CO Q10 Can Help Recovery from Strenuous Exercise

Many Americans are becoming involved in strenuous physical activities, from ultra-marathons (100-miles races), cross-country running and Iron Man Triathlons. These activities can actually cause structural damage to cells that include muscle soreness and swelling, prolonged loss of muscle function, and leakage of muscle proteins into circulation. As a result, we are seeing that strenuous exercise may actually have harmful effects on health and consequently, the search is on to find ways to help offset these effects.

A new study suggests that Coenzyme Q10 may help offset the harmful effects of strenuous exercise. In the study, 20 professional runners between the ages of 38 and 45 took either 150 mg of CoQ10 (as 5 30-mg capsules) or placebo.

-The CoQ10 group saw an 8% decrease in triglycerides after the race (1.91 to 1.75 mmol/L) compared to a 24% drop in the placebo group (1.71 to 1.31 mmol/L). This much smaller drop is thought to be due directly to CoQ10 as higher levels of triglycerides during exercise improve skeletal muscle activity and exercise capacity, “which could indicate potential ergogenic effect of CoQ10.”

– Regarding levels of DNA damage as measured in the urine by a protein called 8-OHdG, the CoQ10 group saw a 43% increase (0.023 to 0.033 pg/mL) while the placebo group saw a 71% increase (0.028 to 0.048 pg/mL), indicating CoQ10’s ability to decrease DNA damage.

– Regarding levels of fat tissue damage measured in the urine by isoprostanes, the CoQ10 group saw a 300% increase (1.0 to 4.0 ng/mL) while the placebo group saw a 427% increase (1.1 to 5.8 ng/mL).

For the researchers, “CoQ10 supplementation before strenuous exercise decreases the oxidative stress and modulates the inflammatory signaling, reducing the subsequent muscle damage.”

Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.