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Effects of Short-Term Quercetin Supplementation on Soldier Performance

Sharp, Marilyn A.1; Hendrickson, Nathan R.1; Staab, Jeffery S.1; McClung, Holly L.1; Nindl, Bradley C.1; Michniak-Kohn, Bozena B.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue - p S53–S60
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825cf22d
Original Research

Sharp, MA, Hendrickson, NR, Staab, JS, McClung, HL, Nindl, BC, and Michniak-Kohn, BB. Effects of short-term quercetin supplementation on soldier performance. J Strength Cond Res 26(7): S53–S60, 2012—The purpose was to assess the short-term effects of quercetin supplementation on aerobically demanding soldier performance. In a double-blind crossover study, 16 male soldiers performed 3 days of aerobically demanding exercise under 3 conditions: Baseline (B), Placebo (P), and Quercetin (Q). Day 1 was a treadmill V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak test. Days 2 and 3 were identical, consisting of 75 minutes of loaded treadmill marching (LM) and a subsequent cycling time trial (TT) to complete 200 kJ of work. After B condition, the soldiers consumed 2 energy bars, each containing 0 mg (placebo) or 500 mg of quercetin (1,000 mg·d−1) for 8.5 days. Beginning day 6 of supplementation, the soldiers performed the 3 exercise days. There was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in plasma Q after Q supplementation. Repeated measures analyses of variance revealed no differences after P or Q supplementation as compared with B in V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak (B = 48.9 ± 1.1, P = 49.3 ± 1.1, Q = 48.8 ± 1.2 ml·kg−1·min−1) or TT time (B = 18.4 ± 1.0, P = 18.5 ± 1.1, Q = 18.3 ± 1.0 minutes [mean day 1 and day 2]). The respiratory exchange ratio during LM did not differ across treatments (B = 0.87 ± 0.03, P = 0.87 ± 0.03, Q = 0.86 ± 0.04 [mean day 1 and day 2]). Ratings of perceived exertion were not affected by Q supplementation during the V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak test, LM or TT. Supplementation of 1,000 mg·d−1 of quercetin for 8.5 days had no positive effect on aerobically demanding soldier performance. It is possible that a different dosing regimen, a combination of antioxidants or a different form of quercetin supplementation, may be needed to produce an increase in soldier performance.

1Military Performance Division, USARIEM, Natick, Massachusetts

2Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers—The New Jersey State University, Piscataway, New Jersey

Address correspondence to Marilyn A. Sharp,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.