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L-Carnitine Coffee: Is Combining Caffeine and L-Carnitine Worth It?

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L-Carnitine is primarily a supplement for recovery, and although it is effective for this, adding it to coffee is largely unnecessary. However, this can be a convenient way to use L-Carnitine if you’re planning on taking it.

Can you drink L-Carnitine Coffee? Combining L-Carnitine with coffee can be an easy way to take this supplement every day. With this being said, there are no major benefits to drinking coffee alongside L-Carnitine as opposed to consuming them separately.

l-carnitine coffee

Drinking Coffee with L-Carnitine?

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate is an exercise supplement that is mainly beneficial for recovery. It is often marketed as a fat burning supplement, although it doesn’t appear to have any real benefits for weight loss. This is not to be confused with Acetyl-L-Carnitine which is primarily used as an adjunct medical treatment. 

Coffee is likely the most common source of caffeine for most people, which can be an excellent energy booster especially when taken before exercise. 

preparing coffee with l-carnitine

So, you may be wondering, “Can I take L-Carnitine with coffee?”

Because L-Carnitine needs to be taken daily, it may be convenient to mix this supplement with your morning cup of coffee to help with consistent use. Beyond this, however, while both L-Carnitine and coffee have their own benefits, there is no reason to take them together. 

We’ll be going more in-depth on the effects of both coffee/caffeine and L-Carnitine below!

Benefits of Coffee – Caffeine

The main benefit of coffee, of course, is energy. A cup of coffee typically contains about 95mg of caffeine, which is enough to provide a fairly significant boost of energy for most people. It’s worth noting that many pre-workout supplements contain 2-3x this amount which may be more beneficial in boosting exercise performance. 

man holds coffee with l-carnitine

Still, coffee is a great way to get a quick hit of caffeine, which is exactly why it’s so common. If you already drink coffee every day, adding in a daily supplement like L-Carnitine can be a great way to form a habit and remember to take it every day. 

Benefits of L-Carnitine Supplementation

L-Carnitine is much less common than caffeine and has very different benefits. Below we’ll be going more in-depth on the individual benefits of L-Carnitine, including recovery, blood flow, testosterone, and more. 

✅ Recovery

First and foremost, L-Carnitine should primarily be used as a recovery supplement. 2g of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate per day has been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage. This means this supplement may be beneficial for quicker recovery after intense exercise. 

✅ Blood flow and O2 delivery

Similarly, L-Carnitine appears to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscle tissue. This effect is related to recovery, as it’s thought to also accelerate recovery from exercise-induced stress. 

✅ Exercise Performance

Additionally, higher concentrations of L-Carnitine helps improve the efficiency of carbohydrate metabolism, which in turn reduces concentrations of lactate. This then appears to have an effect on high-intensity exercise performance.

✅ Muscle Soreness

Of course, with improved recovery, blood flow, and O2 delivery, L-Carnitine supplementation is also associated with reduced muscle soreness. The use of L-Carnitine for soreness is one of its main applications, so you may consider supplementation if you regularly experience a pronounced DOMS effect. 

✅ Testosterone

One study looking at L-Carnitine’s effects on testosterone found that 2g/day of the supplement upregulated Androgen Receptor content. The study suggests that this upregulation may also be why L-Carnitine is effective for recovery. With this being said, L-Carnitine supplementation will not have any major effect on testosterone. 

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Fat Burning and L-carnitine – Common Misconception

L-Carnitine is perhaps most commonly marketed as a “fat-burning” supplement. While L-Carnitine does help the body transport fatty acids into the muscle mitochondria for use as fuel, we produce enough L-Carnitine on our own for this effect.

There’s no solid evidence to suggest that additional L-Carnitine supplementation will lead to more fat being burned, or any extra weight loss. There is no strong evidence showing it can increase total daily energy expenditure.

So, if you’re interested in using L-Carnitine, just be aware that it’s much more beneficial as a recovery supplement, as opposed to a weight loss supplement. 

Can you take Caffeine and L-Carnitine together?

Yes, “L-Carnitine coffee” can be an effective way to remember to take your daily dose of L-Carnitine. With this being said, taking them together provides no additional benefits or problems, so it’s fine to take them separately as well.

1. Safe and Effective Dose

If you’re using L-Carnitine, be sure you’re using safe and effective doses of each. For L-Carnitine 2-4g/day appears to be the sweet spot for effects, and should ideally be consumed split into 2 doses alongside high-carbohydrate meals. So, it may be ideal to take it in your morning cup of coffee alongside breakfast. 

ingredients for making coffee

In terms of caffeine, 400mg/day is generally seen as the safe upper limit for most adults, which is ~4 cups of homemade coffee. Keep in mind that excessive amounts of caffeine can cause side effects like anxiety and headaches. 

Also, taking caffeine later in the day can lead to disrupted sleep. So if you’re taking 2 doses of L-Carnitine a day, we only recommend mixing it with coffee for your morning dose. Later in the day, it may be better to mix it with a glass of water or juice instead. 

If you’re also wondering, “Does L-Carnitine have caffeine?” Don’t worry. L-Carnitine is completely caffeine-free. 

2. Think about your Goals…

Remember with any supplementation, be sure that use is in line with your goals. Most supplements including L-Carnitine will have no real effect unless your training, diet, and recovery are already fairly optimized. L-Carnitine will be especially beneficial during periods of heavy training loads, with benefits likely becoming apparent after several weeks. 

So, if you’re planning on using L-Carnitine for competition, be sure you’re using an effective dose, and giving the supplement enough time to have an effect on you. 

Keep in mind that we don’t recommend using L-Carnitine coffee for weight loss, as this supplement is not known to have any effect on weight. 

Our recommendation – Clean Burn by Kaged 

Clean Burn by Kaged 

kaged clean burn
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Orange Mango
  • Caffeine: 166mg
  • Special Ingredients: Apple Cider Vinegar Powder, L-Carnitine, Capsicum, Grains of Paradise
  • Package Information: 204g (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 6.8g
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Andrea SomerColt NicholsKris Gethin

If you’re looking to start using L-Carnitine, we recommend using a high-quality supplement from a reputable brand. That’s why we recommend Clean Burn by Kaged

Before getting into it, it’s worth noting that this won’t be ideal if you’re looking to mix L-Carnitine with coffee. This is because Clean Burn is a flavored supplement, as well as a supplement with 166mg of caffeine per serving. As a result, it will give an unpleasant flavor to your coffee, as well as giving you a significantly higher amount of caffeine than you may want.

coffee with a scoop of l-carnitine

Otherwise, this is a great way to get in a daily serving of L-Carnitine. Each serving contains 1.5g of L-Carnitine, so it may be worth taking a slightly higher dose every day to reach 2g of this ingredient. Just keep in mind that each serving also contains 166mg of caffeine, so be careful, especially if you’re caffeine-sensitive. 

Beyond caffeine, Clean Burn contains several other “fat-burning” ingredients including Guayusa, Capsicum, and Grains of Paradise. Overall, it’s unlikely these ingredients will have much of an effect on weight loss.

So, we primarily recommend using this for L-Carnitine’s recovery benefits, and caffeine’s energizing benefits. If you’re planning on using Clean Burn as a pre-workout, we recommend taking it 30-60mins before working out for caffeine to be optimally effective. 

This supplement is certified by Informed Sport, which ensures it doesn’t contain any harmful contaminants or banned substances. This is especially important if you’re planning on using the L-Carnitine in this supplement to help your recovery for a competition where you’re being tested.

It’s worth noting that this supplement does contain some artificial sweetener in the form of sucralose, in case this is of concern to you. 

athlete drinks coffee with l-carnitine

Each package of Clean Burn contains 30 servings, with each serving costing you ~$1.33. Keep in mind that you may want to take slightly more than 1 serving, which would lower the total servings and make this supplement slightly more expensive. Overall, this is a great way to get a solid serving of both caffeine and L-Carnitine every day. 

Conclusion

Overall, taking L-Carnitine alongside coffee is a great way to remember to take this supplement every day. However, there’s no real benefit beyond this to mixing L-Carnitine into coffee. 

If you’re interested in getting a solid hit of caffeine alongside L-Carnitine, you may also want to consider a multi-ingredient supplement like Kaged’s Clean Burn Powder

Have you ever used L-Carnitine mixed with coffee? Are you planning on using L-Carnitine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. AIS Sports Supplement Framework, “Carnitine (L-Carnitine)” Australian Institute of Sport, https://www.ais.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1000072/36194_Sport-supplement-fact-sheets-Carnitine-v2.pdf (Accessed Apr. 5, 2024)
  2. Snoke, C; et. al “EFFECTS OF ACUTE L-CARNITINE SUPPLEMENTATION DURING LOW-INTENSITY TREADMILL EXERCISE,” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8: Iss. 9, Article 15. (2021)
  3. The Nutrition Source, “Caffeine,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/caffeine/ (Accessed Apr. 5, 2024)
  4. William J. Kraemer, et. al, “The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery,” J Strength Cond Res. Aug;17(3):455-62. (2003).
  5. Alberto Caballero-Garcia, et. al, “Effects of L-Carnitine Intake on Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Oxidative Stress: A Narrative Scoping Review” Nutrients. Jun; 15(11): 2587. (2023).
  6. William J. Kraemer, et. al, “Androgenic responses to resistance exercise: effects of feeding and L-carnitine” Med Sci Sports Exerc. Jul;38(7):1288-96 (2006).
  7. AIS Sports Supplement Framework, “Carnitine Group B” Australian Institute of Sport, https://www.ais.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/1048310/Carnitine-InfographicFINAL.pdf (Accessed Apr. 5, 2024)
  8. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Author: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance Architect,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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