Chew on This: Quercetin can Enhance Endurance

Last year a good friend/colleague of mine fed me Q-chews, the warfighter’s candy for helping soldiers (real soldiers not the kind Destiny’s Child sings about).

Q-chews were developed for the military to help ward off illness and physical stress while helping them maintain mental focus. Because let’s face it, the military on the front line of defense are elite athletes. A wrong move may mean life or death not just sitting on the beach with their head in a sweat-soaked towel.
These yummy, candy-like chews contain quercetin and vitamin C. Quercetin is an antioxidant found in some fruits and veggies. In a recently published University of South Carolina study (funded by the DOD), researchers found that quercetin may boost endurance.
They took 12 healthy, but untrained college-aged students and gave them 500 mg quercetin twice a day in Tang or placebo (straight up Tang) for 7 days and had them ride stationary bikes to the point of fatigue. Then they switched the groups so each person served as their own control. The quercetin group showed greater improvements in VO2max (max oxygen uptake; view it this way – Lance Armstrong has a high VO2 max, your sedentary smoker friends have a low VO2max) and endurance.
This study showed two things: 1) Tang still exists and 2) 1,000 mg/day quercetin may boost endurance in untrained people. Now I’d love to see the results of this study using trained athletes.

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