L-carnitine has been around for some time now. It was first introduced into the supplement market around the 1980s, but over time was phased out by other supplements that quickly gained popularity.
However, recently Acetyl L-Carnitine has returned to the supplement scene and is proving to be as effective as ever when it comes to burning fat and improving your body’s performance.
The big difference is that we have a lot more research about this supplement and are able to give clear and well defined information about how it reacts in your body and exactly what it does.
Let’s put all the information we know about Acetyl L-Carnitine on the table and let you decided whether this is the supplement for you. Don’t be fooled by all the misinformation you find on the internet! These are scientific facts about this supplement, not a fairytale.
What Exactly is Acetyl L-Carnitine?
Just like any other substance out there, there is a chemical function that can be applied to L-carnitine. This compound is often recognized as an amino acid, which isn’t exactly true.
L-carnitine is more of a vitamin-like and acid-like compound that is closely related to B vitamin. When it was first studied in the past, this compound was referred to as vitamin BT.
Lysine and methionine are responsible for synthesizing L-carnitine, which occurs in the liver and kidneys. After it is produced, the compound is stored in other parts of the body, primarily the muscles, but also including the heart, brain, and even sperm.
Although it is possible to obtain L-carnitine from plants like avocadoes and soybeans, the quantity is generally very low and the best source of L-carnitine is meat, specifically red meat.
L-carnitine and D-carnitine are the two forms of carnitine. Only L-carnitine is biologically active and is often listed on labeled bottles as Propionyl-L-carnitine, L-carnitine L-tartrate, or just as L-carnitine. Since D-carnitine isn’t biologically active, you will not find it in supplements.
There is a supplemental form of L-carnitine known as Acetyl L-carnitine. This is the compound that can be found in your nervous system where it is responsible for producing fuel for your body and helping in the production of a very important neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine.
By itself, L-carnitine has a difficult time passing the blood brain barrier, but the attached acetyl group gives L-carnitine this ability and allows it to pass through this barrier into the brain where it becomes a very effective antioxidant.
Because of this new property, acetyl L-carnitine is thought to have amazing abilities when it comes to stopping neural degeneration and fighting against the overall aging process.
What Does Acetyl L-Carnitine Do?
The most important role of L-carnitine is helping to transport fat in our bodies. Specifically, L-carnitine transfers long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells.
This allows for oxidation to occur and convert the fat into effective fuel which can be used during periods of exercise and rest. However, some research has been pointing towards L-carintine being more effective during sessions of intense exercise.
Those who can produce a sufficient amount of L-carnitine in their body will have absolutely no problem converting fat into fuel without any issues.
On the other hand, people who aren’t able to produce enough L-carnitine to help them gain fuel from fat can end up suffering from much more than just extra stored fat that isn’t being used; it can also lead to many other issues.
Stunted body growth and muscle weakness are some of the problems that can occur. Because of these potential issues, L-carnitine has been dubbed as a “provisionally essential” nutrient, meaning that depending on the body’s health levels and if the amount of L-carintine you are producing isn’t enough, your health can be severely impacted.
Recently, a secondary function has surfaced after more research has been done about L-carnitine. According to a study out of Scotland, L-carnitine is also capable of influencing the effectiveness of insulin on your muscles cells.
This means that with the right amount of L-carnitine in the body, you are able to keep your blood glucose levels low even after a large intake of carbohydrates during meals. This makes it the perfect supplement to intake with your post workout meal.
What Performance Gains Can I Get Out Of L-Carnitine?
It is well known that L-carnitine is an extremely effective fat burner. Its properties and functions in the body make it the perfect supplement to reduce fat gain during your workout periods and help you burn existing fat if you are cutting calories.
During recent research of L-carnitine’s effects on the human body, scientists have deduced, after testing its effects on a group of athletes, that taking L-carnitine decreases the amount of muscle glycogen which is being used during low intensity workouts while increasing fat burning levels.
In comparison to another group of athletes who were not taking L-carnitine, the first group was able to continue working out 25 percent longer.
During intense workouts, the group who was taking L-carnitine had much lower levels of lactic acid in their body and much higher levels of creatine phosphate, essentially increasing the amount of energy you have access to during your workout sessions.
These performance benefits aren’t the only benefits that L-carnitine offers. This supplement is also able to increase the blood flow to your muscles, resulting in more frequent delivery of nutrients and hormones to the right location when you need them most.
This works because L-carnitine is able to reduce the oxidative damage which occurs in the body due to nitric oxide. However, L-carnitine is also able to increase the production of nitric oxide in your body by enhancing the activity of enzymes which are responsible for doing so.
The result is higher levels of nitric oxide and less damage from nitric oxide which directly translates into higher levels of energy during workouts as well as faster recovery periods after you are done with your workouts.
We aren’t done yet, there is another benefit that L-carnitine can offer for your workout needs. According to more research regarding this supplement, it is able to increase the amount of testosterone receptors in the cells of your muscles.
This increases the amount of testosterone receptors so that you can bind more testosterone to them, which results in more stimulated muscle growth and increased strength gains.
Finally, L-carnitine is also capable of increasing muscle growth by boosting levels of binding proteins of Insulin-like growth factor-I which is a critical initiator of muscle growth. Simply put, L-carnitine promotes muscle growth.
What Are Some Side-effects Of Taking Acetyl L-Carnitine?
If taken with appropriate dosage in mind, there are a few light side effects which are associated with taking L-carnitine. But if taken in high amounts, expect nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
People who have seizure disorders should stay away from taking increased amounts of L-carnitine because it can cause further seizures to develop. Uremic patients can also experience muscle weakness.
There is some evidence pointing to a possibility of developing atherosclerosis if one starts to supplement L-carnitine.
However, at the same time this research is met with a lot of criticism by many scientists, some stating that L-carnitine can actually produce opposite effects and help reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease.
Another side effect, which might not necessarily be undesired, is that L-carnitine can be highly effective to help with erectile dysfunction.
Obviously this side effect won’t occur while you’re at the gym, but don’t be surprised if it does happen to you.
The main speculation why L-carnitine is so effective in this area is because of the increased levels of nitric oxide which occur due to supplementation with L-carnitine, which effectively increases your blood flow in the lower area.
How Should You Take Acetyl L-Carnitine?
The most important part of supplementing with L-carnitine is remembering to also take carbs alongside your supplement. Insulin needs to be spiked in order for L-carnitine to be effective, so increasing your carb intake while you take L-carnitine is absolutely vital.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is slightly different. It’s able to cross the blood brain barrier easily, so extra intake of carbs isn’t necessary. In fact, it can be stacked with other fat burning supplements like green tea and caffeine.
The best time to take L-carnitine is post workout with a high carb meal. The best time to take Acetyl L-carnitine is post workout as well, but additional carbs aren’t necessary.
Acetyl L-Carnitine Conclusion
As long as you pay close attention to your body and the effects of L-carnitine and Acetyl L-carnitine on it, you should be able to take away nothing but positive results from this supplement.
As always, any supplement has to be accompanied by a proper diet and proper workout routine. Yes, L-carnitine and Acetyl L-carnitine both work outside of the gym, but they aren’t nearly as effective.
You have to work out hard to see results. The absolute best results will come after the most intense workouts because L-carnitine and Acetyl-L-carnitine help you tap into your fat reserves during these times with the most amount of efficiency.
We strongly suggest you speak to a doctor or a medical professional if you are planning on taking L-carnitine or Acetyl L-carnitine as a supplement. As always, be careful and listen to your body. If there are any signs of danger or irregular activity, seek medical attention immediately.