By Paul Cadman, pro sports coach and manager, sports nutritionist and endurance athlete
Athletes and coaches are constantly looking for ways to enhance and improve training. Once you’ve got a solid foundation to build on in place, it’s time to look for ways to work smarter. MitoQ, our advanced, high-tech form of CoQ10, is being used increasingly by athletes to support training, enhance performance and ultimately achieve athletic goals.
Training and the relentless need for energy
One of the goals of a well-constructed training plan is to apply physical stressors that challenge the body to respond, adapt and become stronger.
We apply a disturbance that is triggered by the physical activity undertaken with the goal of eliciting positive adaptation and improvement. It’s a continual process that produces physiological demands including a relentless need for energy that is created by the consistent and frequent exercise.
The electron transport chain is how cellular energy is created and CoQ10 plays a vital role in this process. With the increased demand for energy comes a greater demand for CoQ10. This is why MitoQ is a logical addition to the athlete’s toolbox. It’s able to get inside the mitochondria up to a thousand times more effectively than regular CoQ10 supplements, including ubuiqinol, and is therefore better able to support your body’s energy production needs at source.
A key platform for performance is a solid foundation of health, your athletic progression relies on it. This may sound simple and easily achieved but in reality can be quite challenging. Problem being that the chronic volume and intensity of exercise required to adapt and improve in endurance sport literally breaks your body down and impacts your immune system.
We are made up of trillions of cells which are at the centre of every process that occurs within our body, from the function of our digestive system to the operation of our lungs. Mitochondria, tiny organelles within our cells, play a significant role in these processes as the producers of the ‘energy’ required to carry them out. Therefore, optimizing the health of our mitochondria is vital as it underpins our foundation of overall wellbeing. CoQ10 is the primary antioxidant that protects and supports the mitochondria. Without this vital molecule, the energy mitochondria provide decreases and health issues can potentially develop. Because MitoQ is absorbed far more effectively than other CoQ10 supplements as it’s the only form that’s able to get into the mitochondria at significant-enough levels, I’d suggest including it in your daily routine to help support holistic health and wellness.
I always encourage athletes to have measures in place to help understand their response to training and how different strategies like supplementing with MitoQ are helping to improve performance. I advise setting subjective markers that are easily observed, which can provide great insight into whether you are coping well with training and other stressors of everyday life. Below is a simple self-management survey you can use on a regular basis to help provide a view of your current state of wellness. Simply give yourself a score for each marker and total them up. A score of seventeen or greater with no ones or twos is a good indication you’re coping well.
A gold standard biomarker is Heart Rate Variability (HRV). HRV is a non-invasive measure used to understand the state of an individual’s Autonomic Nervous System which in turn provides insight into overall health status. It is being increasingly used by sports professionals around the globe to help monitor and understand athletes’ health and manage training load. As a general rule, higher HRV scores indicate good health and an effective and well managed training program. The beauty of using an HRV app is that it will provide both objective and subjective feedback, making it a very effective self-management tool.
When I personally began taking MitoQ, I tracked its effectiveness through many of these measures. What I noticed within a space of weeks was shorter recovery time especially after harder training sessions and an improved ability to hit increased levels of output very efficiently. I also experienced reduced muscle soreness, improved sleep and stable health including mental focus during high load training phases. I particularly noticed all of these in the build up to winning the two-day Coast to Coast endurance event last year. Having less fluctuation in daily HRV from when I first began taking MitoQ has confirmed it helps me handle the rigors of daily training and supports my overall health. And that’s why MitoQ has become a permanent part of my training toolbox.