Carnitine for Fat Loss
Walk into any supplement shop and the number of products promising weight loss is simply stunning. All sorts of complicated formulas have been developed all with the goal of helping you lose that spare tire around your midsection.
But, what if it wasn’t necessary to buy some overpriced and ineffective supplement? What if you could get greater fat loss and increased performance all from a single ingredient?!
You can thank L-Carnitine!
What is Carnitine?Carnitine is an amino acid derivative found in virtually all cells of the body derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all cells of the body. It’s stored in various places throughout the body, but predominantly, Carnitine is found in the brain, muscle tissue(including the heart), and even in sperm.
Carnitine can easily be consumed through the diet, from meat and animal products, but the body can also synthesize it from the amino acids L-Lysine and L-Methionine.
What does Carnitine do?L-Carnitine plays a critical role in the body’s energy production. Specifically, it helps transport fat, particularly long-chain fatty acids, into the mitochondria of cells. Think of mitochondria as the power plant of each cell in the body that converts oxygen and nutrients into ATP for energy.
After Carnitine transports these fats into the cell, they are oxidized (i.e. used as fuel) to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). L-Carnitine is hard at work whether you’re exercising vigorously or lounging on the couch, but it’s incredibly effective during the stints of high intensity exercise -- more on that later!
Without sufficient reserves of Carnitine, most of your dietary fats won’t get shuttled into the mitochondria or be burned for fuel. This spells serious trouble for individuals with chronic L-Carnitine deficiencies as it can lead to stunted growth, muscle weakness, liver complications, and a host of other issues.
Taken together, you start so understand just how crucial Carnitine is to overall health and functionality, not just performance and fat loss!
How Carnitine Boosts Fat LossAs stated above, Carnitine is vital to lipid (fat) oxidation by facilitating the transportation of long-chained fatty acids into mitochondria. But more specifically, how does Carnitine enhance your fat loss efforts?
Increased Performance and RPE
Research has shown that Carnitine has significantly improved athletic performance and improved rate of perceived exertion (RPE) -- essentially you can work out at a higher intensity without feeling completely trashed at the end of a workout.
Additionally, Carnitine also has been shown to spare glycogen stores during exercise, by encouraging the body to use stored fat for energy -- i.e. more fat burning! Overall, working out with greater intensity for longer will help torch more calories and yield greater fat loss.
Heightened Insulin Sensitivity
Research out of Scotland documented that in addition to Carnitine’s fat-transporting work, it also improves insulin's actions on muscle cells. Essentially, this means that L-Carnitine contributes to low blood glucose levels, even after a high-carb meal. Moreover, it also improves glycogen replenishment, which is critical to ensuring optimal performance day in and day out.
Reduced Fat Gain
One rather interesting study had subjects consume 1.4g Carnitine along with 80g of carbs for two weeks, while another group consumed only the carbohydrates for a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, the non-Carnitine group had gained over 3 pounds of body fat (1.7kg) while the Carnitine-consuming group gained NO fat!
Improved Androgen Sensitivity
Two different studies have been conducted in regards to Carnitine’s impact on hormone production in the body. Specifically, researchers have found that carnitine can increase protein synthesis following resistance training, but more importantly, it enhanced the androgen receptors that bind with testosterone.[4,5]
What does that mean?
Essentially, it makes testosterone and other anabolic hormones operate more efficiently. This effectively lets you reap more “gains” from your workout and recover faster, allowing for more frequent training and increased calorie burning!
What’s the best form of Carnitine?
There are several forms of Carnitine on the market, as it’s been around since the mid-90s in supplement shops. However, some forms are better than others, so check this list for which Carnitine form to use when:
L-Carnitine - Basically, never. It’s not very bioavailable in the body, and only useful for the chronically deficient (i.e. vegetarians and the elderly)
Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) - Acetylated form of Carnitine that can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). ALCAR is best used when looking to improve focus and support brain health
Propionyl-L-Carnitine (PLCAR) - Generally used to support reproductive health
L-Carnitine L- Tartrate (LCLT) - For pure fat loss, performance, and recovery purposes, it doesn’t get much better than L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) which has volumes of research showing its efficacy for populations of all ages, not just the elderly!
For this exact reason, PostHAK contains the full clinically-backed dose of 2g LCLT to provide enhanced recovery, decreased soreness, and improved fat burning.
Carnitine is a mighty powerful compound that’s essential for overall health. But, it can also be a strong ally to increasing performance and winning the war against fat. There’s a good reason it’s included in PostHAK after all!
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