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Do We Need to Supplement with Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a popular supplement recommended by blogs, practitioners and on social media. I decided to investigate this supplement to decide if I should be taking it.

First of all, it’s important to know that Coenzyme Q10 is very important for energy metabolism in the cell, and without CoQ10, the cell’s energy-producing mechanisms do not work at top efficiency.  It’s also a truly powerful antioxidant that is found in every cell of the body.  If CoQ10 levels are depleted, the cells may lose some of their ability to repair damage from oxidation.

So, the question is, do I take the supplement, or can I get Coenzyme Q10 from other sources? And if yes, is that enough for me?

CoQ10 is naturally produced by our body, and it can be obtained from outside the body by eating various foods like eggs, cold water fish, organ meat, nuts, and poultry. Most people should get enough levels through Coenzyme Q10-rich foods. But if you are a body builder or have certain chronic conditions like heart issues, Parkinson’s disease, or migraines, you might want to supplement.

For athletes and body builders, supplementing with CoQ10 can significantly increase their performance and peak power output. German scientists studied the effects of CoQ10 on athletes and had 100 elite athletes (53 males and 47 females) receive either 300 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo every day for six weeks.  They also performed a maximum power output test on a stationary bicycle at the beginning of the study, halfway through, and at the end of the six weeks. The results showed that the CoQ10 group improved their power output significantly more than the group that had gotten the placebo.

Another study looked at the supplement’s effects on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals. Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it studied 41 people aged 26-33 years (22 trained and 19 untrained) that were given either a dextrose placebo or 100 milligrams of CoQ10 twice per day for 14 days. The results showed that CoQ10 supplementation improved plasma and intramuscular CoQ10 levels and may even lead to increased time to exhaustion. More studies show that CoQ10 can reduce post-workout inflammation and stop muscle damage after endurance training. In order to receive the benefits, a dosage of 200-300 mg of CoQ10 over 4–12-week period is necessary.

These findings demonstrate that CoQ10 supplementation may potentially benefit endurance athletes and body builders, helping to prolong exercise capacity, performance, and time to exhaustion.

For those looking to support their heart health and overall wellness, 100 mg of CoQ10 is enough.

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