L – carnitine is a popular, and effective amino acid-like supplement that will increase your energy and metabolism. A little extra boost in the gym after a long day at work is always a welcome advantage, but like anything you need to know how and when to take it for your safety and to see the best results.
Top Brands Of L Carnitine
|Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine 500mg Tablets, 60 Count||Prime||Buy Now|
|NOW Supplements, L-Carnitine 500mg, Purest Form, Amino Acid, Fitness Support*, 60 Veg Capsules||Prime||Buy Now|
|BulkSupplements.com ALCAR HCl (Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl) (250 Grams)||Prime||Buy Now|
|Extra Strength L-Carnitine - 200 Capsules - 1000mg Per Serving - Boost Your Metabolism and Increase Performance||Prime||Buy Now|
|ProSupps® L-Carnitine 3000 Liquid Fat Burner, Stimulant Free Metabolic Enhancer, (31 Servings, Berry Flavor)||Prime||Buy Now|
What Is L-Carnitine
L-carnitine is normally referred to as an amino acid, but it is more like the cousin of the B vitamins, in the ’50s when it was first named they put it under the title vitamin BT.
It is made naturally inside of your body when the amino acid lysine and methionine join together. This happens primarily inside of your liver and kidneys, but your body stores it in your muscles, heart, and brain.
The fact that your body makes it naturally technically means that it’s not considered an essential nutrient, however, an L-carnitine deficiency can lead to growth deficiency in younger people, enlarged liver, and muscle degradation.
Making the nutrient very important and deemed a not so medical term as “somewhat essential”.
There are 2 types, L-carnitine and D-carnitine. The L type is the form that is naturally made in your body and the type that we are talking about in this article. You’ll see this on supplements labeled as L-tartrate, or Propionyl-L-carnitine.
You don’t need to concern yourself with the D type it’s not naturally made and isn’t even produced as a supplement.
You’ll also hear or read about Acetyl L-carnitine (ALCAR) which is found in the central nervous system and helps create energy and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
The acetyl group when working side by side with the carnitine family has the ability to enter the brain unlike other nutrients and act as an antioxidant. There is studies showing this to help with the decrease of aging, and neurodegeneration.
What Does L-Carnitine Do
L-carnitine delivers long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria to be turned into energy, this is done through a process known as oxidation. the end result is the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
When you workout lactic acid builds up inside of your muscles, causing fatigue. L-carnitine reduces this from happening allowing you to perform more reps.
It also decreases the number of free radicals that can be created during intense exercise, this will help with post-recovery.
What Are The side Effects of taking L-Carnitine
The most common negative symptoms from L-carnitine are
- Trouble sleeping
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
Avoid using if you fall into any of these categories
- If you’ve been diagnosed as bipolar
- If you have neuropathy
- Been diagnosed with hypothyroidism
- If you ever encounter seizures
You should also not use it if you’re pregnant or under the age of 18, there hasn’t been sufficient studies done to prove that L-carnitine is safe in children and pregnant women.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking L-Carnitine
- Improves workout performance – You know that feeling you get when you want one more rep, but it’s just not physically possible. This is due to a build-up of lactic acid in your muscles. L-carnitine decreases this effect allowing you to workout longer.
- Post-workout recovery – When you workout you increase your levels of lactic acid and hydrogen ions related to acidosis, this is the primary reason you experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 24 to 48 hours after working out. L-carnitine helps prevent this by diminishing the acidosis effect while exercising.
- Improved mood – This study found that L-carnitine has a similar effect to common antidepressant medicines, but with fewer side effects.
- Improves cognitive ability – Since it’s an anti-aging nootropic it helps your brain perform better. The acetyl group attached to it gives it the important ability to pass your blood-brain barrier and improve your mood, learning, and memory.
- Improves stamina – When you perform a physical exercise your body needs to supply energy to sustain the repetitive action, This comes in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When L-carnitine helps turn fatty acids into energy it makes ATP, the more ATP you have the longer you can work out.
- Insulin resistance – Has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and nerve pain in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Strengthens bones – L-carnitine has shown to decrease mRNA levels of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, a measurement of bone resorption by 72.8%. Simply put, they allow your bones to heal themselves and remain stronger.
- The production of red blood cells – Patients with depleted red blood cell counts have seen improvements in their counts after supplementing with L-carnitine.
Is L-Carnitine A Fat Burner
I know if you read the other articles written about this topic you’ll be told that it is a great fat burner and it will give you quick results, and if you spend enough time in the gym like I do you’ll find yourself in another fitness debate about this very subject.
In the end, I can only go by the scientific data, and the studies done surrounding this topic don’t favor everyone when it comes to L-carnitines fat-burning properties.
We know by now that it helps your body move fatty acids to its mitochondria to turn into energy, so it’s easy to see why people would think that this will help you burn more fat.
the problem is that L- carnitine doesn’t help your body speed up or increase this process, it only helps it perform the actual duty of it.
Human and animal studies have been mixed, what they have found is that the fat-burning qualities are more pronounced when the individual’s BMI is higher.
Someone who only has 10 or 20 pounds to lose will see insignificant results from L- carnitine than an individual who is obese.
There aren’t any studies showing you that taking L-carnitine before bed will make any difference.
Different types Of Carnitines
- Acetyl-L-carnitine – This type is used primarily to increase neurological function, such as memory, anti-aging nootropic, better mood, and learning.
- Propionyl-L-carnitine – If you have high blood pressure or any type of health issue governed from circulation, this is the supplement you would use.
- L-carnitine L-tartrate – This is the most common form for fitness guru’s, it helps exercise performance and recovery. Dosing is between 1,000 to 4,000 mg per day.
What Is The Correct Dosage Of L-Carnitine
1000 milligrams is equal to 1 gram, 2 grams a day is the normal dose for the average healthy adult, and seems to be safe over an extended period of time.
One study found that 3 to 4 grams per day broken up into 3 different dosing times, was safe over the long term.
If you’re taking L-carnitine for increased brain function then 2 grams per day is adequate.
If you’re taking it for muscle endurance and recovery then you should take 3 to 4 grams per day. Half 30 minutes before your workout and the other half after your workout.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine – The dose ranges from 600 to 2,500 mg a day.
- Propionyl-L-carnitine – Dosing varies from 400 to 1,00 mg per day.
- L-carnitine L-tartrate – Dosing is between 1,000 to 4,000 mg per day.
When Should You Take L-Carnitine
Whether you take it in a liquid, or powder form it is quickly absorbed by your body making the best time to take it in the morning when you wake up, and again 20 to 30 minutes before working out.
This is just my opinion and by all means you should try different times and find out what works best for you.
Can You Take L-Carnitine Before Bed
While it is not a stimulant taking l carnitine before bed may make some people feel a good amount of energy from it and this may very well hinder you from receiving a good night’s sleep.
I would take it during the day to see how you feel and decide on your own, besides there isn’t any reason to feel that you need to take it before bed.
Is L-Carnitine A Stimulant
It doesn’t have any caffeine or any type of stimulant in it like you would find in an energy or pre-workout mix.
Can You Take L-Carnitine On An Empty Stomach
This is one of those questions that can’t be answered for everyone the same, I have no problem taking it on an empty stomach, but I’ve had clients that tell me they experience nausea.
People may tell you that the fat-burning benefits are increased if you take it on an empty stomach, but if you do the research you’ll notice that the proof of L-carnitine actually making a big difference in the amount of weight you lose is unsubstantial and I wouldn’t solely take it for this reason alone.
Do vegans Need L-Carnitine
75% of carnitine is obtained by your diet and has the highest amounts in fish and red meats, its bioavailability changes from diet to diet.
It’s common sense to understand why people who incorporate a higher plant-based diet would be more inclined to supplement with L-carnitine products.
Which Foods Contain The Most L-Carnitine
You can find it in poultry, fish, grains, and greens, but without a doubt, the highest concentration of L-carnitine will be found in red meats, the redder the meat, the higher level of L-carnitine
It’s no surprise that carnitine comes from carnis the Latin word for flesh.
|Type Of Food||Milligrams (mg)|
|Beef, cooked, 4 ounces||56 to 162|
|Ground beef, cooked 4 ounces||87 to 99|
|Whole milk 1 cup||8|
|Codfish, cooked 4 ounces||4 to 7|
|Chicken breast, cooked 4 ounces||3 to 5|
|Cheddar cheese 2 ounces||2|
|Wheat bread 2 slices||0.2|
|Asparagus cooked 1/2 cup||0.1|
Conclusion- Does L- Carnitine Actually Work
There is enough data to back up the many benefits we’ve outlined in this article, If you’re looking for a boost in your cognitive abilities, an increase in your stamina, less soreness after working out then I wouldn’t hesitate to try it.
If you’re looking for a powerful fat burner then you need to assume the correct expectations, try it for yourself to see what results you get.
In the end you need to know that any fitness or diet plan will only be successful if you eat correctly and workout regularly.
Don’t expect or rely on any product to give you the results you want that will only come from hard work and discipline.