L-carnitine, another supplement that can sound confusing, is what we are here to help you understand the facts. What is this fascinating supplement? L-carnitine has been used by athletes around the globe for its fat-burning abilities. It could also be beneficial for your training program if taken properly. Let’s learn more.
What Is L-Carnitine?
It is a non-essential amino acid-like compound that can be produced naturally in the body. L-carnitine can be found in certain foods, such as red meat. The more red the meat is, the higher the intake. Small amounts of L-carnitine are also found in plant sources like avocado and soybean. Supplements should be taken along with a healthy diet. However, they are often recommended for anyone who is struggling to get enough of a particular nutrient.
L-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids to your cells’ mitochondria. There, the fat is oxidized into energy and used as fuel. The skeletal muscle, which connects to your skeleton, contains more than 95% of our L-carnitine reserves. There are also trace amounts in the blood and liver.
Summary: L-Carnitine is a long-chain fatty acid that transports long-chain fatty oils into the mitochondria of your muscle cells.
#1 L-Carnitine May Aid in Weight Loss
L-carnitine may be thought to increase energy production by using fat stores in the body. This could allow you to exercise longer and aid in weight loss. It may increase calorie consumption, which could lead to weight loss.
Supplementation of L-Carnitine daily has been shown to increase blood and muscle levels of the amino acid-like compound. This could lead to an increase in fat metabolism due to increased muscle carnitine.
Summary: L-Carnitine can help you lose weight by increasing your training time and calorie consumption.
#2 L-Carnitine May Improve Exercise Performance & Recovery
L-carnitine is thought to be a fat-burning agent and it can help reduce muscle damage after intense exercise sessions. L-carnitine supplementation could be beneficial in the recovery from strenuous exercise. The suggested daily intake of 2-4g per day is recommended to maximize results. There are many studies that have confirmed this. Research is still limited, and more studies are required.
Summary: L-carnitine can improve your exercise performance by increasing the body’s ability to burn fat for fuel. It also helps you recover faster by decreasing muscle soreness.
#3 L-Carnitine May Support Heart Health
L-carnitine can be administered intravenously by medical professionals to treat cardiac issues. Research supports its medically supervised use. Carnitine may increase energy levels because it increases fuel availability for the heart. According to a Mayo Clinic systematic review, there was a 27% decrease in all-cause mortality. L-carnitine could also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Summary: L-Carnitine can support your heart health by increasing the amount of fuel the heart needs to function at its best.
What Is the Working Principle of L-Carnitine?
Your body is involved in thousands of biochemical reactions when you exercise. One of these reactions is your enzymes breaking down stored fat into fatty acids and glycerol. These can then be used to fuel your exercise.
L-carnitine, a compound thought to play an important role during fat metabolism, is believed to be transporting long-chain fatty acid across the inner membrane. These fatty acids are believed to be the primary energy source for low- and moderate-intensity exercise.
Summary: L-carnitine enhances the transport of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of muscle cells, increasing fuel availability and increasing intensity during exercise.
Types of L-Carnitine and Their Uses
L-carnitine tartrate is the main form of L-carnitine, while acetyl L-carnitine is supplemented.
1. L-Carnitine Tartrate
L-carnitine tartrate is the most commonly found form of L-carnitine due to its high absorption rate. It is made in the body from the amino acid lysine, and methionine, and is then transported to other tissues. L-Carnitine Tartrate is most prevalent in tissues that use fatty acids as their main fuel source such as the skeletal or cardiac muscles. You should take it with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Summary: L-Carnitine Tartrate has a fast absorption rate that aids in fatty acid metabolism.
2. Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR)
Acetyl L-carnitine is made in the body by the amino acids lysine and methionine. ALCAR is a carnitine molecule that has an attached acetyl group. This allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it bio-available and therefore most readily absorbed. ALCAR is ideal if you are an athlete or active person who does regular exercise, or anyone looking to consume L-carnitine throughout the day.
Summary: Acetyl L-Carnitine is more bioavailable and easier to absorb because it has an acetyl group attached to it.
Dosage – How Much L-Carnitine Should I Take?
For best results, studies suggest that you should use different amounts of L-carnitine. The following dosages are recommended for each type of carnitine:
- Acetyl L-Carnitine: 600-2,500 mg per day.
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: 1,000-4,000 mg per day.
- Propionyl L-Carnitine: 1,000-4,000 mg per day.
When Is It Best to Take L-Carnitine?
It’s best to take this supplement before you start working out if you plan to maximize your energy. According to most scientific studies, L-carnitine should be taken one hour before you start exercising. If you are looking for additional benefits, such as weight loss and recovery, taking L-carnitine after exercising can be beneficial.
What Foods Are Rich in L-Carnitine?
L-Carnitine can be manufactured by the body. However, you can increase your intake of L-Carnitine from your diet. It is found in high amounts in meat, lamb, pork, and poultry as well as dairy products.
Natural L-carnitine is found in milk-based products like whey. Plant-based sources, such as nuts, seeds, and whole grains, also contain some of them (as well as avocados and asparagus).
Side Effects of L-Carnitine
Because it is naturally found in our diets, side effects are minimal. The following side effects were not reported for less than 12 months. However, they did include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and urinary odor. Consult a GP if you’re considering L-carnitine.
L-carnitine may be able to transfer more fatty acids into your cells for energy. This makes it an effective performance enhancer and could also help with weight loss and fat burning.
Although there have been some positive outcomes with L-carnitine supplementation, it is important to remember that scientific evidence is not available. People who can’t get L-carnitine from natural foods are able to supplement their diet with the various forms available.
When is the best time for L-carnitine to be taken?
This supplement should be taken with fast-acting carbohydrates. It doesn’t matter if it is taken before or after a workout.
What is L-carnitine?
This is an amino-acid-like supplement that is not essential. It is responsible for transporting long-chain fatty acids to your cells’ mitochondria. There, energy is created from the fat’s burning.
What are the health benefits of L-carnitine?
There is evidence to suggest that this supplement can promote fat loss, exercise performance, and recovery.
What is the working principle of L-carnitine?
The supplement transports fatty acid across the inner membrane. These fatty acids are believed to be the primary energy source for low- to medium-intensity exercise.
What are the different types of L-Carnitine?
L-Carnitine Tartrate, a popular form of L-Carnitine Tartrate, is used in many sports supplements because it has a high absorption rate. Acetyl L-Carnitine is the most absorbable form and it’s ideal for athletes as well as active people.