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CoQ10 Provides a Natural Power Boost for Athletes

For athletes looking for a power boost the natural way, CoQ10 may be the answer. A recent study found that taking supplements of the enzyme CoQ10 – which produces energy in the “power plants” of human cells called mitochondria – boosted athlete’s performance output by more than 2.5%.

Participants in the study included 100 athletes (53 men and 47 women) who took either 300 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo over the course of six weeks. The researchers measured performance with watts per kilogram of body weight (W/kg bw) at the onset of the study, the three week mark, and at the end.

The athletes were training for the 2012 Olympic Games throughout the duration of the study.

At the conclusion of the study, the placebo group had a 0.3 W/kg bw increase, which is equivalent to 8.5%. The supplement group, however, had a 0.38 W/kg bw increase, which comes out to 11.0%.

The researchers noted that this difference was significant for absolute differences and multivariate analysis despite the fact that it slightly missed the mark for significance when looking at percentage values alone. They also pointed out that the effects may be more pronounced in casual athletes and older people, as their bodies tend to have lower levels of CoQ10 than performance athletes.

The German researchers and nutrition consultants for this study were Dietmar Alf, Michael E. Schmidt, and Stefan C. Siebrecht. It was published online ahead of print on April 29, 2013, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

CoQ10 has been shown to preserve blood levels of vitamin E and vitamin C. Previous studies have linked CoQ10 with improved cognitive health and reversing the effects of aging.

After the age of 20 our bodies become less capable of naturally producing CoQ10. If you want to increase your CoQ10 intake, try adding oily fish, organ meats such as liver and hearts, and whole grains to your diet. You might also consider a high quality, high potency supplement. Be sure to choose a supplement that is made with ubiquinol rather than ubiquinone.

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