Is L-Carnitine An Overhyped Fat Burner You Are Wasting Your Money On?
L-carnitine has an image of a proven fat burner among fitness enthusiasts. Its low cost per serving and convenient dosage makes it a big hit for people who want to burn fat quickly. But is it really worth it? Let’s critically analyse what science and various studies have to say about L-carnitine, with respect to its effect on fat-loss.
How Does It Works & Under What Conditions Do You Need It
L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative which plays an important role in the production of energy by transporting fatty acids into your cell’s mitochondria. The mitochondria burn fats in your cells to create energy that can be used by the body. The human body in itself is capable of producing L-carnitine out of the amino acids, lysine and methionine, for which it needs Vitamin C in the optimum quantity. Natural sources for L-carnitine include animal products like poultry and fish and if consumed in enough quantity, you don’t need a supplement for it.
It ‘May Help’ In Burning Fat But Researches Have Something Different To Say
Looking at what L-carnitine does in the body, theoretically, it seems quite evident that L-carnitine is that magical supplement that you have been looking for all of your life, but research on L-carnitine has a different story to tell. The results of both human and animal studies are mixed and inconclusive. An animal study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2004, found that L-carnitine supplementation didn't increase fat loss. According to a study published by the Department of Human Biology and Movement Science, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 38 women were split into two groups. One group took an L-carnitine supplement, while the other did not. Both performed four exercise sessions per week for eight weeks. The researchers found no difference in weight loss between the two groups.
Another study by the Dept of Sports Studies, University of Stirling, Scotland, monitored L-carnitine’s effect on the amount of fat that participants burnt during a 90-minute stationary bicycle workout. The researchers found that four weeks of consuming supplements did not increase the amount of fat that participants burned. However, an abstract of five studies published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information, found that participants lost an average of 1.3 kg more weight when they were taking L-carnitine. Therefore, looking at the results of the research, the effects of L-carnitine supplementation seems to be small and research is mixed and inconclusive. However, the cellular mechanism of L-carnitine makes it seem like it could benefit weight loss.
What About Its Effects On Sports Performance?
Now if we talk about sports performance, L-carnitine proves to be more effective for sports performance than weight loss. First thing to note here is that, to experience any increase in muscle carnitine levels, you need to take L-carnitine with high carbohydrates, twice a day for at least six months. Any intake of L-carnitine below this period has shown no effect on muscle carnitine levels. Increased muscle carnitine levels enable people to train longer, however, this could also be due to increase in carbohydrates which subject in studies were consuming and therefore, the research is inconclusive. Though, research has shown positive effect for recovery, reduction in muscle soreness and increase in blood flow after L-carnitine supplementation.
Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer , Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of thewebsite where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him throughFacebook andYoutube.
Note- The article just lays down the properties of sprouts. For successful fat loss or muscle, you will need to align your calorie intake with your goal. Sprouts are one of the healthiest food items out there.
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