Ask Stayfitcentral: Does L Carnitine Speed Post-Workout Recovery?

Will taking an l carnitine supplement help me recover faster after I lift weights?

Taking an l-carnitine supplement may help you recover more faster from your workouts. Results from two studies show that taking it can reduce the muscle damage caused by lifting weights and decrease post-workout soreness. If you don’t have as much muscle damage and aren’t as sore the day after you lift weights it makes sense to think you may be able to recover faster. The subjects in these studies trained hard too. In one they did multiple sets of high reps (5 sets of 15-20 reps of barbell squats). The other study had them perform multiple sets of Step Ups with an emphasis on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the movement. This is the part of the exercise that really causes muscle damage and makes you sore.

The subjects in both of these studies took 2-3 grams of Carnipure brand l-carnitine daily for 3 weeks before performing their exercise tests. Carnipure is a type of l-carnitine that is shown to better absorbed than other forms and is also guaranteed to be free of impurities.

Taking 2-3 grams of Carnipure l-carnipure daily may therefore be good to use to help decrease muscle soreness and speed your recovery between workouts when you are working out with higher reps or performing demanding exercises like step ups and squats. Based on the results from the aforementioned studies it may take a couple of weeks of supplementation to experience any benefit.

If you decide to give l-carnitine a try, make sure you use a product that contains the Carnipure brand and take 2-3 grams daily. Two supplements we like are NOW L-Carnitine Tablets which have 1000 mg per serving and NOW L-Carnitine Liquid – Triple Strength which has 3 grams per serving. Both also use Carnipure l-carnitine.

You can learn more about l-carnitine and Carnipure, by reading this article.

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Giamberardino MA, Dragani L, Valente R, Di Lisa F, Saggini R, Vecchiet L. Effects of prolonged L-carnitine administration on delayed muscle pain and CK release after eccentric effort. Int J Sports Med. 1996 Jul;17(5):320-4.

Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, French DN, Rubin MR, Sharman MJ, Gómez AL, Ratamess NA, Newton RU, Jemiolo B, Craig BW, Häkkinen K. The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Aug;17(3):455-62.