L-carnitine, also referred to simply as carnitine, is a naturally occurring amino acid. While amino acids help build muscles and other tissues, L-carnitine has unique roles of its own. As the University of Maryland Medical Center explains, L-carnitine helps your body convert fat into energy and can help reduce oxidative stress. L-carnitine can be supplemented, but you can also obtain it through food.
According to Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute, beef steak is the most abundant source of L-carnitine. Each 3 oz. serving of beef steak provides 81 mg of L-carnitine, which is more than 16 percent of the minimum dose of 500 mg recommended by the institute.
Ground beef is a rich source of L-carnitine, according to the website Bodybuilding's Roger Lockridge. Each 3.5 oz. serving of ground beef provides 94 mg of L-carnitine. You can use ground beef to make hamburgers, meatballs, tacos and a variety of other dishes.
Canadian bacon is rich in L-carnitine, notes the Linus Pauling Institute. A 3 oz. serving of Canadian bacon contains 20 mg of L-carnitine, which is 4 percent of the daily suggested intake of 500 mg of L-carnitine.
Bodybuilding fitness expert Roger Lockridge explains that pork is an effective source of L-carnitine. Each 3.5 oz serving of pork contains 27.7 mg of L-carnitine. If you are dieting, pork may be a beneficial source of L-carnitine for you, as it is relatively low in calories, fat and carbohydrates but is rich in protein. Each 4 oz. serving of pork chops contains 130 calories, 4.5 g of fat, 23 g of protein and 0 g carbohydrates.
Other L-Carnitine Sources
Many other foods contain various levels of L-carnitine. Foods containing less than 10 mg of L-carnitine per serving include cod, whole milk and chicken breast.