It is hard to stay in good shape and follow a healthy lifestyle, especially when you are surrounded with temptations. We are constantly rushing everywhere, and sometimes, working out is simply not possible. I, myself, have often been in situations when I couldn’t even find time to prepare a healthy meal. And buying take out salads and steaks doesn’t seem like a budget friendly option either.
So, with time, I realized that if I need to keep up with my lifestyle and workouts, I need to take supplements, vitamins and amino acids. Of course, I had to learn this the hard way, on the verge of giving up before someone introduced me to L-carnitine. I learned how and when is the best time to take L-carnitine, how it can be helpful, and what I was supposed to do.
So, you’ve come to the right place. This article examines the potential risks and benefits of L-carnitine supplements and explains when is the best time to take L-carnitine and how this nutrient functions in your body. So, here is everything you need to know about this amazing compound. I hope the following things will help you boost your performance, training, and overall condition.
What is L-carnitine?
L-carnitine is a naturally occurring substance that the body needs for energy and is often taken as a supplement. If you take L-carnitine properly, you will experience some notable benefits. But, as with any other supplement or medication, the most important step is to know the basics first in order to understand how it interacts in your body and prevent any unwanted reaction.
L-carnitine is the standard biologically active form of carnitine, which is found in your body, foods and some supplements. L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes.
Before we get to the main point, we should note that L-carnitine is likely safe when taken for up to 12 months. In some cases it can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn and diarrhea.
Often and by many, L-carnitine is categorized as an amino acid. Technically, it isn’t an amino as much as it is a compound which resembles amino-acids and vitamins, it is more related to B vitamins. At the moment it was studied, it was referred as vitamin BT.
L-carnitine’s main role in your body involves mitochondrial function and energy production and naturally it is produced in the kidneys and the liver. L-carnitine can be also formed by the amino acids lysine and methionine. About 98% of your L-carnitine stores are contained in your muscles, along with trace amounts in your liver and blood.
To maintain efficient levels of L-carnitine in your body, your diet should include animal products, most importantly high quality meat and fish. Researchers found that some plants, fruits and vegetables have traces, but not in sufficient amounts. Mainly red meat is the best L-carnitine source.
You can find carnitine in two main forms – L-carnitine and D-carnitine. Of these, the first one is biologically active and it can be found in organic products. If you want to search for food containing the L-form, you should search for L-carnitine L-tatrate, Propionyl L-carnitine or only L-carnitine. All of them are equally beneficial to the body.
However, D-carnitine cannot be found on shelves in markets and shops, and isn’t sold as a dietary compound.
What does L-carnitine do and how does it affect the body?
Your body can have enormous benefits from proper amounts of L-carnitine. For instance, this compound helps your body when it transports long-chain fatty acids, or fat into the cells. And once they are there, they serve as fuel and energy for your body. It is especially helpful for those who like to have intense workouts every now and then. L-carnitine’s benefits may be indirect and take weeks or months to appear. This differs from supplements like caffeine or creatine, which can directly enhance sports performance.
As a conditionally essential nutrient, it is also important for those who have L-carnitine deficiency. If you suffer from low L-carnitine levels, you feel that your muscles are weak and you don’t have strength. Also, you might suffer from other health problems including stunted growth or even an enlarged liver. In addition to this, L-carnitine helps the insulin do its thing. Specifically, it keeps the glucose levels low, especially if taken after meals.
However, the greatest effects L-carnitine has, are on your athletic performance. It is a great asset for your body to burn fat as fuel, and it gives you energy while doing so. Moreover, it helps your body to be more resistant to fatigue and keeps you energized and active for more time. This also helps your brain to perform better.
Asides from the improved recovery times and the decreased muscle soreness which are proved with L-carnitine, it is also suggested that consumption of L-carnitine will help you in keeping a steady body weight. Also, it is suggested that it can help you lose some weight too. So, it is very important to optimize its consumption and find the best time to take L-carnitine.
When is the best time to take L-carnitine?
In order to receive the positive effects and minimize possible side effects, you should take L-carnitine with caution and at proper times. As suggested by medical experts and bodybuilders, the best time to take L-carnitine is after workout. You should be careful if you want to stack L-carnitine with other fat-burning supplements. In this case, it is best to take the acetyl-L-carnitine from of it.
Doses of 2 grams or less per day seem to be well tolerated and safe for most people (The standard dose of L-carnitine is 500–2,000 mg per day). Tentative evidence suggests L-carnitine supplements might increase your risk of atherosclerosis as it may raise your blood levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) over time.
Something we all should be aware and know by now, when adding any supplement into your routine, you should always start with a low dose and work your way up to ensure you’re able to tolerate it without any side effects.Also. We suggest consulting your doctor before taking this, or any other supplement.
Side effects of L-carnitine supplements
It is important to be aware of the positive and negative effects that the L-carnitine can have. When used as directed, carnitine can be safe and effective with minimal risk of side effects. If you experience any side effects, be sure to report to your doctor to determine if supplementation is correctly administered and dosed for you.
Also, there are rare effects on some people, which suggested that people with seizure disorders might experience seizures or muscle weakness.
You should also know that there is a positive side-effect of L-carnitine too. It can enhance blood flow to the muscles. Increased blood flow means more nutrients and hormones go where they’re needed most, making L-carnitine an effective therapy for erectile dysfunction. After all, with better blood flow, this would be a reasonable effect of L-carnitine.