Achieving an ideal body is everyone’s dream. For this, most of us pay attention to our nutrition, spend time in gyms or engage in a professional sport. Various ergogenic supports accompany us to reach our goal faster. L-Carnitine is perhaps the most widely known of these supplements. So what is L-Carnitine, how should it be used, what are the effects? In this article, I told you all the curious about L-carnitine!
H2: What is L-Carnitine?
Carnitine is a natural ammonium component obtained from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is found in our kidneys and livers. It is mainly responsible for the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria, hence the synthesis of ATP. L-Carnitine, on the other hand, is an amino acid derivative that we actively use among the forms of carnitine in our body.
H2: What is the Content of L-Carnitine Supplements
Since carnitine is a natural amino acid derivative, L-Carnitine supplements also contain protein as a macronutrient. L-Carnitine supplements, which have negligible carbohydrate and fat content, provide around 5-10 calories of energy for one scale. It may contain various flavors. Supplements containing additional caffeine and vitamins are often used.
H2: What Does L-Carnitine Do? Why is it used?
In the simplest terms, L-Carnitine provides energy production in mammalian metabolism. It is the main molecule responsible for the transport of long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane. Due to its metabolic effects, it accelerates fat oxidation and is used by athletes because it helps to burn fat. It also increases training efficiency, supports endurance, and helps reduce muscle damage.
H2: How Does L-Carnitine Work?
L-Carnitine is responsible for the transport of fatty acids to mitochondria in free fatty acid metabolism. It undergoes several biochemical processes, eventually helping to extract energy from fats. Since fats are used as fuel during exercise, glycogen is also used sparingly, so that workouts last longer and more efficiently. It also takes part in glucose oxidation. It reduces lactate accumulation, delays muscle fatigue and preserves muscle mass.
H2: What are the types of Carnitine?
Carnitine is of two types, L-Carnitine and D-Carnitine.
The active form in the tissues is L-Carnitine and therefore it is suitable to be used as a supplement. On food labels “L-carnitine ,L-carnitine L-tartrate ,Propionyl-L-carnitine ” can also be written as Other chemical forms of L-carnitine are acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine.
D-Carnitine is the inactive form of carnitine and cannot be used as a supplement.
H2: Use of L-Carnitine
Carnitine is not an essential nutrient that should be taken as a supplement because it can be biologically synthesized in the body. In addition, since most foods naturally contain carnitine, we can get carnitine and benefit from its effects by consuming these foods. However, vegan individuals with insufficient consumption of foods containing carnitine, individuals where carnitine cannot be synthesized and absorbed in sufficient amounts, and those who do heavy sports should take L-Carnitine as a supplement.
When taking L-Carnitine for the first time, low doses should be preferred in order to avoid toxic effects and to observe possible side effects. The amount and frequency of use of these doses can be increased gradually. The standard, safe dose of L-Carnitine is 500-2000 mg daily.
These amounts may vary depending on the purpose. For example, individuals who want to increase their exercise performance; 2 grams of L-Carnitine supplement should be taken twice a day, with about 80 grams of carbohydrates. Athletes who want to increase their speed should take a total of 3 grams of L-Carnitine a day with fruit juices. In addition to all these recommendations, you should definitely consult a professional when using L-Carnitine.
H2: Effect on exercise performance
L-Carnitine, like other ergogenic supplements, increases exercise performance. It helps to use fats as fuel during endurance exercises. In this way, it accelerates fat burning. L-Carnitine taken before exercise delays muscle fatigue and preserves existing muscle mass by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Since L-Carnitine delays the discharge of glycogen stored in the muscles, it is recommended to be used in long-term sports and/or exercises that require endurance. Taking it 30-40 minutes before exercise will provide maximum benefit.
H2: Is L-Carnitine Harmful?
It is not correct to describe L-Carnitine as a harmful supplement. But as with anything used for the body, taking more of carnitine than we need can cause side effects. Although the amount taken in excess is usually excreted with the urine, the side effects that may occur according to the person; nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn. A sharp odor of breath, sweat, and urine is one of the side effects.
For this reason, while taking L-Carnitine, attention should be paid to its dosage and usage. When the mentioned side effects are seen, its use should be reduced and a health professional should be consulted.
H2: What Should Be Considered When Choosing L-Carnitine?
The number of supplements produced for athletes is increasing day by day and there are many types of L-Carnitine products on the market. Choosing the right product is important for us to provide maximum benefit. To choose reliable L-Carnitine, a few tips should be considered:
‘Contents’ information must be examined. The more extra ingredients added, such as protective additives, the more it is necessary to stay away from that product. In other words, it is important that the product contains pure ‘carnitine’.
L-Carnitine supplements; It is commercially available in capsule form, injectable and liquid forms. While the most popular option is the liquid form; individuals should choose the most appropriate form that they can apply.
Dosage should be strictly observed. The doses I mentioned in this article can be an example for you; Be sure to pay attention to the label and portion information of the product you use. For example, one product may contain the full daily recommended amount in a single capsule, or another branded product may recommend 2-3 times a day. In addition, excessive use should be avoided in order to avoid side effects.
As with every product we will use, it is vital that it is reliable when purchasing L-Carnitine. We should definitely research the brand we buy and question the reliability certificates.
H2: Which Foods Contain Carnitine?
Carnitine is found naturally in foods. Especially foods of animal origin are rich in carnitine. Red meat is one of these foods. For example, 120 grams of cooked steak contains about 56 to 162 mg of carnitine. Other than red meat, sources of white meat (chicken, fish, turkey, etc.), milk and dairy products are carnitine-rich foods.
For this reason, while carnitine deficiency is not seen much in individuals who are fed rich in animal-derived products, carnitine is in low amounts in vegan individuals. Apart from animal sources, asparagus, whole grain products, soybean, avocado can be preferred in terms of carnitine intake.
H2: L-Carnitine Prices
Although the prices of L-Carnitine supplements sold in the market vary according to their sizes and forms; 1000 ml liquid forms of the most preferred brands vary between 90-120 TL. Capsule forms are also offered for sale at approximately these prices. The prices of the supplements, which have many different flavors, may vary according to their sizes.