L-Carnitine: Everything You Need to Know
Supplements have always been a part of the health industry. One of the more popular health supplements to come out of the market over the past decades is L-carnitine.
Popular for its fat-burning properties and role in weight loss, this substance is added in some food products and is sold as a food supplement as well.
How does L-carnitine work? Is it safe to use? What is the best way to use it? You will discover in this article the answer to these questions and more.
What is L-Carnitine?
L-carnitine is an amino acid naturally found in the human body. It has 3 important functions, which are all linked to its supposed health benefits if it is taken as a supplement.
– It carries fatty acids to the mitochondria – An essential step in the metabolism of fat metabolism is for its individual components – fatty acids – to be carried into the mitochondria, the cellular component responsible for metabolism.
This is where L-carnitine comes into the picture. It serves as a carrier of fatty acids, which would then be processed at the mitochondria to be converted into energy. With the help of L-carnitine, the body can metabolize fats more effectively, resulting to more energy and faster fat loss.
It inhibits the build up of lactic acid and other metabolites
The build up of metabolites in muscles is related to both fatigue and injury. The most prominent of these metabolites is lactic acid.
A by product of energy production via anaerobic means, lactic acid can build up in the muscle, which can cause muscle pains and cramps. L-carnitine prevents that from happening by ensuring that aerobic metabolism is done efficiently.
It helps in burning off fat tissue
With sufficient L-carnitine consumption, you can facilitate more efficient burning of fat tissue. As mentioned earlier, L-carnitine facilitates more effective cellular transfer of fatty acids, which leads to better metabolism of fat.
When this happens, fat becomes more efficiently metabolized, which can lead to a reduction in excess body fat. This leads to both weight loss and improved body definition.
What are L-Carnitine Benefits to Health?
The health benefits of consuming L-carnitine are numerous. While not as expansive as other natural health supplements, the benefits you can get from this amino acid are significant.
Because of the way it improves how you utilize fat, L-carnitine helps in boosting energy. Whether you are about to begin a hard day’s work or you are about to go for a serious workout, L-carnitine can give you that much-needed shot in the arm to overcome what lies ahead.
A lot of users noted that with the help of L-carnitine, they were able to increase their performance during workouts and even while doing daily activities.
L-carnitine boosts endurance in many ways. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a high-level athlete, the use of L-carnitine can help boost your stamina as well as prevent injuries associated with fatigue.
Because your body is able to utilize fat more effectively, the glycogen storage of muscles is better preserved, resulting to better endurance. Also, it makes the body rely less on anaerobic processes, preventing the build up of lactic acid that can lead to cramps.
Better post-workout recovery
Enhanced recovery is one of the biggest benefits of using L-carnitine as a workout supplement. As mentioned earlier, it prevents the build up of lactic acid and other metabolites in the muscles, which prevents both soreness and injury.
Also, it keeps the energy stores of muscles intact, which helps it to better withstand longer and more frequent exercise. It has been proven in studies that L-carnitine supplementation can help reduce muscle soreness and damage after exercise.
L-carnitine has attracted a lot of attention because of its supposed weight loss benefits. While in itself it cannot cause you to lose weight, it does facilitate the processes that will help you shed off excess pounds.
With your body able to better utilize fat for energy, your ability to burn fat is significantly increased. This is where the weight loss by shedding off excess fat comes into play. This is why L-carnitine is commonly recommended for those having a hard time losing excess body fat.
Better body definition
A better figure is one of the long-term benefits of L-carnitine supplementation (provided that you combine it with regular exercise and proper diet). Being able to shed off excess fat will help bring you closer to your ideal weight.
In addition, losing those excess pounds will help in making your muscles more prominent, giving you a more imposing physique. Improved body definition is one benefit of regular use of L-carnitine.
Are there any side effects?
Just as with any other health supplement, there is always the risk of encountering some side effects when taking L-carnitine. This is especially so when it is taken in amounts beyond what is recommended.
There are also some people who may have hypersensitivity reactions to L-carnitine. Common side effects you may experience when using L-carnitine include nausea, abdominal cramps, and nausea. In some cases, it might lead to more serious side effects such as palpitations and vomiting.
If you experience any adverse effect after taking L-carnitine, you need to stop taking the supplement immediately and consult your doctor.
If it’s severe, it may be necessary to get emergency medical attention right away. L-carnitine is not indicated for use in patients with severe ailments such as seizure disorder and kidney disease.
What is the right way of taking L-carnitine?
L-carnitine can actually be taken at any time of the day. However, it is believed that it is best taken after completing a high-carbohydrate, high-protein meal. It is most ideally taken with your post-workout meal to jumpstart your metabolism.
While consuming L-carnitine supplements can be done on a once-daily basis, some take this supplement up to 3 times a day without experiencing any side effect.
Cycling is not necessary when taking this supplement. The recommended daily dosage of L-carnitine is 1 gram a day (the usual dosage found in oral supplements), but you can raise your dose to up to 3 grams daily.