Today’s installment of Keeping it Healthy brings you information about an important and sometimes controversial amino acid, L-Carnitine.This amazing amino acid is known to improve cellular energy production and is used by both athletes and non-athletes to boost performance, reduce muscle damage and fatigue, and promote weight loss.
L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is synthesized in the liver and kidneys from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It plays a crucial role in energy metabolism by transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, where they can be oxidized to produce energy.
Without L-carnitine, your body cannot convert stored fat into energy for use.
Although L-carnitine is found naturally in animal-based foods like red meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products, the amount found in supplements is far higher than in the diet.
The use of L-carnitine injections remains a topic of debate in the sports community, as it has been shown to enhance athletic performance. There is ongoing research to determine the extent of its effects. Currently it is not listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances.
In addition to athletic performance, L-carnitine is often marketed as an aid to weight loss because it is believed to help the body burn fat more efficiently. When the body is in a state of calorie deficit, meaning that it is burning more calories than it is taking in through food, it can turn to stored fat for energy. By increasing the transportation of fatty acids into the mitochondria, L-carnitine may help the body to more efficiently burn fat for energy, which can aid in weight loss.
L-carnitine may also have antioxidant properties that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can help to reduce inflammation and improve recovery after exercise, further contributing to increased energy, improved athletic performance, and weight loss.
So, when should you take L-carnitine? It can be taken before a workout to help the body burn fat for energy, after a workout to help with recovery and muscle repair, or with meals to improve the absorption and utilization of dietary fat.
L-carnitine is available in oral and injectable supplement form. Optimal dosage and timing of L-carnitine supplementation for these purposes may vary depending on individual factors such as age, sex, and fitness level. Please note, high doses of L-carnitine supplements may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
Providers here at Rocky Mountain Regenerative Medicine encourage you to talk to us before adding L-carnitine to your supplement regimen. We want to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product at the correct dose and timing to get the best effect. L-carnitine might be a beneficial supplement to help you optimize your health and performance, so you can keep doing what you love with those who matter most for longer than you ever thought possible.