CoQ10 may boost exercise performance: Mouse data

By Stephen Daniells

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© Getty Images / Zerbor
© Getty Images / Zerbor

Related tags Coq10 exercise performance recovery Sports nutrition ubiquinol

Ubiquinol, a reduced form of coenzyme Q10, may reduce lactate build-up and fatigue after acute exercise, and thereby help exercise performance, suggests animal data from Taiwan.

Scientists from Taipei Medical University and Kaohsiung Medical University report that four weeks of supplementation with ubiquinol (QH) led to improvements in grip strength and endurance capacity in mice.

“This effect appears to be related to a switch to lipid utilization as an energy source,” ​they wrote in Nutrients​. “Therefore, QH is an emerging molecule in sport nutrition supplementation to elevate exercise performance and tolerance and to reduce physical fatigue in exhaustive exercise and under modern life stress conditions.

“[T]hese results suggest that QH formulation should not lead to any safety concerns and can mitigate fatigue and enhance exercise performance.”


Coenzyme Q10, a substance similar to a vitamin, plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy in mitochondria – the 'power plants' of the cell – by participating in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'.

It has been studied for its role in cognitive health, heart health, and anti-aging (in oral and topical formulations). It has also been shown to benefit those suffering from angina, heart attack and hypertension.

The new study looked at its potential as a sports nutrition ingredient.

Study details

The Taiwanese researchers divided 40 male mice into four groups: Group one received the control intervention (oil only); Group 2 received 102.5 mg/kg of QH; Group 3 received 205 mg/kg of QH; and Group 4 received 615 mg/kg of QH. Endurance and performance were studied using a forelimb grip strength experiment and exhaustive swimming tests.

Results indicated a dose-dependent improvement in the variables measured, with the highest dose QH group displaying significantly higher forelimb grip strength and exhaustive swimming times than the other groups.

In addition, dose-dependent reductions in levels of serum lactate, ammonia, and creatine kinase (a marker of muscle damage), while free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations increased after acute exercise.

“Our results suggest that QH treatment is an effective method for the oxidation of triglycerides, increasing the FFA concentration while decreasing hepatic and muscle glycogen utilization to enhance exercise performance capacity,”​ wrote the researchers.

“We suggest that QH treatment could be a new sport nutrition supplementation for the prevention of fatigue. Further studies are needed to completely understand the function and to explore the exact mechanisms of the anti-fatigue effects of QH on humans.”

The study was funded by Kaohsiung Medical University's University-Industry Cooperation Fund.

Source: Nutrients
2019, 11(11), 2550; doi:
“Ubiquinol Supplementation Alters Exercise Induced Fatigue by Increasing Lipid Utilization in Mice”
Authors: H-C. Chen et al.

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