Effect of Acute L-Carnitine Supplementation on Blood Lactate, Glucose, Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance in Elite Male Artistic Gymnasts

Hamid Arazi, Mohammad Mehrtash


Background. Probably L-Carnitine can induce the increase of Pyruvate dehydrogenase activity, decrease of
lactic acid production and performance improvements due to the reinforcement of long chain fatty acid oxidation
and stabilize of coASH to free COA. Based on this, the aim of our study was to investigate the effects of acute
L-Carnitine supplementation on blood lactate, glucose, VO 2 max and anaerobic power in elite male artistic gymnasts.
Methods.  Eighteen  male  artistic  gymnasts  were  randomly  assigned  to  supplementation  (n  =  9)  or  placebo  
(n = 9) groups. In a double blind design, subjects participated in two tests with a break of one week between them.
Subjects ingested 3 grams of L-Carnitine or placebo (maltodextrin) 90 minutes before aerobic and anaerobic exercise
protocols. We used a 20 m shuttle run as an aerobic exercise protocol and running based anaerobic sprint test (RAST)
as an anaerobic exercise protocol. Blood samples were collected 5 minutes pre and 4 minutes post-tests for the
analysis of lactate and glucose.
Results. L-Carnitine group had significantly lower lactate concentration than placebo group after tests (p < .05).
L-Carnitine group had significantly higher blood glucose (p < .05) compared with placebo group, too. Also VO 2 max
as well as mean and maximum power in L-Carnitine group were significantly higher than those in placebo group  
(p < .05).
Conclusions. These  findings  indicated  that  acute  oral  supplementation  of  L-Carnitine  can  probably  induce
fatigue decrease and improvement of aerobic and anaerobic performance in elite male artistic gymnasts.

Keywords: L-carnitine, lactate, glucose, aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, gymnastics.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/bjshs.v1i104.9