As a fat burner, the natural substance L-Carnitine is attracting a great deal of attention in the sports nutritional markets today. Supplementing L-Carnitine, above the amount the body can produce on its own, improves performance during physical activity by raising energy, endurance, and stamina, while compensating for losses incurred after exhaustive exercise. This results in a faster recovery.
L-Carnitine was originally discovered in muscle extracts by Russian researchers, Gulewitch and Krimberg, in 1905, and named based on the Latin: carnis for flesh or meat. The structural formula was later described in 1927 by Japanese researchers, Tomita and Sendju. In the mid 1950s L-Carnitine was named, Vitamin Bt, based on some of its features that resemble the Vitamin B group. Today, we know that the amino acid L-Carnitine is naturally created in the human body when the two amino acids, Lysine and Methionine, are synthesized. For this to occur, there must be sufficient niacin, folic acid, iron, and the vitamins C, B6, B12. Otherwise an insufficient amount of LCarnitine may be synthesized and a deficiency may occur.
Additional L-Carnitine is available to us, most abundantly in red meats, but also in poultry, shellfish, and other animal proteins. Some vegetables and fruits contain small amounts, but they are very low.
The optimal amounts needed to properly sustain the demands of a sports enthusiasts’ or endurance athletes’ body must come from supplementation. Normal training can require the use of between 500mg and 2,000mg, and up to 4,000mg in highly demanding competition – far surpassing what can be naturally produced on a daily basis.
For our bodies to burn fat, the fatty acids in our blood have to reach the cells mitochondria, the “energy centers” in cells, so that they can metabolize the fat, transforming it into energy. L-Carnitine provides this transport, so in effect, L-Carnitine aids the body in burning fat. In addition, it also facilitates the transport of toxic compounds out of the mitochondria, preventing their accumulation. Functionally, L-Carnitine is concentrated in the body tissues that utilize fatty acids as their primary dietary fuel, such as skeletal muscles and the heart. In fitness programs, L-Carnitine aids in long-term success by helping the body use fat for energy allowing muscle mass to remain – by increasing the supply of oxygen to the muscles, enabling peak performance, and through a more economic use of food, allowing for a reduction in overall intake. L-Carnitine, is the catalyst to fat utilization.