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Carnitine, an effective bodybuilding product?

Carnitine, an effective bodybuilding product?


Sportsmen and women who are interested in bodybuilding products sooner or later come across carnitine. But how effective is this dietary supplement?

What is carnitine?

Synthesized from two amino acids, carnitine is naturally produced by the kidneys and liver.

For this, your body uses two amino acids: lysine and methionine(see article on branched-chain amino acids: BCAA)

Consumption of raw mutton, beef (red meat), pork, cod, lamb, tempeh, dairy products and avocados, for example, enables humans to produce an average of 300 mg of these amino acids.

In most countries, this substance is considered a natural product, but in some, such as Canada, it is considered an artificial product, and is therefore banned from sale.

Nevertheless, for some years now, carnitine, also known as L-carnitine or levocarnitine, has been known and commonly marketed as a fat-burning product, particularly in the field of bodybuilding supplements and products.

For athletes, this substance is considered an endurance booster.

Carnitine's effect on the body :

  • Carnitine's role is to transport fatty acids from the body into cellular mitochondria.

It transports fat molecules so that they can be used as energy by your body.

This optimizes fat loss(fat burner). In fact, it's essential for your cells to burn fat and provide energy.

  • You'll also notice a reduction in muscle soreness and catabolism after training. Better recovery
  • Carnitine's ability to accumulate waste in the body is another of its virtues. It would appear that the accumulation of lactic acid in the body is brought under control. In this way, taking Carnitine is said to push back your fatigue threshold when coupled with intense physical activity such as weight training.
  • Carnitine has an oxygenation function, enabling vasodilatation of blood vessels. This effect enables more sustained training, leading to better sporting performance.
  • Carnitine intake through the diet is necessary to maintain bone mass, which tends to diminish with age. In fact, for people with osteoporosis, consumption of l-Carnitine improves osteoblast activity.

Carnitine levels in the body

As a rough guide, the human body has a permanent reserve of 20 to 25 g of carnitine.

The body's muscles are the areas richest in carnitine. It is in these areas that carnitine plays an important role.

In terms of production and consumption, if the body produces 20 mg of this substance per day, it consumes 15 to 50 mg during the same period, especially if you engage in intensive sports such as bodybuilding.

So it's easy to see why it's a good idea to supplement with Carnitine when your needs are higher than your intake.

Note that to stabilize this production, it remains important to eat a balanced diet, as a good part of endogenous production comes from the diet, and in particular from the quality of the diet.

When and how to consume Carnitine powder (or liquid)?

Up to 2 grams/day in 2 doses, taken 30 minutes before training and in the morning. You can buy it in sports nutrition stores on the Internet or in your local town, in the form of L-carnitine or L-Carnitine L-tartar or acetyl L-Carnitine.

Stores generally sell it either in powder form (tablets or bulk) or in liquid form (500ml bottles).

What is the optimal duration of use for L-carnitine?

To date, there are no recommendations or contraindications as to how long you should use L-carnitine, but I do recommend using it during your dieting period only.

Do not use if you have epilepsy or kidney failure. You should seek the advice of a nutritionist or your doctor in the event of prolonged use.

coach's opinion and medical studies on this dietary supplement:

There is a wide consensus on L-CARNITINE. Some scientific studies show it to be effective for body-builders, while others point to its ineffectiveness.

What results are expected from L-carnitine?

Results vary from one individual to another.

Supplementing with L-carnitine does indeed increase fat lipolysis, but the body assimilates carnitine poorly. The effects are therefore less marked.

It would appear that the best results are obtained by those who eat little red meat. Future research may tell us more.

  • In conclusion, studies on carnitine are not unanimous. Some highlight the fat-burning effect of Carnitine, mainly fatty acids from adipocytes, while others prove no effect at all.
  • Carnitine is a fat burner that has enjoyed a high profile in sports and sports nutrition for a good decade.

It's worth remembering that the most important thing is the calorie balance and the way you eatwhen you're on a diet.

Sources: - l-Carnitine Supplementation in Recovery after Exercise
Effects of nine weeks L-Carnitine supplementation on exercise performance, anaerobic power, and exercise-induced oxidative stress in resistance-trained males

Author Alexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his experience of bodybuilding with MegaGear blog readers

Posted in: Sports nutrition