One Month with Quadracarn
How much better?
When I was asked to test Beverly’s latest product, I was mildly enthused. The name sounded intriguing --“Quadracarn” makes me think of a souped-up four-wheel drive car—but the main ingredient, carnitine, isn’t exactly headline news. This was my opinion one month ago, anyways.
Granted, I had never used a supplement containing four different analogs of carnitine (more about this later), and certainly not in the precise ratios found in Quadracarn. (It also contains Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract.). And, yes, Beverly is known for having the highest quality formulas in the world. If you see an ingredient listed on the label of one of their products, then you know that it is (1) present in precisely the amount specified and (2) of the highest quality available.
Still, how remarkably better could Beverly’s formula be from the carnitine supplements of the past? This is the question I asked myself before testing Quadracarn for four weeks as a supplement to my diet and training. You’ll get the answer in the discussion that follows.
While I waited to receive my shipment of Quadracarn from Beverly’s R&D laboratory, I decided to get up to date on the science behind this product. Having been schooled in biochemistry, I know how to read a scientific study. A search on PubMed using “carnitine” pulled up over 10,000 results, which I narrowed down by adding keywords like “muscle”, “exercise”, “supplement”, “aging”, “nitric oxide” and “testosterone”, among others. When I found a study I wanted, I requested a copy from the author, usually a university research scientist who happily obliged.
As the studies arrived in my inbox I devoured them. The more I learned about carnitine’s pharmacological powers, the wider my eyes opened, and the more excited I became about testing Quadracarn. A small sample will show you why.
Androgens are hormones involved in sex drive, muscle growth, cardiovascular health, mood and more. The best known androgen is testosterone. How effectively your androgens work depends to a large degree on the number of androgen receptors (ARs) present inside and on the surface of your cells. To transmit a signal, an androgen molecule generally has to bind to an AR. This sets in motion a cascade of biochemical events that can lead to things like muscle protein synthesis, vasodilation, changes in mood, and other good stuff.
The more ARs you have, the more testosterone and other androgen molecules circulating through your body that your cells can respond to. In other words, your “androgen effectiveness” increases. Whether you’re a man or a woman, this allows you to gain more muscle size and strength from resistance training, and it can also affect your sexual performance, blood lipid levels, your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, and even how happy or depressed you feel. The list of potential benefits goes on and on.
In light of the importance of ARs to androgen effectiveness, it was exciting to learn that a clinical study published in the well-respected journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reported that dietary supplementation with a carnitine analog known as l-carnitine l-tartrate, one of the four analogs found in Quadracarn, can actually increase AR levels in resistance training subjects and that this may enhance recovery from their workouts. Considering the many roles played by androgens in human physiology –sex, muscle, mood and more-- the boost in androgen effectiveness associated with l-carnitine l-tartrate supplementation may provide more benefits than just faster recovery. I hoped to experience these benefits first hand.
Speaking of resistance training, when you lift heavy weights your muscles have to generate lots of force. Doing so physically stresses them, not to mention the metabolic stress caused by the intracellular accumulation of things like free radicals, hydrogen ions, calcium ions, water and so on. Here, too, Quadracarn can be of help. A study in the American Journal of Physiology suggests how. The researchers gave experienced resistance training subjects either a placebo or l-carnitine l-tartrate for three weeks. Two days later they performed 5 sets of 15-20 reps of squats. The subjects who took the carnitine supplement had higher circulating carnitine levels throughout the study, and there was evidence that supplementation reduced free radical generation, muscle tissue damage and muscle soreness, and promoted ATP resynthesis. If this doesn’t sound like enough, the authors of the study suggested that carnitine supplementation also may have promoted blood flow during and after the squat workout. They remarked:
“A major assumption of our working hypothesis was that [l-carnitine l-tartrate] supplementation would lead to an accumulation of carnitine in endothelial cells (or prevent carnitine deficiency) and thereby increase blood flow, oxygen delivery, and regeneration of ATP. In general, the results support our hypothesis.”
One of the ways in which carnitine may increase blood flow and oxygen delivery is by enhancing NO signaling. NO is a tiny molecule that serves as a carrier of signals, or messages, between cells. Besides its role in vasodilation (relaxing blood vessels, thereby encouraging faster flow of blood), NO also regulates oxygen consumption and ATP production within mitochondria (discussed below), protecting them from damage under low oxygen (hypoxic) conditions such as may occur during high intensity exercise. This agrees with another study involving resistance training subjects which was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2008. The addition of l-carnitine l-tartrate to the subjects’ diets appeared to protect their muscles from hypoxic stress.
Your muscles would be pretty silent without your nerves. The nervous system tells them when to “jump” (contract) and “how high” (how much force to generate). This isn’t the only reason you need to treat your nerves well. The older you get, the more wear and tear nerve cells (neurons) suffer and the greater tends to be your risk of neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies on n-acetyl-l-carnitine, another carnitine analog found in Quadracarn, indicate that it can actually protect neurons from damage, including cell death, termed apoptosis.
When you see n-acetyl-l-carnitine talked about in a scientific journal with a title like CNS Drugs, you know it’s a serious supplement. In a 2007 review article the authors referred to its ability to prevent and treat nerve pain. They added that “[n-acetyl-l-carnitine] can also improve the function of peripheral nerves by increasing nerve conduction velocity, reducing sensory neuronal loss, and promoting nerve regeneration. Recent evidence indicates that [n-acetyl-l-carnitine] regulates processes that go beyond its classical role in energy metabolism.”
Neurons, muscle cells and most other cells in your body depend on mitochondria for energy. In total, these cigar-shaped structures produce more than 95% of your energy needs. Producing this much energy is a huge responsibility for the tiny mitochondria. Not surprisingly, they tend to break down over time. Termed “mitochondrial dysfunction”, this has been blamed as a cause of aging. At the least, it can result in reduced ATP production and increased free radical generation with damaging effects. Experimental studies suggest that n-acetyl-l-carnitine may slow and possibly even reverse aging by protecting mitochondria from losing function. In animal studies, n-acetyl-l-carnitine has been found to increase mitochondrial mass in muscle tissue subject to unloading (disuse). Bodybuilders usually focus on building muscle mass, but if you’re interested in getting huge and living a long, high performance life, don’t neglect to build mitochondrial mass.
Carnitine has roles low and high in the human body. Take your scalp, for instance. A study published in the journal Experimental Dermatology found that l-carnitine l-tartrate extended the period of maximum hair growth when cultured hair follicles were treated with it. This carnitine analog also stimulated the hair follicles to increase in length and reduced the number of them undergoing apoptosis.
Age Reversal (It’s never too late!)
I’m getting awfully close to 40. While I’m by no means in my “golden years”, it’s nice to know that it’s never too late to build muscle, lose fat and improve my performance and that carnitine can help. This is what I learned while reading a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors gave 100-year-old subjects l-carnitine (the remaining carnitine analog found Quadracarn) or a placebo for 6 months. The subjects who received l-carnitine experienced a reduction in total cholesterol, an increase in muscle mass (by over 8 lbs), a reduction in fat mass (a loss of nearly 4 lbs), a decrease in muscle fatigue, improvements in walking capacity, and an increase in cognitive performance. Not bad, huh?
What makes Quadracarn so different?
By now you are likely starting to see why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Quadracarn. Clearly there is a mountain of potential benefits to be had by supplementing your diet and training with carnitine. This, the scientific research convinced me of. But there’s even more to Beverly’s new breakthrough formula than I’ve told you…
The human body naturally produces roughly 1.9 mg of carnitine per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Here “carnitine” refers to all forms, or analogs, of carnitine. Several groups of researchers have studied the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of carnitine; essentially, how your body absorbs various carnitine analogs (whether supplied by the diet or dietary supplements) and what it does to them after they have been absorbed. Below are just a few of the observations they’ve made:
- A portion of the l-carnitine produced by your body is continually converted into n-acetyl-carnitine and propionyl-l-carnitine
- L-carnitine tends to have a longer half-life in the body than n-acetyl-l-carnitine or propionyl-l-carnitine
- When you ingest n-acetyl-carnitine, a portion of it is absorbed intact into the circulation
Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics make the difference.
If your body is continually converting some of the l-carnitine that it makes into n-acetyl-l-carnitine and propionyl-l-carnitine, then it stands to reason that there must be some purpose for these other analogs. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make them. This argument rests on solid biochemical as well as pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic principles.
Each carnitine analog has a different chemical structure. For instance, l-carnitine lacks the acetyl group found on n-acetyl-carnitine. Your body will therefore respond to each analog differently, which means you can experience different benefits from it. Think about it this way. Every “key” (carnitine analog) fits into a different “lock” (metabolic pathway) and opens a different “door” (produces a different physiological benefit). Sure, there will be some overlap; however, there will also be differences. Thus, by combining several “pre-converted” carnitine analogs into a single supplement formula you can enjoy a broader range of potential benefits. This is what Beverly has done in creating Quadracarn.
Quadracarn contains a proprietary combination, or fusion, of four analogs of carnitine (l-carnitine, n-acetyl-l-carnitine, propionyl-l-carnitine and l-carnitine l-tartrate) plus an extract of Gymnema sylvestre leaf. Gymnema has been added to promote insulin effectiveness, another hormone with powerful roles affecting your physique and performance at any age, including your body’s ability to respond to carnitine. All of the carnitine analogs in the formula have been carefully balanced both with respect to one another and the extract of Gymnema for maximum impact.
The First Week with Quadracarn
A few days after I concluded my research on carnitine, I received a package from UPS. I grabbed my Swiss army knife out of the kitchen drawer, sliced through the packing tape, opened up the shipping box and pulled out a Quadracarn bottle full of tablets. The following morning I unscrewed the cap and took my first serving –3 tablets-- with a glass of water right after eating breakfast.
Throughout my one-month test period I took Quadracarn with meals. Here is how my dosage schedule looked:
- Breakfast: 3 tablets
- Post-training meal (usually dinner): 3 tablets
- Late evening protein shake (Ultimate Muscle Protein): 3 tablets
I should point out that the only change to my diet during the test period was the addition of Quadracarn. I was already taking Up-Lift before and during my workouts and drinking 1-2 protein shakes each day made with Ultimate Muscle Protein. Also, I did not experience any side effects such as stomach discomfort or diarrhea while using Quadracarn. I found the tablets easy to swallow with water.
Studies suggest that it can take anywhere from 3-6 hours for the level of carnitine in your circulation to reach a maximum when taking carnitine supplements. Depending on the dosage, it may take up to 3 days or more before your carnitine level achieves what scientists refer to as a “steady state”. For these and other reasons I wasn’t expecting to experience anything out of the ordinary for a few days. So I was a little caught by surprise when, on the Friday of the first week, I noticed that my muscles and veins were popping out of my skin roughly thirty to forty percent more than usual. It also appeared as if I’d dropped some subcutaneous water, particularly around my abs and calves. The same day I also had better pumps during my chest and arms workout. I could literally feel the blood pulse through my pecs and biceps. I typically mix up 2 scoops of Up-Lift with water and sip on it immediately before and during my workout. Adding Quadracarn to my supplement stack seemed to ignite some kind of synergy with Up-Lift that made my pumps even harder and longer lasting.
The Second Week
Early into the second week I noticed that my mood had improved. I attributed this at least in part to the fact that I looked better. My muscles and veins continued to leap out of my skin and my pumps were still improving. Overall, my physique had a harder, more conditioned look to it. Whether these changes were due to an increase in androgen effectiveness, NO signaling, vasodilation, blood flow, or all of the above, I can’t be certain. The bottom line is that Quadracarn was making me feel a good deal better about myself. This extra confidence carried over into the bedroom, which is a benefit I consider to be priceless!
The Third Week
The third week was when Quadracarn began to affect my recovery. Every so often I like to change things up by reducing my rests between sets. Instead of resting, say, 60 seconds, I’ll rest only 30 seconds or less. Usually this makes me very sore. The soreness can last a few days or even a week, depending. During the third week was when I performed one of these “fast” workouts for the first time since I began my test of Quadracarn. My muscles were considerably less sore afterwards, sufficiently so that I decided to train this way the remainder of the week.
Late into the third week it was plainly evident that the increase in muscle fullness and vascularity that coincided with my use of Quadracarn was a 24/7 phenomenon, not a flash in the pan. This product was somehow enabling me to experience more volume in my muscles and veins long after I left the gym.
The fourth week started off rough. I had to travel to the northeast on business and I missed three days –Monday through Wednesday-- from the gym. Aggravating the situation was that I was not able to stick to my typically clean, bodybuilding style diet. But I did manage to bring Quadracarn in my carry-on luggage, and I took it religiously throughout the entire trip.
I’m a hard gainer, which means that when I miss workouts and don’t eat properly, my muscles atrophy quickly. This time, it didn’t happen. Quite the contrary, I came back from the trip looking more buff and chiseled than ever. My girlfriend even noticed, and she sees me practically every day. She remarked on the size of my biceps and checked out my abs as if she’d never seen them before. Inspired by my results and the extra confidence I had in the bedroom, now she was ready to get on Quadracarn.
Roger Riedinger, owner of Beverly, later told me that during some of their earliest tests they gave Quadracarn to bodybuilders who were dieting for competition. The subjects didn’t just find that they could maintain more muscle mass while dieting and taking Quadracarn. They were actually gaining muscle and seeing improvements in tone and vascularity. This didn’t happen until they took higher dosages like I was using. Once they upped their intake to these higher levels –Bamm!—it was like their bodies passed across some biochemical threshold where everything fell into place and Quadracarn’s carnitine analogs sprang into body building action. These observations agreed well with mine.
Overall, I was very satisfied with Quadracarn and would recommend it to others, as I’ve done already. During my one-month test I gained muscle fullness, hardness and vascularity. My mood improved. I experienced less muscle pain and soreness after my workouts. Quadracarn seemed to act synergistically with Up-Lift to give me even harder, long lasting pumps and volumizing effects that persisted well beyond my workouts.
Despite my being a hard gainer, while using Quadracarn, I didn’t have to worry about losing muscle mass. My body seemed to be able to hold onto it more tightly. I can only imagine how this will affect my gains over the course of an entire year.
I also felt more confident while using Quadracarn. Was this due to a change in AR levels or androgen effectiveness? Maybe an increase in NO levels which in turn affected my neurotransmitter levels? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m approaching the age where my testosterone level is more of a concern. To prepare, I’m always on the lookout for natural ways of increasing my endogenous testosterone production or making the testosterone that I have work more effectively. While I can’t say for sure if Quadracarn increased my AR levels (this would require invasive medical testing) or otherwise boosted my androgen effectiveness, I did enjoy tremendous peace of mind knowing that I was taking a supplement with ingredients shown to be capable of doing these things. Again, this confidence carried over into my workouts, the bedroom and every other facet of my day.
As of the publishing date of this article, I’m still using Quadracarn. Be patient, take it religiously and you will not be disappointed. Beverly’s products are of notoriously high quality and they contain ingredients in quantities that, when used as directed, work. Like BCAAs, a protein or a training formula, Quadracarn is one of those supplements that you always want to be taking. The benefits are far reaching, affecting your androgens, muscles, nerves, NO, mitochondria, aging and more.
If you stop eating, you eventually run out of energy and nutrients. Taking a carnitine supplement is similar. If it raises your circulating carnitine level to a new, higher value, then you can’t expect that it will remain at this value once you stop taking the supplement. Like eating, in other words, Quadracarn needs to become a regular part of your lifestyle if you want to continue reaping the benefits.
By the end of the fourth week I saw absolutely no deterioration of any of the benefits that I received while using Quadracarn. I continued to get compliments on the look of my muscles, with their heightened fullness, vascularity and definition. My mood was as positive as ever, at least in part because I knew I was taking the very best carnitine analog formula available with which to build my body and keep it performing at its best for many years to come.
Whether or not you’ve tried carnitine supplements in the past, you really can’t compare them with Quadracarn. Its proprietary fusion of carnitine analogs has been carefully balanced to maximize the array of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and the potential benefits that you will experience from using it. This, in my opinion, is what really makes the difference.
Introducing: The Newest Category of Physique & Performance SupplementsQuadracarn Frequently Asked QuestionsQuadracarn The World's First Carnitine Analog Formula
- Broad et al. (2008). Int J Sport Nutr Exer Metab, 18: 567.
- Cao et al. (2009). Clin Invest Med, 32(1): E13.
- Chiechio et al. (2007). CNS Drugs, 21 (Suppl 1): 31.
- Foitzik et al. (2007). Exp Dermatol, 16(11): 936.
- Kraemer et al. (2006). Med Sci Sports Exer, 38(7); 1288.
- Malaguarnera et al. (2007). Am J Clin Nutr, 86(6): 1738.
- Rebouche CJ (2004). Ann NY Acad Sci, 1033: 30.
- Spiering et al. (2008). J Strength Cond Res, 22(4): 1130.
- Volek et al. (2002). Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 282: E474.