Don Gauvreau MSc, CSCS
Don Gauvreau, A.K.A. The Supplement Godfather, is one of the leading researchers and product formulators in the sports supplement industry.
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Best Way To Use L-Carnitine

Q. What’s the best way to use L-carnitine?

A. L-carnitine is a multifaceted amino acid that can improve fat loss, muscle growth, performance, and recovery. Once inside muscle cells, carnitine helps shuttle free fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be burned off as fuel, which improves fat loss and muscle glycogen storage. This makes it great for stacking with a fat burner. Carnitine also stimulates the secretion of certain anabolic hormones and affects other mechanisms within muscle cells that improve recovery and reduce muscle tissue damage and soreness. But remember, for carnitine to deliver its beneficial effects, it must get inside muscle cells.

Absorption is the key for maximum effects! Supplement researcher Anthony Almada has been studying carnitine for quite some time and discovered that insulin is the most effective agent at helping more L-carnitine get inside muscle cells. So, by combining L-carnitine with an insulin-elevating supplement or meal, you can ensure maximum carnitine retention in muscle cells.

Now, when’s the best time of day to take L-carnitine? Well, it all depends on your primary goal. If your main concern is fat loss, then it’s best to take carnitine with your largest meals of the day. If your primary goal is muscle growth, performance, or recovery, then you’re best to take carnitine before and after your workouts with some insulin-spiking carbs such as Vitargo, waxy maize, or Karbolyn. Again, the insulin-secreting carbs will ensure that carnitine is saturated inside muscle cells, where it can have its positive effects on muscle-cell biomechanics.

Many new studies have come out that show a boost in anabolic hormone levels and faster recovery with the L-tartrate form of L-carnitine. An effective dosage of L-carnitine L-tartrate is 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams daily, usually split up into two servings.

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