You’re probably here because you’ve heard claims about the weight loss benefits of quercetin and are wondering if it’s true. Trust me, I understand your curiosity.
Just about every supplement that news sources have claimed causes “rapid weight loss,” I’ve gotten questions from clients and readers about.
Today we’ll be looking at what quercetin actually is, its true benefits, and debunking the misconception that it’s a magic weight loss pill.
Stop Looking on The Internet for Magic Weight Loss Pills
Here’s the deal people: there are no magic weight loss pills.
Yes, there may be some that support things like using fat as fuel, like the amino acid l-carnitine. However, what will help you look and feel the way you want is an effective training program, ample protein, lots of fruits and vegetables, hydration, and sleeping well.
You already know this, so I’m not going to waste any more time on it.
In the case of quercetin, it’s even further removed from fat loss mechanisms than a supplement like l-carnitine.
Understanding Quercetin and its Benefits
I’d like to make clear that quercetin isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s our friend. Quercetin plays a crucial role in the body, with its anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects benefiting overall health, cognitive function, and allergies.
Quercetin: the friendly flavonoid and its role in the body
It is is a flavonoid, which means it has lots of health-supporting jobs. Its main job is to act like an antioxidant. By helping prevent oxidative damage, quercetin helps make sure cells don’t get hurt by things called free radicals.
Free radicals can mess up cells and cause harm to the body system. But quercetin fights them off so that doesn’t happen. So you see, quercetin works like a shield for your body against damage from bad particles in our environment or food.
You can find quercetin naturally in many fruits and vegetables.
- Berries (like blueberries and cranberries)
- Leafy greens (like kale and spinach)
- Citrus fruits (like oranges and lemons)
In sum, quercetin is a healthy thing in healthy foods that’s partially responsible for why they’re so healthy.
If you’re looking into quercetin supplements, then understand what you’re getting is something that may provide a range of general health benefits, but it’s NOT specific to weight loss.
Debunking the Weight Loss Claims
Numerous claims have circulated about the weight loss benefits of quercetin, but the evidence simply does not support these assertions.
There’s just no evidence, really.
They split mice into 4 groups:
1) those that exercised and were given quercetin
2) those that didn’t exercise but were given quercetin
3) those that exercised without quercetin,
4) those that neither exercised nor received quercetin.
The study found that the group that exercised and took quercetin had reduced weight gain compared to some other groups.
However, the researchers, based on the data, attributed this more to the exercise than the quercetin. They wrote, “we believe that exercise and not quercetin is responsible for the lower weight gain.”
While this type of study makes for nice headlines, all it really shows is something you already knew: exercise works.
The Role of Quercetin in Exercise Performance
Quercetin, while not directly linked to weight loss, has been studied for its potential effects on exercise performance and endurance. Some studies suggest that quercetin can increase the number of mitochondria (the energy-producing factories in our cells) which can potentially improve athletic performance.
However, the results for athletic performance are mixed. Some studies show a slight improvement in endurance or performance, while others find no significant difference.
The consensus is that while quercetin might offer some benefits for athletes or those engaging in regular physical activity, it’s not a game-changer.
For the average person, the potential benefits of quercetin in exercise performance might not be noticeable. But for athletes or those looking for an edge in their training, it might be worth considering as part of a broader supplement and nutrition strategy.
No, quercetin is not a weight loss supplement. While it offers numerous health benefits, direct weight loss is likely not one of them.
Some studies suggest that quercetin can potentially improve athletic performance, but the results are mixed. It might offer some benefits, but it’s not a game-changer.
Quercetin is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, berries, onions, leafy greens, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.
Are there any side effects of taking quercetin supplements?
While quercetin is generally considered safe, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.
We have a whole article on this question: quercetin and testosterone.
Not all supplements are created equal. For high-quality quercetin supplements, check out our article on the best quercetin supplements.