Acetyl-L-Carnitine or Alcar is a natural Nootropic with benefits promoting heightened energy levels in both the body and the brain, motivation, clarity, improved memory and brain support.
What is Alcar Acetyl-L-Carnitine?
Alcar (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) is a modified version of Carnitine, which is a popular sports supplement. Although there may be many benefits to the body when taking Carnitine, Aceytl-L-Carnitine is thought to have additional Nootropic effects and may provide positive benefits for the brain.
Let’s start with what Carnitine is. This an amino acid we already produce in the liver and kidneys in small amounts. This amino acid’s primary benefit is thought to help the body turn fat into energy which also has specific benefits to the brain.
It transports fatty acids and breaks them down. This process takes more carbohydrates than would have otherwise been produced into energy and turns it into an energy source.
This means it promotes the uptake of fatty acids from mitochondria and turns stored fats into energy. Due to this process, it is also thought to be linked to potential weight loss. It is also widely used as a sports supplement to get the energy needed for endurance.
Some people cannot produce enough L-Carnitine in their body to be transported into the tissues for cellular energy. Foods to source Carnitine include beef, chicken, milk and cheese but only contain small amounts. Deficiencies of this amino acid are common and may cause muscles aches, fatigue, confusion and hypoglycemia.
Whether this is due to other medications, genetics or dietary choices, it is needed by the body for a healthy heart, muscle movement, energy and motivation.
Aceytl-L-Carnitine Benefits to the Brain
Acetyl-L-Carnitine can reach brain cells more effectively and is more bio-available than Carnitine itself. Carnitine does not transport into the cells easily, especially into brain cells which are protected by the blood-brain barrier. This means it can enter the circulatory system and have an active effect.
It is thought to be a brain booster, improving the brains ability to form and adjust neural connections. When supplementing with Alcar, it is absorbed into the blood stream, enters the central nervous system and reaches the brain.
Alcar than combines with choline which the body minimally produces from nutrients in food and produces a chemical called Acetylcholine. This may be the reason it is commonly used with choline supplements.
Acetylcholine is a powerful neurotransmitter that sends signals between the neurons and is known to influence many cognitive functions including memory formation, attention, learning and focus. This may aid in helping thoughts be clearer, increasing alertness and making mental processes easier, although the effects can vary depending on the user.
Users may experience the enhanced ability to multi-task and see improvements in learning capacity and memory recall. Also, users may find they have a sharper mind, a longer attention span. Clarity and focus may also become easier and age related memory loss may be improved.
Alcar may also potentially help memory capabilities and thinking problems due to excessive use of alcohol.
It is also believed to be a powerful antioxidant, removing toxins out of the brain and getting rid of damaging free radicals that accumulate with age that may potentially lead to diseases. Also, it is believed to be a neuro-protectant, shielding the brain from age related toxins that kill brain cells and keeping the brain healthy.
Finally, the use of Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also associated with improving both physical and mental fatigue and cognition in the elderly.
Why Take Acetyl-L-Carnitine? It Promotes;
- Improved physical and mental energy
- Heightened Focus
- Improvements in age related memory loss
- Increase in motivation
- Improved mental clarity
- A healthy brain
Is Acetyl-L-Carnitine Safe?
The reported side effects related to Alcar seem very minimal. It is considered to have low toxicity and well tolerated however, some side effects reported in a few cases have been;
- Mild headaches (that may be due to higher levels of acetylcholine)
- Gastrointestinal events
In order to combat potential headaches, it may be a good idea to consider taking a high quality choline supplement such Citicoline or Alpha GPC in combination with Alcar. If headaches persist, stop taking Alcar for a week or so and slowly increase the dosage when taking it again.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is not recommended for people taking medications for HIV, cancer or chemotherapy, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers or blood thinning drugs.
If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your doctor first before taking Alcar.
It is recommended to always stay within the lowest dosage available when starting on any new Nootropic supplement. This helps you gauge your body’s effect and find what works best for you.
The most common dosage is between 500mg-1000mg either taken at once or divided within a day. For some users, 250mg once a day or a few times a week can be sufficient and effective. Do not exceed 1000mg per day. The half life of Acetyl-L-Carnitine is approximately 4-5 hours. It may be best to take it in the morning rather than at night.
To prevent the possibility of headaches when taking Alcar, it is commonly used in combination with choline supplements. Due to potency, you may want to gauge the effects first to see if this personally works for you. Another common combination you may want to consider is taking it with Centrophenoxine which functions similarly to choline with a few additional cognitive benefits.
These are just guidelines, if you have any concerns, please consult your doctor.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Alcar) is a supplement believed to have Nootropic effects that improve concentration capacity, mental energy, clarity and memory function. It is an “upgraded” version of L-Carnitine, a sports supplement used to turn carbs into energy with additional cognitive benefits.
Many people taking this supplement to boost thinking skills, report that they experience improvements in mental clarity, sharpness, concentration and focus. Basic daily mental tasks become easier.
Alcar is considered well tolerated and side effects associated with this supplement seem to be very mild. If you are looking to boost clarity, mood, physical and mental energy and even neuroplasticity this may be a supplement you want to consider.