Carnitine – what is it and how to use it in bodybuilding
What is carnitine?
L-carnitine, a naturally occurring substance related to B vitamins. It has a number of important functions in the body. The synthesis of this molecule requires the participation of vitamin C and B vitamins, namely B3, B6, B12. If one of the components is missing, L-carnitine production may be impaired. The bulk is stored in muscle tissue – about 95%. And in total, the human body contains about 20 grams of L-carnitine.
Medical use of carnitine
In medicine, it is often used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, dystrophy in children and to maintain health in people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. In medicine, this substance is also used for serious diseases of the kidneys and nervous system. It is, for example, an Alzheimer’s disease, encephalopathy, mental retardation in children, increased mental fatigue. As well carnitine is important in the treatment of genetic L-carnitine deficiency. This substance was firstly discovered in 1905, but it was synthesized only in 1960.
Functions of this substance in the body
When you exercise, thousands of biochemical reactions take place in your body. In particular, enzymes come into action and begin to break down stored fat into acids and glycerin. The organism uses them as fuel throughout the workout. L-Carnitine helps the body generate energy by using the body’s fat stores. It is allowing you to exercise longer and ultimately promoting weight loss by increasing calorie expenditure. The daily intake of this drug increases the concentration of amino acid compounds in the blood and muscles, enhancing fat metabolism.
When it enters the body, the substance transports fats to the mitochondria of cells, where act as fuel. And this is done both during physical work and at the time of rest. Although in the first case the substance works more efficiently. It is important to understand that without this substance, fat breakdown is almost impossible.
In addition, recent experiments have revealed that this drug also increases the effects of the hormone insulin on muscle cells. It maintains a low glycemic level even after eating a carbohydrate meal. It is making carbs an excellent choice for a post-workout meal.
An interesting fact is an increase in testosterone-sensitive receptors when using L-carnitine. This also adds to the effectiveness of training. Slowing the breakdown of nitric oxide was also an interesting result as it allows for faster recovery after exercise. And finally, it is worth pointing out that taking this drug activates the work of insulin-like growth factor-1, which activates muscle growth.
Useful properties of it in sports
There are studies that show the effectiveness of L-carnitine in increasing strength and endurance (increasing lactate threshold) in trained athletes. The metabolism of an actively exercising athlete is tuned so that the intake of L-carnitine can give some increase. At the same time, even for a minimal effect, it requires a course intake of 2-3 g per day for 3-4 weeks. The effectiveness of this substance increases when combined with Glutamine. To increase your sports results you can also use a steroid course on powerlifting or an Oxandrolone course for men.
The study talks about consuming a large number of carbohydrates for the absorption of carnitine (80 g of carbohydrates per 2 g of this drug). Since for the effectiveness of carnitine, he himself needs a transport system. Such a combination, of course, is not suitable for losing weight, but it can be suitable for endurance athletes: marathoners, cyclists, skiers, triathletes.
L-carnitine can be in nutritional formulations in different forms: the main form of carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, propionyl carnitine, tartrate and fumarate. We recommend the most effective and proven ones: basic form, tartrate and fumarate. All others are less effective, despite advertising their properties. You can buy this drug at sports nutrition stores, pharmacies and even supermarkets.
Carnitine as a fat burner
Many people mistake L-Carnitine for a fat burner and use L-Carnitine supplements to speed up the weight loss process. However, L-carnitine does not work alone. Without sports and nutritional control, you will not be able to lose weight. This is clear from the biochemical process: this molecule is not directly affecting fat burning, but only delivers it to the muscles. For this process to start, serious physical activity is necessary, which is within the power of trained athletes without excess weight. That is, L-carnitine helps more endurance and performance than the fight against excess weight.
How to take L-carnitine
In medical studies, even the insignificant effectiveness of L-carnitine was in the long-term use of high doses. Recommended dosage: 2-3 g per day for 3-4 weeks. The daily dose you can divide into several portions and take them regardless of nutrition and exercise.
It is better to take L-carnitine with carbohydrates, against a background of high insulin, with meals, after training. As for the dosage – already 1 gram gives the result, but the maximum effect will be on a dose of 2-3 grams per 30-40 grams of carbohydrate and 20-40 grams of protein. Taking these factors into account, you can take the drug at any time of the day. A cyclic approach to reception is not necessary since the substance does not lose its effectiveness even with constant use. You can combine it with other fat burners.
A healthy person has a sufficient amount of L-carnitine: most of it is in the kidneys. A smaller part (60-180 mg per day) comes from food. Even with an unbalanced diet or high physical activity, the supply of this molecule in the kidneys is sufficient for the needs of the body. Therefore, it is necessary to take this drug only in case of disturbances in its synthesis in the body or with very high physical exertion.
Side effects of L-carnitine
L-carnitine is completely harmless and in most cases does not cause side effects even at high doses. Rare side effects can associate with individual characteristics of the organism. Doses of this drug over 3 grams can cause digestive upset. There are other rare side effects, but only in people with various diseases.
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