Carnitine is an amine synthesized in the liver, kidneys and brain from two essential amino acids such as lalisin and methionine and which is responsible for transporting our fatty acids to the mitochondria in order to produce energy. It is commonly known under the name of L Carnitine or levocarnitine and is used, above all, to lose weight but, does L Carnitine really serve to lose weight? We will see it in detail in this article.
There are many who usually go to the gym or go out to do outdoor sports (cycling, running, team sports …) with the aim of burning calories, or rather, losing fat. After this objective it is true that there is a part of “health” but the “aesthetic” aspect is not without importance.
For this reason there are some factors to keep in mind that will help us achieve it more effectively. What type of exercise to perform, with what intensity, what diet should be followed, rest, the help of certain supplements, … all these factors are very important to achieve the desired final result. Let’s see what role L Carnitine plays!
Benefits of L Carnitine :
- The Carnitine L serves to transport the fatty acids that come from the adipose tissues to the cellular mitochondria, where they will be converted into energy.
- Reduces the destruction of muscle mass that can occur with incorrect weight loss diets. It is a powerful anti-catabolic.
- Positive impact on VO2, ideal for long-distance runners and for cyclists since it improves performance through the efficient use of oxygen to produce energy.
- Improves recovery capacity and decreases muscle damage derived from specific muscle-building exercises.
- Increase of androgen receptors that leads to greater recovery and an increase in muscle mass.
- Accelerates the aerobic metabolism of carbohydrates.
In order to ensure that L Carnitine develops the work that interests us (the transport and subsequent combustion of fat) is essential to perform a physical activity with the intensity and the appropriate duration that helps the mobilization of fatty acids, otherwise, L Carnitine would not perform the function that interests us. It is for this reason that the most common recommendation for the purpose of fat burning is to combine L Carnitine with the performance of aerobic physical activity. Basically the objective is to recommend an activity that has a high enough energy demand for the metabolism to stimulate the mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue and thus be able to use them as an energy source (thanks to the subsequent action of L Carnitine).
L Carnitine can be a great help to promote fat burning as long as we combine it with a moderate intensity physical activity and a duration of at least 40 minutes. Therefore, going for a walk will not be the most advisable option if we want to take advantage of the L Carnitine, since the caloric expenditure involved in walking is not enough for the metabolism to have the need to mobilize the stored lipids.
In recent years, athletes have increased the consumption of this substance that can be found for sale in herbalists or sports stores but this will be discussed in the section on where to buy L carnitine. As we have said before, the benefits of L carnitine are related to fat burning but also to an efficient recovery after exercise, in addition to a more than possible increase in muscle mass accompanied by a greater production of energy.
It is, at first glance, an effective component for any athlete. On the other hand, and to give more information that will help you when it comes to buying your L carnitine, we must differentiate between L Carnitine and D-Carnitine. L and D are used by scientists to differentiate active carnitine in the body (L) from the other available form of carnitine (D). This must be taken into account when going to buy carnitine since it is the Carnitine L that interests us.
The L Carnitine is a safe supplement but like everything, it is necessary to know how to use it and its dosage. The recommended amount is usually between 1000 and 2000 mg, the most usual being the dose of 1000 – 1500 mg. It is true that we can find products in the market with higher dosages, but this does not mean that their effectiveness will be greater.
Side effects of L Carnitine:
At the level of contraindications, a large number of problems derived from the consumption of L carnitine have not been detected, except those associated with the hypersensitivity that certain people may have to its components. However, if it is true that we must take into account the warnings that warn us of the precautions that certain people should consider before taking L carnitine: people with epilepsy can see how their seizures increase with the consumption of L carnitine. On the other hand, people with diarrhea, heart failure or peripheral neuropathies, should not take this fat burning component. Women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding, either.
If your case is not one of the above but you feel certain discomfort that you think may be derived from the consumption of L carnitine, we recommend that you go to your doctor to assess the possible incidence. The adverse side effects that can occur with the oral consumption of L carnitine are:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea and gastritis
In any case, remember that L carnitine is a natural substance produced by our own body, so it does not have a large number of side effects. The key is not to take high doses that exceed 20ml daily, always distributed in 2 or 3 doses that can occur with meals or just before training.