ALCAR (Acetyl L-carnitine) is the acetylated version of L-carnitine, an important amino acid-derivative that improves mitochondrial function and plays a role in fatty acid oxidation. ALCAR may be more bioavailable than L-carnitine, and also provides acetyl groups for synthesis of compounds such as acetylcholine. ALCAR also has a cholinomimetic effect on its own. Both ALCAR and L-carnitine have been successfully used to treat a very wide range of conditions with little or no side effects.
Studies with both ALCAR and L-carnitine indicate that they may improve athletic performance. This is because carnitine improves fatty acid oxidation, increasing fuel availability and preserving muscle glycogen. Carnitine also appears to favorably effect markers of recovery and the hormonal response to resistance exercise. Many trials have found that supplemental carnitine improves exercise performance in individuals that are impaired in some way, such as patients with angina, patients with cardiac insufficiency, and hemodialysis patients. In healthy humans, one study found that carnitine increased endurance, an effect that was potentiated further by caffeine. Some animal studies have also found performance increases from carnitine supplementation.
Studies in animals have found it to decrease fat mass and/or increase lean mass, as well as blunt the age-related increase in fat cell size. In one study in humans, 700 mg carnitine and 900 mg choline caused a significant decrease in body fat.
On the anti-aging side, mitochondrial damage is a significant factor in the aging process, which is responsible for the loss of energy metabolism, increased oxidative stress, decreased physical activity, and impaired cognitive function that comes with age, and ALCAR has been shown to greatly improve mitochondrial function in the elderly.
An essential nutrient, Choline is the precursor to a neurotransmitter heavily involved in memory and nerve communication. It can be found naturally in fattier proteins such as poultry, eggs, milk and almonds. It has an especially synergistic reaction with racetams, fueling their effects.
Choline supplements are often taken as a form of ‘smart drug’ or nootropic, due to the role the neurotransmitter acetylcholine plays in various cognition systems within the brain. Choline is a chemical precursor or “building block” needed to produce acetylcholine, and research suggests that memory, intelligence, and mood are mediated at least in part by acetylcholine metabolism in the brain.
When taken with ALCAR, choline has been seen to preserve internal L-carnitine levels by decreasing its urinary excretion rates and increasing its concentration levels in muscle tissue throughout, keeping it in the system longer; the two also synergize in vivo by ALCAR’s acetyl group cleaving from the L-carnitine and combining with(the now) newly available choline to produce acetylcholine, a very important neurotransmitter involved with thought and memory.
Once separated, the body goes to work on the L-carnitine(an amino acid-derivative), using it to:
-Raise internal antioxidant levels
-Improve mitochondrial function(responsible for ATP, essentially responsible for creating the energy you need from the food you eat)
-Ramp up NGF production(nerve growth factor is a protein responsible for signaling adult stem cells to become fresh neurons, and protecting those neurons)
On the athletic side, taking the two together has also been shown to:
-Increase general muscle tone(due to the increased mitochondrial function burning fuel(including excess fat) faster)
-Increasing physical endurance/decreasing fatigue