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L-Carnitine is a vitamin-like nutrient essential for energy production and fat metabolism. It is used by athletes as an ergogenic aid. Supplementing diet with L-Carnitine increases maximal aerobic power, and promotes glycogen sparing in the course of prolonged exercise. Supplementation of L-Carnitine raises the performance of submaximal exercise and resistance to fatigue. L-Carnitine acts as a carrier in fatty acid transport and its supplementation increases the utilisation of free fatty acids for energy production in endurance trained athletes. Since, L-Carnitine involves in energy production and utilisation, it can be considered an ergogenic acid for athletes.
L-Carnitine supplementation may protect endurance athlete carbohydrate stores, which are at risk during periods of increased exercise. This article reviews the current available scientific literature regarding the effect of L-carnitine in energy production and utilization, performance of submaximal exercise and resistance to fatigue and for energy production in endurance.