One of the most enjoyable aspects of using dietary supplements is creating custom stacks with the end goal being to enhance performance, recovery, and/or overall wellness. When creating a customized supplement stack or purchasing a pre-made one, there is usually one of two "design philosophies" behind their assembly. The first option is to create a daily stack where you have various supplements to support or enhance different aspects of life or performance throughout the day. One such example of this would be putting together a multi-vitamin, pre-workout supplement, and protein powder. None of these are taken together, but they are multiple products that you would use throughout the same day. The second option is to combine multiple products that provide complementary benefits or have synergistic activities, thereby amplifying each potential benefit. For example, this would be stacking a stimulant pre-workout with a non-stim pump pre-workout. Another example, which happens to be one of our customers’ favorite stacks combines L-Carnitine (Steel Burn™) and MCT Oil Powder (goMCT®). Today, we take a closer look at SteelFit’s Fat for Fuel Stack and see how these two products complement each other. Let’s begin by discussing what’s in Steel Burn™.
What is Steel Burn?Steel Burn™ is a premium-grade stimulant-free weight loss support supplement supplying 3 grams of Carnipure® L-Carnitine per serving.
What is Carnipure® L-Carnitine?Carnitine is an amino acid derivative that helps the body oxidize (“burn”) fatty acids for energy. It is naturally occurring in animal foods, such as milk, meat, and eggs, and the human body can also synthesize L-Carnitine from two essential amino acids, lysine, and methionine. More than 90% of the body’s carnitine stores reside in muscle tissue.
What Does L-Carnitine Do?Carnitine serves an essential role in fat metabolism. Free fatty acids cannot cross the inner mitochondrial membrane and require the use of a carnitine "shuttle" to facilitate their delivery into the mitochondria where they can be subsequently converted to useable energy (ATP). <1> Carnitine joins with long-chain fatty acids to form acylcarnitines (esters), which enable the fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria of cells for oxidation. Once inside the mitochondria, the oxidation ("burning") of fatty acids occurs in stages. Each stage of the oxidation process involves the removal of two carbon molecules to form acetyl CoA (acetyl coenzyme A).
Why Should I Supplement with Carnitine?Since carnitine is involved in helping the body burn fat, it’s commonly believed that supplementing with carnitine may help individuals to oxidize more fatty acids during the day. Human studies have found that L-Carnitine supplementation in conjunction with proper diet and exercise helps individuals achieve (and maintain) their desired body weight than adopting these lifestyle changes without the use of L-Carnitine. <2> But, carnitine isn't just about supporting the body's ability to burn fat for energy efficiently. L-Carnitine also supports the removal of potentially toxic compounds from the mitochondria, which can accumulate during exercise. This protects the availability of free Coenzyme A (CoA) -- an important coenzyme that plays key roles in the body’s ability to metabolize fat and oxidize pyruvate in the citric acid cycle (a.k.a. the TCA or Krebs cycle). Now, let’s take a look at the other half of the Fat for Fuel Stack – goMCT®.
What is SteelFit® goMCT®?goMCT® powder is a combination of high-grade MCT oil powder (as goMCT®) and prebiotic fiber supplement created to help fuel both the brain and body by supporting ketone production in the body.
What is goMCT?®goMCT® is a very high-quality form of MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil sold by Compound Solutions that contains only the shortest and fastest-digesting chains, C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid). <3> Above, we mentioned that carnitine assists with the transportation of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where they can be oxidized for energy. The advantage of MCT is that they do not require the assistance of the carnitine shuttle service. Medium-chain triglycerides operate similar to carbohydrates in that they provide "instant" energy. MCTs bypass the gut and go straight to the liver via the portal vein. <4> This process stimulates the rapid generation of ketone bodies, which serve as the primary fuel for individuals following low-carb diets and maybe experimenting with long periods of fasting. The benefits of ketones and ketogenic diets have been well documented. They:
- Improve blood sugar regulation
- Improve blood lipid levels
- Are neuroprotective
- Support treatment of various chronic conditions
- Boost metabolism as well as energy expenditure< 5,6>
- Reduce body fat mass <7>
- Increase overall fat oxidation <8,9>
- Improve insulin sensitivity and lipid panels <10>
What is Acacia Fiber?Pure Steel™ goMCT® also contains acacia fiber, a prebiotic that supports a healthy gut. Acacia fiber is a type of dietary soluble fiber harvested from the sap of the acacia tree, which is indigenous to Africa, Pakistan, and India. As you’re likely aware, consuming sufficient fiber daily can help encourage intestinal regularity and support gut health. Each serving of Pure Steel™ goMCT® supplies 4 grams of fiber from acacia fiber.
TakeawayThe Fat for Fuel Stacks supports using fat for energy in two different yet complementary ways. Steel Burn™ (Liquid L-Carnitine) supports oxidation of long-chain fatty acids, which can be thought of as the "slow-burning" fuel that the body uses during lower-intensity activities, walking, watching TV, etc. Pure Steel™ goMCT® supplies "fast-burning" energy in the form of medium-chain triglycerides that provide a more immediate-use form of energy for cells that do not require the carnitine shuttle and can be directly utilized by cells and they also help to stimulate ketone production in the body. The Fat for Fuel stack is ideal for both low-carb and ketogenic dieters as well as those looking for help with satiety and weight management.
- Evans AM, Fornasini G. Pharmacokinetics of L-carnitine. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(11):941-967. doi:10.2165/00003088-200342110-00002.
- Pooyandjoo, M., Nouhi, M., Shab-Bidar, S., Djafarian, K., & Olyaeemanesh, A. (2016). The effect of (L-)carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity Reviews : An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 17(10), 970–976. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12436
- Compound Solutions; “goMCT® from Compound Solutions” https://www.compoundsolutions.com/assets/gomct_brochure.pdf
- You, Yi-Qian Nancy et al; “Effects of medium-chain triglycerides, long-chain triglycerides, or 2-monododecanoin on fatty acid composition in the portal vein, intestinal lymph, and systemic circulation in rats”; Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition; vol. 32,2 (2008): 169-75; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202979/
- White, M. D., Papamandjaris, A. A., & Jones, P. J. (1999). Enhanced postprandial energy expenditure with medium-chain fatty acid feeding is attenuated after 14 d in premenopausal women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(5), 883-889; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232626
- Papamandjaris, A. A., White, M. D., & Jones, P. J. (1999). Components of Total Energy Expenditure in Healthy Young Women Are Not Affected after 14 Days of Feeding with Medium-Versus Long-Chain Triglycerides. Obesity Research, 7(3), 273-280; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10348498
- Krotkiewski, M; “Value of VLCD supplementation with medium chain triglycerides”; International Journal of Obesity; 25(9), 1393-1400; 2001; https://www.nature.com/articles/0801682
- Papamandjaris, A., White, M., Raeini-Sarjaz, M., & Jones, P; “Endogenous fat oxidation during medium chain versus long chain triglyceride feeding in healthy women”; International Journal of Obesity; 24(9), 1158-1166; 2000; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11033985
- St-Onge M, et al; “Medium- versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women”; International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity; 27(1):95-102; January 2003; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12532160
- Han, J. R., Deng, B., Sun, J., Chen, C. G., Corkey, B. E., Kirkland, J. L., Guo, W; “Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects”; Metabolism; 56(7), 985-991; 2007; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17570262