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New: Injectable Supplements for Longevity
How to's on injecting Carnitine and Glutathione
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A Guide for Legal Injectable Supplements
Did you know there’s a host of injectable supplements that are legal and have powerful benefits just like controlled performance enhancers?
Two of the most promising for improving strongevity are carnitine and glutathione.
Information about how to use these supplements is limited because the hurdles are high. Injecting substances carries a steroid taboo, and injections just suck in general. It’s hard to stick a needle in your body; however, the bioavailability of some of these substances makes oral dosing ineffective. If you want to explore the strongevity benefits of these supplements, the injections may be worth it.
I use both carnitine and glutathione. Here’s my experience with them including dosing, which was one of the hardest things to find information on.
Note: Even more than usual, this is not medical advice. Seek a doctor for specific guidance on using any new supplement, including these.
Carnitine helps your body convert fat into energy. The body makes carnitine in the liver and kidneys to be stores in skeletal muscle and elsewhere. While the body can make enough endogenous carnitine for normal function, supraphysiological doses from supplementation can enhance many physical functions.
Injectable carnitine may do several beneficial things:
Mobilizes fatty acids which may help with faster fat loss in a diet phase.
Prevents insulin resistance by helping to clear acetyl groups from muscle tissue. You may see lower blood glucose on carnitine.
Can increase glycogen storage (anaerobic energy) which may help endurance.
Improves mitochondrial health, density, and count.
Increases androgen receptor binding affinity and speed meaning if you are on TRT, you might be able to get more effects with lower dosing. It may also promote some anabolic effect for those not on exogenous testosterone.
Help with depression and cognition.
I’ve seen a range of dosing advice from Alex Kikel, Andy Triana, and Jake Benson/Joe Sullivan. The consensus is that 200mg daily for a 200lb athlete is a good dose for sports performance. That’s my daily dose taken intramuscularly. Higher or lower weight athletes might use a little more or less. There may be benefits to taking a higher dose (600mg+) if the goal is fat loss.
One important factor with carnitine is that it loads over time (about two weeks). The loading period is where your body stores larger amounts of carnitine than it produces endogenously. It takes about the same amount of time to “unload,” meaning you deplete the supraphyisological level you loaded to. So if you miss a dose here or there, you don’t all of a sudden lose all of your carnitine stores.
Timing of carnitine is also important. You time it for three different purposes.
For maximum fat loss, take it about 30-45 minutes exercise. This may bias you toward burning fat for energy.
For maximum recovery, take it after a workout. This may improve glycogen storage, lower blood pressure, and heart rate.
For maximum workout potentiation, take it also 30-45 minutes before a workout. This may optimize energy available for more physical endurance.
My experience with carnitine
When I take carnitine pre workout, I feel noticeably more energetic as the workout goes on, almost like I have limitless energy. At periods where I would normally start to get tired and see performance suffer, I can sustain better output for both strength and cardio activities.
I haven’t used carnitine for fat loss as I plan to be in a gaining phase for a while, but I have read others describe some body recomp even when eating around maintenance calories and continuing normal training. We’ll see if I experience the same.
Where to get it
You can get injectable carnitine from online hormone clinics like Defy Medical or Vitastir. Since these supplements don’t require a prescription, it’s also possible to get it via some of the influencers that educate about the drug that I mentioned in the dosing section.
Glutathione is known as the “mother of all antioxidants.” It’s naturally produced by the liver and a critical component of immune function. Supraphysiological doses of glutathione can enhance its healing properties.
Injectable glutathione may do several things:
Enhance immune function to fight sickness.
Reduce systemic inflammation and fatigue.
May help avoid getting cancer, although there is some question about whether excessive glutathione may assist existing cancer cells.
Improve wrinkles and whiten skin.
Enhance cognition and help avoid neurogenerative disorders.
Take glutathione as needed for either fighting acute sickness or accumulated fatigue. It should not be an everyday thing. 1-2x a week max. I may not use it at all some weeks.
For fighting sickness, I use about 2.5mg/kg of bodyweight or about 250mg injected intramuscularly.
For general recovery, I use 4-6mg/kg+ of bodyweight or about 500mg.
These doses are inline with Alex Kikel’s suggestions:
You might also want to take an oral NAC supplement to boost endogenous glutathione production so your body doesn’t stop given an exogenous source.
My experience with glutathione
I’ve taken glutathione for both fending off sickness and general recovery. It’s proven effective for both. When I take glutathione as I just start to feel sick — and I have young kids that are always sick — the sickness never seems to develop into a full blown cold. When my body is starting to feel fatigue from a hard week of training, I feel almost entirely refreshed the day after a larger dose of glutathione. One important reason not to take glutathione often is that we don’t want to eliminate the acute inflammation from training as that helps drive adaptation; however, using glutathione occasionally to reduce excess systemic fatigue can help create an environment better suited for adaptation.
Where to get glutathione
You can work with online men’s health platforms like Hone to glutathione (disclosure — my firm is an investor). Additionally, the same non-clinic sources that sell injectable carnitine also sell glutathione.
Carnitine and glutathione are the frontier in longevity and performance. We’re going to hear more about these and other injectable supplements. They’re legal, but they come with the high barrier of injection. Maybe that means injectable supplements are doomed to be niche products only used by the truly dedicate, but that’s a Highlander.
Stay stronger for longer.
Disclaimer: The Highlander is an educational Substack about how to live stronger for longer. As with all exercise and health advice, consult with a doctor and/or trainer. This is not medical advice.