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L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate Does Not Increase Fat Oxidation During Exercise

L-Carnitine is a popular supplement commonly used by endurance athletes and those wishing to lose body fat. Specific forms of L-Carnitine may have their own benefits as well. L-Carnitine-L Tartrate may improve hormonal response to training by increasing androgen receptor density.

Those wishing to increase fat burning during cardio or other exercise may want to look elsewhere. While L-Carnitine is believed to do just this, research suggests that L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate does not make any difference at all in fat oxidation during exercise. A study involving both acute and chronic supplementation in both males and females to examine substrate utilization during exercise concluded that: “No effects on fat oxidation or hematological responses were noted in either gender group.”(1) Another study examining the effect of 4 weeks of l-carnitine-l-tartrate supplementation at 3g daily in males found that “Four weeks LCLT supplementation had no effect on substrate utilization or endurance performance.”(2)

This certainly does not mean that l-carnitine-l-tartrate is not a valuable supplement. It does, however, mean that there are probably better choices out there to increase fat oxidation during exercise. Research suggests that l-carnitine-l-tartrate may improve recovery from training and the hormonal response to training, but don’t expect it to increase fat burning during exercise.



1. Abramowicz WN, & Galloway SD. (2005). Effects of acute versus chronic L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on metabolic responses to steady state exercise in males and females. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 15(4), 386-400.

2. Broad EM, Maughan RJ, & Galloway SD. (2005). Effects of four weeks L-carnitine L-tartrate ingestion on substrate utilization during prolonged exercise. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 15(6), 665-79.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website reflects the opinion of our staff and manufacturer’s and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The information is not unbiased or independent and is the opinion of the owners of The descriptions and statements accompanying these products and vitamin supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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