It seems like there is an endless list of weight loss supplements on the market, each promising high energy and fat loss in a quick and easy solution. I often get asked when prepping what I use for my “cutting phase”. While diet and cardio are honestly your essentials, and there’s really no way around that, there are always a few things we can supplement to help. One supplement I like to use when dieting,based on available and reliable research is carnitine. Carnitine is synthesized naturally from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is required for the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria and the mitochondrial matrix (energy centre of the cell for those non science geeks), during the breakdown of fats for energy. Carnitine has been found to improve high intensity work capacity, increase athletic performance, aid in recovery time, and improve brain function. All essential when diet if, especially with the dreaded foggy prep brain, often brought on by low carb diets. It’s also essential in the prevention of oxidative stress, which can lead to long term health problems, like inflammation, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Again, another huge benefit of carnitine, due to the inflammation that comes with excessive cardio. So, on top of preventing excessive bodily stress, how can carnitine help you burn fat? By raising levels of muscle carnitine you support the fat burning process, and as your body becomes more efficient at fat burning, your energy levels should rise proportionately. This is also beneficial because with elevated carnitine levels you spare glycogen, important for looking full and recovery, as well as clearing lactate, responsible for that day after soreness, and optimizing hormone balance. When taking carnitine it’s also important to supplement with omegas, such as fish oil, not only is the important for cell health, but they increase metabolic rate by increasing cell activity. Carnitine, as mentioned earlier shuttles fat into the cell, therefore facilitating this process, and preventing the fat from being deposited elsewhere. Combining omegas and carnitine has also been shown to lower lipid levels in blood, result in higher cellular energy production which can also support fat loss, as energy needs fuel. Again, I’d like to emphasize that just taking any supplement without putting it work is not going to help, in order to mobilize lips and create energy demand, work such as HIIT is still required, but you can get the most out of your time of the stepper with just a little extra aid.