L-Carnitine is a non-essential amino acid found naturally in the body, produced by synthesis of amino acid Lysine. In addition, Vitamin B6, niacin, iron and amino acid methionine also play an active role in production of Carnitine in the human body. Carnitine has many functions in the body but it is best known for conversion of free fatty acids into energy. In essence, in major dietary source of Carnitine comes from animal meats (red meat lamb, sheep etc). We can get some from plant products like avocado and soybeans, but red considered meat is the best source. Acetyl L-Carnitine, also known as acetylcarnitine or ALCAR, is another popular supplemental form of L-Carnitine. It can be found throughout the central nervous system, where it plays a role in producing energy and produces the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The acetyl group attached to the carnitine molecule enhances its ability to pass across the blood-brain barrier which is otherwise difficult process and enter the brain, where it acts as a powerful antioxidant. For this reason, some research suggests that Acetyl-L-Carnitine may provide protection against aging processes and neurodegeneration. Summary of advantages of L-Carnitine are as follows:
- Fatigue resistance and reduce oxidation stern to improve endurance
- Decreased muscle soreness with improved recovery
- Better blood flow and pumps
- Increased testosterone, growth factors and fat burn.
Best time to consume L-Carnitine
One of the best times to take L-carnitine is post-workout, but you can take it with any other high-carb, high-protein meal throughout the day. If you want to stack L-carnitine with other fat-burning ingredients between meals, consider using the acetyl-L-carnitine form. One strategy which can work well for both fat loss and performance is to take 2-3 doses of acetyl-L-carnitine with other fat-burning ingredients without food between meals, and to take 1 dose of L-carnitine or L-carnitine L-tartrate with a post-workout meal.
How Carnitine converts fats into energy
Mitochondria are considered as a power house of cells for production of energy. Carnitine acts as a catalyst in consumption of fat cells for energy production by mitochondria through a complicated process. By increasing either your dietary or supplementary L-Carnitine consumption, the risk for oxidative stress is reduced, fat metabolism can increase and overall cognitive function may be improved but ensuring that adequate amounts of circulating Carnitine are available. After ingestion L-Carnitine either converts to Acetyl L-Carnitine or Propionyl-L-Carnitine, which allows a multitude of functions to occur, including but not limited to an increase in cognitive function, as well as improved peripheral blood flow, aerobic capacity or has anti-oxidant properties as well.
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