Here a powder, there a pill and why not some extra vitamins.
You are supposed to take this and that and even more of that when you do sports. Each of these things is supposed to help you, loose weight, gain muscles or be healthy.
While some of these maybe really will help you, even more of these are pretty useless.
Now before going to train for one year in China, I had to ask myself, what do I really need on supplements for 6 hours training daily.
Some of my friends recommended me L-Carnitin, so I figured I will take a closer look at it.

So let’s see should I take L-Carnitine?

First what is it?

It is an amino acid, that excist in nearly every cell of your body. It is there to transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitrochondria, where they are used to burn energy. Your body actually produces L-Carnitin by itself, but some can’t make enough.
In these cases the intake is over the Food.
In short if you are healthy, you will be able to produce enough for your needs.

What does it do?

Well that is the big question. There are hunderts of studies out there, some promising unimaginable things, be careful if somebody tells you it will improve your performance over 20 procent.
These usually come from the supplement sellers…
If something sounds to good to be true, it often is to good to be true.
It is said to help you burn fat, help against muscleaches and is said to improve endurance.
Yes L-Carnitin is very important for you whether you do sports or not, but do you really need suplements?
I would say no, because various studies prove that a healthy adult procuses all he need by himself.
The studies from most universities will say the same. While it is proven that you have a higher rate of oxidation, it isn’t improving any sport specific factors. They couldn’t run more, nor longer. Also it seems like you will not lose weight any faster.
And the best is any excess which you do not need, you just pee out. So in short you are most likely peeing out the money you’ve spent.

But what if I can’t produce enough?

Well then you are most likely already eating all you need, because L-Carnitin can be found in meat, preferable dark meat.
The only people who may get problems are Vegetarians and Vegans. For them it could make sense to take the supplement.

What happens if I take too much?

If you take about 3g/day (which is a lot) it may cause vomiting and other stomach issues as well as you might start smelling weird. Right now they are also testing if it could cause heart issues or cancer (but there are also tons of studies).

So does taking L-Carnitin make sense?

Yes if you are not able to produce enough or you are vegetarian/vegan. Otherwise taking L-Carnitine supplements really doesn’t do you much good, because there is no proof at all that it will improve your performance.
In short you will most likely pee out what you take extra and then you better spent the money in some other way.
If you like to read more about this, head over to these two pages. After reading various German Articles I found these giving a lot of useful informations in English (Here and here). Also the source list are awesome, for all of you who really want to get into the subject.
So for me I will definitly not take L-Carnitin with me. Which wouldn’t make sense either way. While I probably won’t get super much meat, I will still get enough to cover for what I need and why would I want something that will improve me burning fat, if I am already training 6 hours daily. Ain’t no need to look like a stick.
So thumbs down for L-Carnitin.
What do you think about it. Any studies proving me wrong? Or are you generally a fan of supplements or not so much?
Share your opinion with us =)
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