What is L-Carnitine, and what does it do?

What is L-Carnitine, and what does it do?

Among the gym-goer vocabulary of protein and pre-workout, electrolytes and greens powders, one game-changing formula tends to fly under the radar. With weight loss proteins, thermogenic pre-workouts and apple cider vinegar supplements, one of the most effective and efficient ingredients somehow escapes the spotlight.

That unsung hero is: L-Carnitine.


What is L-Carnitine?

This would be the obvious starting point. L-Carnitine is considered an amino acid derivative and is best known for its benefits in weight loss and brain function. Produced from essential amino acids Lysine and Methionine, L-Carnitine is primarily found in meat products and is primarily stored in your muscles, with small amounts in your liver and blood (Mawer, R. 2018). L-Carnitine is mainly made in the brain, liver, and kidneys and plays a role in heart and brain function, along with many other processes, including muscle movement (WebMD).

L-Carnitine generally works by supporting cellular energy production, enhancing antioxidant capacity, reducing inflammation, increasing nitric oxide levels and protecting the cellular membranes from oxidative stress (Damianou, A. 2022).

We should probably tell you what L-Carnitine actually does. Basically, L-Carnitine is responsible for transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are oxidised to produce usable energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition to that function, L-Carnitine can also help to remove certain toxic compounds from the mitochondria (NIH. 2023).


Types of L-Carnitine

While L-carnitine is the standard biologically active form of carnitine, there are several other forms that can offer different benefits and values (Mawer, R. 2018). These include:

  • Acetyl L-Carnitine
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
  • L-Carnitine Fumarate
  • D-Carnitine
  • Propionyl L-Carnitine


What are the benefits of L-Carnitine?

L-Carnitine can offer a range of benefits, from weight loss to brain health. Let’s take a look at the best benefits below!

Weight Management

L-carnitine is probably best known for its role in weight loss, with supplementation supporting a reduction in body weight, BMI and fat mass, particularly among individuals considered overweight (Talenezhad, N et al. 2020).

Because of L-Carnitine’s role in burning fatty acids for energy, supplementing with L-Carnitine can support your body goals when consumed in line with a balanced diet and healthy exercise regime. Remember, no supplement is going to miraculously complete your goals for you. 


Muscle Recovery

For such a versatile compound, it shouldn’t surprise that L-Carnitine can support your muscle recovery too. If you’re training hard in the gym, you need to take care of yourself in the aftermath to make those results stick.

According to studies, L-Carnitine can promote a healthy recovery after training by alleviating muscle injury and reducing markers of cellular damage and free radical formation. Increasing your body’s L-Carnitine levels can enhance blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscle tissue and may also reduce physical and mental fatigue (Fielding, R et al. 2018).


Cellular Oxidation

L-Carnitine acts as a transport system for fatty acids for oxidation and is also an antioxidant that can reduce metabolic stress in the cells (Li, J et al. 2012). L-Carnitine may enhance antioxidant capacity, rescuing inflammation and increasing nitric oxide levels (Damianou, A. 2022).


Workout Endurance

We’ve already touched on the fact that L-Carnitine can support recovery, but it may also boost your performance. If you’re somebody who often falls short and succumbs to fatigue, supplementing with L-Carnitine may help you increase your endurance and power through those demanding reps.

Research suggests that L-Carnitine may help you heighten your stamina, increasing blood flow and nitric oxide production while helping to delay discomfort and fatigue. It might also increase the oxygen supply to your muscles, allowing them to produce more energy during training (Mawer, R. 2018).


Cognitive Function

The best strand of L-Carnitine for cognitive function is acetyl L-Carnitine, which can support your mood, memory and focus. This option promotes brain power and cognitive function, with the acetyl group allowing it to pass your blood-brain barrier, where it can reach your brain and nerves to support your mood, memory and mental function (Brooks, S. 2021).


When is the best time to consume L-Carnitine?

If you’re planning to add L-Carnitine to your stack, the recommended dosage is roughly 1-3 grams per day, though the exact dose may depend on your reason for taking it. If you’re using it to support your training, taking it before or during workouts may be the best way to support your performance (Johnson, J. 2020)

Want to test it out for yourself? Evolve Carnitine RX is a dynamic L-carnitine formula that combines three different types of carnitine to offer you the optimal range of benefits that carnitine can deliver. With L-carnitine fumarate, L-carnitine tartrate and acetyl L-Carnitine, Evolve Carnitine RX is an effective solution that can support a number of different uses. Vegan-friendly, sugar-free and stimulant-free, this versatile supplement can help you advance towards your weight goals, switch on when you need to, and perform at your best.

woman on gym bench holding tub of l-carnitine with shaker bottle


Now what?

Don’t overlook the value of L-Carnitine. Add it to your stack and put those excuses in the past.

For help choosing the best formula or for further information about its benefits and value, reach out online or drop in-store and our friendly team will help you find the answers you’re looking for.



Mawer, R. 2018, ‘L-Carnitine: Benefits, Side Effects, Sources and Dosage’, Healthline, accessed 15 February 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/l-carnitine


WebMD. ‘L-Carnitine - Uses, Side Effects, And More’, WebMD, accessed 15 February 2023, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1026/l-carnitine#:~:text=L%2Dcarnitine%20is%20a%20chemical,and%20many%20other%20body%20processes.


Damianou, A. 2022, ‘L-Carnitine’, Examine, accessed 15 February 2023, https://examine.com/supplements/carnitine/


NIH. 2023, ‘Carnitine’, National Institutes of Health, accessed 15 February 2023, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Carnitine-HealthProfessional/


Talenezhad, N et al. 2020, ‘Effects of l-carnitine supplementation on weight loss and body composition: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 37 randomized controlled clinical trials with dose-response analysis’, National Library of Medicine, accessed 15 February 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32359762/


Fielding, R et al. 2018, ‘L-Carnitine Supplementation in Recovery after Exercise’, National Library of Medicine, accessed 15 February 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872767/#:~:text=Later%20studies%20point%20to%20the,by%20attenuation%20of%20muscle%20soreness.


Li, J et al. 2012, ‘Effects of L-carnitine against oxidative stress in human hepatocytes: involvement of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha’, Journal of Biomedical Science, accessed 15 February 2023, https://jbiomedsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1423-0127-19-32#:~:text=L%2Dcarnitine%20is%20a%20natural,metabolic%20stress%20in%20the%20cells.


Brooks, S. 2021, ‘How Acetyl-L-Carnitine Burns Fat and Powers The Brain’, Bulletproof, accessed 20 January 2023, https://www.bulletproof.com/supplements/aminos-enzymes/acetyl-l-carnitine-benefits/


Johnson, J. 2020, ‘What to know about L-carnitine’, Medical News Today, accessed 15 February 2023, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/l-carnitine