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INTRODUCTION: Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) is a measure of the body’s total oxygen utilization capacity, or in simpler terms, the capacity for exercise, more specifically oxygen demanding aerobic exercises such as running or cycling since these rely on aerobic rather than anaerobic energy resources. Current research suggests that the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, flavonoid substance quercetin primarily found in food plants, may be responsible for enhanced exercise capacity as measured by VO2 max. Existing studies test this relationship by administering quercetin supplements to individuals over a short period time and then comparing their pre and post-supplement VO2 max values. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if a positive relationship exists between consumption of quercetin supplements and the capacity for exercise in young untrained men. METHODS: Five adult males aged 18-30 yrs were recruited as participants. All participants shared a general activity level that was not of athletic nor sedentary proportions. Participants began by performing a maximal exercise test using the Bruce protocol treadmill to establish baseline data. They were then given a week’s worth of either placebo or quercetin oral capsules, unknown to them. They were instructed to take their assigned pill twice a day for seven days. For those receiving the quercetin supplement, this dosage totaled to 1,000 mg per day. No exercise was prescribed to the participants during this period. After a week passed of consuming their respective supplements, they returned to the lab to perform another maximal exercise test. Each individual’s rate of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate (HR), VO2 max and test duration values before and after consuming the supplements were compared. RESULTS: Five males ages 20 ± 4 years old with a weight between 77 ± 6.03 kg and a height 180 ± 3.9 cm. Maximal values for four variables were analyzed; HR (pre 194 ± 8.7 bpm, post 192 ± 9.7 bpm); RPE ( pre 17± 1.3, post 18 ± 2.8); time ( pre 12:00 ± 0.04, post 12:06 ± 0.05) and VO2max (pre 40.7 ± 5.6 ml/kg/min, post 43 ± 6.0 ml/kg/min). None of these values showed a significant difference between pre and post testing (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The results from this study indicated a slight increase in VO2max following a week of ingesting the quercetin supplement, however, the difference for pre and post-supplement VO2 max values was not significantly different (p = 0.2).


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