News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

L-Carnitine For Fat Reduction

One of my favorite fat loss weapons is the amino acid L-Carnitine.

Carnitine is found in red meat, chicken, fish, and even vegetables. The highest naturally occurring concentrations of carnitine are in meats, while relatively low doses are found in vegetables. This makes carnitine supplementation even more important for vegetarians and those who avoid eating red meat, specifically.

Carnitine is a “conditionally essential” amino acid. This means that your body can manufacture it on its own, but under high levels of stress (i.e. working out, your job, your kids, etc.) carnitine cannot be made in sufficient quantities and therefore must be supplemented. Some of the benefits of supplementing with carnitine are:

· Improved energy production
· Body Fat Reduction
· Helps keep heard earned muscle
· Muscles become more resistant to fatigue
· Elevates Heart Performance
· Non-Stimulant Weight Loss

Carnitine works by transporting fatty acids from adipose tissue into the bloodstream, which is then transported into the mitochondria of cells, where it is then burned as energy. In short, carnitine makes your body use fat as energy and this leads to fat loss. Using fat for energy helps to spare hard earned muscle while dieting, it also preserves muscle glycogen so you can power through grueling training sessions and have more energy throughout the day.

There are some guidelines you must follow when using l-carnitine for fat loss. Studies show that a minimum daily dose of 1000mg to 1200mg of supplemental carnitine will help with fat loss.

Second, L-carnitine breaks down very rapidly in water. If you take a tablet of carnitine and place it on the table overnight, when you get it the next morning it will look brittle and crumbly. The carnitine molecules degraded extremely fast from this exposure, and eventually this will render the carnitine ineffective. If that is just from one night of exposure to moisture in the air, imagine what happens if your carnitine is sitting in water for days or weeks!

Using a carnitine supplement, like TwinLab’s Mega L-carnitine or Beverly International’s Energy Reserve, in combination with thermogenic products such as Green Stinger by Schwartz Labs or Redline by VPX, is an awesome two-pronged fat attack. You are getting the increase in calorie burning from the thermogenic, which is elevating your metabolism, but then you have the benefit of carnitine, which is shifting your body’s fuel source to fat. With this combo, you are sparing your lean muscle all while cutting down on ugly body fat. It’s a win-win situation!

If you happen to come across acetyl L-carnitine, do not confuse this form with its L-carnitine form. Acetyl L-carnitine is not nearly as effective as L-carnitine for fat loss. The acetyl form is ideal for mental clarity and focus because of its own specific attributes. So if you’re looking for a carnitine supplement for help with fat loss, then acetyl L-carnitine is not the route you want to go down.

L-Carnitine is by far one of the best stimulant free fat loss supplements (and an overall favorite nutritional supplement). Whether you are looking to lose fat, retain your lean muscle, or even keep your heart functioning at its top level, L-Carnitine is a convenient, healthy and safe, supplement that will help you reach your goals.

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