There’s a wide range of supplements that can help you reduce body fat and get fit for the summer, which is time of the year when you expose your body. However, there are specific characteristics for each and every one of them that you should keep in mind. Carnitine is a popular supplement among weightlifting athletes; it offers a series of benefits that will not only allow you to burn the excess of localized fat, but will also help you during your workouts.
We picked 4 reasons to convince you that L-Carnitine is a good ally for any athlete who works out intensively for a long period.
Carnitine is a natural substance, produced by the body, through lysine, methionine, vitamins C, B3 and B6, and through iron. This nutrient is not produced by the body in big amounts, but it can be found in some foods (in small amounts, though) – like red meat, milk, fish, etc, – and through the intake of L-carnitine supplements. Vegetarians don’t usually take this nutrient, which makes them need bigger amounts of L-Carnitine, comparing to those who eat animal proteins.
1. Helps to promote fat loss.
Carnitine plays, indeed, an important role in fat combustion, because it is responsible for carrying fatty acids into the cells mitochondria, where energy is produced. The positive fact is that these fats are used and burned (due to the beta-oxidation phenomenon), instead of being stored.
Combine L-Carnitine with the essential Omega 3 fatty acids to improve fat loss.
For carnitine to be effective, you need to ensure you have adequate levels of omega-3 fish oils in the body.
The essential omega 3 fatty acids step into the scene because they improve the health of your body cells. The cells are composed by two layers of either fat or lipids that will include either good or bad fats, depending on what you eat. If the cell’s fat layers are composed by omega-3, they’ll be healthier, which will make them sensitive to insulin. That allows your body to get the maximum energy from a carnitine supplement.
To benefit from the carnitine’s maximum effects, you should take omega-3 first.
Omega-3s increase metabolic rate by increasing cell activity and fat burning. Carnitine is the delivery system for long chain fatty acids such that the less carnitine you have in the body, the fewer fatty acids that get into the cell, meaning you don’t burn them for energy. Instead, the fatty acids go into a depository and are stored as fat. By elevating carnitine, fat burning increases and you give the cell the right genetic machinery to raise metabolism. You’ll have more energy, feel more motivated, and any excess fat begins to come off. A study published in 2011 by the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism was performed on obese
individuals and revealed that, combining l-carnitine, omega 3 and the polyphenols translated into a decrease in fatty acids and triglycerides in the blood. Therefore, L-Carnitine can boost the action of the omega-3 when it comes to reducing the “bad cholesterol”.
2. Helps with muscle recovery.
A study conducted by the University of Connecticut, USA, published by the Journal Strength Conditioning Research has revealed that taking an L-carnitine tartrate supplement (a variable of carnitine) improves oxygen consumption by the muscle tissue during weightlifting exercises and reduces the marks of muscle aggression, caused by the free radicals, that can be found in bigger amounts after exercising.
Another study published by the Journal of Physiology has revealed that muscle carnitine can be increased through supplementation, in the long term. For 6 months, 14 athletes took only 80g of carbs or 80g of carbs + 2g of l-carnitine tartrate, twice a day. No effects were registered after 3 months on L-carnitine or carbs. The evaluation changed after 6 months. The muscle carnitine increased by 21% in the volunteers who took this supplement. Also, the study concluded that there was a smaller usage of muscle glycogen, an increase in fat combustion and fewer lactate concentrations after exercising. According to the study, if you take at least 4g of carnitine on a daily basis, for 6 months, you will burn more fat during physical exercise and face less muscle pain. Each carnitine supplement can have a late effect in the body; also, each body is different. The effects are never immediate if there isn’t a combination of efforts (diet, workout and adequate rest).
Supplement with L-Carnitine Tartrate:
3. Increases energy, resistance and performance levels.
The fact that there’s carnitine stored in the body allows you to keep working out even when your muscles have no more glycogen, delaying muscle fatigue. When combining this supplement with an adequate diet, fat will gradually be converted into energy, without any risk of getting stored in the body. The body produces more energy during the workout if you’re on L-carnitine. There’s an increase in resistance and, the more you work out, the bigger the amount of muscle mass you’ll be able to build.
4. Avoids the oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress happens when there’s an imbalance between the production of free radicals (bad for your body) and the biological compounds that can kill them. This imbalance can give way to health conditions in the long term, like heart diseases, diabetes, etc…
How to take it?
The recommended intake process is: 1g with breakfast, 1g before working out, 1g after working out and 1g before going to sleep.
Usage: Take the supplement for 8 – 12 weeks, taking a break of at least 2 weeks.
Poliquin Group, Top 12 Reasons to use Carnitine, December 2011, translation and adaptation of the original version.
Radler, U. et. al., A combination of (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols and L-carnitine reduces the plasma lipid levels and increases the expression of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and HepG2 cells, Ann Nutr Metab. 2011 [*] , translation and adaptation of the original version
Wall, BT. et. al., Chronic oral ingestion of L-carnitine and carbohydrate increases muscle carnitine content and alters muscle fuel metabolism during exercise in humans, J Physiol. 2011 Feb 15;589(Pt 4):963-73 [*], translation and adaptation of the original version
Sahlin, K., Boosting fat burning with carnitine: an old friend comes out from the shadow, J Physiol. 2011 Apr 1;589(Pt 7):1509-10 [*]
Marcos Sabino, L-carnitina | O que é? O que faz? Emagrece? Como tomar?, June 2013, translation and adaptation of the original version