Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), could be a powerful addition to your fitness supplementation arsenal. This extremely valuable little molecule has been a staple within the muscle building and brain-hacking communities for years. Currently, it has become popular due to its ability to assist you slim down and power up your brain. Read on to find out additional information regarding the advantages of acetyl-L-carnitine, and side effects, safety and correct supplement dosage.
WHAT IS ACETYL-L-CARNITINE?
Chemical structure of Acetyl-L-Carnitine vs normal L-Carnitine (notice the Acetyl group that replaces the hydrogen on the oxygen)
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in your body to aid in generating energy. It?s most often naturally found in animal protein ? especially, red meats. One example of this is beef. Many people in the fitness community supplement with acetyl-L-carnitine, because of its potential health benefits, which we will discuss in this article.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ALCAR?
Neurotropic Effects: The acetyl group on the molecule lets it pass the blood-brain barrier and reach your brain and nerves, where it could potentially improve your mood, aid in learning, and memory.
Fat-loss Effects: It shuttles fuel (in the form of long chain fatty acids) to your muscle mitochondria (read more about Carnitine Shuttle here), which increases your energy production and can increase endurance. Acetyl-L-carnitine also encourages your metabolism to burn more fat while you work out.
ACETYL-L-CARNITINE AND WEIGHT LOSS: HOW IT HELPS YOU TORCH FAT
When you take ALCAR, it turns into carnitine in your body, and if your insulin levels are low ? for instance, from consumption a keto diet (like the Bulletproof Diet), doing intermittent fasting, working out intensely, or being in an exceedingly calorie deficit ? carnitine becomes vital for burning fat.
When your insulin is low, your mitochondria begin turning to fat for fuel. They grab onto keep body fat (or fat you eat), break it down into fatty acids, and send the fatty acids to your mitochondria. Your mitochondria flip those fatty acids into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the primary form of energy in the body, that powers your cells.
Example of a carnitine shuttle in action
But the fatty acids are unable to get into your mitochondria alone. They use something known as a carnitine shuttle (link above) to help them get in. Basically, carnitine latches onto these long chains of fatty acids and carries them into your mitochondria. Where it is able to provide your mitochondria the raw materials it requires to produce ample energy for your body and function at their best.
In different words, you need carnitine to metabolize fat. If you?re low on carnitine, fat can?t get into your mitochondria, and you struggle to use it for fuel. however this is solved with ample carnitine supplementation.
HOW SHOULD I TAKE ALCAR TO MAXIMIZE FAT LOSS?
As stated above, the body primarily begins burning fat in a state which insulin levels are low. Thus, fasting with the combination of ALCAR could result in powerful weight loss. I personally have seen best results when combining ALCAR with longer term fasting (greater 24 hours). One thing you have to be careful for is making sure of when buying the supplement is that you actually get ACETYL-l-carnitine. Other forms of carnitine require caloric intake for absorption, so taking them while fasting is relatively useless. However, the acetyl group on ALCAR allows it to be easily absorbed regardless of caloric intake, making it perfect for intermittent fasting or long term fasting plans. About 2?3 grams daily is recommended to see effects for fat loss. In any case, the best results are seen ALCAR is combined with proper diet and exercise.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
ALCAR can be bought at supplement stores or online at places such as Bodybuilding.com. This is the brand that I personally use and recommend, you can buy it on amazon, so very quick delivery. It is relatively pure and cheap compared to some other brands you would find online.
Side effects and precautions
While ALCAR is generally considered safe for most people, individuals could potentially experience some negative side effects, including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, and restlessness. I?m not a physician, just a fitness enthusiast, so as with any supplement, please consult your physician before starting, especially if you?re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a serious medical condition prior to taking it. Acetyl-L-carnitine may interfere with thyroid function, so it is best avoided if you have an under active thyroid. People with a history of seizures may also want to steer clear of ALCAR. Finally, do not use acetyl-L-carnitine if you?re taking any blood-thinning medication.
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