Carnitine: Gimmick or Effective PED?


  Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound, which is essential for metabolic function in all mammals. Carnitine is not only essential for the healthy function of various human physiological systems, but also supplementation with carnitine can confer serious boosts to athletic performance and overall body composition in athletes that supplement with it! Carnitine can be suspended in a liquid or as a raw powder which is taken orally, and which following its breakthrough into the fitness world has undergone extensive medial trials in healthy individuals as well as athletes demonstrating extremely interesting effects on fatty acid metabolism and glycogen preservation.      

    In addition to the potential performance enhancing and physique benefits it provides, carnitine has also been connected in various studies to a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. One of the primary roles carnitine serves in our body is the carnitine pathway shuttling of fatty acids. This is the process by which fatty acids are directly shuttled into the mitochondria of cells to provide essential cellular energy. Additionally, carnitine activation allows the oxidation of fats directly from cellular material, allowing an athlete to derive energy directly from body fat stores, not just carbohydrate metabolism. Furthermore, the presence of muscle carnitine, which can be metabolized into direct cellular energy, it has a glycogen sparing effect on muscle tissue and thereby exerts an anti-catabolic effect on muscular tissue, preventing the depletion of muscle glycogen throughout strenuous training. This allows an athlete alternative means of energy supply and preserves essential muscle glycogen for longer during workouts.

    In addition to its obvious benefits in terms energy production and the improvement of body composition caused by the direct oxidation of fatty acids, rather than pure carbohydrate metabolism; Carnitine, has been connected to a lower risk of diabetes and the prevention cardiac ischemia (decreased blood flow to the heart). The host of bodily mechanisms in which carnitine plays a role suggests that supplementation with it can contribute to broader holistic health, in addition to providing massive physique benefits in terms of its powerful fat burning effects and extremely efficient energy transportation. Carnitine is in many ways one of the essential bodily compounds with roles in a whole host of physiological processes, among which are several methods bodybuilders can utilize to enhance their physiques and athletic performance in the gym.

    Carnitine is if not an essential, a very useful product for athletes seeking to improve their overall body composition, through the targeted oxidation of fatty acids from their cellular adipose tissue, or to enhance their workouts and overall energy, strength, and power through training sessions with carnitine mediated muscle glycogen preservation, allowing athletes to train harder, with less fatigue, while directly burning body fat and enjoying a variety of potential health benefits. There are a lot of potential upsides to supplementing with carnitine, but people have been getting jacked for decades before companies started selling carnitine; diet and training should come first; however, there is substantial evidence that carnitine could give you a performance boost.

Nick TrigiliComment