Kaneka Pharma Europe (Brussels, Belgium) is highlighting coenzyme 10’s (CoQ10) potential in the growing sports nutrition market with new delivery formats and ingredient combinations targeting exercise performance and recovery. At May’s Vitafoods Europe trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, the company showcased new sports application prototypes featuring its ubiquinol CoQ10 ingredient combined with other vitamins and minerals, including in vegicap, powder stick, gel, and gelatin capsule formats.
CoQ10, which is said to provide heart, liver, and kidney benefits, has become a mainstay in the dietary supplement industry since it was first discovered in 1957. Ubiquinol, or the fully reduced form of CoQ10, is also essential for energy production, says Filip van Hulle, senior manager, Kaneka’s quality of life division, and plays “a key role in the respiratory chain responsible for 95% of the body’s energy requirements.”
However, while the human body naturally produces ubiquinol, production of ubiquinol declines as people age. Physical activity, too, can reduce the body’s supplies of ubiquinol, van Hulle says, and diminished ubiquinol levels can lead to fatigue and poor exercise performance. The company points to a study1 published in the Redox Report, which showed that even a 40-minute bout of intense physical exercise diminishes the amount of ubiquinol in the blood significantly. “So, the ability to replace ubiquinol quickly and restore or maintain performance will be of particular interest to people who are involved in sport at all levels,” says van Hulle.
At Vitafoods, Kaneka highlighted the ingredient’s as-yet-untapped potential in the sports nutrition market with prototypes targeting specific sports outcomes. Ubiquinol All Day Energy is a soft vegicap supplement containing 100 mg ubiquinol that Kaneka says helps provide a boost of energy without a pre- or post-workout energy “hangover.”
The company also introduced Ubiquinol Flash, which is a ubiquinol and magnesium powder stick pack supplement aimed at athletes taking part in extreme sports; for example, those who are training for intense physical competition. According to van Hulle, the powder sticks contain 150 mg of ubiquinol in a special stabilized form, as well as magnesium, which he notes is important for preventing muscle contraction. The supplement is intended to be taken without water during training. Kaneka also says that the powder format boosts absorption, which in turn provides a quicker energy boost.
Ubiquinol Immunity, meanwhile, is a combination of 30 mg of ubiquinol and multivitamins, delivered in GelPell (GelPell AG; Gähwil, Switzerland) form, which is a hard gelatin capsule filled with gelatin beadlets. Kaneka says that Ubiquinol Immunity is formulated to counteract immune-health deficits and boost the body’s immune defense mechanisms.
The company also showed a supplement geared specifically toward athletes who are strength training. Strength training can trigger inflammatory processes inside muscle fibers that contribute to muscle damage and pain, explains van Hulle. Antioxidants combined with protein can attenuate some of these symptoms, he adds, while licorice flavonoids may help to suppress inflammation. With this in mind, the company introduced Ubiquinol Muscle, which combines ubiquinol and Glavonoid, Kaneka’s patented licorice root extract. According to van Hulle, a study2 published in Nutrafoods showed that Glavonoid, in combination with exercise, may contribute to the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass.
Finally, the company introduced a post-exercise gel supplement called Ubiquinol Repair, which it says improves recovery and “creates new energy.” The gel is formulated with 100 mg ubiquinol powder, plus 500 mg carnitine, 1,000 mg branched-chain amino acids, and vitamins, and is designed to be taken after training. However, says van Hulle, Ubiquinol Repair can also be taken prior to a workout for an extra energy boost.
Van Hulle says that all of these prototypes demonstrate the range of sports nutrition applications for which ubiquinol can provide benefits. The market is primed for CoQ10 ingredients, he adds, because CoQ10 can help to boost not only exercise performance, but also post-exercise recovery and provide additional energy, as well—all factors which the company says are important to consumers in the sports-nutrition space. “But over and above all of this, [consumers] want products that are natural, safe, and supported by scientific proof of efficacy,” van Hulle says. “Kaneka’s extraction and processing methods are totally safe and effective, with standardization levels that guarantee that the correct dose of the bioactive ingredients is delivered and will be able produce their expected health benefits,” he adds.
In a press statement from the company, van Hulle said that the company received a positive response to the new ubiquinol prototypes following Vitafoods. “The sports nutrition market is growing enormously, fuelled by interest from a deeper than ever pool of potential consumers who are well informed and focussed on innovative, backed-by-science ingredients,” he said. “Our sports prototypes represent the tip of the iceberg of possibilities for developments in the future.”
- Orlando P et al., “Effect of ubiquinol supplementation on biochemical and oxidative stress indexes after intense exercise in young athletes,” Redox Report, vol. 23, no. 1 (2018): 136-145
- Myojin C et al., “Liquorice flavonoid oil increased skeletal muscle thickness as assessed by ultrasound in training football athletes,” Nutrafoods, vol. 14, no. 4 (2016)