What is L-Carnitine L-Tartrate?
L-Carnitine l-tartrate is a salt form of l-carnitine bound to tartaric acid. The body absorbs l-carnitine
l-tartrate faster than carnitine as a standalone supplement despite having the same bioavailability. It’s a
common ingredient in pre-workout supplements and beverages due to its rapid absorption rate and ability to
enhance athleticism, facilitate fat burning, and boost energy.
Carnitine is an amino acid frequently found in meat products, and the body can synthesize it from methionine and lysine. It’s involved in the mitochondrial
β-oxidation of fatty acids to produce acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA). Acetyl-CoA is essential for the
metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also delivers an acetyl group to the citric acid cycle
for oxidation into energy.
Tartrate is a salt ester of tartaric acid, and it’s a frequent food additive. As an acidulant, it provides a
tart, acidic flavor that enhances the sweetness of foods and beverages. It’s also found in cream of tartar,
a common baking ingredient. Winemaking is the only commercial source of tartrates, as they’re a harmless
byproduct of the fermentation and aging process. Many individuals dismiss tartrates as sediment in red wine,
whereas they can look ominously like glass slivers in white wine. In addition to regulating acidity,
tartrates also act as emulsifiers and antioxidants.
Potential L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Benefits
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate to Burn Fat
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate may support fat loss by augmenting fat utilization in the mitochondria. L-Carnitine
l-tartrate supplements boost the activity of carnitine palmitoyl transferase enzymes. The body needs these
enzymes to metabolize fatty acids into energy, as long-chain fatty acids can only enter the mitochondria if
they’re attached to carnitine. The liver and other bodily tissues also rely on these long-chain fatty acids
for energy when in a fasting state. Without carnitine, fatty acids build up in cells and can damage several
organs, including the brain, heart, and liver. One study noted that carnitine significantly enhanced the
liver and muscle’s ability to break down fatty acids into energy. Another study noted that carnitine
supplements increased fat utilization in muscles after exercise.
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate for Exercise Performance
Carnitine supplements may support exercise performance in several ways. Multiple studies found that
l-carnitine l-tartrate reduces biomarkers of muscle damage following anaerobic exercise by enhancing muscle
oxygenation. Muscles need more oxygen during workouts. Without sufficient oxygenation, fatigue sets in and
exercise performance degrades. L-Carnitine l-tartrate also facilitates faster exercise recovery by reducing
muscle soreness. L-Carnitine l-tartrate may also boost exercise performance due to its energy-enhancing
properties. Timing is often essential for pre- and post-workout nutrient delivery and uptake. Because of its
rapid absorption rate, many athletes opt for l-carnitine l-tartrate over other forms of carnitine.
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate as an Antioxidant
L-Carnitine l-tartrate has antioxidant properties that may enhance immunity and overall health. Animal
studies have found that carnitine exerts antioxidant effects in muscle tissues, and it’s an effective free
radical scavenger. It provides a significant boost to superoxide dismutase, an essential antioxidant enzyme
that defends the body against oxidative stress. It also plays a role in immunity. It enhances immune
function, and a carnitine deficiency can lead to more frequent infections.
Potential L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Side Effects
L-Carnitine l-tartrate is generally safe for most individuals. Some may experience mild side effects, such as
upset stomach or nausea. Taking l-carnitine l-tartrate with food may reduce these side effects.
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