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10 Best L-Carnitine Supplements (2022 Buyer's Guide)

Supplements Considered 32
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 121
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 60
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 5
Experts
Interviewed
Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: October 8, 2022

Taking L-carnitine is something that most of my clients wish they had done earlier, especially those who have aggressive goals for weight loss or muscle building.

The essential amino acid have been proven to play a key role in exercise performance and faster recovery.

But you have to be careful with the type and quality of the one you’re taking.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of products that won’t do much for your body.

So, we spent a few months working with different types of clients to come up with this list of the best L-carnitine supplements.

Editor's Choice
Double Wood
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
Transparent Labs Fat Burner Stim-Free
Transparent Labs
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
#3rd Best Choice
ProSupps L-Carnitine Supplement
ProSupps
Ingredients
4.8
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Check Current Price

Our Top L-Carnitine Supplements (October 2022)

1 - Double Wood Supplements Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Editor's Choice)

Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 5.0
5.0

One of the things we liked most about Double Wood Supplements Acetyl-L-Carnitine is you have some flexibility with the dosage.

The base dosage is two 500 mg capsules, but per the manufacturer’s instructions, 2-4 capsules daily are optimal, not to exceed six capsules (3000 mg). More than 3000 mg per day increases the risk of adverse effects.

The dosing range allows users to start small and work up to a larger amount if they feel it is suitable for them and well tolerated.

This supplement is stimulant-free; many users state the energy boost they feel is different than a cup of coffee; the body is ready for what you need it to do.

Our clients who volunteered to test this supplement reported feeling the benefits quickly and seeing significant increases in endurance and stamina during resistance training.

  • Dosage : 1,000 mg
Pros
  • Flexibility in dosage so users can find the correct dose for them
  • Made in the U.S.A. in a GMP-certified facility
  • Third-party tested for quality transparency
Cons
  • Gelatin capsule not suitable for vegans/vegetarians

Double Wood Supplements offers a solid standalone Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplement to clear brain fog and increase stamina.

2 - Transparent Labs PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner Stim-Free

Transparent Labs Fat Burner Stim-Free
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9

This fat-burning supplement from Transparent Labs is the one we favor most because it avoids the use of stimulants.

That means that you may be able to use it later in the day without risking a restless night.

The 750 mg of Acetyl L-Carnitine per serving should also suit most athletes, as stronger doses might produce some side effects.

  • Dosage : 750 mg
Pros
  • The provided dose should work well for most athletes
  • Includes other ingredients that may help with burning fat into energy
  • Could provide a vitamin B12 boost as well
  • Good bulk-discounts available
Cons
  • Free shipping is only available on bulk orders

The only minor downside we’d highlight is that you only get free shipping on the bulk orders, but it’s totally worth it.

3 - ProSupps L-Carnitine

ProSupps L-Carnitine Supplement
Ingredients
4.8
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.9
4.9

Some professional athletes that we’ve worked with have identified this as one of the most potent L-carnitine supplements available.

They also mentioned that it seemed to help them achieve more defined abs, which is an area where a lot of people tend to struggle with body fat.

We also found that the flavor seems pleasant and doesn’t tend to leave an aftertaste.

  • Dosage : 3,000 mg
Pros
  • One of the stronger options available to boost L-carnitine levels
  • Many positive reviews about the flavor
  • Should help you burn fat from stubborn areas
Cons
  • You may need to start with a smaller dose to avoid negative effects

Just keep in mind that if you’re starting to take L-carnitine, then this might be too strong at 3,000 mg per serving.

4 - NOW Sports Liquid L-Carnitine

NOW Sports Liquid L-Carnitine
Ingredients
4.7
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
4.7
Overall Score 4.8
4.8

Liquid L-Carnitine may be a great choice if you need to adjust your dosage for specific training sessions.

Many bodybuilders will adjust the intensity of their workouts, especially during a bulking phase. That’s when taking a high dose of L-carnitine may give you the right energy boost.

NOW sports claims that their L-carnitine formula is one of the fastest to absorb, and we’ve seen comments online that this seems to be true.

  • Dosage : 1,000 mg
Pros
  • Comes in a liquid form to make a precise dosage measurement
  • Claims to be the fastest to absorb and increase energy levels
  • Tested for banned substances making it suitable for professional athletes
Cons
  • The flavor is very strong, so you may want to water it down

The only thing we noted is that it has an intense taste, so you may want to water it down a bit.

5 - MusclePharm Essentials Carnitine

MusclePharm Essentials Carnitine
Ingredients
4.8
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
4.7
Overall Score 4.8
4.8

The company claims to have the most powerful blend of propionyl L-carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine, and L-carnitine-L-tartrate. Apparently, this should help produce energy more efficiently.

Our clients tend to agree, and they feel they are getting better pumps after taking this L-carnitine capsules [1].

It might also be a good choice for competitive athletes who need to ensure their L-carnitine supplements don’t contain any banned substances.

  • Dosage : 1,000 mg
Pros
  • Uses a unique combination of different forms of L-carnitine
  • Positive comments about boosted nitric oxide levels for better pumps
  • Tested for banned substances which may be important for professional athletes
Cons
  • Some people have reported minor stomach issues

We did notice a few online reviews where people mentioned feeling a bit bloated a short time after taking it.

6 - BRI Nutrition L-Carnitine Extra Strength

BRI L-Carnitine
Ingredients
4.7
Effectiveness
4.8
Price
4.6
Overall Score 4.7
4.7

This product from BRI Nutrition seems to be well received because the company has kept the formula as simple as possible.

Who needs unnecessary fillers and allergens, right?

There are also no stimulants which some companies include to make it seem like you’re getting an energy boost rather than actually transforming fat into energy.

The dose of L-carnitine also seems to have hit a sweet spot for most athletes, as it shouldn't result in any negative health effects.

  • Dosage : 1,000 mg
Pros
  • Straightforward formula with no fillers or allergens
  • Positive comments from bodybuilders going through a cutting phase
  • Avoids stimulants, so the energy you get is real
Cons
  • The capsules might be a bit large for some users

The only thing we noted is that some people have struggled with the size of the capsules.

7 - Life Extension Optimized Carnitine

Life Extension Optimized Carnitine Capsules
Ingredients
4.6
Effectiveness
4.7
Price
4.6
Overall Score 4.6
4.6

Another one of our recommended L-carnitine supplements comes from Life Extension, which seems to be a good option for fast absorption.

It uses Acetyl L-carnitine HCL, Acetyl L-carnitine Arginate, and Glycine Propionyl L-carnitine to improve absorption of the body.

We heard from several people that they take it shortly before a training session and don’t have to wait long to feel it kicking in.

And if it doesn’t work for you, then you could get your money back as well.

  • Dosage : 1,400 mg
Pros
  • Claims to be optimized for faster absorption
  • Many comments about the positive workout performance
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee for peace of mind
Cons
  • The supplement capsules are a bit on the large side

The only thing we found is that the capsules are quite large compared to other products.

8 - BulkSupplements ALCAR HCL

BulkSupplements AlCar HCL
Ingredients
4.5
Effectiveness
4.7
Price
4.6
Overall Score 4.6
4.6

BulkSupplements has chosen to focus on the ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) type of L-carnitine, which apparently may help to produce energy for your muscles and brain as well [1].

This is something that many athletes underestimate, as gaining some focus and motivation may help you to get through a tough workout session more quickly.

Our clients like it as they are able to mix this L-carnitine powder into their pre-workout supplements as well.

  • Dosage : 600 mg
Pros
  • Uses acetyl for increased production of energy
  • Comes in a powder form to allow precise doses for your needs
  • Positive feedback about boosted brain energy
Cons
  • Measuring the small amount of powder can be difficult

While the powder makes it convenient, you may want to get some sensitive scales to measure precise amounts.

9 - MuscleTech Platinum 100% L-Carnitine

MuscleTech L-Carnitine
Ingredients
4.5
Effectiveness
4.6
Price
4.5
Overall Score 4.5
4.5

This L-carnitine capsule is based on L-carnitine tartrate, which some believe to be the faster-acting type to take.

It might be a lower dose, but many reviewers have mentioned that it’s strong enough as it helps them avoid premature fatigue during training.

We also heard from clients who find they have a better recovery phase on the days they take it.

  • Dosage : 500 mg
Pros
  • Uses L-carnitine L-tartrate as a rapid-acting formula
  • Doesn’t have any stimulants making it suitable for later in the day
  • Online reviews highlight it might be helping with muscle recovery
Cons
  • Might not be strong enough for performance athletes

Now, if you’re doing some serious bodybuilding, then you probably need to look at stronger L-carnitine supplements.

10 - Nutricost Acetyl L-Carnitine

Nutricost Acetyl L-Carnitine
Ingredients
4.5
Effectiveness
4.6
Price
4.4
Overall Score 4.5
4.5

Here’s another L-carnitine powder that comes in powder form, which should allow you to get the dosage right for your muscle building and cutting phases.

Having that flexibility might improve your endurance, but it would also help you not waste any product.

  • Dosage : 1,000 mg
Pros
  • Comes in powdered form to mix in with shakes and smoothies
  • Claims to contain acetyl L-carnitine for better energy production
  • 3rd party tested for purity and quality
Cons
  • The flavors seem to be very sour

We noticed that the flavor is very sour, so you may want to mix this L-carnitine powder with a shake or smoothie.

Buyer’s Guide

credit card and laptop

1 - Check Out The Dosage And Type

While there isn’t a recommended amount of L-carnitine per day, it’s important to look at how much each product contains per serving.

A good average is about 750 mg, but you might get away with less depending on the different types of supplement used.

What do I mean?

Some evidence suggests that acetyl L-carnitine and L-carnitine tartrate might work for faster muscle recovery, while propionyl-L-carnitine might provide better pumps.

2 - Look For Other Ingredients

l-carnitine natural ingredients

You’ll find that some of these supplements only focus on L-carnitine supplements with no other ingredients.

That’s great for stacking where you don’t want to end up with overlapping ingredients.

But many people might boost their health and wellness with supplements that also have some vitamins and other amino acids per serving.

It’s definitely something to factor into your price comparison.

Related Articles:

3 - Compare The Price Tags

I usually work out how much pure L-carnitine supplements I need to take per day, and then calculate the price for that dosage on each product.

This is important if you need an exact amount.

But most people will probably be fine with a dose of about 750 mg.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend just going for the cheapest product. These often use processing and refining techniques that could break down the amino acid.

As a result, you might get a lot less L-carnitine supplementation than what is advertised.

Benefits Of L-Carnitine

1 - Muscle Recovery

muscle recovery

I spent some time reading about a study that revealed that L-carnitine supplement might increase blood flow to muscle tissue [2].

Every muscle in the human body requires nutrients and oxygen. If you can get more blood into every muscle fiber, then it would make sense that any damage from exercise could be repaired faster.

And if you can speed up your recovery period, then you should be able to perform better in your next exercise session.

That’s an important factor if you want to speed up your progress towards your goals.

Related Article: Tobey Maguire's Training and Diet Plan

“L-Carnitine assists in being better at fuel use, whether you are training or not. However, the best performance outcome does appear to be aiding in day-to-day recovery, especially from weight-training and sessions damaging to muscle, such as intense running.”

 

- Joe Beer, Health and Fitness Writer.

2 - Reduce Fatigue

reduce fatigue

Some studies also suggest that L-carnitine supplement helps to reduce fatigue [3].

Now, to get the full benefit of this, you might need to experiment a bit with your intake timing.

What does that mean?

So, there are two things you’d need to know. First of all, you’d need to figure out how long it takes for you to notice that your supplement is starting to work.

This could be 10 minutes or 4 minutes.

You also need to know at what stage of your workout you usually start feeling your endurance levels drop. Maybe it’s 30 minutes into a session.

What you then want to do is take the L-carnitine product at a time when it would provide the best results to combat fatigue.

3 - Boost Endurance

L-carnitine supplement  can help increase exercise performance when taken in a high enough dose.

That doesn’t mean you should just take a huge amount, as your body might react negatively.

L-carnitine works by increasing blood circulation and delivering the right types of fatty acids into your muscle tissue. 

That’s where it’s transformed into cell energy, and the more energy you have in your muscle tissue, the better you’ll be able to keep up the reps with more intense sets.

4 - Weight Loss

weight loss

Weight loss can be quite a challenge for people trying to get fit and for bodybuilders who need to trigger some fat loss in a cutting phase.

If you use pure L-carnitine on your exercise days, it should help you burn away more fat than just exercise would achieve.

It’s not a magic pill to watch the pounds drop off while you sit on the couch.

But combining the right diet with quality L-carnitine supplements and a solid training routine should help you achieve your weight goals more quickly.

If you want to lose weight faster, we have created a list of the best fat burners for men and the best fat burners for women.

“This valuable little molecule has been a staple in the bodybuilding and brain-hacking communities for years now, thanks to its ability to help you lose weight and power up your brain.”

 

- Spencer Brooks, Nutrition Writer at Bulletproof.

FAQs

Is L-Carnitine Bad for Your Heart?

No, L-carnitine isn’t bad for your heart. Some studies have even shown that the opposite could be the case. Evidence suggests that L-carnitine could play a role in reducing the risk of heart arrhythmia as well as developing angina.

Which Is Better Acetyl L-Carnitine or L Carnitine?

Acetyl L-carnitine is better than L-carnitine for the human body, according to scientists. It’s believed to be easier for your stomach to absorb, which would make it the faster-acting form. Also, some research suggests that it crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily.

Does L-Carnitine Cause Hair Loss?

No, L-carnitine doesn’t cause hair loss. There’s actually some evidence that it could increase the blood supply to hair follicles and deliver more nutrients to increase hair growth. It’s one side effect that many users have reported after several weeks of use of the best L-carnitine supplements.

Does L-Carnitine Have Side Effects?

Yes, L-carnitine can have side effects in rare instances when it's ingested in heavy doses. These might include stomach cramps, nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea. But in most cases, these symptoms will disappear as soon as you reduce the dose or stop taking L-carnitine supplements altogether.

Is L-Carnitine Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, L-carnitine is good for weight loss. It plays a crucial role in transforming stored body fat into the type of energy that different cells in your body need.

That doesn't make it a miracle pill for dealing with weight issues, but combined with a good diet and exercise routine, the best L-carnitine supplements should help.

Can You Take L-Carnitine on an Empty Stomach?

Yes, you can take L-carnitine on an empty stomach. Many dietitians would recommend this approach, as doing so would make it easier for your stomach to digest and absorb the supplement. Just check for any signs of adverse effects.

Which L-Carnitine Supplement Should You Order?

Whether you want to improve endurance and stamina or clear a bit of brain fog, this supplement allows you a little wiggle room in the dosage to tailor it to your needs and tolerance.

Double Wood Supplements has a strong brand reputation and stands behind the quality of its ingredients with transparent third-party testing.

Our clients and countless positive online reviews report a significant boost in stamina, endurance, and cognitive function.

These are the reasons we throw our support behind Double Wood Supplements Acetyl-L-Carnitine and encourage you to give it a try.

Our #1 Recommendation

Double Wood Supplements Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Pros
  • Flexibility in dosage so users can find the correct dose for them
  • Made in the U.S.A. in a GMP-certified facility
  • Third-party tested for quality transparency
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of October
Cons
  • Gelatin capsule not suitable for vegans/vegetarians

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One thought on “The Best L-Carnitine Supplements:
Review and Buyer’s Guide

  1. Thank you so much! The buyer’s guide section is definitely helpful.

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