Best Carnitine Supplements Ranked for 2018 – Top 10 Brands


Jump Ahead to the Best L-Carnitine Products

Sometimes, losing weight can be really challenging. For some people, losing weight is medically necessary for their health; for others it is an athletic goal they strive to achieve. Ultimately, those who are looking to lose weight are generally looking to burn body fat and achieve better physical health.

Luckily, there is an amazing compound called carnitine that is made to help turn fat into energy! This compound also happens to be natural and provides other many other health benefits.

Carnitine can also be used to help strengthen your muscles, strengthen your bones, and improve your cardiovascular system. It is naturally present in all of your cells and essential to certain cellular functions.

Certain forms of carnitine have also shown promise towards treating memory disorders, such as alzheimer’s. Studies have not been conclusive for this purpose, but this amazing little compound has shown some impressive health potential. Are you interested yet?

What is L-Carnitine?

Carnitine is a vitamin-like substance produced from amino acids within your body, and it plays a critical role in the production of energy. It can also be considered an amino acid, because it is a dipeptide made from essential amino acids methionine and lysine. The name is derived from the latin root “carnus” which is translated to “flesh.”It can be found in some meats and dairy products, and in every cell of the human body!

Two forms of Carnitine exist: L-Carnitine and D-Carnitine. The “D” form is not biologically active. This means that it can not be absorbed and used by the human body. L-Carnitine is the supplemental version of carnitine, because it is the naturally occurring form and the most easily absorbed within the body when consumed as a supplement. L-Carnitine is biologically active. There are different types of Carnitine pills that provide the same carnitine benefits; with Acetyl-L-Carnitine being the most effective form.

Adults that eat omnivorous diets will consume from 60 to 180 mg of Carnitine from their diet, but vegetarians and vegans consume only about 10 to 12 mg from certain plant based sources such as asparagus. Your body also produces Carnitine. It is produced in the kidneys and the liver, and stored in the heart, brain, skeletal muscles, and sperm. Its biological function is to transport fatty-acids, particularly long-chain fatty acids, into the mitochondria which is where they are oxidized in order to produce energy for the body.

What Are Carnitine Supplements?

Carnitine supplements can be beneficial for vegans, and strict dieters. Carnitine supplements have been studied since 1937, and can be found in capsules, liquid, tablets, and quick-release gel capsules. There are three different common types of carnitine used as supplements. This includes:

  • L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate – this type of carnitine supplement is relatively cheaper and gets into the bloodstream more quickly. It does not absorb in the body any better than the other forms, but it is faster.
  • Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine – This form has a unique ability to relax your arteries and enhance muscle pump. It increases your body’s levels of nitrates which elevates the nitric oxide levels in the body. This form also contains the antioxidant glycine.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine – this form is the most easily absorbed by the body. It is carnitine with an acetyl group attached to the molecule. The acetyl group enhances its ability to transport across the blood-brain barrier, where it acts as a powerful antioxidant.

Benefits of L-Carnitine

Overall, carnitine revitalizes your cells and helps your body function efficiently. When you age, the levels of carnitine within your body decrease, and mitochondrial function is reduced. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, and when the mitochondrial function of our cells is reduced, we start to age; like we are slowly losing power.

Who May Benefit From L-Carnitine?

Because they offer so many notable benefits, powerful carnitine supplements can benefit a wide range of people. However, the following groups of people will likely experience the most significant benefits:

  • Athletes – Athletes can benefit from carnitine supplements due to their ability to burn fat and help the body build muscle. Carnitine can also reduce fatigue and depress appetite. It is an impressive supplement for hardgainers, which are those in the athletic community who have a harder time building muscle. It increases the strength of the muscles as well. It can reduce fat gains from your workouts and promote a cleaner bulk, as well as assist in cutting fat to lean out your physique. A study revealed that carnitine can improve performance as well by reducing the amount of glycogen stores that the body uses for energy and replacing it with fat stores, which conserves muscle energy and burns fat. This supplement reduces fat, builds muscle, and increases energy – a perfect combination for athletes!
  • Vegans and Vegetarians – Vegans and vegetarians are much more likely to have a carnitine deficiency because their diets lack many of the primary carnitine sources. Your body also creates carnitine but getting enough carnitine in your diet can help you stay healthy and lengthen your life. It can especially help those who are changing their diet to become vegetarian or vegan retain their energy levels throughout the shift.
  • Dieters – Carnitine is a helpful weight loss tool because it helps convert fat into energy! Those who are dieting to cut down on their extra pounds can supplement their diet with carnitine to enhance their weight loss.

How to Take L-Carnitine

For the benefits of carnitine supplementation to be realized, it has to be taken with food. Carnitine is the most active when insulin levels are higher. Doses of 1-3 g are effective. When taking carnitine supplements, recommended nutritional intakes include:

  • 30 to 40 g of carbs
  • 20 to 40g of protein

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is more easily absorbed within the body and does not need to be consumed with food to maximize its benefits. This form of Carnitine can be taken between meals.

Are There Any Side Effects?

L-Carnitine has little to no side effects! If you are consuming it in really high doses, which would be about 5 g or more per day, then it could possibly give you diarrhea. Carnitine does interact with certain conditions though. People with these conditions should consult a doctor before supplementing with Carnitine:

  • Cirrhosis
  • High blood pressure
  • A history of seizures
  • Type I diabetes
  • Peripheral vascular disease

There are some extremely rare side effects that have been reported. These include:

  • Body odor
  • Increased appetite
  • Rash

What to Look for in a Good Carnitine Supplement

There are some key components that separate mediocre carnitine supplements from the best carnitine supplements.

  • A quality form of carnitine – Acetyl-L-Carnitine is the pricier and more effective form of L-Carnitine on the supplement market. It is a molecule of carnitine with an attached acetyl group, which enhances the supplement’s ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and become active in the brain. There, it acts as an extremely powerful antioxidant. Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine is also a good choice. L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate is of the lowest value, but still provides the benefits of carnitine.
  • An effective dose of Carnitine – Pay attention to the supplements directions as well, because some may have less than the effective dose per serving, but direct you to take multiple doses a day which equate to the effective carnitine dosage range.
  • A reliable company – Make sure that when you are searching for a supplement that you know who the manufacturer is. Supplements that are not produced by a reliable company may not be as effective. Companies that can be trusted may openly state that they are Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified, that they are government inspected facilities, list their other certifications, or have a long-standing reputation.

Top 10 L-Carnitine Products Compared

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10. Blue Star Nutraceuticals Carnitine



  • Dosage is effective
  • Pomegranate extract provides antioxidants

What’s in it:

  • 1310mg Carnitine LCLT Proprietary Blend
  • 1200mg PurCARN (L-Carnatine-L-Tartrate)
  • 100mg Pomegranate Extract

Who makes it: Blue Star Nutraceuticals is a Canadian sports nutrition company that specializes in safe, goal oriented athletic supplements. The categories in which their supplements range include elite protein, hormone igniters, pre-training, post-training, essential omegas, performance, vitamins for athletes, and fat loss.

Bottom line: This supplement provides you with a basic good carnitine supplement that will give you the benefits of carnitine. There is a striking lack of available information about the manufacturer, which raises some concerns.

9. Allmax Liquid L-Carnitine


Allmax Liquid L-Carnitine is a liquid carnitine supplement that is absorbed by the body extremely quickly due to its liquid form.


  • Liquid format helps body digest and absorb it fast
  • Effective dosage
  • Vitamin B5 added
  • One month supply
  • Reliable manufacturers

What’s in it:

  • 10 mg Vitamin B5
  • 1,200 mg L-Carnitine

Who makes it: Allmax nutrition is an athletic nutrition company dedicated to quality products that yield results. Their manufacturing facilities are government-inspected certified Good Manufacturing Practices for pharmaceutical quality manufacturing in air-pressurized chambers. Every ingredient they use is tested by their labs in order to ensure quality, potency, and purity.

Bottom line: This product is an athletic supplement produced by a reputable company. It will provide you with almost all of the benefits of L-Carnitine for an athletic purpose. The label does not specify what form of L-Carnitine is used.

8. BSN Carnitine DNA



  • Inexpensive
  • Calcium is included

What’s in it:

  • 95mg Calcium
  • 500 mg  L-Carnitine

Who makes it: BSN, which stands for Bio Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, is a global leader in sports nutrition and has been since 2001. They have been awarded more than 35 sports nutrition awards in the last six years, which is the most that any company in the industry has received. Their products are available in over 90 countries around the world, and they set themselves apart by creating multifunctional products that can be used for many different health purposes and lifestyles, not just athletic lifestyles.

Bottom line: This product is well-rounded and can be used as an athletic supplement. It is made by a reliable company that has the consumer’s best interests in mind. It is a great supplement that will provide you with the benefits of carnitine, but whether the benefits of the best carnitine supplements (made from acetyl-L-Carnitine) can be achieved with this product is unknown. They do not specify what types of carnitine that are used in their product.

7. Pro Supps L-Carnitine


Due to its liquid form, it is easily and quickly absorbed by the body for quick effectiveness. This product is geared towards the athletic community, but is also a great supplement for vegetarians and vegans because it contains no dairy or yeast.


  • Pharmaceutical grade L-Carnitine
  • Addition of vitamin B5
  • Contains no gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, or yeast

What’s in it:

  • 10mg Pantothenic Acid (also known as vitamin B5)
  • 1,500mg L-Carnitine

Who makes it: Pro Supps is an athletic nutrition company whose mission is to “encourage healthy living through exercise, diet and supplementation.” They were established in 2011 by T.J. Humphreys after the downfall of a previous company he co-founded with body builder Art-Atwood called Professional Supplements. He is passionate about taking his company to the top through aggressive research and development programs, quality customer service, and using the highest quality ingredients.

Bottom line: This product will help you get a good dose of carnitine and its benefits. However it does not specify what form of L-Carnitine is used, and benefits can not be confirmed. The product is also produced by a very young company that has not had time to become reputable.

6. Universal Nutrition Carnitine


This 100% pharmaceutical grade liquid L-Carnitine supplement is produced by Universal Nutrition. The manufacturer recommends to take the recommended carnitine dosage 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout.


  • Effective dose of carnitine
  • Great for athletes


  • Type of L-Carnitine used is not specified

What’s in it:

  • 1.3 g L-Carnitine

Who makes it: Universal Nutrition was founded in 1977 in New Jersey as a sports nutrition company for bodybuilders. This company passionately embraces the sport, and they believe in bodybuilding as a sport and as a way of life. They have helped pioneer the field of bodybuilding nutrition, creating some of the first ready-to-drink nutritional products and the “pack” system that delivers properly dosed and timed nutrition to bodybuilders.

Bottom line: This is a great product for athletes and especially bodybuilders. It is geared towards achieving athletic excellence. The company it is manufactured by is well known and reputable. This product provides the basic benefits of carnitine, but it is unknown whether it would provide any of the more advanced benefits that come from acetyl-L-Carnitine. The label does not specify what form of L-Carnitine is used.

5. Optimum Nutrition L-Carnitine


This is a well-rounded quality carnitine supplement produced by Optimum Nutrition. The supplement is taken as a tablet and should be consumed on an empty stomach.


  • Includes calcium
  • Includes phosphorus
  • Useful for athletes
  • Reliable company

What’s in it:

  • 96 mg Calcium
  • 74 mg Phosphorous
  • 500 mg L-Carnitine

Who makes it: Optimum Nutrition is a company that is a part of Glanbia, which is a cheese and nutritional ingredients producer on an international level. Optimum Nutrition focuses its products on athletic nutrition supplements. Their manufacturing facilities are located in Illinois, Florida, and South Carolina. ON was started in 1986 and is famous for its quality protein and amino acid supplements.

Bottom line: This product is a great well rounded nutritional supplement. It is produced by a reputable company that is known for quality products. If it had an effective carnitine dosage.

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Where to Get It

4. NOW Foods L-Carnitine


This product is a pure L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate supplement that is all natural, vegetarian, and provides the benefits of carnitine.


  • All natural
  • Vegetarian

What’s in it:

  • 1000mg L-Carnitine Tartrate

Who makes it: NOW Foods has been around since 1968 and produces quality, all-natural nutritional supplements with the goal of improving their customer’s health naturally. The founder was a chemist, named Elwood Richard, and their products are manufactured and produced using world-class labs and GMP certified facilities. Only natural, organic ingredients are used to make these products.

Bottom line: The manufacturers are reliable and produce products made with quality.

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Where to Get It

3. Nutrex Lipo-6 Carnitine


This simple product will provide you with carnitine benefits.


  • Quick release liquid gel capsules
  • Superior absorption
  • Effective carnitine supplement
  • High value

What’s in it:

  • 1490 mg L-Carnitine Tartrate

Who makes it: Nutrex is a younger sports nutrition company that uses cutting-edge research to provide the top supplements and highest quality products. They were founded in 2002 and were the first company in the industry to produce quick releasing liquid gel capsules as a means of supplementing. Their products are produced in clean, safe, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Florida. In 2012, the chamber of commerce in seminole county recognized and honored the company’s economic contributions to the area.

Bottom line: This is one of the top carnitine supplements on the market, especially for dieters and athletes.

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Where to Get It

2. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Carnitine


MuscleTech Platinum 100% Carnitine is a pure carnitine capsule that provides effective and quality carnitine doses. This product is made with L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate, which is a basic and effective form of carnitine.

What’s in it:

  • 500 mg L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate, taken twice daily (total 1000 mg L-Carnitine)

Who makes it: MuscleTech is currently celebrating 20 years of their quality and effective products and their cutting edge research and development. MuscleTech is a pioneer of the field of nutrition, and has formed a multimillion dollar partnership with a top university called the University of Toronto in Canada, to conduct research for new products and current products. This ensures that they are on the cutting edge, and producing only the best, highest quality supplements. Their level of scientific research is almost unparalleled.

Bottom line: This is one of the top carnitine supplements on the market. It is produced by a company that produces high quality, effective, researched products.

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Where to Get It

1. MusclePharm Carnitine Core



  • Includes Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Produced by a reliable company
  • Effective dosage

What’s in it:

  • 1,000 mg MusclePharm® Carnitine Core

Who makes it: MusclePharm was founded by a professional American football player named Brad Pyatt in 2008. As a professional athlete, he knew what the athletic supplement industry lacked, so he teamed up with nutritionists and professionals to create MusclePharm. Their mission is to provide supplements that have been researched and proven to work. This supplement company is currently an award-winning leader in the industry.

Bottom line: This product delivers the best of L-Carnitine. The dynamic formula of four different types of carnitine, including N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine, create a great carnitine supplement.

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Where to Get It

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