It is easy to see that energy drink manufacturers are trying to outdo each other by adding more and more “special herbs” to their energy drinks. Energy drinks today include ingredients supposedly “found in nature” that most of us have never heard of; it is difficult to determine at first glance what exactly these “new” nutrients are! Where do energy drink ingredients really come from, and what are their effects on the human body? This series of energy drink articles aims to find out.
One energy drink ingredient is known as L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine, contained in a wide variety of energy drinks across the US, is biosynthesized primarily in your kidneys and liver from amino acids known as methionine or lysine. These amino acids help break down lipids (fats) to generate metabolic energy by transporting fatty acids from cell cytosol to your cell mitochondria.
L-Carnitine adds many benefits to the human body. First, it functions as a substantial antioxidant. Secondly, the substance is proven to improve glucose disposal in patients with type II diabetes. L-Carnitine can also benefit your heart – it is most often used in conjunction with conventional treatments for angina, which is insufficient blood flow, usually to your chest. L-Carnitine is even thought to be a possible antidote for valproic poisoning.
Though L-Carnitine seems to have primarily positive effects on your body, still some areas choose to ban its use as a natural supplement. Canada, for example, has banned the importation of L-Carnitine products and supplements into its nation.
Although places like Canada have chosen not to import L-Carnitine products, it does not seem that science has shown the substance to be harmful. The next step in researching L-Carnitine will be to test its effects on individuals when combined with taurine, sugar, and caffeine as present in energy drinks. Unless the L-Carnitine in energy drinks is concretely proven to adversely affect the human body, you can sip your energy drink confident of this ingredient's positive benefits.