Reach for Quercetin to Increase Your Endurance
When I enthusiastically agreed to train for a half-marathon in four weeks, I knew I’d need help. I immediately began researching the best training programs, tips and diets, but knew my preparation couldn’t stop there. I decided to also review my supplement regimen to make sure I was obtaining proper dosages of the nutrients needed to protect my body and improve my performance. Then I remembered an important study I read awhile back. The study found that quercetin, the antioxidant best-known for its ability to naturally combat allergies, was found to influence exercise stamina like researchers had never seen before.
What Is Quercetin?
This plant-derived flavonoid is found in a number of fruits and vegetables such as onions, capers, apples, leafy greens and red grapes. Many researchers agree the consumption of quercetin-rich foods is associated with reduced risk for a number of chronic diseases. It has been known to protect blood vessels, reduce inflammation, fight allergies and decrease one’s risk for metabolic syndrome.
Now we can add to this impressive list quercetin’s ability to boost exercise endurance—even for the untrained athlete.
The study, conducted at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, examined participants who were split into two groups. Half of the individuals took 500 mg of quercetin twice a day and the other half took a placebo. After just seven days, the group taking the quercetin supplement had a 13.2% increase in endurance in addition to a 3.9% increase in VO2max, a measure of the body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and one of the most useful tests for physical fitness.
All participants were healthy individuals but none of them were trained, leaving researchers to conclude that quercetin can positively influence one’s ability to shape up — and fast! Research leader Dr. Mark Davis enthusiastically noted that his team believes, “this could be a major breakthrough in nutrition.” He goes on to say that, “while there’s no magic pill to make people get up and move, or to take the place of regular exercise, quercetin may be important in relieving the fatigue that keeps [people] sedentary and in providing some of the benefits of exercise.”
More clinical trials need to be conducted before health officials can determine the mechanisms by which quercetin is able to increase endurance, however, pre-clinical data suggests that it may increase the mitochondria activity in both the brain and muscle cells, which is one of the most important biological mechanisms for increasing endurance, Davis said.
At the time of it’s publish, this study shed new light on natural supplements for exercise enhancement and offered some exciting news for those who are currently taking, or interested in taking, quercetin supplements. Whether you’re a trained athlete or just looking to gain the upper hand in exercise endurance, this antioxidant compound might do just the trick. I’m certainly eager to introduce quercetin to my supplement regimen in hopes that it gives me a much-needed boost!