Creatine vs Carnitine? Complete guide

Creatine vs Carnitine, which pre-workout to choose?

creatine vs carnitine
Creatine vs carnitine

In the fitness industry there are multiple supplements out there to enhance muscle hypertrophy and conditioning and the most confusing debate among beginners and professionals is whether to take creatine or carnitine as a pre workout? This article might just help you choose between Creatine vs Carnitine. 

What is carnitine?

Carnitine is a compound made in the human brain, liver and kidneys. The main function of carnitine is to use the energy stored in body fat, maintain heart and brain function, and promote muscle movement. 

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What does carnitine do? 

The human body needs energy to work and some of this energy is stored in the form of fat. To break down these long-chain fatty acids and to oxidize them by mitochondria to produce ATP( Adenosine triphosphate) we need Carnitine. 

Along with the conversion of fats to energy carnitine also does a number of helpful tasks on the side.

Carnitine promotes healthy heart conditions by improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels, preventing the swelling of the heart, reducing heart failure risks, and building fluid levels in the body. 

Carnitine helps improve fertility in both men and women. It helps improve the sperm count in men and cure enlarged ovaries in women. 

Carnitine reduces the risks of kidney failure and combats side effects from other drugs like valproic acid. 

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How to take carnitine? 

The carnitine compound is naturally made in the brain, liver, and kidney. 

You can however supplement it more by adding carnitine-rich food to your diet. Food like red meat , fish, eggs, and chicken are carnitine-rich food and for vegetarians avocados, whole wheat bread, nuts, and seeds are best sources for carnitine, although vegetarian food sources have significantly less carnitine than non-vegetarian foods

Supplementing carnitine is also a viable option for someone looking to improve their workout results or are suffering from carnitine deficiency.

Carnitine supplements are available in pill form and must be taken within a recommended dosage.

When should I take my carnitine? 

The carnitine supplement can be taken any time of the day without any hesitation but the best results are seen if carnitine is taken before a meal or before a workout. 

What should I take my carnitine with? 

The carnitine supplement is mostly in pill form so ingesting with water is going to be an obvious choice here. The professional bodybuilder or strength athlete prefers taking carnitine with some carbs because it spikes the insulin.

Some people who suffer from carnitine deficiency may also need to inject it with an IV directly introducing it in the bloodstream. 

What not to take carnitine with? 

If you are suffering from any thyroid condition then spacing out your thyroid dose with l carnitine is beneficial for you as carnitine has a dampening effect on thyroid hormone. 

What is the best type of carnitine to use? 

If you are an avid fitness enthusiast you should go for L-carnitine as it is the industry standard supplement. If you suffer from carnitine deficiency then you must take whatever carnitine your physician prescribes. 

Carnitine benefits

The supplement carnitine is well known in recent times and is gaining popularity in the Industry, here are its benefits. 

fatloss 3
Fat loss from carnitine
  • Fat loss: The carnitine supplement reacts with the fatty acid cells in our body to convert our stored fat into energy efficiently. This accelerates the fat loss process and improves metabolism in our bodies. 
  • Healthier heart: The carnitine compound improves our cholesterol and triglycerides levels and reduces angina, this overall improves our heart condition and helps prevent congestive heart failure(CHF) and swelling of the heart.
  • Improves fertility: Any man suffering from low sperm count can take carnitine, carnitine has been proven to give sperm energy and increase sperm count. For females, it can prevent enlarged ovaries by hormonal dysfunction. 
  • Other benefits: Carnitine improves kidney and brain function and also helps combat side effects caused by other drugs like valproic acid. 
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What is creatine? 

Creatine is a compound made in the human liver, kidney, and pancreas. Creatine maintains cellular level hydration in the body promotes muscle hypertrophy and increases strength level. 

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What does creatine do? 

Creatine helps promote strength and increase in muscle mass. Creatine does this by hydrating the body at the cellular level. 

Creatine improves strength and stamina greatly among someone who is supplementing creatine. 

Creatine helps stimulate hormones like testosterone which helps us lengthen our youth. 

Creatine helps improve our nervous system which builds a better connection of the body with the brain and in the long term can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. 

How to take creatine? 

The creatine compound is made in the liver, kidney, and pancreas. 

To increase creatine levels one can easily do so by adding red meat and fish to their diet. The non-vegetarian options for creatine are not that great, unfortunately. 

The dietary intake of creatine can still feel less for some people and they can easily supplement it with powdered creatine. The recommended dosage of creatine should not exceed 0.1gm per kg of body weight. 

Taking creatine with plenty of water is always recommended. 

When should I take my creatine?

The creatine supplement has no specific time stamp on its ingestion but the best results are seen if taken before a workout or if mixed with an electrolyte shake. Taking creatine with an ample amount of water is always recommended.

Some fitness influencers have promoted taking creatine dry or ” Dry scooping ” as they say, should be avoided. 

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What should I take my creatine with? 

The creatine supplement is best taken with an ample amount of water. If taken with an electrolyte drink it will probably yield better results. 

What not to take creatine with? 

The creatine supplement is hydrating in nature and taking it empty stomach or dehydrated or with any form of caffeine is not recommended as it may cause dehydration or stomach issues. 

What is the best type of creatine to use?

The creatine supplement has multiple variants and the best one is creatine Monohydrate. Creatine Monohydrate is sure to suffice all your creatine needs whether you are a strength or endurance athlete. 

Creatine benefits

Creatine is the most researched and studied supplement out there. These studies have followed the benefits of creatine supplementation. 

muscle gain
Gained muscle mass from creatine
  • Increased muscle mass: the creatine supplement helps grow muscle mass by hydrating the body at the cellular level. Which also results in increased strength. 
  • Strengthen the nervous system: The cell hydration from creatine heavily benefits the neuron cells. The neurons are the building blocks of our nervous system and our brain. Creatine helps build a stronger connection of neurons which helps repair our nervous system and also builds an immunity against Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Improves testosterone levels: The strength and muscle mass gained from cell hydration help the body to produce more testosterone. Creatine has been proven to stimulate testosterone growth at healthy doses. 

Conclusion: Creatine vs Carnitine

The confusion of whether to take creatine or to take carnitine as a pre-workout only exists because both of these supplements sound similar but as we have seen above they serve very different purposes. 

If you are someone who is just looking to improve muscle mass and gain strength then creatine is the voice for you. 

If you are someone who wants to lose fat and need more assistance in that direction then carnitine is going to help you better. 

The million-dollar question after this is “Can we take both at the same time? ” the answer to that question would be yes. You can easily supplement both in your diet and reap the benefits of both of them together. The question now falls on the individual whether they want to increase muscle mass lose fat or both, creatine and carnitine are safe ways to achieve all your fitness goals. 

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sandesh Khade
sandesh Khade

Hi I'm Sandesh khade and I am an electronics and telecommunications engineer, I have taught math to engineering, diploma and 10+2 students. I am also an avid fitness enthusiast and workout regularly. I love to analyze and write. I try to write about almost any event or make one up just for the sake of practicing writing.