What Does L Carnitine Do In Pre Workout?

Medically reviewed by Dr Dimitar Marinov
What Does L Carnitine Do In Pre Workout?

Workout veterans may have realised that, in recent years, one ingredient that seems to be missing from pre workouts is L carnitine, often being replaced by caffeine or other fat burning stimulants. But why is this, and does L carnitine have any place in pre workouts anymore?

We’ll be exploring this today by looking at what L carnitine is, what benefits it brings to pre workout, how much you should be taking, and whether there are any side effects you need to be aware of.

What Is L Carnitine?

L Carnitine

L carnitine is an amino acid derivative that is created in the kidneys and the liver. It plays a vital role in producing the energy your body needs to survive by transporting fatty acids into the cell’s mitochondria, which is the very thing that burns fat cells and uses them as energy.

As well as being present in the human body, L carnitine is found in meat and dairy products along with several other types of carnitine, including D carnitine l tartrate, acetyl l carnitine, propionyl l carnitine, and l carnitine l tartrate.

Each of these has its own role within the body, but because L carnitine supplementation is essential for energy production, it’s the one you’ll find most commonly in workout supplements.

What Are The Benefits Of L Carnitine In Pre Workout Supplements?

Benefits Of L Carnitine In Pre Workout Supplements

There are quite a few different benefits of L carnitine in pre workouts, including:

Increases Athletic Performance

As L carnitine is responsible for the production of energy from fatty acids in our bodies, it is capable of boosting your athletic performance, which is really useful when you’re taking on an intense training session.

It also helps to deplete the lactic acid in your muscle cells while you train, resulting in less discomfort when increasing weights and allowing you to continue training with increased intensity with less pain.

Fat Burning Properties

L carnitine is also capable of instructing the adrenal gland to release epinephrine into your system, which helps put your body under metabolic stress and speeds up metabolic rate as a result. In turn, this can lead to better fat loss over a shorter amount of time.

Also, as L carnitine converts long chain fatty acids into energy, fat burning can be achieved through using fat cells as energy rather than muscle cells, helping you maintain lean muscle mass in the process.

Aids In Recovery

As L carnitine is able to clear lactic acid from the muscles, it allows the muscle fibres to heal in a shorter amount of time and helps to reduce muscle soreness. In turn, you’re able to keep training at the rate you want to, as well as increasing intensity over a shorter time frame.

What Is The Recommended Dosage Of L Carnitine?

Recommended Dosage Of L Carnitine

The recommended dosage of L carnitine supplementation is a maximum of 2g per day, with most people finding 4.5mg is enough to feel the full benefit. However, it’s always best to start with a smaller dose and see how your body reacts before increasing.

It’s also important to make sure you don’t accidentally overdose on L carnitine if you’re taking it as an additional supplement alongside your pre workout.

How Should You Take L Carnitine?

It is best to take L carnitine with food, ideally carbohydrates or protein, as this allows the body to absorb and process it more efficiently. You should also make sure that you follow the directions and recommended dosage laid out on your pre workout or supplement packaging.

When Should You Take L Carnitine?

When Should You Take L Carnitine?

You can take L carnitine at any time of the day, but if it is incorporated into a pre workout mix, it would be best to take it around an hour before you start training, as this gives it time to get to work in your system along with the other ingredients it contains.

It is worth remembering that pre workouts contain stimulants, including caffeine, so you’ll also need to take it 4-6 hours before working out in order to stop it from affecting your sleep cycle.

Where Can I Buy Pre Workout Supplements With L Carnitine In?

One of the best places to buy pre workout supplements that contain L carnitine is Power Supps. You’ll find loads of options here, with something for every fitness need, as well as other pre workouts and health supplements.

What Are The Potential Side Effects Of L Carnitine Supplementation?

Potential Side Effects Of L Carnitine Supplementation

When taken in doses that do not exceed 2g per day, there is very little risk of L carnitine supplementation creating any side effects. However, as your body gets used to the increase of this amino acid in your body, or if you exceed the recommended dose, you may suffer from indigestion or heartburn.

Final Thoughts On L Carnitine In Pre Workout Supplements

It’s difficult to see why L carnitine supplementation has dwindled in popularity over recent years. Not only is it a naturally occurring amino acid that transforms fatty acids into energy, but it can help increase your energy levels, improve exercise performance, and speed up recovery. As long as you get your dosage right, choosing a pre workout with L carnitine in the ingredients or supplementing separately is a great way of getting to your next fitness goal.

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