Research Review: Ubiquinol & Peak Power Production

by Evan Peikon

Ubiquinol supplementation enhances peak power production in trained athletes: a double-blind, placebo controlled study.

Alf DSchmidt MESiebrecht SC.

Abstract: To investigate the effect of Ubiquinol supplementation on physical performance measured as maximum power output in young and healthy elite trained athletes.

METHODS:

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 100 young German well trained athletes (53 male, 47 female, age 19.9 +/- 2.3 years) received either 300 mg Ubiquinol or placebo for 6 weeks. Athletes had to perform a maximum power output test and the performance in W/kg of bodyweight was measured at the 4 mmol lactate threshold on a cycling ergometer before the supplementation treatment (T1), after 3 weeks (T2) and after 6 weeks (T3) of treatment. In these 6 weeks all athletes trained individually in preparation for the Olympic Games in London 2012. The maximum power output was measured in Watt/kilogram body weight (W/kg bw) RESULTS: Both groups, placebo and Ubiquinol, significantly increased their physical performance measured as maximum power output over the treatment period from T1 to T3. The placebo group increased from 3.64 +/- 0.49 W/kg bw to 3.94 +/- 0.47 W/kg bw which is an increase of +0.30 +/- 0.18 W/kg bw or +8.5% (+/-5.7). The Ubiquinol group increased performance levels from 3.70 W/kg bw (+/-0.56) to 4.08 W/kg bw (+/-0.48) from time point T1 to T3 which is an increase of +0.38 +/- 0.22 W/kg bw or +11.0% (+/-8.2). The absolute difference in the enhancement of the physical performance between the placebo and the Ubiquinol group of +0.08 W/kg bodyweight was significant (p < 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates that daily supplementation of 300 mg Ubiquinol for 6 weeks significantly enhanced physical performance measured as maximum power output by +0.08 W/kg bw (+2.5%) versus placebo in young healthy trained German Olympic athletes. While adherence to a training regimen itself resulted in an improvement in peak power output, as observed by improvement in placebo, the effect of Ubiquinol supplementation significantly enhanced peak power production in comparison to placebo.

My Thoughts:
Though the study looks promising, it still hasn’t been replicated which isn’t a huge deal in my opinion but is still something to keep in mind. Also account for the fact that the athletes were competing in different sports (ie- using diff energy systems), so even though they were assigned to groups randomly there is a chance that those whose training would in fact increase power to a higher degree ended up in the Ubiquinol group.
My other thoughts will be more in regards to application than the possible loopholes or flaws in the study. If training for the “sport of fitness”, this may be a smart choice in supplementation. But you must also take into account that they didn’t specify what energy system the increases in power corresponded to. Meaning that it could have been Anaerobic A-Lacatic Power, Anaerobic Lactic Power, or even Aerobic Power (and the varying degrees of each of them).
Another factor you must take into account is that most forms of Coenzyme Q10 in stores are actually Ubiquone, so you must specifically find one that is Ubiquinol (Now Foods makes one). My last statement would be that if you choose to supplement with Ubiquinol its absorption is increased if you take it with MCT oils, which can be found in small amounts in coconut oil, or you can buy straight MCT oil to get the most bang for your buck.

 

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