Carnitine is an antioxidant and amino acid that gets lots of attention as a weight loss supplement because it has the ability to help convert fatty acids into fuel.  Produced naturally in the body by the liver and kidneys, carnitine is stored in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain and sperm. It is found in foods like lean red meat, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, peanut butter, whole wheat, avocados and asparagus. The maximum level of carnitine your body can absorb from food is around 75%. Red meat is among the best sources with 56-162 mg per serving. Levels for pork, seafood, and chicken are much lower at around 3 to 7 mg per serving. Low fat dairy has between 3 and 8 mg per serving.


Carnitine has been well researched and heavily utilized as a weight loss supplement because it produces fuel for the body by transporting fatty acids into mitochondria. Simply put, it helps convert fat into energy. Your muscles, liver, kidney and heart all require carnitine to convert fat into energy and when it is not present in the body, fat cells can accumulate.


Carnitine works to oxidize triglycerides and is very useful for helping to reduce visceral belly fat. Since belly fat is often the most difficult fat stores to rid yourself of while dieting, this supplement is important for people looking to get leaner.


One effect of carnitine supplementation can be an increase in energy. It helps improve the body’s metabolism, therefore leading to improved fat burning and energy levels.


Studies on carnitine have concluded that supplementation can improve muscle weakness — especially when it comes to the strength of the heart. A study by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center found that for people with heart failure, carnitine improved exercise capacity.1 The study also showed  supplementation reduced muscle lactate during high intensity exercise.  In addition, taking Carnitine with carbs was shown to be effective for improving athletic performance. The study further proved that carbs were not necessary for success if paired with an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement.


Athletes looking to supplement with carnitine should take into account the factors that can contribute to the success or failure of their plan. For instance, as a supplement it works best when accompanied with a diet low in sugars and carbohydrates and a full exercise program. According to studies, for it to be truly effective as a supplement, carbohydrate intake needs to be below 50% of your total daily calories consumed.


  • An effective tool for reducing fat and improving athletic performance. Best when used properly and combined with a low sugar, low carbohydrate diet and high intensity exercise.
  • Stimulating your body’s production of this amino acid can lead to better fat burning
  • It is a safe and effective supplement for body shaping and athletic performance
  • Supplementation can increase energy and reduce fatigue
1 Wall BT, Stephens FB, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Marimuthu K, Macdonald IA, Greenhaff PL. J Physiol. 2011;589:963–973.
2 Jpn Circ J. 1992 Jan;56(1):86-94.L-carnitine treatment for congestive heart failure–experimental and clinical study. Kobayashi A1, Masumura Y, Yamazaki N.