Some supps are easy to understand, but others, well, it can get a little bit tricky!
So if you’ve read, heard about or seen anything about l-carnitine, and are wondering just what it is, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s everything you need to know!
L-carnitine is considered to be a vitamin and amino acid like compound associated to the B vitamin. L-carnitine is created in the kidneys and liver from lysine and methionine however it is stored in numerous locations including muscle and the brain. In your diet, l-carnitine mainly comes from animal sources such as meat, especially varieties such as beef or lamb. There is l-carnitine present in vegetables such as, broccoli, spinach, and asparagus.
L-carnitine helps to transport fat into the mitochondria (essentially the engine) of cells where the fat cells can then be oxidised and used as fuel, to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is a vital molecule which on a basic physiological level, allows your muscles to contract. Studies show l-carnitine is especially effective at this process during exercise, but it does also enact cellular activity during rest too.
In addition to fat cell transportation, a study has shown that l-carnitine also enhances insulin’s action on muscle cells. This means l-carnitine can assist with keeping blood glucose levels low even after a carbohydrate rich meal while also facilitating glycogen replenishment.
L-carnitine’s role as a fat burner is well established due to its ability to assist the transportation of fat cells. In terms of athletic performance, recent research has shown that subjects who went through a protocol consuming l-carnitine burnt 55% less muscle glycogen than control subjects consuming just carbs. The l-carnitine subjects showed an improved ability for the body to burn fat during low intensity cycling. This increased ability to oxidise fat cells also helps improve body composition.