Every bodybuilder, apart from properly planned training and a well-balanced diet, should also take care to regularly take supplements, which effectively protect against vitamin, mineral or protein deficiencies. One of the most popular products of this type is L-carnitine. Below we present some of the most important information about it.
What is L-carnitine?
L-carnitine is a compound with strong antioxidant properties. This means that it is able to slow down the body’s aging process by reducing the harmful effects of free radicals. It has a number of different functions, which include supporting and stimulating beta oxidation of fatty acids. L-carnitine is also responsible for the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria. In addition, it participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, which is particularly important for athletes practicing sports that are characterized by a long-lasting, intense physical effort.
The use of L-carnitine
L-carnitine is very popular among people whose priority is to lose weight. This is due to the fact that it is extremely effective in reducing body fat. Bodybuilders are equally fond of it. No wonder – it can increase both strength and aerobic endurance, as well as resistance to fatigue, which in the long run may translate into improved performance. However, these are not all its possible applications. L-carnitine can also be taken by elderly people who want to improve their cognitive and motor skills. It is also great for treating liver and kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and muscle damage.
How to dose L-carnitine?
What is the optimal dose of L-carnitine? It is impossible to answer this question unequivocally, as this is an extremely individual issue. In most cases, the optimal daily dose is 500-2000 mg. It is recommended to divide it into 2-3 smaller portions taken throughout the day at regular intervals. Higher doses, at 3000 mg per day, are dedicated to professional athletes.
Types of L-carnitine
L-carnitine is the standard form of carnitine, which can be found in the body, in food and in a significant proportion of supplements available on store shelves. However, we also have to deal with other forms of it. This includes D-carnitine, an inactive form that can cause carnitine deficiency in the body by inhibiting other forms of carnitine. Acetyl-L-carnitine, on the other hand, is the most useful for the brain and is great for those struggling with neurodegenerative diseases. Propionyl-L-Carnitine is used for cardiovascular ailments such as elevated blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease. It can help increase nitric oxide production, thereby improving blood flow. The next form of L-carnitine is L-carnitine tartrate. It is often added to sports nutrition supplements, and this is due to its speed of absorption. Additionally, it is able to reduce muscle soreness and increase recovery during training.
Sources of L-carnitine
What types of foods can you find L-Carnitine in? These include meat (beef, pork, mutton, poultry and horse meat), fish, dairy products, mushrooms (mushrooms and oyster mushroom), soybeans, avocados, cucumbers and carrots.
Contraindications and side effects
L-Carnitine is completely safe and well tolerated by most people. There is little chance of side effects while taking it. If they do occur, they are harmless and take the form of nausea or diarrhea.
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