What if you found a miracle substance that burned fat, enhanced fat utilization, spared muscle glycogen, and reduced muscle catabolism? You'd probably think you found a newly developed muscle building drug that the FDA doesn't know about. It's true that anabolic steroids certainly do all of the above. But, unlike steroids, your new-found substance does not raise blood serum triglycerides or lower HDL's (the "good" cholesterol). In fact, it does just the opposite giving you a much healthier blood lipid profile.
Ask a stupid question
If you saw both scientific and user reports suggesting that just such a substance exists, and that the only reported side-effect was a euphoric mental state - would you be interested? Pretty ridiculous question. isn't it?
This is legit
The fact is such a remarkable substance does exist. You probably even know a little about it. The name of this remarkable substance is L-Carnitine. Whoa, don't stop reading yet. Some of the fat burning products that you've used in the past might list L-Carnitine on the label and you sure didn't experience the benefits noted above. That's okay, there's a number of reasons why that might have happened.
Let's just say that the scientific community has been impressed enough to fund a substantial amount of medical and scientific research centering around L-Carnitine. In fact, at least three US pharmaceutical companies now make prescription tablets of L-Carnitine.
How it works
L-Carnitine basically serves two extremely important functions as far as we're concerned as bodybuilders, burning fat and the metabolism of branched chain amino acids (BCAA's). L-Carnitine is a co-factor which is required for transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria of your muscle cells where they serve as a substrate for energy production while sparing muscle glycogen. Carnitine deficiency causes the fatty acids to back-up and accumulate in the blood ultimately resulting in additional deposition of fat, usually right in the areas where you already have the greatest accumulation.
L-Carnitine works synergistically with branched chain amino acids to increase their net metabolism. Remember that the BCAA's are the major amino acid constituents of your muscles. An in-crease in the amino acid content of the muscle will result in, at the very least, increased muscular hardness and possibly new muscle tissue.
To sum up, L-Carnitine in-creases the utilization of fats for energy, sparing glycogen and amino acids. In essence, L-Carnitine shifts your fuel source utilization toward fats, leaving your amino acids and glycogen free to build muscle.
It can't work if it's not in there
Be certain that your L-Carnitine is from a reputable company. L-Carnitine is very expensive to manufacture and is very unstable. It's hard to make and hard to package. Therefore many products listing L-Carnitine on the label do not assay out to the label claim.
Is this for you?
If you are trying to reduce fat, increase muscle hardness, and retain muscle size and strength, it is! Remember, if fatty acids aren't utilized for energy while dieting, muscle tissue becomes your body's main source of fuel. If you want to improve your muscle-to-fat ratio, L-Carnitine supplementation is a must.
Important facts regarding L-Carnitine supplementation
Research indicates the minimum dosage to minimize muscle catabolism while accelerating fat loss while accelerating fat loss is 1000-1200 milligrams daily, divided into two doses.
The dosage research has proven most effective is 2 – 4 grams (2000-4000 mg) in 3-6 daily doses at three to six hour intervals.
L-Carnitine is most effective taken on an empty stomach with water at least 45 minutes prior to eating and again 45 minutes prior to training.
To maximize the effect of Carnitine on the metabolism of branch-chained amino acids take 1200 mg L-Carnitine with a handful of BCAA's thirty minutes after training. You won't believe how quickly you’ll recover!
Cycle your L-Carnitine supplementation, 2 – 3 weeks on, 1 – 2 weeks off. L-Carnitine is non toxic but most people experience the fat loss benefits for only two or three weeks at a time due to the body's adaptation.