I am into health and fitness and have been since I was a teenager. In fact, I have taken vitamins on and off from the time I was fourteen. As an overweight teenager, I basically took matters into my own hands and read about health and fitness issues, including nutritional supplements. So, when I read about a supplement I hadn’t heard of from two sources in the same week, I’m intrigued! The supplement is Acetyl L-Carnitine, an amino acid. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced such an immediate result from taking any other supplement in my entire life. Here is my experience, both positive and negative.
I started by taking 250 mg. of Acetyl L-Carnitine the evening that it came. I immediately noticed greater mental clarity, sharper vision, and a generally elevated mood. I was able to sit down and focus enough to finish grading some papers I had been putting off for awhile. I’m not ADD by any means, but I still can be distracted. In spite of the greater focus, my sleep was lighter that night and I was somewhat restless. I figured taking it in the morning would help eliminate this, so the next morning I took 250 mg. on an empty stomach. I noticed the same benefits previously, with a little bit of restlessness thrown in. I was cruising along throughout the morning, but had a pretty big “low” in the afternoon. It came right as one of my classes was starting! Bad timing, I guess. I also experienced light sleep that night too, but this could’ve been connected to congestion, which I suffered from that day.
The next day, I modified my routine again by taking 125 mg. in the morning and 125 mg. in the late afternoon (all on an empty stomach). I still had an afternoon low and slept lightly to boot. More bad timing, I think. But, curiously, my workout that day was incredible. I got on the “virtual bike” and instead of my usual average of 220-230 watts over a 30 minute period, I was able to do 260 watts over the same period. This resulted in an additional 80 or so calories burned!
The next day, I cut my dosage to 65 mg. before breakfast and another 65 mg. or so before lunch. This removed the low and kept me going through school and my after school workout. So far, so good. During the weekend, I cut my dosage to 65 mg. one time before lunch. Once again, I noticed a nice workout boost, going from an average of 168 or so strides/minute on the elliptical machine to 175 or so strides/minute.
As it stands, I have had a great experience with Acetyl L-Carnitine, but only when I got the dosage correct. We all respond to supplements differently and even “recommended” doses can be wrong for different people. Here is the summary of my experiences:
Positive: Sharper vision, better mental clarity and more focus, huge workout boost (all at lower doses)
Negative: Restlessness, lighter/less sleep (at higher doses), some nausea (even at lower doses)
Bottom Line for Me: After I got the dosage correct, I noticed incredible benefits without the annoying side effects. Even today, my average watts on the bike were 250, which is incredible for 30 minutes after a full day of teaching. I’m definitely going to keep taking Acetyl L-Carnitine, especially on workdays and workout days. I plan on taking a break from the supplement some weekends and most holidays.
These are my experiences only. If you are interested in taking this or any supplement consult a doctor. Here is a good website on Acetyl L-Carnitine by Dr. Ray Sahelian.