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Can L-Carnitine improve your performance?

Because triathlon training and competitions last so long, it is very important not to deplete your sugar or glycogen stock. Once you have burned through all of your sugars, it is almost impossible to continue performing well.

Your body burns glucose and fat during your efforts.

What if you can stimulate the fat burning, so that your body will use less glycogen and the odds of ending up with an 'empty tank' get smaller?

A recent study showed that this is possible with L-Carnitine .


The University of Nottingham held a study of 14 recreational triathletes that trained 3 to 5 times a week.

During 6 months, half of them received 2 grams of L-carnitine in combination with 80 grams of carbohydrates, and this 2 times a day.

The control group only got the carbohydrates.


After 6 months the athletes were tested: they had to bike 30 minutes at 50% VO ² Max, followed by 30 minutes at 80% VO ² Max and then finally 30 minutes all-out performance.


The results were amazing for the group that took L-carnitine:

  1. At 50% VO ² Max, these athletes used a whopping 55% less glucose than the control group.
  2. At 80% VO ² Max they produced 44% less lactic acid
  3. In the all-out performance test, they scored 11% better than the control group.
  4. Moreover, they did not gain weight, while the average weight gain with the control group was no less than 2.4 kg, presumably under the influence of increased carbohydrate intake.


Triathlon training sessions and races are long. Improved fat burning is extremely important and  L-carnitine can help.

Therefore Hiddit recommends triathletes to take L-carnitine according to the pattern indicated in the study:

  1. Use L-Carnitine-tartrate, the specific form of L-carnitine mentioned in the study and also found in the Hiddit Triathlon Nutrition range.
  2. Take 2 grams L-carnitine-tartrate at 80 grams of carbohydrates, 2 times a day. For example, this could be with your breakfast and after your training, when you are consuming more carbohydrates with your Recovery Shake.
  3. Take it over a long period, for example during the entire competition season.

Want to read more?

Chronic oral ingestion of L-carnitine and carbohydrate increases muscle carnitine content and alters muscle fuel metabolism during exercise in humans
Benjamin T Wall, Francis B Stephens, Dumitru Constantin-Teodosiu, Kanagaraj Marimuthu, Ian A Macdonald, and Paul L Greenhaff

MAY 28, 2018


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