In the ongoing quest to produce and test supplements that improve performance and recovery, researchers have discovered another substance that may be of interest to hard training athletes. L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation seems to decrease the amount of muscle disruption that occurs after high-repetition resistance training and enhance muscle recovery.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, examined the influence of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on markers of catabolism, free radical formation and muscle tissue disruption after squats. Ten resistance-trained men took a placebo or L-carnitine L-tartrate supplement (2 grams/day) for three weeks. Blood samples were taken on six consecutive days; blood was also tested before and after a five-set squat protocol of 15-20 repetitions on the second day of supplementation.
Before training on days three and six, muscle tissue disruption was measured at mid-thigh using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The researchers noted that L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation decreased plasma indicators of muscle breakdown, and the amount of muscle disruption during supplementation was 41%-45% of the placebo area. That means the L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation somehow protected the muscle tissue from more severe disruption and damage than often occurs under normal circumstances.