L-Carnitine is a natural fat burning amino acid, similar to vitamin B by its composition. However, it is not a vitamin. This substance is responsible for several important body functions and is synthesized in liver and muscle tissue. L-Carnitine is synthesized by means of vitamins B3, B6, B9 and B12, C, methionine and lysine.
Because L-Carnitine increases the production of energy in the body, it provides anabolic effect. Scientists have noticed that athletes, who were using L-Carnitine supplement, were losing fat tissue, increasing lean muscles. This effect of L-Carnitine is not fully understood yet.
L-Carnitine provides weight loss (fat loss) effect because it transfers fatty acids to mitochondria and releases energy. If a bodybuilder wants to burn more fat tissue, he uses L-Carnitine supplement.
In addition, L-Carnitine can increase energy and mental activity. It has been proven during clinical studies, conducted in Italy in 2007. Those participants who have been using L-Carnitine sports supplement, admitted they had better mood, body tonus and increased stamina. The same study has demonstrated that L-Carnitine was effective in another aspect. The supplement was able to improve the resistance to stress and increased athletes’ adaptation abilities.
L-Carnitine protects the heart and blood vessels and even reduces the blood cholesterol. As you probably know, “bad” cholesterol can block small blood vessels. Anti-oxidant effect of L-Carnitine may improve the metabolism of myocardium and thus, men who used to have some heart disease, started feeling much better after using this supplement. Above all, L-Carnitine protects the CNS, providing regeneration of body tissues and preventing osteoporosis.
L-Carnitine in bodybuilding
As mentioned above, L-Carnitine is needed for people, who want to enhance their physical endurance in bodybuilding and other sports. Thus, an athlete can significantly increase his energy levels by combining L-Carnitine sports supplement and fatty food. This method suits bodybuilders, who do not care about weight loss. On contrary, this method is very effective for those, who train daily and who does not want to lose the body mass.
Both aerobic and anaerobic trainings require extra energy. L-Carnitine can enhance the energy levels in this area. In order to achieve great results in sports, bodybuilders should use L-Carnitine along with a balanced diet and special workouts. Please note: L-Carnitine is not a doping, therefore can be used by any athlete.
It is recommended to take several short-term courses of L-Carnitine, instead of one long-term course. It was noted that a long-term L-Carnitine course had caused addiction, meaning the body had not released natural carnitine and athletes needed to use L-Carnitine constantly.
A minimal dose of L-Carnitine is considered 500 mg per day, the maximum dose – 2 g per day. Bodybuilders and athletes can divide this dose into several intakes. Each dose should be taken one time in the morning before breakfast and at least half an hour before each workout. Do not use the dose more than 2 g daily, since the higher doses provide the same effect. When you have no workouts, you may use L-Carnitine as well – one dose in the morning and between the main meals, but at least 1 hour before dinner. It has been proven that L-Carnitine provides best effect in the morning and during physical exercises.
L-Carnitine side effects
L-Carnitine causes no side effects. According to numerous clinical trials, even the highest doses of this sports supplement did not provoke adverse reactions or allergies. However, due to an incredible energy boost, L-Carnitine may cause sleeplessness. To avoid this effect, men should use L-Carnitine at the first half of the day, when it is better digested.
In addition, athletes using L-Carnitine may have nausea, indigestion or headaches (rarely). This indicates an individual intolerance to L-Carnitine and occurs in small number of people as a rule.
Combination of L-Carnitine with other sports supplements
You may use L-Carnitine together with any type of fat burners, since it accelerates their effect. Moreover, L-Carnitine can be combined with gainers, proteins and vitamin complex to increase the lean muscle mass.
Steiber A, Kerner J, Hoppel C (2004). “Carnitine: a nutritional, biosynthetic, and functional perspective”. Mol. Aspects Med. 25 (5-6): 455–73.
Malaguarnera M., Cammalleri L., Gargante M. (L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial) American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. — 2007. — Т. 86. — № 6. — С. 1738—1744.
Löster H. Carnitin and cardiovascular diseases. – Bochum.: Ponte Press Verlags-GmbH, 2003