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

Girl on an exercise bike

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.

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