I was recently reminded of a 2008 study on the benefits of coenzyme Q10 in boosting energy. I thought it might be helpful to share it with you, and at the same time give you a recipe for a great "energy cocktail."
In "Antifatigue effects of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue" (published in Nutrition), 17 healthy volunteers who took coenzyme Q10 at 300 mg a day for a period of eight days significantly reduced subjective feelings of fatigue and improved physical performance. The participants underwent daily fatigue-inducing exercise on a bicycle ergometer (two hours of exercise followed by four hours of rest). The bicycle was set to a fixed workload accept for two 10-second periods in which they were asked to ride the bikes as fast as they could without a load (at 30 minutes into the exercise and then at 30 minutes before the end of it). The volunteers were randomized to receive three different therapies: One group received 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 a day. Another group received 300 mg a day. And the last group received placebo. Compared with placebo, those who supplemented with 300 mg of coenzyme Q10 a day showed a greater improvement in their maximum riding speed during the 10-second bursts. This same group also reported a significant reduction in their sense of fatigue.
Now, about that energy cocktail ... Here's a great mix for keeping your batteries at full charge!
- Coenzyme Q10 (brand and form are particularly important for this nutrient, and I recommend Smart Q10 from Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.). Take 200-400 mg/day (I recommend 400 mg/day for 6 weeks and then 200 mg/day thereafter). CoQ10 is especially critical for anyone on cholesterol-lowering medications, as these medications cause CoQ10 deficiency. As the study shows, this nutrient is critical for energy production.
- Ribose. This is a powder that looks and tastes like sugar, and is a key to energy production in your body — including your heart. I recommend 5 grams 3 times a day for 6 weeks, then twice a day. This nutrient is outstanding for energy and is the most important one. You'll be amazed how you feel after 6 weeks on it! For a more detailed discussion on it, see "D-Ribose — A Very Powerful and Natural Body Energizer."
- Magnesium. Take 200 mg/day. I would also consider adding an extra 200 mg at bedtime. (Caution: in the rare patient with kidney failure, magnesium and many other nutrients should only be taken under a licensed holistic health practitioner's supervision. Magnesium can also cause loose stools.) Magnesium increases your heart muscle's strength.
- B Complex. Take 50 mg/day.
- Acetyl L-Carnitine. Take 500 mg 2x daily for 6 weeks, then 500 mg/day is enough (and it can often simply be stopped).
Try the energy cocktail for 6 weeks to see the optimal effects. The benefits for energy as well as heart health are often dramatic! And the supplements are readily available in most health food stores and supplement websites.
"Antifatigue effects of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue," Mizuno K, Tanaka M, et al, Nutrition, 2008 Feb 11; [Epub ahead of print]. The 21st Century COE Program "Base to Overcome Fatigue" (from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Japanese Government), Osaka, Japan).