Acetyl L-Carnitine Vs L-Carnitine Explained


Written by: ASN



Time to read 4 min

So you want to learn about L-Carnitine?

L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that your body can produce from the amino acids Lysine and Methionine. If your goals rhyme with weight loss, you’ll want to pause what you’re doing and let us teach you about L-Carnitine.

L-Carnitine typically comes in supplement form and plays a critical role in energy production, transporting fatty acids into your cells’ mitochondria, where they are oxidised to create usable energy (Mawer, R. 2018).

The term ‘carnitine’ is derived from the Latin term ‘carnus’, or flesh, because the compound is isolated from meat. It is primarily found in animal products like meat or fish and comes in two main forms: D or L. Only L-Carnitine is active in the body and is the form that is found in food (National Institute of Health. 2021). Generally, L-Carnitine is produced in the liver, brain, and kidneys.

L-Carnitine has many forms, and despite being primarily utilised for its fat-burning properties, it can also support the liver, metabolic health, depression and more. Other forms of L-Carnitine include Acetyl L-Carnitine, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine, L-Carnitine Fumarate (Damianou, A. 2022).

In general, Acetyl L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine are the most effective for general use. Let’s discuss why:


This is the base form of L-Carnitine, the standard biologically active form that you will find in most foods and supplements. Approximately 98% of your L-Carnitine stores can be found in your muscles, with small amounts in your liver and blood (Mawer, R. 2018).

L-Carnitine is most known for its role in energy production and weight loss. The compound supports mitochondrial function, helping the body transport fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they can be burned for energy (Mawer, R. 2018). Because of these properties, L-Carnitine is popular among individuals trying to lose weight and can benefit your exercise performance. It does this by supporting recovery, increasing blood flow and nitric oxide production, and assisting with the production of red blood cells, which can transport oxygen through your body and muscles (Mawer, R. 2018).

Most L-Carnitine supplements are flavourless, making them the perfect formula to mix with your favourite juice or pre-workout supplement before you start training. If you’re trying to lose weight, try mixing a scoop with a glass of juice before going on a morning jog.

If you’re looking for an L-Carnitine supplement that can help you kick-start your body goals, Evolve L-Carnitine is a 100% pure L-Carnitine supplement with no sugar or artificial flavours and can be stacked with your favourite supplements and beverages to support your weight goals and energy production. 


Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl L-Carnitine, commonly referred to as ALCAR, is made from L-Carnitine in the body and completes the same role as its founder; helping the body turn fat into energy. Acetyl L-Carnitine can offer benefits for brain health and function. ALCAR can help your brain perform better and is a nootropic that may provide potential benefits surrounding healthy ageing. The acetyl group lets it pass your blood-brain barrier, reaching your brain and nerves, where it can support your mood, memory, and cognitive function (Brooks, S. 2021).

If you struggle to keep your head in the game, falling to fatigue and finding yourself struggling to focus and maintain attention, supplementing with ALCAR can improve your concentration (Vermeulen, R et al. 2004). If you’re a university student struggling to stay focused in long lectures, a tradie trying to avoid fatigue during long days on the worksite, or somebody who finds themselves awake earlier than their body can handle, ALCAR might make a difference. Acetyl L-Carnitine supplements are generally flavourless, making them ideal for stacking with other drinks and supplements. You may find this supplement effective if you’re a shift worker who constantly has to adjust to different starting and finishing times while surviving extremely busy or drearily dead shifts that completely drain you of energy. We’ve been there. We know how exhausting it can be.

For an acetylated derivative of L-Carnitine, Evolve ALC can support your weight goals and cognitive function, aiding with mood, memory, and anti-fatigue. This formula is sugar-free and can provide the stimulation to help you finish a long shift, survive a boring lecture, or overcome an intense gym session.


The Difference

Alcar vs l-carnitine. So, what’s the difference?

The major difference is how these compounds are absorbed. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is absorbed more efficiently in the gut and crosses the blood-brain barrier (Jankovic, J. 2022). Both ALCAR and L-Carnitine are used to improve mitochondrial function, but ALCAR may be more effective in absorption and activity (Liu, J. 2004).

Where L-Carnitine is an organic compound, ALCAR is a derivative of L-Carnitine that forms in the body. The role of L-Carnitine is to support active energy metabolism, transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are oxidised to produce energy. It is concentrated in the skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues and forms Acetyl L-Carnitine. ALCAR can be effective in improving memory and thinking skills, treating symptoms of low mood, and playing a role in energy production (Madhu. 2022).

For a versatile Carnitine formula that combines three types of Carnitine in L-Carnitine Fumarate, L-Carnitine Tartrate, and N-Acetyl L-Carnitine, Carnitine RX can help you add an extra cutting edge while you work towards your body goals. ALCAR is the most effective form for your brain, while L-Tartrate is frequently utilised by athletes due to its absorption rate (Mawer, R. 2018).

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re an early riser and want to increase your energy, or you’re getting back into shape and are trying to lose weight, L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine can help you improve your performance and results.

If you need more help deciphering the difference between L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine or want to make sure these supplements are right for you, we are here to help. Reach out online or head in-store across, and our friendly ASN team can help you choose the best products to support your individual needs.


Mawer, R. 2018, ‘L-Carnitine: Benefits, Side Effects, Sources and Dosage’, Healthline, accessed 20 January 2023,

National Institute of Health. 2021, ‘Carnitine’, NIH, accessed 20 January 2023,,food%20%5B1%2C6%5D

Damianou, A. 2022, ‘L-Carnitine’, Examine, accessed 20 January 2023,

Brooks, S. 2021, ‘How Acetyl-L-Carnitine Burns Fat and Powers The Brain’, Bulletproof, accessed 20 January 2023,

Vermeulen, R et al. 2004, ‘Exploratory open label, randomized study of acetyl and propionyclarnitine in chronic fatigue syndrome’,, accessed 20 January 2023,

Jankovic, J. 2022, ‘Acetylcarnitine’, Advances in Clinical Chemistry, accessed 20 January 2023,,crosses%20the%20blood%2Dbrain%20barrier

Liu, J. 2004, ‘Comparison of the effects of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine on carnitine levels, ambulatory activity, and oxidative stress biomarkers in the brain of old rats’,, accessed20 January 2023,

Madhu. 2022, ‘What is the Difference Between L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine’,, accessed 20 January 2023,