L-Carnitine L-tartrate supplementation favorably affects markers of recovery from exercise stress

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Feb;282(2):E474-82. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00277.2001.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Carnitine / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Purines / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological / etiology*
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Tartrates / pharmacology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Free Radicals
  • Proteins
  • Purines
  • Tartrates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Carnitine