A Beginner’s Guide to L-Carnitine

beginner's guide to l-carnitine
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Next on our amino acid deep dive is our beginner’s guide to L-Carnitine. We’ll go into a bit of detail on what L-Carnitine does as a nutrient and how taking it as a supplement can support an active lifestyle. We’ll also have a look at L-Carnitine dosage, benefits and side effects.

What is L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is an amino acid and has an association with higher and better exercise performance. It’s naturally produced by the body, mainly in the liver. The majority of L-Carnitine reserves (roughly 98%) are in our muscles with smaller traces in our liver and blood.

Usually, it’s predominantly present in meat and dairy products and can also be separately integrated into your diet. One of its main functions is to carry fat to the cells’ mitochondria in our body. They’re responsible for burning fatty acids and turn them into energy we can use. It’s because of this ‘burning’ process that there’s an association between L-Carnitine and fat loss.

Types of Carnitine

  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: usually present in sports supplements thanks to its quick absorption rate.
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAL): it may be the most responsive form for the brain.
  • Propionyl-L-Carnitine: it seems to be better suited for the cardiovascular system
  • D-Carnitine: an inactive form. Some studies suggest that it could be responsible for causing an L-Carnitine deficiency as it promotes the absorption of other forms.

Why L-Carnitine is used to lose fat?

As we mentioned before, L-Carnitine can drive fatty acids to mitochondria in our cells and burned for energy. That function might lead people to believe this also applies to fat burning and weight loss. Unfortunately, it’s not so straightforward and there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support that.

Another reason why it’s believed that there’s a link between L-Carnitine intake and fat loss is mostly due to the fact that with lower levels of fatigue and higher energy, training intensity can also increase. Whether that’s a direct L-Carnitine benefit is up for debate and different studies show mixed results.

However, introducing supplements can be especially beneficial for vegans or individuals who may have a natural Carnitine deficiency. As long as dosages are followed correctly, L-Carnitine side effects seem uncommon. The suggested dose of 2g per day doesn’t seem to have any negative effects on people using the supplement.

bulk powders l-carnitine products

What are the other benefits of L-Carnitine?

  • May lower muscle pain and facilitate recovery.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine could improve brain function as it can cross the brain-blood barrier.

What foods contain L-Carnitine?

  • Meat – predominantly beef
  • Fish

Carnitine Supplements from Bulk

To finish off our beginner’s guide to L-Carnitine here’s a round-up featuring the top products from our Pure Series.

Keen to integrate these into your daily routine? Let us know how you get on tagging @bulkpowders!

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