Effects of Exercise Intensity and Altered Substrate Availability on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Responses to Exercise After Oral Carnitine Supplementation in Athletes

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The effects of 15 d of supplementation with L-carnitine L-tartrate (LC) on metabolic responses to gradedintensity exercise under conditions of altered substrate availability were examined. Fifteen endurance-trained male athletes undertook exercise trials after a 2-d high-carbohydrate diet (60% CHO, 25% fat) at baseline (D0), on Day 14 (D14), and after a single day of high fat intake (15% CHO, 70% fat) on Day 15 (D15) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, pair-matched design. Treatment consisted of 3 g LC (2 g L-carnitine/d; n = 8) or placebo (P, n = 7) for 15 d. Exercise trials consisted of 80 min of continuous cycling comprising 20-min periods at each of 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% VO2peak. There was no significant difference between whole-body rates of CHO and fat oxidation at any workload between D0 and D14 trials for either the P or LC group. Both groups displayed increased fat and reduced carbohydrate oxidation between the D14 and D15 trials (p < .05). During the D15 trial, heart rate (p < .05 for 20%, 40%, and 60% workloads) and blood glucose concentration (p < .05 for 40% and 60% workloads) were lower during exercise in the LC group than in P. These responses suggest that LC may induce subtle changes in substrate handling in metabolically active tissues when fattyacid availability is increased, but it does not affect whole-body substrate utilization during short-duration exercise at the intensities studied.

Broad is with Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. Maughan is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK. Galloway is with the School of Sport, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK.