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Countdown to Atlanta's NGA ~ NOPI World Bodybuilding & Figure Championships: What is L-Carnitine?

What is L-Carnitine?

Often sold as a nutritional supplement, Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine.  Carnitine is required in order for the body to better utilize fatty acids, which are then transported from the mitochondria in muscle fiber during the breakdown process of the fats. These lipids or fats are then converted into metabolic energy for the muscle to use for physical activity.   Used by many professional bodybuilders to help reduce fat mass and increase lean muscle mass and reduc fatigue, L-Carnitine can assist even the tradition recreationalist with better energy metabolism and improved cognitive function.  In the elderly L-Caritine is supplemented for improving neurotransmitter function in the brain and maintain healthy nerve function. 

Athletic Performance and Weightloss:  Increasing the consumption of L-Carnitine is the most efficient and natural way to support weight loss, because it absorbs the fat and pushes it into the muscles which burn it off without any side effects. Research has shown evidence that increased levels of carnitine lead to the increase in lean mass and a decrease in uneccessary body fat. L-Carnitine also helps to increase the bodys metabolic rate while maintaining the present amount of muscle tissue. In other words, it helps to preserve muscle in the body that can be jeopardized while restricting calories for preparation for athletic competition or other such occasions. This is crucial, because muscle tissue is where you do most of your fat burning. Carnitine is also useful for eliminating pesky cravings and increasing the amount of energy you have to exercise, both of which are very helpful for those whodesire to lose weight. Because carnitine plays a critical role in fat burning, carnitine is a great aid in promoting sports endurance. Fat is the primary fuel our body uses in endurance sports, and research shows carnitine enhances aerobic performance, allowing athletes to exercise longer without fatigue.

Heart Heath: Carnitine is also one of the most important nutrients for promoting heart health. The heart derives 70% of its energy from fat, and fat is unable to be burned without carnitine. Carnitine has also been found helpful in the treatment of mitral valve prolapse, angina, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure. Carnitine is also one of the most important nutrients for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.

Food Sources: The highest amounts of L-Carnitine can be found in red meats and dairy products like many other amino acids.  Vegatarian sources include tempeh, nuts, legumes (beans, lentils, peas), and seeds suchs as sunflower and sesame.  Vegatbles containing the powerful amino acid include artichokes, asparagus, beet green, broccoli, garlic, and okra.    Healthy complex carbohydrates that also contain the nutrient source include millet, oats, rye, wheat germ, and carob.