Carnitine has an essential role in promoting fat oxidation, but many lines of evidence have shown it may work through different mechanisms to promote recovery.
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  Previously, carnitine supplementation (using 1 or 2 g/day for 3 wks) was shown to significantly reduce accumulation of markers of free radical formation, tissue damage, and muscle soreness during and after moderate intensity squat exercise in young healthy men. Few supplement studies are conducted in middle-age individuals. Aging has an overall negative impact on the recovery process, such that it takes longer between exercise sessions to repair tissue and restore normal functioning. A recent study examined the effects of carnitine supplementation in middle-aged baby boomers. They supplemented with l-carnitine l-tartrate for 3 weeks (2 g/day) and then performed a bout of squat exercise. Similar to previous experiments in younger people, the men and women consuming carnitine showed lower levels of blood markers of stress, free radicals, and muscle damage compared to placebo. They also had lower levels of perceived muscle soreness. Collectively, these studies point to a role of carnitine in mitigating the biochemical stress response to exercise in both young and older individuals.

•    Ho JY, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Fragala MS, Thomas GA, Dunn-Lewis C, Coday M, Häkkinen K, Maresh CM.Cruzat VF, Rogero MM, Tirapegui J. l-Carnitine l-tartrate supplementation favorably affects biochemical markers of recovery from physical exertion in middle-aged men and women. Metabolism. 2009 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]