L-carnitine.  The best fat burner. 

Yes.  You read that correct.  If you've read around my site you've been told to steer away from two things: sugar and caffeine. Like most pre-workout supplements, most companies jam a ton of caffeine into their fat burning products.  Many pre-workout supplements are also tabbed as fat-burners for this common reason.  However, too much caffeine no es bueno amigo.  Fortunately, there are alternative fat burners out there that are safe, stimulant free and, yes,  caffeine free.   

Apart from L-carnitine, Green tea has a very effective fat burning antioxidant agent in it called epigallocatechin gallate.  Commonly referred to as EGCG (or flavonoids). 

There are also a few "fat-burners" that are highly marketed yet, there are no conclusive studies to suggest their effectiveness.  Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is commonly marketed as a fat burner however, there are no convincing studies to suggest it as being effective.  The same can be said about Johimbe or commonly written as "yohimbine".   It is a tree bark extract that boosts adrenaline and is widely marketed as a weight loss ingredient.  However, again,  studies are inconclusive.  Read a great article about it here.  The same can be said about the use of Raspberry keytones in fat-burning products.  Yet, there are no conclusive studies on this extract either. 

 

 L-carnitine is synthesized in the body from the amino acids lyseine and methionine.  It can be supplemented in capsules and is a very effective natural and non-toxic agent in burning fat.   Carnitine plays an essential role in transporting fat into mitochondira.  This the "furnace" of the cell.  It produces a thermogenic effect in the body.   It is widely believed that supplementing with 3 g a day can significantly increase fat oxidation rates in your body. 

Although L-carnitine is most effect when supplemented for its fat-burning properties, other benefits to the body include: increase in muscle mass, bone mass, benefits to the heart and kidney and many other benefits to body.   The below article by Roger Lockridge of Bodybuilding.com provides a great break-down on how supplementing with L-carnitine provides a wide range of health benefits to the body. 


L-carnitine is synthesized in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Regardless of what your bodybuilding and fitness goals are, losing fat or gaining muscle, your chances of success will increase greatly if you have l-carnitine in your supplement arsenal. Studies focusing on how carnitine works have been done as far back as 1937. Let's take a look at some of the benefits that l-carnitine can have on your goals and your health.

1
 FAT LOSS

If you are looking to get lean, then this is the amino acid you need. L-carnitine transfers long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides into mitochondria, where they may be oxidized to produce energy. Carnitine has also been shown to reduce fatigue and serve as an appetite suppressant as well. Therefore, l-carnitine would be a major asset to have in your arsenal when you are dieting. It not only will help keep your body from storing fat, but it will increase your aerobic capacity to help you burn more calories.

2
 MUSCLE MASS

L-carnitine is also a great weapon for hardgainers looking to pack on muscle. Supplementing with l-carnitine can help you increase your strength and heavier weights mean bigger muscles in the long run.

3
 BONE MASS

Aging bone loss is a major concern of many senior citizens and post-menopausal women. Of course this can lead to increased chances of fractures, osteoporosis, and arthritis among other bone diseases. Fortunately, by taking l-carnitine, you can slow down the bone loss process and improve bone micro structural properties by decreasing bone turnover.

4
 HEART CONDITIONS

Carnitine is primarily used for heart-related conditions. Several clinical trials show that L-carnitine can be used along with conventional treatment for angina to reduce the needs for medicine and improve the ability of those with angina to exercise without chest pain or discomfort. Some studies have determined that taking l-carnitine after a heart attack decreases the chances of suffering another one later. Carnitine has actually been given to help treat people with heart disease.

5
 KIDNEY TREATMENT

Your kidneys produce carnitine so naturally when people have been diagnosed or may have kidney disease, carnitine is recommended to help make up for the deficiency of carnitine that your kidneys aren't producing.

6
 MALE INFERTILITY

For those men that have been trying to have children and have low sperm counts, carnitine has been suggested and shown to help improve both sperm count and quality sperm.

7
 WOMEN WHO BREAST FEED

New mothers who choose to breast feed normally do so in part because of the number of calories it burns, but one side effect is it lowers your body's amount of carnitine. Even though you are sufficient in it while you are pregnant, taking extra carnitine can help prevent your body from being deficient. Combining both the breast feeding and the carnitine means that new moms will lose that baby weight faster.

8
 TYPE II DIABETES

People that have Type II diabetes can also benefit from carnitine supplementation. Taking L-carnitine helps diabetics by increasing glucose oxidation, glucose storage, as well as glucose uptake.

9
 IMMUNE SYSTEM

L-carnitine serves as an antioxidant that can help prevent damage done to your healthy cells by free radicals. This can help you out when you have a cold or are dealing with various seasonal allergies and training.

10
 BRAIN FUNCTION

Seniors that can use something to help improve brain function has more than just gingko biloba to take. L-carnitine helps protect the brain from both age related and stress related damage to the brain which helps it function longer and better.

11
 ANTIDOTE TO VALPROIC ACID POISONING

Although it may not be a bodybuilding issue, there are thousands of documented cases of valproic acid ingested every year. Despite not being able to serve as a total antidote on its own, taking l-carnitine is considered to help you if for some reason you do suffer from this dangerous poisoning.

WHAT IS VALPROIC ACID?

Valproic acid (VPA) is a chemical compound that has found clinical use as an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug, primarily in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and, less commonly, major depression. It is also used to treat migraine headaches and schizophrenia. It is marketed under the brand names Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Depakine and Stavzor.

HOW MUCH DO I TAKE AND HOW CAN I TAKE IT?

Generally, taking a range of two to four grams of l-carnitine a day is good for general health and to help you reach your fitness goals. L-carnitine does come in capsules, tablets, and liquid form. There are many types of carnitine products found at the Bodybuilding.com store. If you would rather try to take it through your food, there are many food sources that contain carnitine. Red meats and dairy products are your best choices for carnitine, but other great foods include nuts, seeds, artichokesasparagusbroccoliBrussels sprouts,collard greensgarlicmustard greensokraparsleykaleapricotsbananas, bee pollen,brewer's yeastbuckwheatcornoatmealrice branrye, and whole wheat.

Approximate L-Carnitine Content In Food Sources

Like the CreaPure product that I suggest in my creatine section, I also recommend supplementing with one carnitine product in particular.  CarniPure is the highest quality L-carnitine product I know of.  It is manufactured in Basel, Switzerland by Lonza Ltd.  Their reputation for production and product quality is unsurpassed.  The two products below feature it.