Co-Enzyme Q10 supplementation has improved exercise tolerance in some individuals with mitochondrial encephalomyopathies, there is little clinical evidence that it improves athletic performance in healthy individuals. However, there is numerous anecdotal evidence that when an athlete takes Co-Enzyme Q10 as part of an overall high protein, high nutritional dietary regime, then Co-Enzyme Q10 will assist the athlete to outperform those athletes who do not take supplement. Co-Enzyme Q10 is extremely beneficial for the heart and lungs. It helps to reduce the stress on the heart from high performance training and exercise and can help to reduce the resting heart rate by up to 30%. Co-Enzyme Q10 (Co Q10) is one of a number of important mitochondrial enzymes required for electron transport, and is therefore a critical part of the process of generating energy within cells. Many high performance athletes and sports professionals include Co-Enzyme Q10 as an essential component of their daily diet. The normal dosage for a lay person is 100-150 mg/d of Co-Enzyme Q10 supplementation, however a professional athlete or sportsperson would take a much higher dosage of between 200 – 300 mg/d to ensure they are receiving the full benefits of this essential nutrient.
One study found the maximal cycling workload to be slightly (4%) increased after eight weeks of Co-Enzyme Q10 supplementation compared to placebo, although measures of aerobic power were not increased. Two studies actually found significantly greater improvement in measures of anaerobic and aerobic exercise performance after supplementation with a placebo compared to Co-Enzyme Q10. Studies on the effect of supplementation on physical performance in women are lacking, but there is little reason to suspect a gender difference in the response to Co-Enzyme Q10 supplementation.
Because Co-Enzyme Q10 is essential for energy production within the cell, researchers have suspected it may be of benefit in enhancing physical performance amongst athletes.
At least eight clinical studies have investigated Co-Enzyme Q10 supplements in various sports people. Overall, the results have been mixed with the majority showing no clear benefits in physical capacity (Braun and Cohen 2007). The doses used in the studies varied from 60 mg to 150 mg daily and lasted from 1 to 2 months.