Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a nonessential nutrient produced by your liver and kidneys. It helps generate energy and has antioxidant qualities to fight cell-damaging free radicals.

Your body can usually produce all the carnitine it needs, and it can convert L-carnitine to Acetyl-L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine are two different forms of the same amino acid.

So why bother taking ALCAR supplements if your body has you covered? 

That’s exactly what we cover here in this article. But first, a bit of background…

What is Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

Acetyl-L-carnitine is one of three types of carnitine. L-carnitine and Propionyl-L-Carnitine are the other two. All three forms of L-Carnitine promote energy, with Acetyl-L-carnitine known for improving markers of memory and learning in animals, as well as Alzheimer’s patients. [1]

Animal-based foods are good sources of Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Carnitine, including ground beef, cod, pork, milk, cheese and ice cream; avocado and whole wheat bread are good non-animal sources.

A study showed vegetarians and other individuals eating low-carnitine diets experienced better bioavailability of Acetyl-L-Carnitine from foods they ate than meat-eaters. [2]

Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements aid biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine for optimal brain and nerve function.

It is used by people who have a genetic defect and can’t produce needed carnitine in the body or to treat Alzheimer’s disease, reduced cognitive function, and depression in the elderly. [3]

Supplements similar to Acetyl-L-Carnitine include Coenzyme Q10, creatine, and iron to bolster athletic performance.

All of these supplements help the body produce more energy and have antioxidant qualities. Like B-complex vitamins and SAME-e, it improves mental function and increases energy.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is available for sale online and in retail stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is a favorite supplement for bodybuilders and athletes due to its ability to augment heart and brain function.

It’s available in capsule and powder form; the powder form is usually flavored and marketed for athletes.

 Safe for most adults to use, Acetyl-L-Carnitine improves energy and focus for everyone from office workers to seniors. It’s not just a supplement for athletes, even though it is often advertised as such.