Updated: Oct 10, 2021
TL;DR: Quercetin has the ability to improve muscle recovery and exercise performance.
Quercetin is a chemical called a flavonol, it is produced from plants and is a member of the flavonoid family of polyphenols.
It is an antioxidant which has multiple effects in the body and quercetin can also reduce inflammation.
But for you fitness enthusiasts, does quercetin improve muscle recovery? The simple answer is probably, but it's not that simple...
Table of Contents:
Does Quercetin Improve Muscle Recovery?
Due to the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of quercetin, it seems to be effective in improving the recovery of eccentric exercise induced weakness, neuromuscular function impairment after 14 days of supplementation. (1)
According to that study, eccentric exercise induced weakness and neuromuscular impairment can be reduced by supplementing with quercetin.
But is that all it can help with?
Well, according to one study, endurance performance and VO2 max is improved after supplementation with quercetin. (2)
Quercetin supplementation over seven days were linked to a moderate improvement in VO2max (3.9% percent compared to placebo), as well as a significant increase in exercise duration to exhaustion (13.2%).
This means that supplementing with quercetin, in as little as seven days, may improve endurance in untrained individuals without the need for exercise training.
From these two studies we can conclude the following.
Quercetin improves exercise time to exhaustion in untrained individuals, meaning you can exercise for longer.
It can slightly improve VO2 max - a higher VO2 max means your body can use more oxygen and your overall aerobic fitness performance would be higher.
Eccentric-exercise-induced weakness is reduced.
Neuromuscular impairment is also reduced.
So, not only does quercetin improve muscle recovery, it also improves endurance exercise performance.
This polyphenol can be found in may different fruits and vegetables, most notably apples and berries, especially in their peel.
It can also be taken in its supplement form.
Other Benefits of Quercetin
Quercetin has many benefits other than improving recovery, such as those listed below.
May reduce the risk of cancer, heart and brain disease, and diabetes
Quercetin's potential as an anticancer medication has been shown in a preliminary research, which has showed promising results, especially in terms of reducing the risk of cancer. (3)
However, it may have the potential to accelerate tumour development in women with estrogen-dependent breast cancer. (4)
However, due to conflicting findings and a shortage of human studies, it cannot yet be recommended as a cancer treatment option at this point in time.
Even though the findings of quercetins effect on heart disease are promising, further human studies are needed before we can establish if it is a viable treatment or preventative approach for high blood pressure and heart disease. (5)
There are some promising results from studies on quercetin, especially when it comes to preventing brain and cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia. (6)
Its efficacy in people will need to be studied further, though, before any judgments can be made about it.
It has been shown that quercetin may be beneficial in the prevention of diabetes in certain people. (7)
Again, more human studies are needed before quercetin may be deemed an effective anti-diabetic agent.
Overall, the research is promising but to conclude anything more human studies are needed.
Reduces the symptoms of allergies
Because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics, quercetin has been shown to provide anti-allergy effects as well as to relieve allergy symptoms.
According to studies, quercetin may decrease the activity of enzymes involved in inflammation as well as the synthesis of chemicals that trigger allergy symptoms, such as histamine. (8)
Still, more human studies are needed to conclude its effects.
Helps slow down ageing
Quercetin seems to delay the process of ageing in cells, raising the possibility that it may be utilised as an anti-aging supplement in the future. (9)
It is not clear whether these effects is translated into real-world results, though.
Quercetin has multiple benefits for those interested in improving their exercise performance.
Not only that, this supplement also possess multiple benefits for general health, mostly due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities.
There is also lots of research to back these claims up.
Overall, quercetin is a useful supplement and has many benefits, and it does improve muscle recovery.
Written by Billy White
Billy White is a qualified Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer. He is an aspiring bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, and health and fitness researcher.
He has multiple years of experience within the fitness, bodybuilding and health space. He is committed to providing the highest-quality information.
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This evidence-based analysis of quercetin and its improvement on muscle recovery features 9 references, listed below.
1. Bazzucchi I, Patrizio F, Ceci R, Duranti G, Sabatini S, Sgrò P, Di Luigi L, Sacchetti M. Quercetin Supplementation Improves Neuromuscular Function Recovery from Muscle Damage. Nutrients. (2020, Sep 17) (Randomised Controlled Trial) ✔
2. Davis JM, Carlstedt CJ, Chen S, Carmichael MD, Murphy EA. The dietary flavonoid quercetin increases VO(2max) and endurance capacity. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2010, Feb) (Randomised Controlled Trial) ✔
3. Khansari N, Shakiba Y, Mahmoudi M. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. (2009, Jan) (Review) ✔
4. Andres S, Pevny S, Ziegenhagen R, Bakhiya N, Schäfer B, Hirsch-Ernst KI, Lampen A. Safety Aspects of the Use of Quercetin as a Dietary Supplement. Mol Nutr Food Res. (2018) (Review) ✔
5. Serban MC, Sahebkar A, Zanchetti A, Mikhailidis DP, Howard G, Antal D, Andrica F, Ahmed A, Aronow WS, Muntner P, Lip GY, Graham I, Wong N, Rysz J, Banach M, LBPMC Group. Effects of Quercetin on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Heart Assoc. (2016, Jul 12) (Review) ✔
6. Costa LG, Garrick JM, Roquè PJ, Pellacani C. Mechanisms of Neuroprotection by Quercetin: Counteracting Oxidative Stress and More. Oxid Med Cell Longev. (2016) (Review) ✔
7. Ostadmohammadi V, Milajerdi A, Ayati E, Kolahdooz F, Asemi Z. Effects of quercetin supplementation on glycemic control among patients with metabolic syndrome and related disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Phytother Res. (2019, May) (Meta-Analysis) ✔
8. Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Skrovankova S, Sochor J. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. (2016, May 12) (Review) ✔
9. Sohn EJ, Kim JM, Kang SH, Kwon J, An HJ, Sung JS, Cho KA, Jang IS, Choi JS. Restoring Effects of Natural Anti-Oxidant Quercetin on Cellular Senescent Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Am J Chin Med. (2018) ✔
✔ Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.
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