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L-Carnitine Tartrate vs Acetyl L-Carnitine

If you’re wondering about the difference between L-Carnitine Tartrate vs Acetyl L-Carnitine, we’ll be answering all your questions in this article. Essentially, L-Carnitine Tartrate is primarily used for improving exercise performance, while Acetyl L-Carnitine is used more for medical purposes. 

The difference between L-Carnitine Tartrate vs. Acetyl L-Carnitine largely comes down to how they’re used. L-Carnitine Tartrate is primarily used to improve recovery, while Acetyl L-Carnitine is used more for medical purposes. As a result, most athletes will be better off using L-Carnitine Tartrate.

L-Carnitine Tartrate vs Acetyl L-Carnitine 

While L-Carnitine Tartrate and Acetyl L-Carnitine are very similar, L-Carnitine Tartrate is more commonly used for athletic purposes. Most studies on L-Carnitine’s effect on athletic performance and recovery use L-Carnitine Tartrate.

While Acetyl L-Carnitine is regularly used for medical purposes, there is little information available on its use for athletes. 

Below we’ll be covering the main use cases for each of these supplements.

What is L-Carnitine Tartrate Best For? 

Improved Recovery

The main reason athletes may consider using L-Carnitine Tartrate for their training is its effects on recovery. While it’s commonly marketed as a fat burner, it does not appear to have any effect on weight loss

Meanwhile, studies conducted on L-Carnitine Tartrate’s use as a recovery supplement have shown positive results. It appears that supplementation of 2g of this supplement every day reduced exercise-induced muscle tissue damage. It appears the mechanism behind this is L-Carnitine’s effects on protecting cell membranes from oxidative stress.

make L-Carnitine

What Is Acetyl L-Carnitine Best For? 

Medical Treatment

While L-Carnitine Tartrate is most commonly used in studies surrounding exercise performance, its counterpart Acetyl L-Carnitine is used as an adjunct therapy for a whole host of medical conditions. These include Alzheimer’s Disease, Infertility, Depression, and Diabetes. 

It’s worth noting that Acetyl L-Carnitine’s effects on treating these conditions are often inconsistent, or in the stage of preliminary research. It’s typically used as an additional treatment for the conditions listed above on top of other interventions. As a result, it’s difficult to draw definitive conclusions about its effectiveness. Because of this, we recommend using Acetyl L-Carnitine when recommended by a medical doctor. 


L-Carnitine Tartrate vs Acetyl L-Carnitine 

Assuming you’re an athlete looking to use L-Carnitine for its benefits on performance, we strongly recommend going with L-Carnitine Tartrate. This is because there is far more research available on its use in this setting. Acetyl L-Carnitine on the other hand is more beneficial for certain medical conditions, so we don’t recommend using it for performance.

Best Acetyl L-Carnitine

Jarrow Formulas, Vegan Acetyl L-Carnitine

  • Form: Capsules
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Package Quantity: 60 Count, 120 Count
  • Company Founded: 1977

If you’re interested in using Acetyl L-Carnitine for therapeutic purposes, we recommend consulting with your doctor about its use first. If they recommend its use, then check out Jarrow Formulas Acetyl L-Carnitine supplement

Each capsule contains 500mg of Acetyl L-Carnitine. Depending on what it’s being used for, doses will vary, so be sure to consult with your doctor about how much is necessary for you. 

It’s worth noting that this is a completely vegan-friendly formula, meaning it does not contain any gelatin whatsoever in its capsules. 

This is also a very budget-friendly supplement only costing about $0.28 per serving. So, if this provides some therapeutic benefit to you, it offers excellent value for your money! 

Best L-Carnitine Tartrate

Legion Recharge Post-Workout

  • Form: Powder
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Servings per Container (2g): 60
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.00
  • Company Founded: 2014

Most people reading this article are likely more interested in the performance-enhancing benefits of L-Carnitine as opposed to its medical usage. In this case, we recommend Legion’s Recharge Post-Workout supplement

Each serving of this supplement contains 2.1g of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate. This is an effective dose for improving recovery, making this an ideal serving size. 

L-Carnitine instagram
Photo by @legion

On top of this, you can expect a solid dose of 5g of creatine monohydrate. This is one of the most well-researched sports supplements available, with benefits like increasing lean body mass, improving high-intensity exercise performance, and reducing fatigue.

On top of this, it’s been shown to improve recovery, making it ideal for taking alongside L-Carnitine Tartrate. 

Recharge comes in 7 different flavors which is rare for a creatine or L-Carnitine supplement. It’s also made without any artificial dyes or preservatives.

It’s worth noting that it is rather pricey at $1.00 per serving, but we believe it’s still worth it considering the exceptional level of quality you’re getting.


Is Acetyl L-Carnitine Better Than L-Carnitine Tartrate?

While Acetyl L-Carnitine is primarily used for medical treatment, there is very little evidence to support its use as a sports supplement. Meanwhile, L-Carnitine Tartrate has been shown to improve recovery with consistent use. While both supplements have different purposes, L-Carnitine Tartrate will be better for athletes. 

Is Acetyl L-Carnitine the Same as Acetyl L-Carnitine Hcl? 

Yes, it appears most Acetyl L-Carnitine supplements on the market are formulated with Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl. As a result, whenever you hear Acetyl L-Carnitine, you can assume it’s made with Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl. 

What Is the Best Absorbed Form of L-Carnitine?

It appears that Acetyl L-Carnitine is more bioavailable than L-Carnitine L-Tartrate. However, because these supplements serve different purposes, absorption rate shouldn’t play a major role in your decision. 


While these are very similar supplements, the difference between L-Carnitine Tartrate and Acetyl L-Carnitine is their effects. While L-Carnitine Tartrate is commonly used as a sports supplement, acetyl L-Carnitine is more commonly used alongside medical treatments. Be sure to keep this in mind when deciding between Acetyl L-Carnitine or L-Carnitine Tartrate!

If you’re interested in a high-quality Acetyl L-Carnitine supplement, check out Jarrow Formulas, Vegan Acetyl L-Carnitine. For L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, consider Legion’s Recharge Post-Workout.

Were you aware of the difference between these 2 supplements? Have you ever tried L-Carnitine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

  1. Citrulline Malate vs L Citrulline
  2. L-Arginine Foods
  3. Glutamine for Muscle Recovery
  4. L Glutamine in Food
  5. When to Take L Carnitine
  6. Can I Take L-Carnitine Without Exercise
  7. L Carnitine vs Acetyl L Carnitine


  1. C. Snoke, 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).
  2. 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): 455-6 (2003).
  3. Angelika K. Sawicka, et. al, “The bright and the dark sides of L-carnitine supplementation: a systematic review”. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 17, 49 (2020). 
  4. Department of Surgery, “Carnitine,” NYU Grossman School of Medicine, (Accessed October 24, 2023)
  5. Dietary Factors, “L-Carnitine,” Oregon State University, (Accessed October 24, 2023)

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

By trusting the recommendations of our certified experts in coaching, nutrition, dietology, and sports training programming, as well as scientific consultants, and physiotherapists, we provide you with thorough, well-considered, and scientifically proven content. All the information given in the articles concerning workout programming, separate exercises, and athletic performance, in general, is based on verified data. We ensure that you can rely on our professionals’ pieces of advice and recommendations that can be treated as personalized ones which will benefit you and fully meet your needs.

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David Sasha Schulz avatar

Author: David Sasha Schulz
Doctor of Chiropractic, BSc Human Biology, CSCS

Chiropractor – 4 years
Strength coach (CSCS) – 10 years

Sasha is a Chiropractor and Kinesiologist practicing in Kelowna, BC, Canada. He has been practicing Chiropractic since 2019, integrating manual therapy, strength training and programming principles, and nutritional strategies to get his patients optimal results. He currently scratches the competitive itch in fitness, and the occasional endurance race, and plays golf and snowboards for fun. He has an interest in all strength and fitness-related sports.

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