Supplements beneficial? Carnitine, Q10. (Read 108 times)

    I have not figured out how to use the search function so am sorry if this has been discussed.


    My son is preparing for an ultra and has expressed interest in some supplements including the two named in the thread title.

    Since neither of us knows much about them other than that they are sold as beneficial in the use of fat as an energy source and encouraging development of muscle strength (L carnitine) and in formation of ATP (Q 10), I would like to know a little more before he uses these products. I do understand that both occur naturally in the body or are available from dietary sources, and he eats a varied and healthy diet.

    I do not want to rely on the stores that sell these products for guidance as they have an interest in promoting sales.


    1) Is more beneficial considering the demands made by running such long distances?

    2) For how long should the supplement be used before it is effective?

    3) After discontinuing use how soon is the benefit lost?

    4) I understand (Wikipaedia!) that excesses of these substances are disposed of naturally through urination- is there any danger associated with use of either of these supplements?

    5) Are there other products he should consider which would be useful for his purpose?

    Thank you!

    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.



      Without intending to sound snippy, I promise... the best "product" to consider is food.  (and adequate training, but that's another discussion)


      There are very few magic bullets when it comes to supplements.  Some work, depending on what we're talking about, but research on these things is, at best, mixed.  Over time, followup research to the first study that hits TV "taking vitamin X may keep cancer away!" usually shows that the supplements don't actually do much.  I mean, in the lab we have learned that X seems to "do" Y.  Or that X correlates with some kind of Y.  But in practice, it is rarely that simple.


      I can't help you with these two specific substances.  I know lots of folks who take CoQ10 for a variety of reasons.  No idea if it really helps.


      Not dead. Yet.

        Creatine (not Carnitine) is one of the few legal supplements that is proven to increase athletic ability.  There has been lots of studies over the years and it seems to actually work, but I'm not sure how directly it would help runners.  It somehow allows your muscles to hold more water, which then allows your muscles to do work. and it turn they get bigger, faster.  Or something like that. Smile




        Now I don't know how having bigger muscles helps runners.  It might actually hurt in a race because by definition it makes you weigh more and hold on to water.  Maybe though, it could be used effectively during a strength building phase to help increase muscle mass.  If you are taking creatine while you are running lots of hills, you are probably going to get more benefit out of the work than if you weren't taking the creatine.


        Beta-alanine is another of the supps that might work, but I think the jury is out on whether or not it works for runners.  It gives you a really odd feeling skin flush, so it is definitely doing something in there.  I will personally experiment with beta-alanine and running at some point  in the future.

        How can we know our limits if we don't test them?


          I take quite a few vitamins/minerals. The only nutritional supplement I take, though, that I feel has a noticeable impact, is whey powder coupled with BCAA powder after hard workouts/long runs. As it is I use it approximately three times a week and the difference is fairly profound.


          If I stopped all supplementation tomorrow the only one I'm confident in noticing its absence is the protein stuff. That's not to say the rest aren't doing anything, but I don't particularly notice them doing a lot.

            I am a supplement freak and have tried everything. CoQ10 is an excellent antioxidant and L Carnitine helps body burn fat for energy. There is one study showing some benefits of CoQ10 for endurance but another says no. Trying to be impartial here but I don't think you will find a lot of evidence that these will enhance performance but certainly won't harm you.. Before an event, taking some caffeine will provide the most benefit in my opinion.

            Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!