An effective supplement regimen includes any number of vitamins and nutrients, but one of the often overlooked, and highly beneficial nutrients that can be included in these regimens is L-carnitine. L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that is generally thought to be beneficial for weight loss and brain function. However, it’s important to understand the science behind L-carnitine before you incorporate it into your health routine. By understanding the potential benefits and the areas of the body L-carnitine works to improve, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to whether this supplement is right for you.
A Brief Overview of L-Carnitine
L-carnitine plays a critical role in the production of energy within the body. Its role is to transport fatty acids to your cells’ mitochondria which acts as the energy source within your cells. These fatty acids are burned to create usable energy that powers our body throughout all of our daily activities.
Your body depends on L-carnitine to create the energy you need to do everything, from pouring your morning coffee to keeping your energy up during workouts. Your body does have the ability to produce L-carnitine through amino acids lysine and methionine, but in order for your body to produce sufficient amounts, you also need vitamin C. You can also get limited amounts of L-carnitine by eating animal products like meat or fish.
L-carnitine is an essential nutrient that converts fat to fuel as efficiently as possible. It’s critical that those who have special diets, such as vegans or vegetarians, use supplements to make sure that they maintain steady levels of L-carnitine. Otherwise, they might find that they feel sluggish or weak due to insufficient energy production.
For Athletic Performance
Of course, since L-carnitine is a critical part of energy production within the body, it plays a major role in athletic performance. Athletes rely on their body’s ability to convert food and body fat into energy that can be expended during their workouts. L-carnitine is the factor that takes the nutrients from the foods they eat and turns it into the energy that keeps them going during training or competitions. Maintaining healthy levels of L-carnitine means that athletes can perform at their peak ability and have the endurance that it takes to work out harder for longer periods of time.
Of course, athletes typically have healthy diets that involve foods that give the body some additional L-carnitine, but it’s difficult to maintain L-carnitine levels solely from food. If your L-carnitine levels drop, so do your energy levels, and suddenly it will become much more difficult to perform at your performance standards. Whether you’re a professional athlete or someone who prioritizes staying active, supplementing your L-carnitine levels is a great way to keep your body going throughout your training regimen.
For Muscle Recovery
Studies have shown that L-carnitine enhances blood flow to the muscles, which is a major help in recovery. When you strain your muscles, muscle hypertrophy occurs, and the fibres of the muscles are technically injured. Your body repairs the muscles by fusing them back together, which increases the mass of your muscles. This repair happens faster with increased blood flow to the muscles since the body can transport the nutrients needed to help repair them more quickly.
Naturally, since L-carnitine helps your body create energy, higher levels of the nutrient mean your body can create energy more effectively. Anyone who experiences low energy levels or difficulty making it through the day should certainly try increasing their L-carnitine levels. Some studies have shown that people suffering from chronic fatigue saw major benefits after taking the supplements for a few months. It’s the maintenance of consistent L-carnitine levels that resulted in long term success for patients struggling with chronic fatigue. Incorporating L-carnitine into your regimen is a great way to give yourself a little extra boost.
For the Heart
There are a number of ways that L-carnitine helps the heart. For one thing, energy production helps with weight loss. When people have more energy, they are more likely to work out and maintain a healthy lifestyle in general. In addition, studies have shown that L-carnitine has anti-ischemic properties, the same properties used in medications meant to control the symptoms of coronary or artery disease. These studies have indicated that in patients with a failing heart, typically levels of L-carnitine are low. L-carnitine helps to counteract the effects of excess fatty acids in the blood and improves carbohydrate metabolisms.
While L-carnitine might not be a cure-all for heart problems, it certainly addresses some of the concerns that go along with heart disease. In fact, introducing L-carnitine early on may prevent some of the symptoms of these heart illnesses from ever developing, either because people are more likely to maintain an active lifestyle or the more effective filtration of fatty acids prevents damage to the circulatory system. Studies are still being done to understand the full impact of L-carnitine and its benefits on the heart, and time will tell if this is an effective method of combatting heart disease.
The higher your energy levels are, the more likely you are to be able to effectively focus on day-to-day activities. An increase in your overall energy will give you the additional bandwidth to focus on more complicated tasks or just generally boost your productivity. L-carnitine is known for improving people’s mental clarity as well as their ability to process information and memory. This stems from its ability to increase blood flow and energy levels simultaneously so you feel more awake and you’re processing the information as efficiently as possible.
As a Brain Booster
L-carnitine is a great way to combat brain fog and improve general mental function. The boost in blood flow allows the brain to make more effective connections and just generally keep your mind going at full capacity. In fact, studies have shown that healthy blood flow to your brain can help you avoid Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. A supplement designed specifically to help with circulation and energy is the perfect storm to boost your brain function. There’s a reason why people tend to think better after exercise. The increased blood flow throughout the body enhances cognitive function and gives people more opportunities to make connections. L-carnitine supplements provide the energy you need to work out more effectively and get your blood pumping while also helping increase general circulation throughout your body. Your brain will reap the benefits of both of those aspects of the supplement and in turn, function at capacity.
Brief Dosage Guide
There are a few different formats that you can take depending on what kind of health benefits you’re looking for. The standard dose for L-carnitine is between 500 and 2,000 mg, and this dosage can be taken daily.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is usually used for improving brain function and typically takes a daily dosage of 630-2,500 mg.
Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (GPLC) is best for blood flow issues and also takes a standard dose of between 1,000 to 4,000 mg.
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is used to enhance physical performance and provide additional power output. Usually, this means a dose of 1,000 to 4,000 mg.
Before you start a regimen of L-Carnitine, you should consult with your doctor and see what kind of frequency and dosage will best meet your needs. Typically L-carnitine doesn’t have any dangerous side-effects, but it is recommend that you still get a medical professional’s opinion before starting a new supplement, just in case there is something in your medical history that could cause adverse side effects.
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- CALCIUM ENHANCED SUPER FORMULA – The extra 330mg of Calcium per serving greatly boosts metabolic rate, muscle strength, and bone health. Added Calcium boosts results when combined with L-Carnitine.
- SUPPORTS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE AND STAMINA – Faster muscle recovery, delay exhaustion.
Brief Side Effects
At this point, L-carnitine seems to be perfectly safe to add to a vitamin or supplement regimen. Doses of 2 grams per day or less have been determined to be safe for most people, but of course, it’s still a good idea to get the opinion of your doctor. There is some evidence that L-carnitine supplements could increase the risk of atherosclerosis, but further studies have to be done to confirm that. In general, it appears that L-carnitine is a perfectly safe supplement to add to your daily vitamin regimen.
The benefits of L-carnitine can be felt throughout the body and studies show that there are widespread health benefits not only in areas that the supplement directly targets but also in other related areas. Those who have the energy to do more with their day tend to be more active and productive than those who struggle with their energy levels. Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of chronic fatigue or you’re an athlete looking for a little extra boost to get you through a tough training session, maintaining a steady L-carnitine level is critical to providing your body with the energy it needs to perform at its best. You can talk to your doctor about introducing an L-carnitine supplement to your diet to make sure you’re always operating at peak capacity.