A key part of my job as a nutrition & health writer is to separate the truth from the fantasy, and disprove any misconceptions my readers might have. To achieve this, I seek out every piece of relevant scientific literature for an ingredient or concept and analyze it from top to bottom.
I applied the same logic to L-Carnitine Fumarate — that’s a mouthful, I know — and unraveled what it had to offer in terms of weight loss. Here's what I found!
L-Carnitine Fumarate and weight loss
If I had to give a short answer then, yes, L-Carnitine Fumarate supplementation can lead to weight loss. That said, the actual situation is a bit more nuanced than that. Let me explain.
Impact on body weight
On the one hand, I found a 2016 meta-analysis that combined the results of nine different studies on the effects of L-Carnitine Fumarate with 911 participants in total. After careful consideration of these studies, this meta-analysis concluded that L-Carnitine Fumarate supplementation can actually lead to weight loss.
On average, the participants of these studies lost about 1.3 kg of weight which comes out to about 2.86 lbs. This might not sound like much on paper. But — speaking from personal experience — a 1.3 kg improvement can make a major difference when combined with a proper diet and workout routine.
All of this seems great, so what’s the issue here?
Impact on fat percentage
A more recent 2020 meta-analysis combined the results of 37 randomized controlled clinical trials for a more in-depth look at the benefits of L-Carnitine Fumarate. In total, this analysis explored the effects of its supplementation on 2292 participants.
According to this meta-analysis, L-Carnitine Fumarate does lead to a reduction in overall body weight and BMI. However, it does not have any significant impact on fat percentage.
It also states that you might not see any improvements in your waist circumference with L-Carnitine Fumarate supplementation either.
I can see how this might discredit L-Carnitine Fumarate for some readers since fat percentage and waist circumference is the root of the issue for most people.
What this means
While body fat percentage is a crucial metric to consider in my opinion, it is not the be-all and end-all of weight loss. From what I’ve seen in these meta-analyses, L-Carnitine Fumarate is still an effective solution for weight loss.
Then there’s also its positive correlation with exercise and working out.
L-Carnitine Fumarate and improved exercise
I’m stating the obvious here, but working out is one of the best solutions for losing excess weight and achieving the body shape of your dreams. Unfortunately — to put it lightly — maintaining a consistent workout routine can be quite challenging.
This is where the L-Carnitine Fumarate can make working out easier for you. Here’s how:
Do you get tired quickly when working out? In my experience, this is likely because your muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen.
This is where L-Carnitine Fumarate supplementation can help you last longer in the gym.
In short, L-Carnitine can increase the amount of oxygen that’s supplied to your muscles during intense exercise sessions. This increases your stamina and allows you to spend more time working — accelerating your workout progress.
Reduced recovery time
One of the most important aspects of working out is consistency. Yet, I’ve seen many of my friends struggle with it because it takes a long time for their bodies to recover after each workout session.
L-Carnitine Fumarate can improve this situation by reducing muscle soreness. I also found a 2002 study that shows how L-Carnitine intake reduces post-workout recovery time after a high-repetition squat exercise.
In my experience, if your primary goal is to just lose excess fat, keeping your workout intensity constant will be quite effective. However, you can lose weight at a much faster rate by increasing the intensity on a regular basis, and L-Carnitine Fumarate can help you get there.
According to a recent 2021 study, taking L-Carnitine supplements 60-90 minutes before exercise can increase your performance in the gym. This can also help you develop stronger muscles over time.
Potential side effects
L-Carnitine Fumarate is present in most types of meat and also dairy products, so it isn’t actively harmful to most healthy adults. But, I’d still recommend consuming less than 3 grams of this substance per day. Going over this limit can lead to issues like nausea, vomiting, and other digestive issues.
Considering the evidence, I’d say that L-Carnitine Fumarate can help you lose weight faster. The two large-scale meta-analyses leave little room for doubt in its weight loss benefits.
While it might not reduce body fat percentage directly, it does allow you to work out harder and for longer periods of time. Not only does this accelerate the results of your weight loss efforts, but also makes you stronger in the process.