Whenever I hit the gym and get to work out together with strong and buff bodybuilders, I cannot help but feel so small and insecure. They are so disciplined and I feel like they have reached their peak when it comes to their physique.
However, a bodybuilder friend of mine debunked this poor judgment of mine. She told me that we are all works in progress and that there is always room for improvement. I shared my fitness goals with her and she shared hers. I was like, “Really? You still think there’s something to be done with your body?” and she goes, “There is always something we can do to improve ourselves – and that’s not limited to our bodies.”
I noticed how my friend took L-Carnitine before working out. I also use L-Carnitine, but I wanted to know why she takes it. Turns out that just like me, she also feels exceptionally energetic whenever she takes L-Carnitine before working out.
That’s because L-Carnitine is an amino acid that ferries long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria. These fatty acids are then transformed into energy that gives those who take it a good amount of energy that’s ready to use. Bodybuilders (not just them, but everyone, really) need to maximize each session in the gym to make sure that those muscles are all worked up. Another awesome thing about L-Carnitine is that it does it magic best when you are working out, so for best results, take L-Carnitine and give it your all in the gym. It is worth noting, though, that it also does the job when you are at rest.
Another benefit L-Carnitine gives, according to my friend, is it helps with fatigue resistance and recovery. She lasts longer in the gym and can do more reps. In fact, some studies have shown that people taking L-Carnitine are able to exercise 25% longer. The science behind that is they burn more fat while preserving muscle glycogen (L-Carnitine helps in proper storage of glycogen – Glycogen is the main muscle fuel during intense workouts), in addition to having lower levels of lactic acid and higher levels of creatine phosphate. My friend also noted that she feels her muscles are not as strained after a heavy workout when she takes L-Carnitine. This I can attest to, as I am prone to pulled muscles (Yeah, I have to improve my exercise form). But with L-Carnitine, I started to notice that my muscles aren’t as sore.
L-Carnitine also enhances blood flow to the muscles. This means that more nutrients and hormones go where they’re needed most during exercise. L-Carnitine reduces oxidative damage in the body’s nitric oxide (NO) and at the same time, it promotes NO production. Therefore, there will be higher nitric oxide blood levels that will not only enhance energy during workouts, but also muscle recovery post-workout.
Another notable L-Carnitine benefit is brain function enhancement. A research has shown that L-Carnitine helps produce energy throughout the central nervous system thus helping protect against aging and neurodegeneration. This effect helps retain memory more effectively and improve general brain function.
This conversation was both inspiring and educating. Coming from a person whom I see as “perfect” physically, I was rebuked and my eyes were opened that even bodybuilders still work hard to achieve what they have. Our conversation made me realize that no matter how perfect you think other people or their lives look, there is something that can always be done. And, instead of looking at others, look at yourself and continue working on being the better version of yourself.
I guess that’s the reason she got into bodybuilding – you never stop working on your body; you just build, build, and build. You only work for progress and not perfection.
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