Sci-MX ambassador Chelsea McCall gives her take on the supplement.
Protein, creatine, pre-workout – there’s a whole bunch of supplements out there that we’re sure you’re sick of hearing about. But what about the unsung heroes, the products that don’t get all the airtime and column inches?
Let’s face it – as the building blocks of proteins that make up our skin, hair and muscles, amino acids are crucial to pretty much every aspect of health. Yet not all amino acids are made equal.
Before I start preaching about why you need to add carnitine to your supplement list, first for the science. Basically, carnitine is a type of amino acid that benefits energy levels by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria where they can be burned up and used as fuel. The most popular type for this is L-carnitine, which can be found in small amounts in the likes of beef, fish and chicken – it’s safe to say, however, many of us don’t get enough from our diets. Luckily getting your dosage in supplement form is more than enough to ensure you reap all these brilliant benefits:
By transporting fatty acids to be burned up and used as fuel, many take carnitine as a weightloss supplement. In fact, many experts recommend stacking green tea extract with l-carnitine during training and diet phases when fat loss is a key goal. Keep in mind it’s not just a quick fix that will work alone, though – supplements must be combined with diet and exercise for full effect.
L-carnitine is required to break down the three BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine and valine, so they can be used as an energy source. If you drink amino acid supplements during your training, this is a no-brainer and can especially benefit endurance athletes such as long-distance runners, swimmers and cyclists.
Boosts brain function
L-carnitine isn’t just good for your body, but it’s good for your mind too. Studies have even shown it can help reverse cognitive decline and improve memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.