WHAT IS L-CARNITINE?
Carnitine is a compound that acts similarly to vitamins and amino acids. It’s produced in the liver from lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids. L-carnitine is the naturally occurring, biologically active form of carnitine, and can be found in high protein foods such as beef, pork, lamb and avocado.
In the body, carnitine can be used to help oxidize far to generate adenosine triphosphate – or as it’s commonly called in the fitness world, ATP. And if you’ve heard of ATP before, there’s a good reason – it’s an incredibly critical compound that’s responsible for powering your muscular contractions.
As you can see, carnitine is pretty damn important. It’s so critical in fact, that a carnitine deficiency can lead to both muscle weakness and a reduced ability to burn fat.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF L-CARNITINE?
While most trainees with a halfway sensible diet aren’t likely to suffer carnitine deficiency, taking L-carnitine in supplement form definitely has its benefits.
Fat Loss: If you do happen to be deficient in carnitine, then good news, bad news – the bad news is that you’re seriously hampering your ability to burn fat. The GOOD NEWS is that this is an easy fix. Simply supplementing with L-carnitine can correct this deficiency, and get you back on the right track.
Carnitine deficiency is a risk factor both for the elderly as well as young people with…well, horrible diets (you know who you are).
Reduced Muscle Damage: Recovery is an important aspect of training, and as it turns out, carnitine can help in this department as well. Specifically, L-carnitine has been shown to have the potential to reduce post workout muscle damage.
Cognitive Benefits: Some of the strongest research on carnitine has been done in the area of cognitive performance. Not only has L-carnitine supplementation been promising in ADHD research in children, it’s also been shown to increase alertness and reduce mental fatigue in healthy adults as well – perfect for getting you through those tough workouts.
WHEN TO TAKE L-CARNITINE?
For best results, you should take anywhere from 1000-2000 mg of L-carnitine (1-2 caps) prior to engaging in intense exercise. Try to take it at least an hour before your workout to allow time for absorption.