carnitine

Supercharge Your Brain With This One Nutrient

Carnitine might be the one nutrient you need to get your brain in Olympic shape

It’s often quoted that we have levels of stress 100 times more important than our forebears.

Of course, no one is getting chased by saber-toothed cats anymore, but the daily grind of deadlines, obligations and routine leave a lot of us in a haze we can barely think through. Optimizing brain nutrition was one of the cornerstone of coach Poliquin’s approach, both for his highly-stressed executive clients and for his high-performing Olympic and pro athletes.

fatigue, burn-out, carnitine

Among his time-proven protocol of stress management habits and diets modification, carnitine was one of his favorite nutrient to recommend. This nutrient, usually found in aboundance in red meat, as also available as a supplement. It has fantastic properties that will benefit everyone, especially the acetylated form, which is a brain-ready from of L-Carnitine.

In the sports performance world, it is an amino acid widely known for its’ variety of positive effects on the body: increased lipid oxidation, increased muscle carnitine stores, and expedited removal of waste from fatty acid oxidation.

Carnitine – The Brain Booster

Along with these great benefits, a study in 2011 by the Journal of Physiology also found that after 6 months of l-carnitine supplementation, participants increased their potential work output by as much as 11%, all while decreasing body fat, increasing muscle mass, and becoming more efficient at burning fat as fuel!

Although it’s obvious that it offers many advantages for the body, it turns out its brain ready counterparts have their own list of benefits that many have seemed to overlook.

Since most of these forms of l-carnitine are acetylated, they have the ability to pass through the blood brain barrier, making them a more efficient form of fuel and nutrients for the brain.

carnitine

Getting The Fuel To The Right Places

Acetyl-L-Carnitine, one of the forms of brain ready carnitine, helps support the mitochondria both in the brain and in the body, which helps to improve feelings of mental fog and fatigue. As well, ALCAR (acetyl l-carnitine) helps prevent and according to some studies, reverse the effects of mental cognition problems associated with aging and things like strokes. It is being shown by studies that along with these benefits, ALCAR has many more neuroprotective and brain metabolism benefits such as…

  • Decreased brain fog
  • Increased attention span
  • Increased acetylcholine production
  • Reduced symptoms of ADHD
  • Reversal in cases of mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation
  • Decreased depression

Along with the more widely known form of acetyl l-carnitine, there are three other forms; ALCAR arginate dydrochloride, ALCAR taurinate hydrochloride, and glycine propionate-l-carnitine. These additional forms carry very similar benefits to ALCAR and are very effective, especially when paired together!

  • increased anaerobic performance
  • increased lifespan
  • improvement in renal impairment
  • and much more

Recommendations

When supplementing carnitine for fat loss, you can take up to 10 grams per day. For anabolism, it is best to use 2.5 grams in the during workout shake as this will not only increase drive, but in addition it increases the number and sensitivity of androgen and insulin receptor sites.

Considering the fact that ALCAR is a precursor to acetylcholine, it would be wise to avoid taking it after 4 pm. A better time would be upon waking or pre workout to enhance attention span and fat oxidation.

If you are concerned with your brain health, performance, and aging well, you should be convinced by now that ALCAR and l-carnitine should be in everyone’s supplement stacks.

Coach Justin C. King

References

Cronqvist, J., Nilsson-Ehle, I., Oqvist, B., & Norrby, S. R. (1992). Pharmacokinetics of cefepime dihydrochloride arginine in subjects with renal impairment. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 36(12), 2676-2680. doi:10.1128/aac.36.12.2676
Giacomo, C. D., Latteri, F., Fichera, C., Sorrenti, V., Campisi, A., Castorina, C., . . . Vanella, A. (1993). Effect of acetyl-l-carnitine on lipid peroxidation and xanthine oxidase activity in rat skeletal muscle. Neurochemical Research, 18(11), 1157-1162. doi:10.1007/bf00978367
Imperato, A., Ramacci, M. T., & Angelucci, L. (1989). Acetyl-l-carnitine enhances acetylcholine release in the striatum and hippocampus of awake freely moving rats. Neuroscience Letters, 107(1-3), 251-255. doi:10.1016/0304-3940(89)90826-4
Lieshout, J. J. (2011). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Chronic oral ingestion of L-carnitine and carbohydrate increases muscle carnitine content and alters muscle fuel metabolism during exercise in humans. F1000 – Post-publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature. doi:10.3410/f.7755957.8088055
Liu, J., Head, E., Gharib, A. M., Yuan, W., Ingersoll, R. T., Hagen, T. M., . . . Ames, B. N. (2002). Memory loss in old rats is associated with brain mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation: Partial reversal by feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R- -lipoic acid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(4), 2356-2361. doi:10.1073/pnas.261709299
Long‐term acetyl‐L‐carnitine treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. (n.d.). Neurology. Retrieved from http://n.neurology.org/content/41/11/1726.short
Malaguarnera, M., Bella, R., Vacante, M., Giordano, M., Malaguarnera, G., Gargante, M. P., . . . Pennisi, G. (2011). Acetyl-l-carnitine reduces depression and improves quality of life in patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology,46(6), 750-759. doi:10.3109/00365521.2011.565067
Radler, U., Stangl, H., Lechner, S., Lienbacher, G., Krepp, R., Zeller, E., . . . Lohninger, A. (2011). A Combination of (ω–3) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Polyphenols and L-Carnitine Reduces the Plasma Lipid Levels and Increases the Expression of Genes Involved in Fatty Acid Oxidation in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells and HepG2 Cells. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 58(2), 133-140. doi:10.1159/000327150
Sahlin, K. (2011). Boosting fat burning with carnitine: An old friend comes out from the shadow. The Journal of Physiology,589(7), 1509-1510. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.205815
White, H. L., & Scates, P. W. (1990). Acetyl-l-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine. Neurochemical Research, 15(6), 597-601. doi:10.1007/bf00973749