Friday, June 21, 2019

[Review] - NutraVitaShop: Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR)

Vendor:  NutraVitaShop
Location:  Irvine, California
Items:  Spirulina, Hemp Seed Oil, Caffeine tabs, ALCAR.
Rating:  4.7 of 5 stars

ALCAR 250g

After having great success with Agmatine sulfate, I decided to see what other nootropics might be useful for my fatigue & general malaise.  I was reading an article about narcolepsy when I stumbled upon info about L-carnitine, which is supposedly proven to help with the condition.  That's huge since narcolepsy is a severe sleep disorder that causes uncontrollable daytime sleep attacks.  I've had 2 doctors suggest to me that I may have narcolepsy & have even been prescribed Provigil (modafinil) for it before, so I figured I'd give L-carnitine a try.  (The Provigil prevented daytime napping but did NOTHING for the fatigue, which was torture).  I self-medicate with Benzedrex daily in low doses which also doesn't do much to keep me awake but is better than nothing.

Reddit's /r/nootropics community told me the acetyl version (referred to as ALCAR for short) would be most effective, so that's the kind I purchased.  Acetyl L-Carnitine is a more absorb-able form of the amino acid L-Carnitine which is found in red meat, milk & poultry.  I went all in and bought a big 250g bag from eBay vendor NutraVitaShop for $15.95.  Apparently, ALCAR resembles acetylcholine molecularly & is helpful in many neural processes.  My diet is terrible & has always been.  I mean since toddlerhood.  I'm mildly autistic & extremely picky.  It's even worse now due to severe GERD limiting my options to bland foods.  I basically survive on rice, crackers, bread & a variation of other carby starches.  So even with vitamin/mineral supplements, there's gotta be some deficiencies going on.

Scoop included!

I started with a small 200mg dose after a meal just to see how it affected me.  A typical dose is 500-1000mg.  The taste is sour...somewhere between vinegar & pickles with a twist of lemon on the pH scale.  Holy wowza.  That's gonna stir up my reflux.  I can't imagine taking a much bigger dose with the state of my stomach.  Might have to split it up into multiple smaller doses & take it throughout the day with meals or something.  The bag came with a little blue scoop, which is cool.  Not sure what I'm supposed to expect other than increased alertness, but I definitely feel more on point verbally, which is huge since I take topiramate & it makes me dumber than a rock in that department.  I'm clapping back at my mom & we're having a good laugh at a time of day I'm not usually even awake.  Could be placebo effect at this dose, I realize that.  But my body could also be starved for any ALCAR it gets.  I take a second dose of the same amount about 2 hours later.  So that's about 400-450mg total.  And right on schedule, I get tired & take an afternoon nap...a very light & short one littered with nightmares & awakenings.  Damn.

It's too early to judge whether this supplement will be a good fit for me long-term but I give this particular vendor & order a 4.7 of 5 stars.  Shipping was lightning-fast, price was reasonable & their feedback is great on eBay.  While the taste is terrible, they do warn about it on the website so it wasn't unexpected.  It ultimately didn't end up irritating my stomach as much as I expected which is good.  Will try a bigger dose soon & maybe update if anything noteworthy happens.  I would recommend NutraVitaShop to anyone who wants to try pharmaceutical-grade ALCAR or other nootropics.


Update 7/5/19:  After several more uses, I find ALCAR to be very effective in preventing daytime naps but a tad dysphoric.  It reminds me a lot of modafinil (Provigil), actually.  I still feel just as drowsy but naps are impossible after a 300mg dose.  I find myself feeling a bit negative & cranky on the days I take this, so I'll probably play with the dose more & only use it on days where I absolutely can't be napping.

Oh, and the vinegar-like taste can be avoided completely by putting it in a capsule.  Duh. 

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