2 g of carnitine daily makes bodybuilders stronger
If bodybuilders or other strength athletes take 2 grams of L-carnitine every day with a meal, they become stronger and can make sets with more reps. Researchers from Iran write this in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry. You would expect L-carnitine to also accelerate the growth of muscle mass, but the researchers were unable to demonstrate this. Maybe their experiment was just a bit too short...
The researchers divided two dozen young men, who had been training with weights for at least a year, into two groups. Both groups ate and trained in an identical way. The subjects trained with weights that 70-85 percent of the weight with which they could just make 1 rep.
The control group took placebo capsules every day for 9 weeks, the experimental group used 2 capsules of L-carnitine every day. Each capsule contained 1000 milligrams of l-carnitine.
The subjects took 1 capsule with breakfast, and 1 capsule with lunch. Why carnitine works better when you take it with a meal, you can read here and here.
There was a tendency for the subjects in the placebo group to lose a little fat mass and gain fat-free mass, but those effects were respectively not and almost statistically significant.
The effect of carnitine supplementation on the number of reps that the subjects were able to make was significant however. Carnitine increased the reps at the bench press [BP] and at the leg press [LP], and therefore also the total training volume. [Table] [Table]
Carnitine supplementation also made the test subjects fitter. The supplement increased the anaerobic endurance that the test subjects were able to develop in the Wingate test. Carnitine increased both mean power [below] and peak power. That means that the supplement allowed the test subjects to sprint faster.
The table above perhaps tells how supplementation with carnitine makes strength athletes perform better. Carnitine increases the concentration of the endogenous antioxidant glutathione [GPx] in the test subjects' blood, and the ability of the test subjects' physiology to neutralize oxidants [TAC]. In addition, carnitine stimulates the body to get rid of
"A strength of our study was the duration of the intervention", write the researchers. "Supplementing for this length of time helped to delineate the treatment effects; although strength performance improved by week 6, prolonged supplementation was necessary to observe the effects on anaerobic performance."
"Moreover, our findings were further strengthened by the fact that we recruited participants with 1 year of training experience, thus minimizing any neurological training effects and enhancing the generalizability of our study to individuals engaged in resistance training across various athletic disciplines."
"From a practical point of view, our results suggested that 2 g/d of L-carnitine supplementation improved muscle strength and anaerobic performance while decreasing post-exercise blood lacate levels and attenuating exercise-induced oxidative stress markers in resistance-trained athletes."
J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2018;22(4):007-019.
Two grams L-carnitine daily protects athletes' muscles 31.12.2015
The anti-catabolic effect of a couple of grams of L-carnitine 02.10.2013
L-Carnitine helps centenarians build muscle mass 27.03.2012
L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate restores muscles after training 24.09.2010
Nutrition, Supplementation & Strength Training