Early research investigating the effects of L-carnitine supplementation has examined its role in substrate metabolism and in acute exercise performance. These studies have yielded equivocal findings, partially due to difficulties in increasing muscle carnitine concentrations. However, recent studies have proposed that L-carnitine may play a different role in exercise physiology, and preliminary results have been encouraging. Current investigations have theorized that L-carnitine supplementation facilitates exercise recovery. Proposed mechanism is as follows: 1) increased serum carnitine concentration enhances capillary endothelial function; 2) increased blood flow and reduced hypoxia mitigate the cascade of ensuing, destructive chemical events following exercise; 3) thus allowing reduced structural damage of skeletal muscle mediated by more intact receptors in muscle needed for improved protein signaling. This paradigm explains decreased markers of purine catabolism, free radical formation, and muscle tissue disruption after resistance exercise and the increased repair of muscle proteins following long-term L-carnitine supplementation.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
About this article
Cite this article
Kraemer, W., Volek, J., Spiering, B. et al. L-Carnitine Supplementation: A New Paradigm for its Role in Exercise. Monatsh. Chem. 136, 1383–1390 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00706-005-0322-y
- Keywords. Amino acids; Exercise recovery; Hormones; Metabolism; Skeletal muscle.