Effects of quercetin supplementation on endurance performance and maximal oxygen consumption: a meta-analysis

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2013 Feb;23(1):73-82. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.23.1.73. Epub 2012 Jul 4.


Lately, the effect of quercetin supplementation (QS) on endurance performance (EP) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) has been receiving much scientific and media attention. Therefore, a meta-analysis was performed to determine QS's ergogenic value on these variables. Studies were located with database searches (PubMed and SPORTDiscus) and cross-referencing. Outcomes represent mean percentage changes in EP (measured via power output) and VO2max between QS and placebo. Random-effects model meta-regression, mixed-effects model analog to the ANOVA, random-effects weighted mean effect summary, and magnitude-based inferences analyses were used to delineate the effects of QS. Seven research articles (representing 288 subjects) were included, producing 4 VO2max and 10 EP effect estimates. Mean QS daily intake and duration were, respectively, 960 ± 127 mg and 26 ± 24 d for the EP outcome and 1,000 ± 0 mg and 8 ± 23 d for the VO2max outcome. EP was assessed during exercise with a mean duration of 79 ± 82 min. Overall, QS improved EP by 0.74% (95% CI: 0.10-1.39, p = .02) compared with placebo. However, only in untrained individuals (0.83% ± 0.78%, p = .02) did QS significantly improve EP (trained individuals: 0.09% ± 2.15%, p = .92). There was no relationship between QS duration and EP (p = .69). Overall, QS increased VO2max by 1.94% (95% CI: 0.30-3.59, p = .02). Magnitude-based inferences suggest that the effect of QS on EP and VO2max is likely to be trivial for both trained and untrained individuals. In conclusion, this meta-analysis indicates that QS is unlikely to prove ergogenic for aerobic-oriented exercises in trained and untrained individuals.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Sports / physiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Quercetin