First isolated by Professor Fredrick L. Crane and his accompanying research team in 1957, coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble compound present throughout the body and is involved in generating ATP, which supplies energy for short bursts of physical activity.
Coenzyme Q10’s mechanism of action in the mitochondrial electron chain is transferring electrons to electron acceptors.
Despite the body’s ability to produce this molecule, coenzyme Q10 supplementation is becoming more pervasive as new health benefits are discovered.
This ingredient offers ergogenic benefits and several cardiovascular advantages. Here is a look at some key benefits:
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 100 or 300 mg coenzyme Q10 were given to 17 test subjects as they underwent physical and fatigue-inducing exercises on a bicycle ergometer.
Researchers noticed an increase in maximum velocity during the 30 to 120 minute trial in the coenzyme Q10 supplemental group compared to the placebo group. Also, test subjects supplemented with the higher (300 mg) coenzyme Q10 dose had less fatigue than the placebo group.
During a 20-day Japanese study, kendo athletes received 300 mg coenzyme Q10 or a placebo. Athletes practiced for 5.5 hours for 6 days. Myoglobin concentration (Mb) and serum creatine kinase activity (CK) was measured to determine muscle damage.
CK activity and Mb concentration were increased in both groups; however, these amounts were lower in the coenzyme Q10 group.
Type II diabetic patients were given 200 mg coenzyme Q10 for 12 weeks. Improvements in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation were observed. However, no differences were seen in pre-stimulatory arterial diameter, post-ischaemic hyperaemia, and glyceryl-trinitrate-mediated dilation response.
Researchers note improved brachial artery flow may be due to increased nitric oxide activity or endothelial release.
Coenzyme Q10 is considered safe for most adults; however, some mild side effects associated with use include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, upset stomach, and low blood pressure.
Researchers used a 300 mg dose per day for 8 days in their study of coenzyme Q10’s effects on physical fatigue.
A 300 mg coenzyme Q10 dose for 20 days was used in the study on exercise-induced muscular injury.
Coenzyme administered in 200 mg doses over a 12-week period was the dose followed in the blood-flow study.
-  “Coenzyme Q10.” Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center.
-  Mizuno K, et al. “Antifatigue effects of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue.” Nutrition. 2008 Apr;24(4):293-9.
-  Kon M, et al. “Reducing exercise-induced muscular injury in kendo athletes with supplementation of coenzyme Q10.” Br J Nutr. 2008 Oct;100(4):903-9.
-  Watts GF, et al. “Coenzyme Q(10) improves endothelial dysfunction of the brachial artery in Type II diabetes mellitus.” Diabetologia. 2002 Mar;45(3):420-6.
-  “Coenzyme Q10.” WebMD.