubiquinol [CoQ10] or placebo for 6 weeks. The athletes had to perform a maximum power output test on performance. Watt/kg of body weight was measured at the 4 mmol lactate threshold on a cycling ergometer before the supplementation treatment (T1), after 3 weeks (T2) and after 6 weeks (T3) of treatment. In these 6 weeks, all athletes trained individually in preparation for the Olympic Games in London 2012. The maximum power output was measured in Watt/kilogram body weight (W/kg bw).
The CoQ10 group significantly increased performance levels from 3.70 W/kg bw (±0.56) to 4.08 W/kg bw (±0.48) from time point T1 to T3 which is an increase of +0.38 ± 0.22 W/kg bw or +11.0% (±8.2). Therefore, This study demonstrates that daily supplementation of 300 mg CoQ10 for 6 weeks significantly enhanced physical performance measured as maximum power output by 11% in trained athletes [R].
CoQ10 is an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and an antioxidant in plasma membranes and lipoproteins [R]. Since CoQ10 works to increase cellular efficiency, it, therefore, enables your body to convert more ATP, helping you produce more power, enhancing your athletic performance.
CoQ10 Prolongs Exercise Performance & Increases Time To Exhaustion
In another randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, conducted at Baylor University, 41 individuals, [22 aerobically trained, and 19 untrained] between the ages of 26-33 were administered either a dextrose placebo or 100mg of CoQ10 twice per day for 14 days. The results showed that CoQ10 supplementation increased maximum oxygen consumption, and increased time to exhaustion.
These findings demonstrate that CoQ10 supplementation can greatly benefit endurance athletes, to help prolong exercise capacity, performance, and increase time to exhaustion. That means running, swimming, and cycling further, which will greatly enhance your competitiveness. [R].
CoQ10 Can Mitigate Muscle Damage After High-Intensity Training
Several studies have shown that CoQ10, can help in reducing post-workout inflammation and mitigate muscle damage after endurance training [R]. CoQ10 is critical for the synthesis of ATP, as 96% of all aerobically produced energy involves CoQ10. Though it is endogenously synthesized, a small amount of CoQ10 is always degraded and thus must be replenished from supplemental and dietary sources. Organs like the heart and muscles, which require consistent and robust bioenergetics, depend on a sufficient supply of CoQ10 and produce less energy and strength if they are deficient in CoQ10 [R].
In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, conducted at the Iran University Of Medical Sciences, 18 middle distance runners, were administered either CoQ10 or placebo for 14 days. The results determined that CoQ10 supplementation helped reduce oxidative stress, blood lactate, and exercise-induced muscle damage [R].
Therefore, by supplementing with CoQ10, you can increase recovery times, and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage by inhibiting chronic inflammation.
CoQ10 Dosage For Athletes
To increase the human muscle CoQ10 content, it is necessary to increase the CoQ10 plasma over a longer period of time, so that the muscle tissues have enough time to absorb the CoQ10 from the plasma. Higher dosages of 200–300 mg CoQ10 over a 4–12 week period is needed to increase muscle CoQ10 content. Therefore, for endurance athletes, 200-300mg per day is needed to achieve an enhancement in athletic performance. For health-conscious consumers looking to increase CoQ10 plasma levels to support heart health and overall wellness, 100mg is preferred [R].
Why CoQ10 Is The Best Vitamin For Endurance Athletes: The Takeaway
Despite popular belief and what you think you know, clinical studies have proven that higher dosages of CoQ10 can significantly improve athletic performance, specifically increasing peak power output, time to exhaustion, and improving recovery. If you’re looking for ways to gain a competitive edge, then supplementing with CoQ10 could help you
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Hernández-Camacho, Juan D et al. “Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation in Aging and Disease.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 9 44. 5 Feb. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00044
Cooke, Matthew et al. “Effects of acute and 14-day coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 5 8. 4 Mar. 2008, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-8
Alf, Dietmar et al. “Ubiquinol supplementation enhances peak power production in trained athletes: a double-blind, placebo controlled study.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 10 24. 29 Apr. 2013, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-24
Armanfar, Mostafa et al. “Effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise-induced response of inflammatory indicators and blood lactate in male runners.” Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran vol. 29 202. 20 Apr. 2015