Powerful performance with Ubiquinol.
The active form of coenzyme Q10 considerably enhances
physical fitness and counteracts fatigue – paving the way for
new opportunities in sports nutrition
The idea of supporting physical performance by consuming powerboosting
substances is as old as sport itself. But while ancient Greek
athletes had to rely on the effects of herbs and mushrooms, today,
food supplements play a vital role when it comes to replenishing
nutrient reserves that have been exhausted by physical exertion.
Professional athletes and recreational sport enthusiasts alike are
increasingly turning to food supplements. In health terms, this is
sensible, since amateur sportspeople are among those who are
often lacking in micronutrients. Certain bodily functions, such as
energy production and muscle growth, need a sufficient supply
of valuable micronutrients. Amongst these, coenzyme Q10 and
its active form, Ubiquinol, have been thrown increasingly into the
science spotlight in recent times.
Advantages of Ubiquinol
As an important part of the respiratory chain inside mitochondrial
cells, coenzyme Q10 plays a vital role in electron transport during
oxidative phosphorylation and thus in the production of ATP – the
energy essential to each of our cells and all of our life processes.
95 per cent of all aerobically generated energy is produced by
intermediation of Q10. Organs like the heart, as well as muscles
which use a lot of energy, depend on a sufficient supply of the
vitamin-like nutrient and produce less energy and strength if they are
lacking in Q10.
For sportspeople, the ingestion of Ubiquinol – the reduced, active
form of Q10 – is particularly advisable. Majority of the body’s own
sources are in the form of Ubiquinol, which is composed of two
more hydrogens than Q10. This difference in molecular structure
is, however, responsible for some very valuable properties:
Because it does not have to be converted into an active form
first, Ubiquinol has a more rapid and better effect than Q10 and is
highly bioavailable. This fact has been used to carry out various
studies into the impact of Ubiquinol supplementation on athletes.
Findings show that first effects are noticeable after just ten days of
supplementation with a daily dosage of 50 to 100 mg.
Comprehensive scientific background
Latest studies show that the higher the Q10 plasma level, the higher
the performance capacity and the longer the time until fatigue.
These effects have been demonstrated in professional sportspeople.
A Japanese study1 with kendo athletes has confirmed that
supplementation with coenzyme Q10 leads to a significant decrease
in exercise-induced muscle tissue micro-injuries. Results of another
study2 showed that athletes were less exhausted after ingestion of
Q10. Their physical performance during fatigue-inducing workload
trials distinctly improved compared to the control group.
Another recently conducted, placebo-controlled, double blind study3
examined the effect of 100 mg daily supplementation with Ubiquinol
over four weeks. Participants were tested during full power pedalling
on an ergometer. After the study period, those who took the
Ubiquinol were observed to have achieved significantly enhanced
Further possible effects with very valuable potential for the sports
sector have already been proven in animal trials. An immune
strengthening and virus suppressing effect was observed in a study
with influenza-infected mice4. As susceptibility to infections is one
of the main issues for athletes, regular Ubiquinol supplementation
could be highly beneficial. Another mice model showed a direct
performance increasing effect, even after a single dose of Ubiquinol5.
The researchers observed a “significant increase in the running time”
of the supplemented group. Human studies into these effects will
Completely safe for use in various nutraceutical
Besides performance improving properties, Q10 works in its
reduced form, Ubiquinol, as an antioxidant. Ubiquinol protects cell
membranes and LDL-cholesterol from free radical damage, which
is exacerbated during exercise. For many years, it was impossible
to isolate Ubiquinol for use in supplements or functional food
applications, as it reacts very quickly with oxygen. When exposed
to air, the white Ubiquinol powder immediately turns into the orange
Q10. But after more than ten years of research, the Japanese
company Kaneka succeeded in developing the world’s first stable,
bio-identical Ubiquinol. This patented ingredient is marketed under
the brand name Kaneka QH™, and is produced via a natural yeast
As is clinically documented, Ubiquinol is well tolerated and proven
to cause no adverse effects. Thus, it can safely be used in a wide
range of sports supplements, such as pellets, sticks and soft gel
capsules, which are easily digestible. In addition, functional foods for
sportspeople can be enriched with the fat-soluble nutrient – alone
or as part of a multicomponent system, combined with minerals, for
instance, or with other antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Olympic success story
A prime example of sports success with Ubiquinol is the Japanese
weightlifter Hiromi Miyake, who won the silver medal in the women’s
48 kilogram class at the London Olympics. Hiromi is positive about
the benefits of supplementation: “One year prior to the Olympics,
I started taking a daily dose of 200 to 300 mg Ubiquinol so that I
was optimally prepared for the competition. I was amazed with the
results: I felt more powerful and less exhausted, even after hard
training. As it is a safe and easy way to balance the energy losses
that occur during physical activity, I would recommend Ubiquinol to
my fellow sportsmen and women, too.” According to the Deutsche
Sporthochschule in Cologne, Ubiquinol is not categorized as
“doping”. As such, it is part of the “Kölner Liste” of tested, dopingfree
1. 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.
2. Mizuno K et al. Antifatigue effects of Coenzyme Q10 during
physical fatigue. Nutrition. 2008 April;24(4):293-9.
3. Japanese Society of Physical Education 59th Annual meeting
4. Hayashi et al. KANEKA CORPORATION press release, Dec 8,
5. Maruoka H et al. Effects of Exercise and Food Consumption on
Plasma Oxidative Stress. J.Phys. Ther. Sci 24: 37-41, 2012