Acetyl L-Carnitine – A Nootropic Fat Burner

Acetyl L Carnitine A Nootropic Fat Burner

If you’ve ever wanted something that improves cognitive performance and may even help you lose weight at the same time, you’re in luck. Acetyl l-carnitine may be just what you’ve been looking for. This supplement has been the subject of interest from the nootropics community, bodybuilders, and people trying to lose body fat. And with good reason: for some people, it works wonders. In this science-backed article, we’re going to look at the nootropic benefits of acetyl l-carnitine, dosage, side effects, and other nootropics that stack well with it. But first, let’s take an in-depth look at what acetyl l-carnitine is. Explore the potential of Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) as a nootropic fat burner.

What Is Acetyl L-Carnitine?

Acetyl l-carnitine (often abbreviated as ALCAR) is the acetylated version of l-carnitine. Acetylation is a chemical process that changes the molecule slightly. Acetylated l-carnitine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) more efficiently than regular l-carnitine.

L-carnitine is a substance that the body produces naturally and plays an important role in several functions including metabolism and energy production. It’s also found in several foods including milk, fish, cheese, and especially beef. In addition to being produced naturally and found in various foods, l-carnitine can be taken in supplement form. But, as mentioned above, ALCAR is metabolized differently than l-carnitine. It is much more bioavailable, and provides a number of benefits that l-carnitine does not.

The most relevant difference is that supplementing with acetyl l-carnitine often provides nootropic benefits while regular l-carnitine does not. This is likely due to ALCAR’s ability to readily cross the blood-brain barrier. It is a strong antioxidant and can protect the brain from various problems. It has also been shown that the body and brain can use ALCAR to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is known to plan an important role in memory and learning.

In addition to being used as a nootropic, ALCAR is also popular in bodybuilding and fitness communities. There are some studies that suggest supplementing with L-Carnitine will help you build muscle by increasing androgen receptors in the body. It has also been shown to reduce muscle damage after exercise.

Now, let’s take a look at ALCAR’s nootropic benefits as well as its potential as a fat burner.

Acetyl L-Carnitine Nootropic Benefits

Unlike regular l-carnitine, supplementing with ALCAR can have a number of nootropic benefits. As mentioned above, ALCAR is able to easily cross the blood-brain barrier while regular l-carnitine does not. Here are some of the nootropic benefits of ALCAR that users have reported:

  • Improved Mood
  • Improved Memory
  • Faster Learning
  • Increased Attention
  • Improved Concentration
  • Heightened Perception

There are numerous anecdotal reports of these and other nootropic benefits of supplementing with ALCAR. But what does the science have to say about it? Let’s take a look at some studies that have been done on ALCAR.

Improved mood

A lot of people who have used ALCAR report that it improves their mood. A scientific review published in 2018 looked at the antidepressant properties of ALCAR. This review concluded that ALCAR may have significant mood-boosting properties for people with depression and without the serious side effects often seen with prescription antidepressants.

Another scientific paper published in the same year noted that people diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) had lower levels of acetyl l-carnitine than their non-depressed counterparts. This goes a long way to explain why some people report a dramatic reduction in their depression after supplementing with ALCAR.

Improved memory

Another nootropic benefit that people often report from supplementing with ALCAR is improved memory. Some people find that they are able to memorize and remember things better after taking acetyl l-carnitine. And there is a lot of science to support these claims.

A 2001 study done on rats explored the effect ALCAR had on their ability to learn. This study found that rats given acetyl l-carnitine had a greater capacity for learning than the in the control group.

A review published in 2008 looked at ALCAR’s potential as a treatment for mood disorders and its role in neurocognitive enhancement. This review concluded that ALCAR can offer neuroprotective and potentially cognition-enhancing effects for people with neuropsychiatric disorders like depression.

Increased attention

At least one study has looked at ALCAR’s potential to increase attention. A 2002 study compared ALCAR to a placebo in children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The researchers found that the children who were given ALCAR had significant improvements in their ability to pay attention and stay focused.

ALCAR For Fat Loss

In addition to the nootropic benefits of acetyl l-carnitine, some users report that it has helped them to lose weight. However, the science is mixed. Let’s take a look at what the science has to say about ALCAR’s potential as a fat burner.

ALCAR might help some people burn fat.

A study published in 2010 showed that supplementing with carnitine chemically increased the body’s ability to burn fat. This study also noted a number of positive health effects from supplementation. Another study from 2000 looked at the effect carnitine supplementation had on fat oxidation (burning) in rats. The researchers concluded that carnitine supplementation “promotes fatty acid oxidation.”

Unfortunately, not all studies on carnitine’s effect on fat loss have been as promising. A 2002 study looked at the effect carnitine supplementation had on fat loss in rats on a low-calorie diet. The rats given l-carnitine did not experience any more fat loss than the rats in the control group. A similar study published in 2005 showed that rats on a regular-calorie (maintenance) diet did not experience any fat loss from l-carnitine supplementation.

Lastly, a human study published in 2000 looked at the effect that l-carnitine had on fat loss. The participants in this study were higher weight, middle-aged women. The women in the study who were given 2 grams of l-carnitine twice a day didn’t demonstrate any additional fat loss compared to the women in the control group.

As you can see, the science presents a mixed view regarding ALCAR’s potential as a fat burner. Some people swear that it works. However, more human research is necessary before conclusively stating one way or the other. But given ALCAR’s safety, it can’t hurt to try. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the potential side effects of ALCAR.

Acetyl L-Carnitine Side Effects

The safety of carnitine supplementation has been extensively studied. Experts consider it very safe at recommended dosages. This is not surprising, as l-carnitine can naturally occur within your body.

A study published in 2001 looked specifically at the safety of l-carnitine in men. Participants took 3 grams of l-carnitine a day for 3 weeks. The researchers administered a number of different blood tests and found that l-carnitine supplementation did not affect liver or kidney function, electrolyte levels, red and white blood cell counts, or any other biomarkers. They concluded that l-carnitine supplementation is extremely safe.

Acetyl l-carnitine side effects are rare and usually very mild. They can include nausea, headache, and upset stomach. Taking ALCAR with food can reduce these side effects.

Acetyl L-Carnitine Dosage

The recommended acetyl l-carnitine dosage is between 500-2,500 milligrams (mg) a day, taken in 1-2 doses. Start with the lowest dosage (500 mg) and work your way up as needed. Some people get results from as little as 500 mg, but others require several times that. Studies have demonstrated the safety of carnitine supplementation at doses up to 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day, as noted earlier.

You can take Acetyl L-Carnitine with or without food since it’s water-soluble. However, it may absorb better on an empty stomach. But if you experience nausea and upset stomach, you should take it with food.

Stacking Acetyl L-Carnitine

Many people report improved cognitive performance with acetyl l-carnitine by itself. However, more and more people are adding ALCAR to their nootropic stacks for added benefits.

“Stacking” nootropics simply means taking more than one at a time for increased benefits. People commonly stack acetyl l-carnitine with alpha-GPC, modafinil, aniracetam, and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). As it has a very good safety record, you should be able to safely stack ALCAR with just about any other nootropic.

Also read our blog on 3 Nootropics for Sleep

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