L-CARNITINE, an indispensable training aid! Effect, usage and dosage
In addition to an intense training program and a balanced diet, athletes seek nutritional supplements that prevent vitamin, mineral, protein and calorie deficiencies. L-carnitine is one of those products that can be found in athletes' tanks.
It is believed to be useful in burning fatty tissue. However, as research shows, L-carnitine has many beneficial properties to consider. Why is it so important for the body of people who exercise regularly and do bodybuilding? Here are some facts about the effect, use, and dosage of L-carnitine.
L-Carnitine is responsible for transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are converted, to produce the energy needed for the proper functioning of the body. L-carnitine is also needed to remove fatty acids with toxic properties from mitochondria. Therefore, L-carnitine slows down the aging process. It also regulates the activity of thyroid hormones and testosterone.
In the process of losing weight, it plays a very important role because it improves the processes of fat metabolism. Therefore, people who are actively involved in sports show an increased need for this component.
The action of L-carnitine is especially appreciated by athletes and people who do physical exercise. They see it as a beneficial compound for burning fat tissue more efficiently, and L-carnitine's fame is mainly due to the promotion of drug companies. Of course, in the case of advertising, they always promise something more promising, so athletes and bodybuilders carefully examine the prospects for this compound. And they are many.
Chemical properties of carnitine
L-carnitine is called 3-hydroxy-4-trimethylammonio-butanoate. It is produced naturally in the human body as free or esterified form. The human body contains about 20 grams of L-carnitine, which accumulates mainly in the places where it can carry out its biological activity, that is, in the heart and skeletal muscles. The remaining amount is stored in the brain, sperm and the sites of their synthesis, that is, the kidneys and liver.
This compound is made up in the body of two types of amino acids, which must be supplied by food because the human body is unable to produce them. In this case, the exogenous amino acids that make up L-carnitine are lysine and methionine. The synthetic process occurs in the kidneys, liver and brain. Why in these places? Because these organs all contain the necessary enzymes for their formation.
For the formation of L-carnitine, not only lysine and methionine are required, but also iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and PP. A diet deficient in these ingredients can stop L-carnitine synthesis.
The role of L-carnitine in fat metabolism was discovered in the 1960s, and then it turned out that a greater amount of L-carnitine in the body increases fatty acid oxidation, and this is due to the fact that it is involved in the transport of long-chain fatty acids to the energy centers of cells ( Mitochondria), where the energy needed for the proper functioning of the whole body is generated. Therefore, L-carnitine is one of the fuels necessary for the functioning of an organism.
The sources of L-carnitine in the daily diet are mainly meat and fish. In plant foods, it is not present or in minute quantities. The conclusion is simple: a vegan diet poorly composed of lysine and methionine can lead to a deficiency of L-carnitine, because the body does not have enough substances to produce
it, moreover, L-carnitine is absent in the diet. Another reason for L-carnitine deficiency in the body is the weakness of lysine to high temperatures. It loses its natural properties through decomposition during frying or cooking. So it seems possible to consume enough lysine-rich products, but they will not reach the cells of the human body properly.
What are the best sources of L-carnitine? These are beef, turkey slices, chicken strips, skimmed milk, natural yogurt, cottage cheese, cottage cheese, hard cheese, bananas, oranges and apples. These are products that can be incorporated into the diet as desired.
Scientists have long wondered about the properties of L-carnitine. In 2006, William J. Kraemer and colleagues conducted an interesting experiment on a group of young bodybuilders. Some received 2 g of L-carnitine tartrate per day and the rest received a placebo. The duration of the study was 3 weeks.
After the experiments, it was found that the testosterone level in the L-carnitine group was on average 4% higher before training and 5% higher on average after training compared to the group that received the placebo. Additionally, cortisol, a stress hormone, was reduced by 7% in people taking L-carnitine.
What are the conclusions of this study? L-carnitine has been observed to increase the number of androgen receptors (AR), which are responsible for regulating muscle metabolism and maintaining male sexual characteristics.
Few people also take note of the fact that L-carnitine can protect muscle tissue from post-workout damage. Scientific research shows that L-carnitine, by stimulating blood circulation, has an effect on eliminating toxic waste products from metabolic processes. In one of the studies conducted, L-carnitine was examined for the presence of delayed onset muscle pain (DMAT). For three weeks, one group of men received L-carnitine for three weeks while the second group received a placebo. The task of the men was to perform exercises that cause micro-trauma to the muscles.
Study results clearly show that people who took L-carnitine daily experienced less discomfort from delayed muscle pain. Muscle soreness and tenderness decreased and faster regeneration was observed after training.
A study in a group of ten men, who were given 2 grams of L-carnitine tartrate daily, found that the compound protected their muscles from training injuries. The men underwent MRI under the influence of creatine kinase, hypoxanthine, malondialdehyde and myoglobulin. At the end of the experiments, after squatting, it was found that muscle tissue was less damaged than tissue in the placebo group.
During prolonged physical activity, the use of L-carnitine is very important because it reduces the use of muscle glycogen which allows for energy production. L-carnitine also contributes to the metabolism of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). The leucine, valine, and isoleucine found in the muscles are converted into a branched form and then combined with L-carnitine. The resulting compounds end up in the bloodstream and are taken up by the liver, where they can be oxidized or used as substrates for gluconeogenesis.
L-carnitine is beneficial for the athlete's body
The properties of L-carnitine are multiple, which is why it should not only be associated with the weight loss process. It performs many other functions in the body and its metabolites are involved in many metabolic processes. No effect on the androgen receptor, decreased muscle glycogen utilization or antioxidant properties are known. These properties can be widely used in bodybuilding activities. People who engage in intense physical activity have a special demand for this component. The recommended daily dose of L-carnitine should be 500-2000 mg.