The 6 Best L-Carnitine Supplements of 2020

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L-carnitine supplements are quite sought after as they assist in weight loss. They work as an excellent metabolism booster and enhance athletic performance.

Basically, L-carnitine is an amino acid produced within our body by combining two other amino acids, namely lysine and methionine.

One of the most essential functions of L-carnitine is the transportation of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria which is the powerhouse of a cell (1). Within the mitochondria, these fats are utilized to release energy. 

Hence, it plays a crucial role in producing energy for our bodies. Apart from that, L-carnitine helps in the heart and brain’s optimum functioning and aids muscle movements (2).

Animal food products like fish and meat are also rich sources of L-carnitine (3). The name L-carnitine is derived from the Latin word ‘carnis,’ which means meat.

Though our body produces L-carnitine and stores it in our muscles and heart tissue, individuals may suffer from a deficiency like vegans, those under undue stress or anxiety, or those with specific genetic issues (4).

With so many products flooding the supplement industry, it is obvious to get confused while picking the right one for you.

Let us help you out with your search by bringing you the best six L-carnitine supplements that we have carefully picked based on their ingredients, customer satisfaction, and other necessary specifications.

Our Best Picks:

1. Best Liquid L-Carnitine Supplement: NOW Foods L-Carnitine Liquid

2. Best Vegetarian L-Carnitine Supplement: eVitamins L-Carnitine

3. Best L-Carnitine Capsule Supplement: Extra Strength L-Carnitine

4. Best Acetyl L-Carnitine Supplement: ALCAR HCL

5. Best Overall L-Carnitine Supplement: Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine

6. Best Calcium-added L-Carnitine Supplement: Super Strength L-Carnitine

1. Best Liquid L-Carnitine Supplement: NOW Foods L-Carnitine Liquid

If you are someone who hates popping pills, then NOW Food L-carnitine Liquid may be the right product for you.

Owing to its liquid form, it can be quickly absorbed into the body and is an excellent supplement for those who wish to enhance their athletic performance.

About NOW Foods L-Carnitine Liquid

NOW Foods was founded by a chemist named Elwood Richard in the year 1968. Since then, the company has been producing natural nutritional supplements that are of superior quality and aim to improve consumers’ health naturally.

Their products are manufactured in GMP certified facilities and state-of-art laboratories situated in the USA and Canada. A lot of emphasis is laid on using organic and natural ingredients. All the ingredients go through a stringent testing procedure to assess the purity and detect potential contaminants like heavy metals.

A significant portion of the products manufactured by NOW fall in the category of sports nutrition and all of them are free of steroids. Therefore, it is one of the brands that athletes trust the most.

What it Contains:

One serving is 15 ml, which is equivalent to 1 tablespoon. Hence, one bottle of Now Foods L-carnitine contains 32 servings precisely.

Each serving contains:

  • L-Carnitine (Carnipure®)- 1000mg
  • Calories – 4gm
  • Total carbohydrates – 2mg
  • Vitamin B6 (from Pyridoxine HCl) – 2mg
  • Pantothenic acid (from Calcium Pantothenate) – 10mg
  • Stevia Extract (Leaf) – 16mg

The product carries the registered trademark of Carnipure®, a unique type of high-quality L-carnitine that is exclusively prepared by Lonza, a Swiss company. According to the manufacturer’s suggestion, you should take one tablespoon every day on an empty stomach.

Those individuals who are under thyroid medication or other medicines like anticoagulants should refrain from consuming this supplement.

The Pros:

  • Highly absorbable
  • Contains purest form of L-carnitine (Carnipure®)
  • Vegetarian
  • Refreshing citrus flavor

Summary: Now Foods L-carnitine Liquid is a wonderful vegan supplement in liquid form with superior quality of L-carnitine available in free-form.

2. Best Vegetarian L-Carnitine Supplement: eVitamins L-Carnitine

Animal meat products such as red meat are excellent sources of L-carnitine. That is why the vegan and vegetarian population can go deprived of this essential nutrient.

eVitamins have introduced their L-carnitine supplement, which turns out to be the best vegetarian L-carnitine supplement.

About eVitamins L-Carnitine

eVitamins has been in the supplement industry since 1999 and is known for the wide range of health and beauty products manufactured by the company with complete compliance to quality regulations.

eVitamins not only has its exquisite collection of in-house nutritional supplements, but it has also collaborated with more than 720 manufacturers and ships around 22,000 types of different health products.

Based in Utica, Michigan, USA, eVitamins ship health and wellness products to about 85 countries. Being the staunch supporters of the non-GMO project, eVitamins is committed to using ingredients that are free from genetically modified organisms.

Another consumer-friendly fact about eVitamins is that it claims to be easy on consumer’s pockets by providing maximum savings through reduced average pricing. No wonder eVitamin products have fared well in the reviews from thousands of people globally.

What it Contains:

As one veg capsule makes one serving, one unit of eVitamins L-carnitine supplement comes with 30 servings.

Each serving contains:

  • L-carnitine (Carnipure TM) – 500mg

(from L-carnitine tartrate)

Another ingredient present in this formulation is hypromellose, which is used to prepare the capsule’s cellulose coating. Though the product does not contain additives such as wheat, gluten, soy, milk, or fish, it is manufactured in GMP facilities that process other products that may contain these ingredients.

The company suggests having 1 to 3 capsules each day. Pregnant and lactating women should abstain from using the product as there is very little evidence to support the product’s safety during these conditions.

The Pros:

  • Purely vegetarian
  • L-carnitine of high purity present
  • Excellent customer service
  • Freshness guarantee

Summary: eVitamins L-carnitine, the best vegan supplement with the purest form of L-carnitine, can support you well while you strive to reach your fitness goals.

3. Best L-Carnitine Capsule Supplement: Extra Strength L-Carnitine

Extra Strength L-carnitine from Dr. Martin’s Nutrition works like a charm for those who are experiencing a sudden stall in their weight loss graph. Filled with antioxidants, it also helps in healthy aging.

About Dr. Martin’s Nutrition L-Carnitine Capsules

Dr. Martin’s Nutrition is a US-based company and is regarded as one of the most reputed supplement brands. Though the ingredients are carefully chosen from all around the world, the formulations are prepared in facilities that are powered by cutting edge technology.

Their mission is to keep their consumers in “the best shape” through their health and wellness products. Best natural ingredients are utilized to prepare premium quality supplements.

As they have a system of third-party assessment and evaluation, they claim with confidence that their products will not have any side effects. Besides, the manufacturing process is carried out by adhering to the FDA’s regulations, so that the final products are genuine, have the right composition and purity, and are totally safe for the consumers.

What it Contains:

One serving of Extra Strength L-carnitine consists of 2 capsules, which means that a bottle can provide 100 servings.

Each serving contains:

  • L-carnitine – 1000mg

It is strictly meant to be used by adults only, and one serving can be taken once or twice before having food. The company claims that there will be no adverse effects even when taken along with other medicines. Yet, it is recommended to consult your physician before using the supplements.

Users have opined that it works pretty well as a pre-workout supplement. Those who were struggling with fatigue have experienced mood upliftment after the supplementation with Extra Strength L-carnitine. The cardinal rule of taking L-carnitine supplements remains the same- following a balanced diet with adequate physical activity.

The Pros:

  • 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days of purchase
  • Cost-effective
  • Good for heart health

Summary: Extra Strength L-carnitine is the best capsule form of L-carnitine supplement as it burns fat, increases endurance, and is good for the heart as well.

4. Best Acetyl L-Carnitine Supplement: ALCAR HCL

ALCAR or acetyl L-carnitine is another form of L-carnitine. Both forms can increase exercise performance and the fat burning process, thereby assisting in losing body weight.

The cardinal difference between the two forms is that ALCAR can support brain health owing to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. ALCAR HCl from Bulk Supplements is a unique formulation wherein ALCAR is bonded to hydrochloric acid to aid in its absorption.

About Bulk Supplements L-Carnitine Supplements

Bulk Supplements is a well-reputed player in the supplement in the sports nutrition industry. Based in Henderson, Nevada, the company takes pride in supplying over 400 ingredients for nutritional supplements to consumers and manufacturers worldwide. The ingredients are tested for purity after being prepared in manufacturing facilities that are fully compliant with cGMP guidelines.

As an assurance of premium quality, the company provides COA (certificate of analysis) upon request. The raw materials imported from other countries pass through a series of quality-check tests like titration potency test, microbiology contamination test, and FTIR purity test.

What it Contains:

500 mg of ALCAR HCl makes one serving. Since one packet contains 100gm of ALCAR HCl, it is equivalent to 200 servings.

Each serving contains:

  • ALCAR HCl – 500mg

According to the US standards for measuring, one-eighth of a teaspoon is equal to 380 mg. Hence, a rounded ⅛ teaspoon of the supplement would make it to one serving, which can be taken once to thrice a day or as directed by the healthcare provider.

Due to the presence of HCl, it is quite expected to have a slightly sour taste. Hence, it is recommended to consume it with any non-dairy drink. Alternatively, you can mix one serving in half a glass of plain water and consume it during your meals.

The Pros:

  • Great value
  • Improves mental focus
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Sugar-free

Summary: ALCAR HCl from Bulk Supplements is a remarkable acetyl L-carnitine supplement meant for those looking for a brain-boosting effect and enhanced metabolism.

5. Overall L-Carnitine Supplement: Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine

If you are looking for an overall L-carnitine supplement that takes good care of your metabolism, bones, muscles, and your budget, Optimum Nutrition L-carnitine should be the best one you can have.

The unique additives like calcium and phosphorus make your bones ready to support you while you lift heavier weights.

About Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine

The company Optimum Nutrition is a unit of another company Glanbia which is a well-recognized international brand that produces cheese and nutritional ingredients.

Optimum Nutrition, on the other hand, deals with sports nutrition supplements primarily. The manufacturing units are spread across the US states of Illinois, South Carolina, and Florida. Optimum Nutrition was founded in 1986 and has become a popular name in the industry of nutritional supplements.

Optimum Nutrition is one among very few companies to implement a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) program with a view to minimizing any chance of physical, chemical, or microbiological contaminants in their products. Routine inspections are carried out by quality assurance professionals on their storage, processing, and production areas for added safety.

What it Contains:

An Optimum Nutrition L-carnitine pack contains 60 servings, wherein 1 tablet is equivalent to one serving.

Each serving contains:

  • L-carnitine (as L-carnitine tartrate) – 500mg
  • Calcium (as dicalcium phosphate) – 95mg
  • Phosphorus (as dicalcium phosphate) – 70mg

It has been advised to consume one tablet before meals once or twice a day. Many users have experienced that incorporating Vitamin C during L-carnitine supplementation is essential to get the best results. Those who are under thyroid medication should not consume the supplement without consulting their physician.

The Pros:

  • An added advantage of calcium and phosphorus
  • Relatively less expensive in spite of the additional minerals
  • Enhances bone strength

Summary: Optimum Nutrition L-carnitine is a well-rounded L-carnitine supplement in terms of nutritional value and expense.

6. Best Calcium-Added L-Carnitine Supplement: Super Strength L-Carnitine

Those who indulge themselves in intense exercise regimes may end up with muscle soreness. Super Strength L-carnitine from Arazo Nutrition has been crafted by keeping the best interests of athletes in mind.

About Arazo Nutrition L-Carnitine

Previously known as Bioscience Nutrition, Arazo Nutrition is one of the fastest-growing nutritional supplements brands empowered with intensive scientific research in health and nutrition for over a decade.

This US-based company uses only non-GMO products and focuses on producing affordable supplements and uncompromised quality.

To maintain high purity and safety levels, the products are passed through several rounds of quality tests throughout the manufacturing process. To maintain ingredient safety and nutritional value, the manufacturing process is carried out only in GMP certified facilities and the products undergo third-party testing to ensure that there is no adulteration.

Consumer satisfaction is quite evident through the 99% positive ratings in the Amazon seller profile for Arazo Nutrition that has been scored over the period of the past 12 months.

What it Contains:

Super Strength L-carnitine provides a serving size of 2 tablets and one container is equivalent to 60 servings.

Each serving contains:

  • L-carnitine tartrate – 1000mg
  • Calcium – 330mg

One serving is supposed to be taken once or twice a day or as directed by your physician. The results are better when it is taken before gearing towards a workout as it helps in building stamina and speeds the recovery after the exercise session.

The added calcium contributes to the enhancement of bone health. This supplement also improves the oxygen supply to the muscles. As it delays the fatigue, this potent formula helps in losing weight and achieving a leaner figure. It is beneficial in maintaining heart health and can support kidney functions as well.

The Pros:

  • Fast-acting formula
  • Best value
  • Third-Party Testing
  • non-GMO product

Summary: Super Strength L-carnitine from Arazo Nutrition is a calcium-enhanced formula that boosts the metabolism and supports bone health.

The Dosage Instructions for L-Carnitine Supplements

Healthy individuals do not need L-carnitine supplements, as 60-180mg of carnitine is achieved from a mixed diet that includes red meat, and the remaining is produced in the liver and kidneys.

Those who end up with a carnitine deficiency need to depend on supplementation. Our bodies tend to absorb only 15% of carnitine from the supplement.

The recommended dose of L-carnitine per day is 20mg per kg of body weight. Hence, that would amount to 500mg to 2000mg per day.

For every variant of L-carnitine, there is a slight difference in the range of the recommended doses. For instance, the recommended dose for ALCAR, the form that is best for brain health and mental focus, is 600mg to 2500mg per day whereas the recommended dose for L-carnitine from L-tartrate would be 1gm to 4gm per day.

Hence, it can be concluded that a dose that does not exceed 2gm per day is safe and can exhibit a positive outcome in the long-term.

Summary: Every supplement is a uniquely formulated product that is specially made to provide maximum benefit. It is best to choose the right supplement by studying the ingredients and use the right one for you. Follow the dosage instructions and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Side Effects Using L-Carnitine Supplements

There are no reports of side effects caused by L carnitine supplements when the dosage is up to 2gm/day. Higher doses like 5gm or more per day can lead to mild side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In very few cases, consumers have experienced some unusual side effects like fishy body odor, rash, and abdominal cramps.

It is recommended to consume the supplement as directed by the gym trainer or health care provider to avoid unnecessary side effects.

These supplements should be strictly avoided by children and should not be consumed by pregnant or lactating women. People who have the following medical conditions should seek advice from their physician before commencing with the supplementation program:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Cirrhosis
  • A previous history of seizures
  • Peripheral vascular diseases

Summary: L-carnitine supplements are quite safe when taken within the recommended dosage. However, exceeding the given dosage may bring some unwanted side effects. People with blood pressure, diabetes, or liver ailments should seek proper advice before trying these products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who all may Experience L-Carnitine Deficiency?

L-carnitine deficiency can be observed in the following cases-

  • Genetic probability – Parents may pass this deficiency down to their kids.
  • Vegans or vegetarians – Since carnitine is of animal origin, those individuals on an exclusively plant-based diet may end up with an L-carnitine deficiency.
  • PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)– Women with PCOS have low levels of carnitine.
  • Undue stress – Those struggling from prolonged periods of stress may have carnitine deficiency as L-carnitine is essential in combating stress.
  • High-intensity exercise – Athletes who undergo intense training over the long-term may experience a decrease in L-carnitine stores.
  • Medications – Those who are on medicines like valproic acid (used to treat seizures or bipolar syndrome) may experience a dip in L-carnitine levels.

What are the Symptoms of L-Carnitine Deficiency?

Symptoms may manifest in different ways, like some may have no symptoms at all whereas some may start showing mild symptoms. Listed below are a few of the most common symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Soreness in muscles after a workout
  • Fatigue
  • Low concentration
  • Irritability

When is the Recommended Time to Take L-Carnitine Supplements?

One of the best timings for L-carnitine supplements would be after your workout as L-carnitine tremendously helps in easing off muscle soreness.

Make sure to include carbs with a high glycemic index so that there is a spike in insulin levels, which will facilitate better absorption of L-carnitine. For enhanced muscle growth, many fitness enthusiasts prefer pairing it up with their favorite protein.

You can break up the recommended daily dose of supplementation into two or three doses as per your comfort and consume it with a high carbohydrate meal.

The Final Note

Levocarnitine or L-carnitine is an amino acid and is well known for its fat-burning properties. It is also essential for the proper functioning of kidneys and can support brain function. Optimum levels of L-carnitine are essential for the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system.

Though L-carnitine can be produced within our body and can be achieved through dietary sources like red meat, there may be a need for supplementation in some specific conditions.

While selecting an L-carnitine supplement, check the brand reputation, the ingredients, and the dose of L-carnitine per serving. Depending on the benefits of L-carnitine you are focusing on, and you can choose the right product for yourself.

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