Do you want to tune up the energy level of your heart and muscles?
That’s what research is showing by a supplement called Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short.
Part 1 reviews the best CoQ10 supplements on the market. Part 2 is a CoQ10 guide that breaks down what the supplement is and how you should take it.
Here we go:
1. HealthWise CoQ10
For those who’re serious about taking the most potent CoQ10, HealthWise CoQ10 is the best you can get.
No other CoQ10 can compete with 240 mg per serving.
“Our Advanced CoQ10 ensures that you receive an equally supportive boost to the various areas of your body that are the most critical—from heart, brain, and immune system health—to maintaining and regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”
From heart health to providing your body more energy and focus, the HealthWise CoQ10 is one of the better daily habits you can have in the supplement space.
HealthWise CoQ10 also has no “additives”. All natural, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial coloring, no artificial preservatives and 100% GMO-free.
This is important. When you’re taking a critical antioxidant as a daily supplement, the last thing you want is “added stuff” to mess with your fatigue, oxidation, blood pressure and sperm quality.
Made in the USA and in an FDA-approved facility.
BodyNutrition‘s all-around CoQ10 supplement winner of 2020.
2. CoQ10 Complex + by Nuzena
Nuzena is a brand-new supplement company known for their no-nonsense formulas.
CoQ10 Complex + contains 200mg of Coenzyme Q-10 Ubiquinone which definitely makes it one of the more potent formulas we’ve seen.
Nuzena’s CoQ10 Complex + formula supports heart health, helps to regulate blood pressure, and can even help to prevent and treat migraines.
Easily a top 3 option and also one of the cheapest options on this list.
3. Transparent Labs Raw Series CoQ10
Transparent Labs produces an effective and pure CoQ10 designed for reliable long-term use at 100 mg per serving.
They claim that purity and affordability are absolutely necessary for a daily-use lifestyle supplement, and one should never be compromised for the other.
This perspective motivated Transparent Labs to master a formula that delivers pure CoQ10 without fillers or allergens, consistently prepared across batches in their state-of-the-art facility.
Key advantages to this specific CoQ10 are: cartilage-free veggie capsules (no gelatin) and absolutely no soybean oil. These unique refinements provide extra piece of mind when taking CoQ10 for daily pro-health use.
Transparent Labs CoQ10 is micro-batched for peak freshness and can be purchased directly from their website for a middle-man free affordable price.
4. Qunol Ultra CoQ10
Qunol’s CoQ10 makes some aggressive claims about their product: they claim their formulation is better-absorbed than other CoQ10 supplements and is the top brand recommended by cardiologists.
Thing is: they could be right.
The gelatin capsules provide 100 mg of CoQ10 alongside 150 IUs of vitamin E. The purity is fair, with each capsule containing a 5.7% excess of CoQ10 than what is reported on the label. Ingredient-wise, it includes the usual mix of oils, triglycerides, and emulsifiers.
Like many other CoQ10 supplements, it contains soy, so if you have an allergy, be aware of that. The claims of better absorption seem to be centered around the use of vitamin E, which also protects tissue from oxidizing damage (1), along with a more effective use of emulsifiers like hydroxylated lecithin, which helps the CoQ10 intermingle with oil and water, instead of separating out into different layers and not dissolving.
This supplement is a top 300 health supplement on Amazon for a reason.
5. Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength CoQ10
Nature’s Bounty is a brand you’re apt to find at your local pharmacy, drug store, or big-box retailer. The “extra strength” formulation contains 200 mg of coenzyme Q10 per capsule, so if you are looking for a higher dose (especially if you’d rather not split it into two separate capsules), it’s a good choice.
It’s fairly simplistic: it does not contain any other herbal extracts for flavoring or absorption-boosting purposes, and aside from the CoQ10 in each tablet, the only other ingredients are rice bran oil (a solvent to dissolve the fat-soluble CoQ10), gelatin and vegetable glycerin for the capsule, and soy lecithin and titanium dioxide for use as an emulsifier and colorant, respectively.
None of these ingredients should raise any alarm bells unless you are a vegetarian or vegan, in which case you’re SOL—gelatin is animal-based.
Purity-wise, it scores quite well: analytical testing determined that each capsule contains within three percent of the 200 mg stated dose. For whatever reason, the top CoQ10 supplements seem to score better on quality ratings than other supplement offerings, even from respectable brands.
6. Bulk Supplements Pure Coenzyme Q10
Bulk Supplements has made a name for itself in inexpensive, high-quality, and high-purity supplements. Its CoQ10 formula comes in a simple foil bag with an adhesive nutrition info label stuck on it; no fancy packaging to be seen here.
Its ingredients list is similarly Spartan: there’s only one! That’s right, Coenzyme Q10, in the ubiquinone form, is the only ingredient in this formulation. It’s provided in a loose powder, so you’ll need a micro-scale to accurately measure out your serving size.
Scientific analysis shows that over 98% of the product is pure CoQ10, which is a good thing—that’s all you’re paying for. The Bulk Supplements CoQ10 offering is a good fit if you really know what you’re doing—not only will you have to measure you your own servings every day with a micro-scale, you’ll also have to make sure you’re delivering them to your body in an effective and absorbable way.
Ingesting it alongside some fat, like olive oil, is a good place to start, seeing as CoQ10 is not water-soluble. You can’t just mix it into your protein shake and expect it to dissolve.
Despite these functional drawbacks, the price and quality is very hard to beat. If you are a seasoned supplement pro, this is definitely the choice for you.
7. Kirkland Signature CoQ10
For simple, straightforward, and reliable supplements, Kirkland Signature brand is very often a good bet. This is the case with their CoQ10 offering: the gel capsules provide 300 mg of Coenzyme Q10 for a good price, and their purity is top-notch too.
Independent lab testing confirmed that the actual amount of CoQ10 per capsule is 302 mg, within one percent of the label-stated amount.
The solvent it uses to dissolve the fat-soluble CoQ10 is soybean oil, which should not cause any problems unless you have a soy allergy. The capsules are gelatin, so again, people on a vegetarian diet, beware.
The other inactive ingredients include glycerin and soy lecithin, which help emulsify the oil solution, as well as vitamin E as a preservative and titanium dioxide as a coloring.
There really isn’t much else to cover with regards to Kirkland’s CoQ10 offering: it’s nothing fancy or flashy, but it gets the job done, and it comes in a high-dose capsule, which is convenient if you know you want to take a higher daily dosage of Coenzyme Q10.
8. Doctor’s Best High Absorption CoQ10
The CoQ10 supplement by Doctor’s Best is the #1 seller on Amazon.com. It contains 100 mg of Coenzyme Q10 per capsule, dissolved in a non-GMO olive oil solution.
This is vital, since CoQ10 is fat soluble, not water soluble. Uniquely, Doctor’s Best also contains black pepper extract, which is claimed to enhance absorption and bioavailability.
Surprisingly, there is some solid science behind this—a study published by commercial researchers for the Sabinsa Corporation found that co-supplementing CoQ10 with black pepper extract increases the levels of CoQ10 in your blood over the course of a 21 day course of supplementation (2).
Its purity is good, with lab testing showing the stated amount of CoQ10 on the label was within three percent of the actual lab-verified amount. In terms of other inactive ingredients, Doctor’s Best CoQ10 contains soy lecithin, beeswax, and gelatin as stabilizers, since the supplement comes in a soft-gel format.
It also contains rosemary oil for flavoring, scenting, and as a natural preservative. None of these ingredients should cause any issues unless you have a severe soy intolerance or are a vegetarian.
9. Viva Labs CoQ10
The highly-rated and best-selling CoQ10 supplement from Viva Labs is very simple and pure. It provides 100 mg of CoQ10 per capsule, alongside 5 mg of black pepper fruit extract to boost absorption of the CoQ10.
As with some of the other CoQ10 supplements on the market, Viva Labs cites work by corporate researchers showing that black pepper extract enhances the activity and availability of CoQ10 (3).
Viva Labs CoQ10 also comes dissolved in olive oil inside a soft gel capsule, which is stabilized by gelatin, glycerin, and beeswax.
Beyond these, the only other ingredient is purified water. To no surprise, Viva Labs CoQ10 scores well on purity testing; independent lab testing found that each capsule contains 104.5 mg of CoQ10, so the variance from the label stated amount is less than five percent.
Perhaps because of the simplicity of the ingredients, Viva Labs CoQ10 provides some of the best value in terms of quality and quantity of CoQ10 per dollar spent. By avoiding superfluous ingredients and flashy marketing, Viva Labs can deliver a lower-cost product to the consumer.
10. NutriONN Extra Strength CoQ10
The Coenzyme Q10 supplement made by NutriONN is potent, pure, and simple. Each capsule contains 200 mg of CoQ10; there are only three other ingredients—gelatin, rice flour, and magnesium stearate, a binder which facilitates the release of CoQ10 from the capsule.
This means NutriONN is a great option if you have a soy allergy, since many other CoQ10 supplements include soy in some form or another. It’s also a good choice if you want to minimize any untested chemicals going into your body.
In independent lab testing, NutriONN CoQ10 was found to contain 196 mg of CoQ10 per capsule—within four percent of its label-stated amount of 200 mg. This combined with how few other ingredients the supplement has puts this one squarely in the minimalist category.
This simplistic philosophy applies to its branding and marketing too; it doesn’t have flashy packaging and isn’t a top-seller, but that shouldn’t keep you from looking into it—it’s a solid product worth considering.
11. Jarrow Formulas Q-absorb CoQ10
Jarrow Formulas is one brand that is widely known for producing high-quality supplements, and its CoQ10 offering is no exception. It provides a standardized 100 mg of CoQ10 per capsule—lab-verified to be within 3% of its stated amount—and comes in the form ubiquinol, which Jarrow Formulas claims is more absorbable than the normal form of CoQ10.
A white paper by William V. Judy and other medical professionals questions whether ubiquinol is a superior form than “regular” CoQ10, but if nothing else, it’s no worse (4). Like regular CoQ10, ubiquinol is only fat-soluble, so Jarrow Formulas Q-absorb comes in gelatin capsules with oils, sunflower lecithin, and beeswax mixed in to successfully deliver the supplement.
Rosemary extract and tocopherols (vitamin E) round out the formula, acting as flavorings and preservatives.
One notable feature of the Jarrow Formulas CoQ10 supplement is that it does not contain any soy; if soy lecithin is a problem for you, it’s a good option.
12. Garden of Life Raw Coq10
Garden of Life specializes in supplement blends that are integrated into a capsule with fruit and vegetable juice and extracts. The Garden of Life CoQ10 supplement includes 200 mg of CoQ10 per capsule dissolved in cold–pressed chia seed, but also includes a blend of over a dozen fruits and vegetables.
This formulation is firmly rooted in the belief that the juices and extracts of fruit and vegetables have significant enough health benefits to justify including them in the supplement. The chia seed oil also has the benefit of providing omega-3 fatty acids.
Even though there are so many different ingredients, Garden of Life Raw CoQ10 is carefully formulated enough so that each capsule only differs from its label-stated amount of CoQ10 by less than two percent on independent lab analysis.
This makes it a good buy if you’re interested in the fruit and vegetable nutrients that the supplement can provide, but keep in mind that these increase the cost per capsule substantially compared to a more minimalist offering that provides just CoQ10.
You will have to keep these factors in mind when considering whether this is the right supplement for you.
13. BRI Nutrition CoQ10
The Coenzyme Q10 supplement offered by BRI Nutrition takes what you might call a “maximalist” approach: there are several additional ingredients that are supposed to help CoQ10 do its job better than a supplement that only includes that one active ingredient.
It’s bold and aggressive in its packaging and marketing too—a stark contrast to some of the more simplistic and minimalistic offerings on this list. Their formulation, which includes 100 mg of CoQ10 per capsule along with 100 IU of vitamin E and 2,334 IU of vitamin A, claims to offer more energy and more effective delivery of the CoQ10.
BRI Nutrition cites a study backing this up, but of course it was an in-house study not published in a prestigious medical journal by independent researchers.
It’s hard to recommend an untested formulation too strongly, especially when it hasn’t been tested by an independent scientific lab for purity.
You’re also paying more for the vitamin A and vitamin E that’s added in to the formula, so these factors combine to keep BRI Nutrition’s CoQ10 supplement at the bottom of the rankings, despite its popularity.
Who should buy CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a supplement whose primary function is to increase your ability to produce cellular energy. It is useful for two distinct applications: increasing and preserving cognitive function, and boosting athletic performance.
While these applications seem very different, the fact is that both rely on the efficient production of energy at the cellular level. In exercise, the need for cellular energy is obvious: better energy production means you can run faster and lift more.
During cognitive tasks, there is a similar need for cellular energy, but instead of in your muscles, the energy production happens in your brain. The similar function of CoQ10 in exercise and in cognitive performance is analogous to that of caffeine, which is also a strong performance booster in mental and physical tasks.
CoQ10 is popular nootropic agent among people looking to increase their cognitive function. If you are a student or you have an intensive, project-oriented job, CoQ10 could be a great way to achieve better mitochondrial function in your brain and provide you with the mental energy you need to finish out your work productively.
It’s also been studied as a way to prevent or slow the progression of cognitive decline among elderly adults. Again, the idea here is to support energy production in the brain, and to prevent the deterioration of brain cells over time.
As a performance enhancer, CoQ10 is best used in intensive workouts like high-intensity interval sessions and intense aerobic workouts. It functions well as a pre-workout supplement, and is a common ingredient in this category of supplement.
Perhaps surprisingly, CoQ10 is equally well-studied in competitive athletes and in people with serious health conditions, like chronic heart failure.
It appears to be fairly well-suited for improving exercise performance at both of these extremes, though the definition of “improvement” is clearly going to be different for someone with chronic heart disease versus a high-level athlete.
The wide range of applications for CoQ10 make it a bit unique among supplements. For both mental and physical performance, the best evidence indicate that people on both ends of the spectrum can benefit.
This means people looking for a cognitive boost, and people with dementia, in the case of the mental side, and people with cardiovascular conditions, versus high level athletes, in the case of physical exercise. As such, quite a range of people may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation.
How we ranked
For our CoQ10 rankings, purity was of the utmost importance. To this end, we used independent purity testing conducted by Labdoor to inform which supplements were included in our pool of eligible products.
We only included products that had passed tests for heavy metal content and had accurately reported the dosage levels. After this initial screening, the remaining products were scored according to how clean their supplement design was, and whether they delivered an effective dosage in keeping with what the scientific literature recommends.
We penalized products that had too many fillers and bulking agents, and rewarded products that were simple and effective.
We also had a slight preference for products that used cellulose in their capsules instead of gelatin, due to the fact that many vegetarians and vegans are likely deficient in CoQ10 and may want to supplement. This wasn’t a dealbreaker, though.
Finally, we looked for ingredients that could enhance or detract from the efficacy of the CoQ10 dosage. A few of our higher-scoring supplements contain black pepper extract or vitamin E, which may enhance absorption or efficacy of CoQ10. However, we still made purity and efficacy the top priority: that’s why HealthWise CoQ10 ended up at the top of the stack.
CoQ10 helps produce most of the energy your body uses. Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is a dietary supplement and bio-active chemical that plays a pivotal role in your body’s energy systems.
Without CoQ10, you couldn’t produce the energy you need. In fact, some recent energy drinks like Bang are starting to include CoQ10 in their formulas.
The parts of your body that use the most energy, like your heart and muscles, also have the highest concentration of CoQ10 for that very reason.
Unfortunately, as you get older, the concentration of CoQ10 in your body starts to wane. The concentration of the compound inside your muscle cells drops in a predictable and measurable way. Some scientists and researchers hypothesize that this might have something to do with the gradual decline in energy, vigor, and physical fitness that occurs as a part of aging.
This prompts an immediate and obvious question: Can supplementing your diet with CoQ10 increase your energy levels or increase your fitness? If so, who should be taking it and how much should they take?
CoQ10 may help keep your heart healthy. Much of the research into CoQ10 supplementation has focused on its role in keeping cardiac (heart) muscle healthy in older populations. A 1999 study by Franklin L. Rosenfeldt and other researchers in the journal BioFactors showed, in a two-step study, the effects of CoQ10 on aging cardiac tissue (5).
The first study exposed both young and old rats to an artificial aerobic exercise protocol, then examined how well the rat hearts handled the stress of exercise. The researchers found that, as expected, the older hearts couldn’t recover as well following aerobic exercise, but if they pre-treated the elderly rats with CoQ10, their hearts recovered much better after exercise.
The second experiment studied human cardiac tissue extracted during routine open-heart surgery. Similar to the rat experiments, the human cardiac tissue from elderly patients showed a decreased ability to handle stress (this time imposed in the Petri dish instead of via exercise protocol) as compared to cardiac tissue from younger patients.
Again, however, pre-treatment with CoQ10 improved the function of the aged cardiac tissue—in this case, bringing it back on par with that of the younger patients.
CoQ10 could also be useful for maintaining cognitive health as well. Other research has connected increased CoQ10 with beneficial changes in degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease too: it appears to play a broader role in the aging process (6).
CoQ10 can help counter some negative side effects caused by statins. It’s also sometimes used to combat the negative effects of statins, drugs which lower blood lipid levels and help prevent heart attacks (7).
Given how broadly your body uses coenzyme Q10, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s involved in a wide range of disease progressions. For now, the use of CoQ10 for treating heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, and other conditions is still experimental, but there have been some promising results.
CoQ10 could boost physical performance during intense exercise as well. In addition, there is also limited evidence that coenzyme Q10 could have performance-improving effects for healthy people when it comes to aerobic exercise. A 2010 study by Hakkı Gökbel and other scientists in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effect of CoQ10 supplementation on endurance exercise performance on an interval workout (8).
Fifteen men who did not regularly engage in exercise were given either a placebo or a 100 mg CoQ10 supplement to take daily. Before and after eight weeks of supplementation, the men underwent a standardized interval workout to gauge their fitness.
Some, though not all, of the parameters measured in the interval workout increased in the study group that took CoQ10; peak power production and mean power production throughout the test tended to be higher in the CoQ10 group as compared to the placebo, but overall fatigue did not differ to a statistically significant extent from the placebo group.
The bulk of scientific research studies use doses of 150 to 200 milligrams of coenzyme Q10. A few studies use a dose of 100 mg per day, and a few likewise use doses over 200 mg. There does not seem to be any need for CoQ10 to be split up into smaller doses; most studies involve taking just one supplement tablet per day.
Research conducted by industry-sponsored scientists claims that adding a special proprietary black pepper extract to a CoQ10 supplement boosts absorption, and some of the supplements on the market include this “BioPerine” extract (9).
So far, though, clinical trials on using CoQ10 for the treatment of disease have not employed CoQ10 supplements that include BioPerene, as one of the primary desires in science is to eliminate any lurking or hidden variables that could confound your results.
It’s worth noting that there are plenty of clinical trials that have found beneficial effects of CoQ10 supplementation without adding black pepper extract; separate trials would be needed to determine if CoQ10 functioned better alongside black pepper extract.
According to the Mayo clinic, CoQ10 is safe to take, even in fairly high dosages—up to 3,000 mg per day (10). As reported by a 1999 research paper by scientists in Denmark in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there are no known negative side effects of taking CoQ10 in doses of up to 200 mg per day for up to a year, nor in doses of 100 mg per day for up to six years (11).
This is a good sign, since almost all clinical trials are using doses on the low end of this range. Though it may seem frustrating, it’s a long, gradual process to determine the optimal dosage. It may be that substantially higher doses are needed to get the best effects, but so far, 100-300 mg per day looks pretty good.
The Mayo Clinic reports that some vague, mild, and transient side effects like fatigue, insomnia, or rashes might occur, but these do not appear to be serious (12).
Q: What is CoQ10 good for?
A: CoQ10 is a supplement that appears to boost mitochondrial function. The mitochondria are the power-producing structures inside the cells of your body, and they are equally important for physical and cognitive function.
CoQ10 itself is quite similar to a vitamin, and indeed, probably would have been classified as a vitamin if it had been discovered at a different time.
Its practical uses range from enhancing exercise performance to improving cognitive function, and it can also be useful to preserve muscle function when taking medications with negative muscular side effects, such as statins.
While the body naturally produces CoQ10, and though it can be absorbed via foods that are naturally rich in CoQ10, certain medications can reduce the rate at which your body is able to synthesize CoQ10.
Statins are a particularly egregious example. Research has found that a CoQ10 supplement can restore CoQ10 levels in the blood and help treat some of the problems caused by medication-related reductions in CoQ10.
Q: What is a good dosage for CoQ10?
A: CoQ10 is typically used in doses of 150 to 200 mg in scientific research. It’s safe to take far more than this, but it’s not clear whether there would be any additional benefit to take greater doses.
When dosing a supplement like CoQ10, you’re more likely to get good results when following clinical research protocols closely, so the best evidence suggests that 150 to 200 mg or so is a good dose to start with.
Q: What does CoQ10 do?
A: At the cellular level, CoQ10 is deeply involved in the production of aerobic energy. The vast majority of the energy your body uses comes from aerobic metabolism, so it plays a vital role in both physical and mental tasks.
In terms of its actual health effects, CoQ10 boosts performance in high intensity workouts that rely on high levels of aerobic power output.
It may also be useful for increasing cognitive function, and for improving cardiovascular function in people who are taking cholesterol medication or who have chronic heart conditions.
These wide-ranging uses are a reflection of the huge and all-inclusive importance of CoQ10 in producing the aerobic energy your body needs to function.
Q: What is CoQ10 made from?
A: Unlike many other supplements we review, CoQ10 is naturally-occurring, but in supplemental form, it is usually directly synthesized from simpler organic compounds.
Your body uses a series of chain reactions that build CoQ10 out of amino acids and other smaller building blocks; while the steps followed by chemists who make CoQ10 supplements is not identical, the principle is the same.
Q: How does CoQ10 work?
A: CoQ10 boosts your body’s energy production by increasing the concentration of this critical coenzyme in the tissues in your body that need it the most, such as your heart and your muscles.
One study found that a CoQ10 supplement was able to prevent the decrease in CoQ10 levels seen in the blood after taking medication for lowering cholesterol levels, while another showed that taking CoQ10 could increase the concentration of mitochondria in the brain—all things that we would expect based on its biological function (13, 14).
Q: Should CoQ10 be used if you are on statins?
A: Statins are a category of drug that are used to reduce blood cholesterol, and if you are at risk for heart disease because of high cholesterol, statins can substantially decrease the risk of a heart attack.
Statins actually work by blocking one of the synthetic pathways that is used by your body to synthesize cholesterol, but one downside of this approach is that CoQ10 shares some of the same steps on the synthetic pathway as statins.
As a result, taking statins reliably decreases CoQ10 levels, by as much as 40%. Muscle pain and muscle damage are common side effects of taking statins, and some researchers believe that the decrease in CoQ10 could be to blame. To this end, several studies have investigated the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on the effects of statins, and the evidence is promising.
You should always talk to your doctor about your supplementation routine if you are taking prescription medication—this is especially important for people with heart conditions, because other medication like warfarin actually has negative interactions with CoQ10—but taking a CoQ10 supplement should definitely be something you consider if you are taking statins.
Q: Does CoQ10 affect fertility?
A: While most headlines on CoQ10 trumpet its physical and cognitive performance benefits, or its potential for people with heart conditions, a less-publicized area of research has raised the possibility that CoQ10 could help improve fertility both for men and for women.
One study found that infertile men who took 300 mg of CoQ10 per day had statistically significant improvements in their sperm quality (15).
Likewise, other research found that CoQ10 supplementation could boost ovary function and extend the longevity of high-quality eggs in women (16).
Though the potential for CoQ10 as a fertility treatment is underexplored, many avenues of research show that it has promise.
Q: Can you get CoQ10 from food?
A: As you might expect from the biological role of CoQ10, by far the best way to get in in food is in things like meat and fish, since these tissues (essentially, muscle) have a high CoQ10 content due to the need for them to produce cellular energy.
You can get CoQ10 from vegetable sources like broccoli and soybeans, but the amounts pale in comparison to what you can get from meat.
Meat tends to have five to seven times more CoQ10 than even the highest vegetable sources of CoQ10, which suggests that vegetarians and vegans may be at a substantially greater risk for CoQ10 deficiencies. Fortunately, CoQ10 in supplement form is not
Q: Should you take CoQ10 in the morning or at night?
A: Because the kinetics of how CoQ10 is absorbed and processed by your body, it actually does not matter what time of day you take CoQ10.
The actual CoQ10 molecule is quite large, and it’s not very water-soluble. Because of both of these reasons, it takes a long time to be fully absorbed by your body. After taking a single dose, levels of CoQ10 in your blood don’t peak until six hours later.
Moreover, CoQ10 is very long-lasting in your body. If you take a dosage of, say, 200 mg, it’s fully absorbed after six hours, but even after 33 hours, you still have 50% of the peak concentration of CoQ10 circulating in your body (17).
Thanks to this very long elimination time, the benefits of CoQ10 do not depend on whether you take it in the morning or at night.
Q: How long does it take for CoQ10 to work?
A: In terms of an acute dose, it will take six hours for your body to start feeling the effects of CoQ10 due to its slow absorption rate.
In terms of achieving the systemic effects of CoQ10 supplementation, the shortest time period reported in the scientific literature is about two weeks, from research on exercise performance (18). Other research has used substantially longer interventions, up to six months in length or longer.
When exactly the benefits kick in is unclear, but you should expect it to take at least two weeks, and possibly longer, to see significant changes.
Q: How much is too much CoQ10?
A: CoQ10 is quite safe, and while most studies use moderate doses of 150 to 200 mg, CoQ10 has been studied at much higher doses.
One study using both healthy and unhealthy adults (the unhealthy adults had a genetic disorder called Huntington’s disease, which results in brain cell death) determined that doses of 1200 to 3600 mg per day were well-tolerated without any apparent ill effects, so the upper limit of CoQ10 supplementation, at least in the short term, is much higher than the dosage necessary to get the optimal benefits.
Supplementing your diet with coenzyme Q10 is one way you might be able to boost your body’s energy production and stave off the loss of vigor that comes with age. It may offer protective effects against heart disease and degenerative brain disorders.
On top of that, it might be able to boost your physical performance by supercharging the energy production of your muscles—results have been good in research on sedentary people, but it’s unknown whether someone who is physically fit will get the same benefits.
If you would like to use CoQ10 as an adjunctive treatment for a medical condition, make sure you talk with your doctor first. CoQ10 may interact with certain medications, including warfarin, a blood thinner. In most cases, though, you should be able to try out CoQ10 to see if it helps you feel younger, healthier, and more energetic.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 CoQ10 recommendation, click here.