We examined the influence of L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT) on markers of purine catabolism, free radical formation, and muscle tissue disruption after squat exercise. With the use of a balanced, crossover design (1 wk washout), 10 resistance-trained men consumed a placebo or LCLT supplement (2 g L-carnitine/day) for 3 wk before obtaining blood samples on six consecutive days (D1 to D6). Blood was also sampled before and after a squat protocol (5 sets, 15-20 repetitions) on D2. Muscle tissue disruption at the midthigh was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before exercise and on D3 and D6. Exercise-induced increases in plasma markers of purine catabolism (hypoxanthine, xanthine oxidase, and serum uric acid) and circulating cytosolic proteins (myoglobin, fatty acid-binding protein, and creatine kinase) were significantly (P < or = 0.05) attenuated by LCLT. Exercise-induced increases in plasma malondialdehyde returned to resting values sooner during LCLT compared with placebo. The amount of muscle disruption from MRI scans during LCLT was 41-45% of the placebo area. These data indicate that LCLT supplementation is effective in assisting recovery from high-repetition squat exercise.