3D Molecular structure of L-Carnitine

How L-Carnitine Burns Fat and Builds Muscle

L carnitine offers advantages for individuals involved in bodybuilding who aim to reduce fat and build muscle. Here are a few of the benefits it provides;

L-Carnitine Increases Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis refers to the process of generating heat by burning calories. When you consume L carnitine it triggers the release of a hormone called norepinephrine. This hormone stimulates your system leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen consumption. As a result more calories are burned, from fat.

L carnitine also has the ability to enhance the activity of brown adipose tissue (BAT). BAT is a type of tissue that generates heat by burning calories. Unlike white adipose tissue (WAT) which stores energy as fat, BAT helps regulate energy expenditure and maintain body temperature. While infants and hibernating animals have BAT, adults also possess some BAT in their necks, chests and backs.

By stimulating BAT activity through increasing uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression, a protein enabling heat production within mitochondria (the cell's powerhouses), L carnitine can effectively boost thermogenesis in BAT throughout the day. This ultimately aids in burning calories and fat.

L-Carnitine Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin, a hormone for regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream, plays a role in maintaining overall health. Insufficient production of insulin or developing insulin resistance can cause an increase in blood glucose levels, leading to consequences like weight gain, obesity, diabetes and various metabolic disorders.

One helpful substance is L carnitine. It aids in reducing blood glucose levels by promoting the absorption of glucose into cells and boosting insulin receptor activity. This mechanism prevents glucose from being stored as fat and encourages its utilization, as energy instead.

Moreover, L carnitine has a benefit of influencing hormones involved in glucose metabolism. For instance, it can regulate glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP 1), which stimulates insulin secretion and reduces appetite. Additionally, it can modulate adiponectin levels to improve insulin sensitivity and facilitate fatty acid oxidation.

By incorporating L carnitine into your routine you can potentially enhance your body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels effectively while supporting metabolic function.

L-Carnitine Suppresses Appetite and Cravings

L carnitine offers another way to support weight loss by helping to curb hunger and cravings. It achieves this by regulating hormones and neurotransmitters that play a role in controlling appetite and feeling of fullness. For instance, L carnitine can lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone for triggering hunger while increasing the levels of leptin, the hormone that signals satisfaction/being full.

By doing L carnitine aids in feeling content with smaller portions of food and prevents overindulgence. Moreover, it has an impact on the brain's reward system, reducing cravings for high calorie foods such as sweets and fatty options.

A study conducted in 2017 demonstrated that individuals who consumed 3 grams of L carnitine daily for 16 weeks experienced a decrease in appetite and food intake compared to those who received a placebo. The study also observed improvements in mood and cognitive performance, among the participants.

How to Use L-Carnitine for Bodybuilding

a muscular man flexing his arm

Before incorporating L carnitine into your bodybuilding routine it's important to take factors into account. L carnitine is a supplement that has been deemed safe and effective in aiding burning and muscle development. However there are considerations you should bear in mind.

  • The recommended dosage of L carnitine for bodybuilding is still uncertain although various studies have typically utilized an intake ranging from 200 to 400 micrograms of L carnitine. It is crucial not to surpass this amount or continue its use beyond six months without seeking advice from your healthcare provider.
  • For best results it is recommended to consume L carnitine either before or after your workout sessions alongside a source of carbohydrates. This aids in the absorption of L carnitine by your body and enhances the energy levels available for your training routine.
  • The recommended types of L carnitine to consider are L carnitine tartrate or acetyl L carnitine. These particular forms have high bioavailability and effectiveness compared to variants of L carnitine. Make sure to search for L carnitine supplements that have been certified by testing agencies, like NSF or USP. This certification guarantees the products quality and purity. It's important to steer clear of unfamiliar brands that might contain low quality ingredients or potentially harmful additives.


L carnitine is a compound that can assist in fat burning and muscle development by transporting acids into the mitochondria, where they are utilized for energy. Incorporating L carnitine into your routine can improve metabolism, energy levels, performance and aid in muscle growth and recovery. To experience these benefits, it is recommended to consume 200 to 400 micrograms of L carnitine daily before or after your workout sessions. However, it's important to exercise caution and avoid intake or consuming it on an empty stomach to prevent any potential discomfort or irritation. As always it is advised to consult with your doctor before making any modifications to your diet or supplement regimen.

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.