L-carnitine is a famous workout supplement used by professional athletes and average gym goers to boost physical performance. However, despite its popularity, many people don’t understand how this exercise enhancer actually works.

For a breakdown of the supplement's scientific composition, dosage(s), range of benefits, potential side effects, and more, read on for Ultimate Nutrition’s Guide to L-carnitine:

What is L-carnitine?

L-carnitine is a nutrient derivative of amino acids – molecules used to form proteins – often taken as a dietary supplement.

 However, your body also uses its amino acids – specifically lysine and methionine – with the help of plentiful Vitamin C intake to produce L-carnitine naturally.

Additionally, consuming beef, pork, chicken, and certain types of fish can also introduce extra L-carnitine into the body.

How Does L-Carnitine Work?

L-carnitine is an effective workout supplement because it helps transport fatty acids to the mitochondria, the “powerhouse” of a cell responsible for producing energy.

Upon reaching the mitochondria of muscle cells, these fatty acids break down and oxidize, providing your muscles with high-quality, lasting energy during low to moderate-intensity exercise.

L-Carnitine Dosage

The recommended daily amount (RDA) of L-carnitine is 500-2,000 mg.

However, this range can differ depending on the specific form of L-carnitine you take as a supplement.

For example, Acetyl-L-carnitine recommended dosages, specifically targeting brain health, range between 600-2,500 per day, while L-carnitine L-tartrate, which primarily boosts athletic performance, is most effective at 1,000-4,000 mg per day.

Pro Tip: As with any supplement, your ideal L-carnitine dosage can depend on numerous factors, including your diet, exercise pattern, current medication regimen, pre-existing conditions, etc. If you have any concerns that this amino acid derivative may negatively affect your well-being, please discuss them with a medical professional before supplementation.

Physical Performance Weights

Potential Benefits of L-Carnitine

There are numerous ways L-carnitine can benefit your body and optimize your exercise performance. Let's examine a few of the most well-documented examples in scientific studies and research:

Can Aid in Weight Loss

While no supplement or medication can magically help you shed every undesirable pound, L-carnitine can help you on your journey toward a healthy weight.

According to research from outlets like the National Institute of Health (NIH), L-carnitine can help overweight or obese people stimulate weight loss by utilizing the body’s fat stores for energy production.

Can Enhance Physical Performance and Recovery

It’s no secret that regular exercise is a great way to physically take your body to the next level.

However, it is also true that many of us struggle to perform at the gym or recover from a workout due to any number of physical limitations.

Thankfully, L-carnitine is here to help.

By promoting the body’s use of fat as fuel, the supplement allows you to exercise longer without increasing the risk of serious injury. Over time, this benefit promotes increasingly effective exercise, helping you reach your physical goals without putting undue strain on the body.

Similarly, L-carnitine supplementation enhances your ability to recover after low to moderate-intensity exercise by reducing metabolic stress and fighting delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), as documented in studies referenced by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

These same studies also indicate the supplement can lower the risk of muscle injury, cellular damage, and the formation of free radicals after exercise.

Can Benefit Heart Health

Cardiovascular well-being is essential to your quality of life.

According to oft-cited National Institute of Health (NIH) research into hypertension and cardiovascular inflammation, supplementation with L-carnitine can lower the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, subsequent NIH study of heart disease reveals that L-carnitine use can also lead to improvements in the health of patients with heart disorders like coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure.

Can Boost Brain Function

Human L-carnitine trials published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) document evidence revealing that supplementation can boost the mind. 

Specifically, studies of Alzheimer’s patients reveal that the amino acid derivative can help fight the decline in brain function associated with the disease.

These same benefits occur in studies of older adults predisposed to, but not yet diagnosed with, harmful brain conditions associated with aging.

Potential Side Effects of L-Carnitine

As with any supplement, there are a couple of potential side effects of L-carnitine you should be aware of:

Gastrointestinal Distress

Some people who supplement with L-carnitine find that it upsets their stomach, potentially leading to bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps and even vomiting.

“Fishy” Body Odor

A rare but documented side effect of L-carnitine is a “fishy” body odor that sometimes develops after regular supplementation.

Ultimate Nutrition’s L-Carnitine

Now that you understand how and when to take L-carnitine and the benefits it can provide your body, it’s time to check out Ultimate Nutrition’s L-carnitine supplement: 

Available in 300mg and 500mg 60 tablet bottles, 1000mg 30 tablet bottles, and 12 fl. oz. liquid bottles, this amino acid exercise enhancer allows you to harness the benefits of L-carnitine at the ideal dosage for you.

Whether you hope to use l-carnitine for weight loss or to boost your physical performance, Ultimate Nutrition has you covered.  

UN Editorial Team
Tagged: Supplements


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