L-Carnitine Improves Muscle Content

Basel, Switzerland—Recreational athletes looking for increased muscle mass may want to consider adding l-carnitine and carbs to their regimens, according to recent research published in the Journal of Physiology.

“After 30 years of endeavour, this is the first study to show that muscle carnitine content can be increased in humans by dietary means and, perhaps more importantly, that carnitine plays a dual role in skeletal muscle fuel metabolism that is exercise intensity dependent,” according to the study’s abstract.

L-carnitine given intravenously and carbs given orally to 14 healthy men resulted in increased carnitine content in the muscles and “result[ed] in muscle glycogen sparing during low-intensity exercise.” While participating in high-intensity exercise, the men had less lactate accumulation in the muscles, which leads to cramping and fatigue. The carnitine group also experienced an 11% better work output compared with the start of the study, but perceived exertion was lower.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2011