Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR): Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

Last Updated:

Key Information

ALCAR enhances memory and learning

ALCAR boosts acetylcholine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are essential for cognitive functions.

ALCAR lowers depression and anxiety

ALCAR regulates genes and glutamate levels that are involved in mood disorders and stress responses.

ALCAR improves energy and fat metabolism

ALCAR transports fatty acids into the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cells, where they are burned for energy.

ALCAR protects the brain from damage and aging

ALCAR has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that prevent cell death and promote neurogenesis.

Affiliate Disclosure: Holistic Nootropics may earn affiliate commissions if you purchase through the links on this page. Here's how it works.

Acetyl L-carnitine (ALCAR) is a powerful amino acid derivative that has gained significant attention in the world of cognitive enhancement. As a naturally occurring compound in the body, ALCAR plays a crucial role in energy production and has been extensively studied for its potential benefits on brain health and overall well-being.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the science behind ALCAR, its mechanisms of action, potential benefits, and how it can be incorporated into a holistic approach to cognitive optimization.

Biohack Your Brainpower

Stay ahead with our newsletter: cutting-edge biohacking tips and the latest in nootropics, all in one place.

What is Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR)?

Acetyl L-carnitine is an acetylated form of the amino acid L-carnitine. It is naturally produced in the body and plays a vital role in energy metabolism, particularly in the mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells. ALCAR has gained popularity as a nootropic supplement due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it readily available for the brain to utilize [1].

How Acetyl L-Carnitine Works in the Body

Boost energy levels and athletic performance

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) by Nootropics Depot

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) by Nootropics Depot
Check PriceGet 5% off entire order w/ code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS
Check PriceGet 5% off entire order w/ code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS
  • Improve cognitive function

  • Protect the brain from damage

  • Boost energy levels

  • Enhance athletic performance

ALCAR’s primary function is to facilitate the transport of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they undergo beta-oxidation to produce energy in the form of ATP. This process is essential for maintaining optimal cellular energy levels. Additionally, ALCAR supports the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical for memory, learning, and overall cognitive function [2].

Benefits of Acetyl L-Carnitine

Cognitive Benefits

Numerous studies have investigated the cognitive benefits of ALCAR supplementation. Research suggests that ALCAR may improve memory and learning, enhance focus and mental clarity, and offer potential therapeutic benefits for age-related cognitive decline [3,4]. These effects are thought to be mediated by ALCAR’s ability to support mitochondrial function and acetylcholine production in the brain.

Learn More: The 9 Best Nootropics For Memory

Mood and Stress Support

In addition to its cognitive benefits, ALCAR has been studied for its potential to support mood and alleviate symptoms of stress. Some research suggests that ALCAR supplementation may help reduce symptoms of depression, decrease mental fatigue, and promote stress resilience [5,6]. The mechanisms underlying these effects are thought to involve ALCAR’s influence on neurotransmitter balance and its ability to support overall brain health.

Learn More: 13 Best Nootropics For Anxiety

Physical Performance

ALCAR’s benefits extend beyond cognitive health, as it has been shown to support physical performance and exercise capacity. By enhancing mitochondrial function and reducing fatigue, ALCAR may improve exercise endurance and recovery. Additionally, some studies suggest that ALCAR supplementation may support fat loss and favorable changes in body composition when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program [7].

Brain Injuries ALCAR

Dosage and Safety

The recommended dosage range for ALCAR supplementation varies depending on the specific goal and individual factors. Generally, doses between 500-2000 mg per day have been used in clinical studies and are considered safe for most people. However, it is essential to start with a lower dose and gradually increase as needed, while monitoring for any potential side effects, such as digestive discomfort, headaches, or sleep disturbances.

ALCAR DosagePotential Benefits
500-2000 mg/dayCognitive enhancement, improved memory and focus
1000-3000 mg/dayMood support, reduced symptoms of depression and fatigue
1500-3000 mg/dayPhysical performance, increased energy and fat loss

Acetyl L-Carnitine vs. L-Carnitine

While ALCAR and L-carnitine share similar functions in the body, they have distinct differences in terms of bioavailability and specific applications. ALCAR is more easily absorbed and can cross the blood-brain barrier more efficiently than L-carnitine, making it the preferred choice for cognitive support. L-carnitine, on the other hand, is less bioavailable and is primarily used for its effects on physical performance and cardiovascular health [8].

FAQ about Acetyl L-Carnitine

Here are some frequently asked questions about ALCAR supplementation:

  • Is ALCAR safe for long-term use? Yes, ALCAR is generally considered safe for long-term use when taken at recommended doses. However, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
  • Can ALCAR be taken on an empty stomach? Yes, ALCAR can be taken on an empty stomach. Some studies suggest that taking ALCAR on an empty stomach may enhance its absorption [9].
  • What time of day is best to take ALCAR? The optimal time to take ALCAR depends on individual goals. For cognitive benefits, taking it in the morning or early afternoon may be most effective. For physical performance, taking it 30-60 minutes before exercise may be beneficial.
  • Are there any food sources of ALCAR? While ALCAR is naturally produced in the body, it is not found in significant amounts in food sources. Supplementation is the most effective way to increase ALCAR levels.

Where to Buy Acetyl L-Carnitine

When purchasing ALCAR supplements, it is essential to choose reputable brands that prioritize purity, potency, and third-party testing. Some trusted sources for high-quality ALCAR supplements include:

Nootropics Depot Buy Acetyl L-Carnitine Hcl Capsules 500mg

Nootropics Depot Buy Acetyl L-Carnitine Hcl Capsules 500mg

Boost Mental Focus with Acetyl L-Carnitine
Learn MoreGet FREE 2-3 Day shipping on any order over $50
Nootropics Depot Acetyl L-Carnitine Hcl (Alcar) Powder

Nootropics Depot Acetyl L-Carnitine Hcl (Alcar) Powder

Cognitive Support with Acetyl L-Carnitine
Learn MoreUse Code HolisticNootropics for 15% off entire order
Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) by

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) by

Pure Clinical Grade ALCAR
Learn MoreSave 15% w code “holisticnootropics” at checkout

As with any supplement, it is crucial to do thorough research and consult with a healthcare professional to determine if ALCAR is appropriate for your individual needs and health status.

Acetyl L-Carnitine Discussions on Reddit

The nootropics community on Reddit offers valuable insights and experiences from individuals who have incorporated ALCAR into their supplement regimens. Let’s explore some notable discussions about ALCAR on Reddit.

User Experiences and Anecdotes

Been struggling with my work load. I use this for a very clean focused energy with little to no crash – honestly prefer it.

u/gabrielhts in discussion ‘Anyone experiences/success with ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine)?’

Many Reddit users report positive experiences with ALCAR, noting improvements in focus, energy levels, and overall cognitive function. These anecdotal reports provide valuable insights into the real-world effects of ALCAR supplementation.

Stacking and Synergy

Synergizes well with creatine for me. Ive been using the combo at work for 3 months now.

u/xanthania in discussion ‘Acetyl-L-Carnitine is interesting. Has anyone else tried it before?’

ALCAR is often used in combination with other nootropic supplements to create synergistic effects. Reddit users report positive experiences when stacking ALCAR with compounds such as creatine, alpha-GPC, or caffeine. However, it is essential to approach nootropic stacking cautiously and consider individual responses and potential interactions.

Cycling and Long-Term Use

Warning: I discovered this one earlier this summer and have also had incredible effects. Be aware for most people the effects fade over time, and probably faster with regular/daily usage. Id definitely recommend this as a special occasion drug rather than part of an everyday stack

u/dryuhyr in discussion ‘Acetyl-L-Carnitine is interesting. Has anyone else tried it before?’

While ALCAR is generally considered safe for long-term use, some Reddit users report diminishing returns with continuous daily supplementation. Cycling ALCAR, or using it strategically rather than daily, may help maintain its effectiveness and minimize potential side effects.

As with any supplement, it is crucial to listen to your body and adjust your usage based on individual responses.

The Holistic Nootropics Approach

At Holistic Nootropics, we believe that cognitive enhancement is a multifaceted approach that extends beyond supplementation alone. While nootropics like ALCAR can be powerful tools for optimizing brain function, they are most effective when combined with a comprehensive lifestyle that supports overall health and well-being.

This holistic approach includes nourishing the body with a nutrient-dense diet, prioritizing quality sleep, managing stress through mindfulness practices, and engaging in regular physical activity. By addressing the interconnected aspects of health, we can create a solid foundation for cognitive performance and long-term brain health.


Acetyl L-carnitine is a promising nootropic supplement with a wide range of potential benefits for cognitive function, mood support, and physical performance. By understanding its mechanisms of action, appropriate dosage, and potential synergies with other supplements, individuals can make informed decisions about incorporating ALCAR into their holistic brain health regimen.

As with any new supplement, it is essential to approach ALCAR with a spirit of self-experimentation, starting with lower doses and monitoring individual responses. By combining ALCAR with a balanced lifestyle and other evidence-based nootropics, you can optimize your cognitive function and overall well-being.

If you have any personal experiences, insights, or questions about ALCAR supplementation, we encourage you to share them in the comments section below. Together, we can continue to explore the fascinating world of nootropics and support each other on the path to optimal brain health.


[1] Rebouche CJ. Kinetics, pharmacokinetics, and regulation of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine metabolism. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Nov;1033:30-41. doi: 10.1196/annals.1320.003. PMID: 15591001.

[2] Pekala J, Patkowska-Sokoła B, Bodkowski R, et al. L-carnitine–metabolic functions and meaning in humans life. Curr Drug Metab. 2011 Sep;12(7):667-78. doi: 10.2174/138920011796504536. PMID: 21561431.

[3] Brooks JO 3rd, Yesavage JA, Carta A, Bravi D. Acetyl L-carnitine slows decline in younger patients with Alzheimer’s disease: a reanalysis of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using the trilinear approach. Int Psychogeriatr. 1998;10(2):193-203. doi: 10.1017/s1041610298005304. PMID: 9677506.

[4] Montgomery SA, Thal LJ, Amrein R. Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2003 Mar;18(2):61-71. doi: 10.1097/00004850-200303000-00001. PMID: 12598816.


Leave a Comment