Ask The Trainer #154 – L-Carnitine For Fat Loss

Ask The Trainer #154 - L-Carnitine For Fat Loss

QUESTION:

I was wondering if you could help me? I was considering using l-carnitine as a non-stimulant fat burner because I’m overly sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants. Do you think that l-carnitine could help with fat loss? Also, do you know the difference between plain l-carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine? Which might be better?

Thanks in advance,

Jackie


ANSWER:

Hi Jackie. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that has gained a lot of recognition in the diet and weight loss industries, as a non-stimulant supplement that can help bolster fat loss.

Although some supplements companies have slightly exaggerated the fat loss supporting mechanisms of L-Carnitine, there is some pretty solid research available that it’s a useful fat loss supplement. Of course, this is only when it’s combined with regular exercise and a reasonably healthy diet.

How L-Carnitine Works

L-Carnitine doesn’t directly burn fat per say. But, it serves as an efficient fatty acid transporter that shuttles fatty acids to mitochondria of cells where they can be processed as energy.

For this reason, L-Carnitine has also gained notoriety as an energy booster. In addition to supporting fat loss and energy, some research shows it’s also significant to enhancing brain function, preventing muscle damage, regulating blood sugar levels, and boosting exercise endurance.

Research

We could get deeper into the additional benefits of this amino acid, but let’s just focus on fat burning for now. Research involving 9 studies in Iran demonstrated that subjects supplementing with L-Carnitine experienced significantly greater degrees of weight loss and a greater decrease in body mass index, compared to members of the control group who weren’t.

A separate study conducted out of Germany placed overweight participants on a regular diet plan. Researchers administered L-Carnitine to some of the participants, while others were not given any. After 10 days, the subjects given the L-Carnitine showed a notable increase in the breakdown of fat, over those who weren’t.


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Another study published in the Journal of Physiology demonstrated that increasing the amount of carnitine in muscles helped improve fat burning and energy expenditure during physical activity.

Although L-Carnitine is not a quick fix when it comes to fat loss, there is enough evidence to suggest it can be a valuable addition to your fat loss game plan.

L-Carnitine And Acetyl-L-Carnitine

In regards to your final question, L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine are just different forms of the same amino acid. The major difference is the way Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been chemically modified to better pass the blood-brain barrier. This makes it a more suitable form if you’re looking to improve focus, memory, and brain function.

I know several people who swear by using both of these forms of carnitine concurrently. But, I don’t believe that it’s always necessary. Acetyl-L-Carnitine can offer the same benefits as L-Carnitine, just with the additional cognitive enhancing benefits.

Dosages

The recommended dosage is typically 500-2,000 mg daily. Based on my own experience, I believe 2,000 mg is an ideal dosage.

When I use this supplement, I take 1,000 mg upon waking up in the morning, about 30 minutes prior to breakfast. Then, I take another 1,000 mg 30 minutes before my workout, along with my Training Ground Pre, Kre-Alkalyn, and Training Ground BCAA.

I hope this information helps answer your questions. I wish you all the best of success with your health and fitness endeavors!

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Chad Shaw

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