If you think of a muscle cell as a furnace generating energy to facilitate work output, then L-carnitine is the tireless worker shoveling coal into that furnace to start the whole process.
Without L-carnitine, long-chain fatty acids would never reach the mitochondria of muscle cells, they would never be oxidized to generate energy, and the ATP cycle (the engine of all work output) would ground to a halt. This would (and does) result in muscle fatigue and eventual failure.
L-carnitine offers other profound benefits as well. It has been associated with more efficient muscle recovery after exercise by virtue of its role in enhancing blood flow and oxygen supply to muscle tissue via improved endothelial function, thereby reducing hypoxia-induced muscle soreness and breakdown. Research also suggests that L-carnitine may help facilitate increased uptake of testosterone by promoting the expression of androgen (testosterone) receptors in skeletal muscle tissue (1 Kraemer).
You would think, given L-carnitine's key primary role in muscle function and the fact that your body exhausts its stores of L-carnitine fairly quickly during high-intensity exercise, that L-carnitine would be a common supplement staple much like creatine monohydrate. L-carnitine, however, tends to fly under the radar. One reason for this is that supplemented pure L-carnitine by itself is assimilated very slowly and inefficiently by the body.
This barrier to L-carnitine supplementation, however, was overcome several years ago, when extensive research and development resulted in the formulation of L-carnitine L-tartrate. A salt of tartaric acid, L-tartrate facilitates and greatly shortens the interval of uptake of L-carnitine into muscle tissue, while also acting as an antioxidant in the body. The blend of L-carnitine and L-tartrate produces a highly stable and bioavailable form of L-carnitine.
Researchers in the Product Research Team at ProSource were at the forefront of this area of investigation. Their work led to the formulation of a legendary L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) supplement introduced under the Cytodyne Technologies brand called Cytodyne AAC. Cytodyne AAC was the secret ingredient in many an athlete's supplementation regimen, and a refined evolution of that technology continues to help serious athletes turn higher volumes of training into greater muscle mass to this day, as we shall see.
In the meantime, studies of the benefits of LCLT supplementation are always ongoing. One such study, published recently in the journal Nutrients, offers very encouraging news for both men and women seeking to enhance physique and performance.
Clinical Study Links LCLT Supplementation to Increased Endurance and Faster Recovery
In this study, a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, eighty participants, men and women 21- to 65-years-old, were split into two groups of forty participants each, a placebo group and a L-Carnitine L-Tartrate group. Participants underwent pre-study baseline testing which included serum analysis of muscle damage and oxidative stress markers, maximal isometric strength, maximal muscle power and body composition analysis.
Subjects then engaged in a moderate 5-week exercise training program twice per week with the final training session on the fifth week of supplementation consisting of a supervised lower-body exercise challenge specifically constructed to induce muscle damage. Subjects continued to supplement for two days after completing the exercise challenge and then underwent baseline testing again.
Researchers found that, compared to placebo, L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation was able to improve perceived recovery and soreness and lowered serum creatine kinase (a marker of muscle degeneration). In addition, L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation was able to blunt declines in strength and power compared to placebo following an exercise challenge. Two sub-analyses indicated that these results were independent of gender and age.
The researchers concluded that "these findings agree with previous observations among healthy adult subjects and demonstrate that L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation beyond 35 days is beneficial for improving recovery and reducing fatigue following exercise across gender and age."
Of course none of this comes as a surprise to members of the ProSource Product Research Team. It is nice though to see ongoing research continue to validate the foundations upon which first Cytodyne AAC and then our current LCLT-based growth complex, Aminodrol, evolved.
Aminodrol: A Powerful Nutritional Tool For Recovery and Growth
ProSource's Aminodrol contains a specialized form of L-carnitine L-tartrate extremely efficient in replenishing the body's stores of L-carnitine and thereby enhancing the production of energy in the form of ATP. ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) is literally the currency of all cellular activity, facilitating DNA and RNA synthesis and triggering muscular contraction during explosive, high-intensity physical activity.
L-carnitine L-tartrate, as we noted earlier, may also help facilitate increased uptake of testosterone by promoting the expression of testosterone receptors in skeletal muscle tissue, which would also support subsequent muscle mass increase.
A comprehensive growth-support complex, Aminodrol has much more to offer highly trained individuals. Beta alanine supports muscle endurance during high-intensity exercise by increasing muscle carnosine levels, which in turn buffer skeletal muscle pH (acidity) during fatiguing exercise. The BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine (much like LCLT) are key factors for muscle recovery after exercise. Leucine in particular is a primary activator of the mTOR anabolic pathway that governs protein synthesis and consequent muscle repair and growth.
Additional muscle-building support in Aminodrol comes in the form of L-glutamine, which supports protein synthesis and nitrogen retention, as well as taurine, which helps to optimize cellular hydration and maximize muscle function.
Finally, Aminodrol contains phosphatidylserine and inositol. Phosphatidylserine is a specialized fat that resides in nervous tissue and, when taken regularly, may reduce blood cortisol levels which spike after intense training. Inositol may have indirect effects on cortisol levels by improving mood and brain neurochemical balance.
A Legendary Growth Support Technology
Aminodrol has been helping serious athletes attain new benchmarks of muscle growth for years now. And, as contemporary science continues to validate its key mechanisms, it will continue to help well-trained individuals achieve real physique and performance improvements for years to come.
1 Kraemer WJ, Spiering BA, Volek JS, Ratamess NA, Sharman MJ, Rubin MR, French DN, Silvestre R, Hatfield DL, Van Heest JL, Vingren JL, Judelson DA, Deschenes MR, Maresh CM. Androgenic responses to resistance exercise: effects of feeding and L-carnitine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Jul;38(7):1288-96.
2 Matthew Stefan, Matthew Sharp, Raad Gheith, Ryan Lowery, Charlie Ottinger, Jacob Wilson, Shane Durkee, and Aouatef Bellamine. L-Carnitine Tartrate Supplementation for 5 Weeks Improves Exercise Recovery in Men and Women: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2021 Oct; 13(10): 3432.
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The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.