L-carnitine is a natural substance found in food that can also be made in our body from other amino acids. Natural food sources of carnitine include most animal based foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, and poultry. L-carnitine, as a supplement, is available in liquid and tablet form.
The L-carnitine amino acid acts as the perfect transport system within our cells. It is responsible for transporting our fatty acids to the mitochondria, where they are then broken down and converted to energy fuel. This is why L-carnitine supplements are so effective at reducing fat deposition and increasing fat loss, making them perfect for anyone who is looking to decrease their body fat percentage or to generally lose excess weight.
This more efficient transport system also translates to better endurance and performance throughout your workout sessions. After six months of supplementation, research shows that you will be able to lift more, complete more reps, and run faster; all with less perceived effort. In short, you are working harder without your body getting exhausted or fatigued as fast. This is because higher carnitine concentrations in your muscle maintain the pH balance and reduce the build up of lactic acid, the main compound responsible for fatigue. The limitation of lactic acid build up provided by L-carnitine means less soreness and muscle inflammation after a workout and a faster post workout recovery in general.
The rest of your diet will determine the efficacy of your L-carnitine supplements. L-carnitine must build into the muscle over time, so for efficient delivery you should take it alongside carbohydrate sources. Carbohydrates stimulate insulin production, and insulin signals L-carnitine into your muscles. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help with the loading process as they increase the cell’s response to insulin and thus improve delivery of L-carnitine into your cells.
How much should you take? It is recommended that you keep your intake between 2-4 g/day for optimal effects of the amino acids. Intakes above 6 g/day have been shown to increase TMAO, a compound that increases your risk of heart and cardiovascular problems. Just like anything, dosage is critical, and too much of anything is just as damaging as too little. You can buy the supplement here or here.